City’s away results faltering as they limp towards finishing line.

A much shorter than normal piece this time because, apart from having seen the goal, I know virtually nothing of what happened on the pitch during City’s 1-0 loss at Sheffield Wednesday yesterday, so I’ll just content myself with a few observations from a distance.

  1. It’s probably about three months ago now that Neil Warnock first mentioned his side “limping over the line” at the end of the season and, although recent home results and, more often than not, performances have been good, this is definitely the case away from Cardiff City Stadium. Since what was probably our best week of the season as we won successive games at Leeds and Derby (I await the confirmation that Derby have sacked the newly appointed Gary Rowett after their 4-0 loss at Brentford yesterday!), we have just managed a couple of draws at Blackburn and Barnsley (there were times when we were hanging on for grim death in these games as well) from our last five away matches. After a spell where we scored twelve in six games on our travels as we troubled teams with our pace on the break, we’ve managed just three in our last four hundred and fifty minutes of away action.
  2. Neil Warnock mentioned that he was disappointed with one of his defenders for not “putting his body on the line” when trying to stop the eighty fourth minute match winner. Credit to sub Fernando Forestieri for putting his natural penchant for diving to legal use as he reacted quickly and bravely to Allan McGregor’s blocking of a Jordan Rhodes shot, but our manager clearly believed Jazz Richards could have done more to prevent the goal. Warnock was probably right as well, but, as a lifelong Blade, he will always be up for any visit to Hillsborough, but was that really the case yesterday for all of our team given the position City found themselves in going into the game? I’ve talked about losing intensity when a feeling that a target has been reached is abroad and I don’t think it’s a shock to find that the desire level of the Wednesday player and the City man who could have got to that loose ball was different. If we’d had ten points fewer and lost the game under the same circumstances, then criticism of Richards would be more deserved in my book, but in matches that are decided by such fine margins, that little bit more commitment often makes all of the difference.
  3. Wednesday are another of those teams that, from the outside at least, appear to be in danger of not complying with FFP regulations (they have signed plenty of expensive players over the past two seasons and, although I suppose I may be forgetting one or two big money departures from the club, I can’t think of any off the top of my head). Their big crowds are a help of course if they are just staying the right side of the line as far as the rules are concerned, but maybe the thing which truly tilts the balance is their rip off away fan admission prices - City supporters had to pay an extortionate £36 to watch yesterday’s match.
  4. Wednesday look more solid and organised than when they were beaten Play Off Finalists last season, but it appears to me that this has come at the expense of a lot of the attacking flair they had in 15/16 and they are coming under pressure for their top six spot from a Fulham side with plenty of that quality currently. If one of the top six are to miss out, then maybe a Reading side that, incredibly for a team in their position, have conceded more goals than they’ve scored might be the ones to do so, but Wednesday don’t look as good a bet for promotion through the Play Offs as they did to me last season – at those away fan prices though, I hope they prove me wrong!
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4 Responses to City’s away results faltering as they limp towards finishing line.

  1. paul says:

    Listening to the match on radio I felt city done ok. We could have been ore clinical. We have been saying thag all season. Could Jazz have defended the goal better than he did? Perhaps, for me I wouldn’t have minded if he had kicked that horrible little creep in the face. Thats my opinion as is, he should have been banned from football a for a couple of years for the solves incident when he pushed a wolves player but dived holding his face. Ref whose back was turned then sent of the innocent wolves man. Football can do without him.
    Can u imagine paying £36 then the game is lost due to him doing something like that. He has total lack of respect for the paying fan!!!!
    I hope wednesday stay dowm and FFP get them.
    We need big clubs to go to the wall to prove how the premier league, sky and the likes of are destrying the balance and honesty of football.
    I am I being niaive and its always been like this.

  2. Barry Cole says:

    Well Paul this was one match I did not even contemplate going to. It was clear on Cardiff city player that the amount of effort is slowly declining, the extra mile the players were reaching is just that 10 yards too short.
    When NW says he has 90% of the team I hope he is including the bench in that 90%.
    We have needed that creative midfielder for the last few years, add to that a goalscorer, a goalkeeper and a fast winger then that 90% doesn’t stack up even with a full bench.
    Back to the match I believe we played well certainly from the commentary I heard. But we are now prone to two things one we are not scoring goals and two we always seem to make a mistake out of nothing.
    To rectify those we need a bit more than the 10% NW has indicated and knowing NW he knows that too.
    The players are playing for their existence and a few are not making a good job of it. We need to now go on a run to the end of the season to start the impetus for 2017/18

  3. Russell says:

    Thanks Paul I listened to the commentary, and tried to read between the lines, I do wish local radio would employ neutral commentators to provide a measured coverage of the game.

    I am enjoying the limp to the line as thus could have such a worse set of circumstances before the arrival of NW.

    To be far and if the commentary was to be believed, we dekiverdd a good account of ourselves , and appeared to compete against a fairly decent side, who we will probaly rub up against next year.

    Our lack of finishing perhaps signifies the overall problem we have, let’s hope we deliver some misery on Forest on Monday, I would not be shocked at three defeats after that,and we finish fairly low down the league.

    Happy Easter All .

  4. The other Bob Wilson says:

    As always, thanks for the replies. Paul, I’ve always tended to be a Wednesday rather than United favourer (maybe it goes back to 70/71 season when United pipped us for promotion), but I don’t like this current Wednesday team much and I’m with you completely when it comes to Forestieri. I’ve now seen the incident where Junior Hoillet was booked and I believe he was a little lucky not to get a red card, but the situation was not helped at all by the Wednesday manager haring up and down the touchline remonstrating with the officials and generally trying to ensure we were reduced to ten men – he has a bit of form for doing that and I can even remember Russell Slade getting involved in a dispute with him when Wednesday came here last season – essentially, the only reason I want Wednesday to go up for is those shocking away fan prices.
    Regarding the Premier League, this story is quite interesting – it’s just a drop in the ocean for them at the moment, but maybe it could be a sign of tougher times to come?
    Barry, with Ajayi gone and Manga likely to go, I think Warnock maybe looking for another centreback this summer – maybe not someone to come straight into the team, but possibly a young player from the lower leagues who could give us a bit more depth in that position – I agree with you about one or two of our players needing a big finish to the season if they want to still be here next year.
    Happy Easter to you, and all other readers of the blog, Russell. I tell you what, Forest are right in trouble if they lose tomorrow and, with their awful away form, and our home record which only looks pretty ordinary because we lost four out of our first five games at Cardiff City Stadium, that may well happen. As for our last four matches, Wigan will do very well to get anything out of their game at Brighton tomorrow and so could conceivably need maximum points from their remaining games when they face. Knowing Warnock, he’ll remember that Wigan once relegated his Sheffield United side from the Premier League on the last day of the season, so I daresay he’d like to get a bit of revenge when we play them – I’d back Wigan to win though and then we’d face two sides who I reckon will both know their fate when they play us – Newcastle will be confirmed as promoted, but may still have the title to go for and Huddersfield will be confirmed as in the Play Offs. Therefore, I think there may be a degree of experimentation in both of our opponents selections and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same with us as Warnock will no longer feel obligated to put out his strongest team.

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