Three wins on the trot for Cardiff City thanks to “Man of the Match” Rhys Healey.

Before yesterday, I must have watched Cardiff City win matches 1-0 thanks to a Rhys Healey goal on four or five occasions. Healey is one of those “fox in the box” players who has a knack of putting himself in the position closest to where the ball breaks within about ten yards of goal and, once there, the finish usually proves to be the easier part of the exercise.

I’ve always believed that that such an ability can be honed through coaching to some extent, but, essentially, it’s instinctive – it’s something you’ve either got or you haven’t.

In saying that, this instinct is not something that is there equally for all who possess it. The best instinctive goalscorer I’ve ever seen I’d say is the West German striker Gerd Muller, who scored four hundred eighty seven times in five hundred and fifty five club appearances in his career – his scoring rate fell away somewhat when he only managed thirty eight goals in his seventy one appearances for Fort Lauderdale Strikers after moving to America at the age of thirty four.

At the highest level though (and it really was the highest level when Muller was playing), he managed an astonishing sixty eight goals in sixty two appearances for West Germany.

It’s that record that makes me say Muller was the best instinctive goalscorer I’ve seen. Domestically, Jimmy Greaves is probably the best in my experience, closely followed by the eighties pair Ian Rush and Gary Lineker (I always rated Rush the better of the two because of the work he put in when the opposition had the ball and because of his nationality!) with Alan Shearer just behind them because, rightly or wrongly, I thought goalscoring was a little easier in his time than it was in his predecessors.

However, there have been instinctive goalscorers who have enjoyed careers with excellent scoring rates down through the divisions. For example, Steve Bull was prolific at Wolves from the Championship down and I can remember Ken Wagstaff of Hull filling his boots at Ninian Park a few times during a career that saw him come up short of First Division standard, while our ex players Phil Stant, Carl Dale and Chris Pike are examples of lower league players who were no strangers to the achievement of scoring twenty goals in a season, but, to the best of my knowledge, none of them ever managed one in the top two divisions.

This brings me back to Rhys Healey, because all of those goals I saw him score in 1-0 wins came at the level below our first team. More often than not I’d say, Healey has scored in the games I’ve seen him play at Development team level and no one else comes close to his goalscoring rate for what is the closest thing we have to an old style reserve team since the present format was brought in during the season we won promotion to the Premier League. Now, after his goal in added time against Burton Albion snatched another of those 1-0 wins yesterday, Healey can say that, unlike Messrs Stant, Dale and Pike, he has scored for City in the second level of the domestic game.

Of course, none of this is to say that this one goal means that Healey is set for a Cardiff career which will eclipse those of the three players mentioned earlier. For example, my mind goes back forty six years to a truly awful game against another struggling side who played in yellow/amber and black in Oxford United who left Ninian Park beaten 1-0 in February 1971 by a much better City side than the current one, thanks to a tap in goal by Harry Parsons’ son John who was on as a sub for his debut appearance in the first team after scoring prolifically at reserve team level.

Parsons junior also scored the following week in a 4-0 win at Sunderland, but, although his total of six goals from fifteen senior appearances for the club in the Second Division, as it was in those days, wasn’t bad at all when you consider that he only started seven of those games, he was deemed to be not good enough for City and subsequent spells at Bournemouth and Newport offered proof that he did not quite have what it took to establish himself in the lower divisions either.

Mention of Newport brings me back to Healey who has had a loan spell at County during the first half of this season to follow earlier ones at Colchester and Dundee where his scoring record was hardly spectacular. On the face of it, scoring seven times in twenty three games for Newport wasn’t brilliant either, but, given how badly County have struggled this season. a strike rate of almost one in three is good I would say – without Healey’s goals, and the ones scored by Swansea loanee, Josh Sheehan, County would be as good as relegated already.

City manager Neil Warnock made mention in his post match press conference yesterday that when he or other City staff members had watched him play for Newport it was, if anything, Healey’s finishing that had let him down, but even this offers more proof that the striker has the “knack” when it comes to putting himself into goalscoring positions, the question now is at what level will he gravitate to which allows him to show the gift he has to a worthwhile degree?

What is clear for now is that any further scoring Healey manages at senior level this season will have to be done in the Championship, because Warnock admitted that he was being a little selfish when he brought him on with ten minutes to go against Burton, because the rule about players not being able to turn out for more than two clubs in a season means that he cannot now be loaned out again this season.

One other thing the manager did by presenting Healey with his opportunity off the bench instead of, say Peter Whittingham (who would have been my prediction as to the first sub to be used by City yesterday) is show again his capacity for giving players reckoned by most to be well away from the first team picture at Cardiff their chance.

This is what happened with Kenneth Zohore and, besides Healey, it happened again yesterday when Matt Kennedy was rewarded for his fine performance for the Development team last Monday by, first, a place on the bench, and then being the first substitute Warnock used when Anthony Pilkington’s injury forced him off after fifty four minutes.

In the Feedback section on here following my piece on the Bristol City win last week, I mentioned that it had been claimed on a messageboard that Warnock had won us three matches (Wolves, Villa and Bristol) through his tactical skill/substitutions since he had been appointed. Others may feel differently about that, but I agree with it and now I’d say that it has been increased to four – under one or two of our more recent managers, players such as Kennedy and Healey would have, most likely, been nowhere near the bench and, if they had been, they would have been there for “experience”.

Apart from when he wasted a great chance (by the standards of this game at least) with a poor cross, Kennedy did okay when he came on, but, of course, it was Healey who captured all of the headlines.

I’ve already offered one or two hints (some of them pretty heavy ones!) about the quality, or lack of it to be more accurate, of yesterday’s match, but, perhaps, the biggest indictment of it is that Healey’s ten minutes on the pitch was enough to take the prize of City Man of the Match – it also says so much about what all the others managed in the eighty minutes beforehand.

Rhys Healey nods home his dramatic winner which I confidently expected fussy ref Tim Robinson to disallow for a foul by Aron Gunnarsson on Burton keeper Jon McLaughlin. Mr Robinson saw fit to award twenty nine free kicks for fouls in the game (eighteen against City), but didn’t think one of them merited a yellow card. That alone should set him thinking as to whether he could have let at least a few of them go - he wasn’t the biggest reason why yesterday’s match was such a poor one, but he certainly didn’t help matters either.*

Just before half time I said that City were playing like a team who thought that they only had to turn up to beat Burton after their consecutive league wins over Villa and the wurzels and my mate who watches games with me replied “just what I was thinking”. This was exactly what someone else who we met after the match said as well, but, having heard what Neil Warnock’s thoughts on the matter, perhaps our manager’s version of events is closer to the truth?

Warnock felt that, while he is confident that we will give high riding Brighton and Reading a good game on their own pitches in the coming week, this is because we will go there not expected to get anything out of either match – we aren’t as good when we are favourites to win.

This goes back to the home match with Wigan at end of October which Warnock had always said would be our toughest game so far under him after we had picked up seven points from his first three games against the trio of Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest who all appeared to offer a far stiffer challenge at the time than Wigan did.

Even as early into his time with us at that, Warnock had worked out that we struggle with the mantle of being favourites and events proved him right as Wigan duly left with a 1-0 win.

Perhaps that’s why our manager was so upbeat after the game yesterday? While most, myself included, talked of Healey’s goal merely papering over the cracks, Warnock spoke about it being the best three points since he came to the club. At half time he said that he told the team that they had to come in after ninety five minutes or whatever it is with the win – it didn’t matter how they did it, or how much the crowd got on their back, it was the three points which counted.

The Wigan match was pretty poor, but we were unlucky and didn’t deserve to lose because the chances were there to win it – yesterday’s game was a fair bit worse than the Wigan one in my book.

In this case, Sky’s highlights package really does what is says on the tin, because I cannot remember anything else happening that merited inclusion really. Burton came into the game on the back of a run of seven defeats in eight matches in all competitions and so it was hardly a surprise that they were quick to get ten men behind the ball on the extremely rare occasions when City suggested they were going to threaten their goal.

Warnock was typically blunt about a first half that I would say was the poorest seen at the ground this season. In particular, he said that he we had only played with eight men because we had three forwards who did nothing, just “stood out there”.

I’m not sure who the three were when you consider that, out of the four attacking players we started with, Kenneth Zohore had the poorest forty five minutes since his “reinvention” with that one instance in the highlights package where he showed his strength being the only time he did anything to take the eye, apart from taking some good corners (including the one shown where Sean Morrison looked to held back by Ben Turner), Junior Hoilett had his worst game for us so far. Pilkington supplied the odd isolated moment of quality, but was generally subdued, as was Kadeem Harris whose impact in the first forty five minutes was minimal.

Unusually for this season in a home game, City improved after the break, but all they needed to do to achieve this was look a bit more urgent – Kennedy livened things up a bit and Burton were put under more pressure, but the truth was that their defence, including two returning Bluebirds, were having one of their easiest afternoon’s of the campaign until Healey’s intervention in the eighty ninth minute when he was fouled just outside the penalty area.

It was the first time City had been given a set piece within shooting range and, as the announcement came that there would be three minutes of added on time, Rickie Lambert sized up the opportunity he had been given.

I can remember Lambert scoring some great goals from free kicks for Southampton, but, this time, true to his muted contribution after he was, surprisingly for me, brought on for Zohore, who was doing better than he had done in the first period, with a quarter of the match left, his effort hit the wall. It was then though that Harris, another who had improved in the second period. took over as he beat his man on the outside and floated over the best cross his team managed all afternoon for Healey to nod into an unguarded net from about five yards out.

Burton introduced another striker, but to no avail. There was not enough time left for the sort of nerves from the stands and defensive attitude on the pitch which can make life so awkward late on when we are trying to hang on to a one goal lead to settle in and City saw the match out comfortably, achieving a fourth clean sheet of the season in the process.

Just four shut outs at this stage of the season is poor by any standards, but three in our last eight league games since November is not bad and emphasises just how poor we were in the first four months of the season. The strange thing is that, just as against Brighton and Villa, the clean sheet was achieved pretty comfortably yesterday with new loan signing from Hull, Allan McGregor enjoying a quiet debut with only one fairly routine shot to bother him all afternoon.

Incidentally, Scottish international McGregor becomes the sixth keeper to be used by City this season and, unless I’ve made a mistake somewhere, this is a club record for the years since we were elected into the Football League. With nearly four months of the season still to go. there is still plenty of time for that record to be “improved” upon and it only goes to prove further the folly of the short sighted decision to sell Simon Moore and David Marshall just before the summer transfer window closed – it’s little wonder that our back four have found it so hard to keep opponents out this season when you consider the amount of disruption there’s been behind them (there’s been a different man between the sticks for each of those clean sheets!).

Anyway, the most important stats today are that out first run of three consecutive league wins in almost eighteen months has taken us eight points clear of the relegation places  with a game in hand over most in the division. It’s still way too early to say we are clear from the drop, but with seventeen points needed from twenty matches to get us to the fifty point mark which is generally considered to be enough to keep you up, we should be alright from here, even if we would need to find a better way of coping with the tag of being favourites than we do now for the talk of a top six finish, that is beginning to be heard again, to have even a remote chance of coming to fruition.

*picture courtesy of http://www.walesonline.co.uk/

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14 Responses to Three wins on the trot for Cardiff City thanks to “Man of the Match” Rhys Healey.

  1. Anthony O'Brien says:

    The most admirable quality of this blog, apart from the outstanding nature of our Blogmeister’s report and subsequent comments, is that even divergent opinions can be expressed and received without rancour or an over-reaction. Human nature being what it is, however, there is always the risk that an individual might take umbrage and sulk when no offence is intended. Someone who constantly claims to be impervious to adverse criticism, for example, is probably the very person who creates a storm in a teacup or – to change the platitude — makes a mountain out of a molehill, and then even goes on to bear what looks suspiciously like a grudge. In the popular “Hamlet” misquotation which arises from a change of gender and reversal of words actually spoken, “Methinks he doth protest too much”.

    And now on to more serious matters. Our Blogmeister rightly praises Rhys Healey for his goal-scoring instinct. I agree, but I’d like to ask what else makes a good striker?

    To answer my own question — and this is my own opinion, of course, which you are all fully entitled to challenge — a good striker, even a great striker, needs creative play from his colleagues which leads to goal opportunities. Cardiff lack this quality, and have done so for much too long. The team is crying out for a genuine “box-to-box” player who can defend, get forward with some pace and effectiveness, produce a well-timed and accurate pass, have an element of heading ability, show plenty of energy and stamina, and have an eye for goal. Sounds very much like Tom Adeyemi, currently at Rotherham. Pity he’s not on Cardiff’s books. Oh, wait a minute — He is!

  2. Colin Phillips says:

    Three points and a clean sheet……..what more should we expect?!

    Desperate stuff.

  3. Russell says:

    Thanks Paul brave of you to write this one up , lol

    Dreadful ,woeful,pathetic performance,is my report done .

    NW as you accurately point out earned his corn again , as they mustered an improved second half, notba great one , and a goal from nowhere, Burton must have thought they had been robbed, I know I did, with my entry money.

    Lovely to see Healey score , it seems he’s been with us for years, hard to believe he’s still only 22.

    Regarding goal poachers our own Tony Evans should be added.

    Others , would be Fowler, Michael Owen , Andy Cole , Denis Law, Ian Wright. Rossi.

    I nearly left the ground early yesterday due to mind numbness boredom and coldness ,think our strikers had left before me , worryingly :
    Holilet our most gifted striker has deteriorated badly in recent games, so the romance and his motivationnus onntge wane.
    Zahore in my view us not a great striker however a good squad striker , if gets fitter,learns to head a ball and score more.
    Harris has final ball issues, but is a trier and can beat a man, a good off the bench option when teams are tired ,in the last twenty.
    Lambert looks old,tried,carrying injuriies, since Neil’s arrival (fall out or crash of personalities perhaps, as he was a much better player under his old mate, Trollope ???)
    So it’s down to set pieces ,Whitt’s and Pilk’s to energise us up front as we limp towards safety.

    Thanks again Paul, keep it up please, I do so enjoy these reads , and contributing alongside other well seasoned contributors .

    What do they say ” a sign of a good side, is one that wins from a poor performance ” well the next two games will certainly tell us more.

  4. BJA says:

    Paul – As ever, such an accurate comment on yesterday’s proceedings. Whether it was the wretched first half, or the cold, or probably both, I went in search of some warming coffee at half time. Some chance of that!! I swear there were more ’spectators’ in the concourse of our stand then ever there were watching the match. I spent ten minutes wandering around trying to find the shortest queue for a warming beverage giving up eventually and returning to my frozen viewing site just as the second half commenced.
    Because the City were now attacking ‘our’ end, I suspect that the match became somewhat more interesting as I genuinely believed a score in our favour was inevitable. I held that belief for all of the half, even more so after the substitutions, having seen youngsters Kennedy and Healey perform on Monday evening. My belief was not shared by all as both the fare offered and the cold got the better of many. But I remained to witness the goal from young Healey and for once I was not fearful of the last few moments, and the three points were ours.
    But what an awful match. There was not a great amount of cultured passing forwards from our defenders, more in the keeping of ‘agricultural’. At one time I was trying to keep a count of the number of hoofs forward by our back four into no-mans land, but gave up. I was not going to take my shoes and socks off just to count beyond ten! No wonder our possession stats are so poor.
    But we won. Of those who have arrived to perform in blue this year, Bamba was as he has been since arrival, splendid, but Hoillett and Ricky disappointed. As I alluded to in my response to your report on the U 23 match against Ipswich, Kennedy put in a great shift, and whilst his 35 minutes yesterday did not set the world alight, he was more committed than Hoilllett and I wonder how necessary it is to continue with the chase for Mr.Hayes if he were to be given more chances. If that meant we were able to retain Bruno, then I for one am in favour.
    And I am so pleased for Rhys. Returning to Monday’s Development match against Ipswich, I suspect he could well have scored three, but part of the attributes of successful strikers is being in the position to score. So, perhaps, he is another that should be given more opportunities at this level – it could save us some money that we don’t seem to have!
    And, Paul, on the subject of German strikers, what about Uwe Seeler. He did for us in the return leg of the European Cup Winners Cup in the late sixties by scoring a winner against us in the last couple of minutes. We lost this by 3 – 2 against Hamburg SV having drawn the first game 1 – 1. I suspect that you may well have been there. I mention this great player because he played only for Hamburg, his home town. My research this morning reveals that he played 476 league matches and scored 404 goals. Some nine to ten years earlier, as a National Serviceman in Germany, I watched him play for Hamburg against Osnabruck, and yes he scored then. He really was good.
    Anthony, just wish to congratulate you on your views – a wonderful first paragraph. And I would not mind seeing Adeyami back either.
    Hope we are able to stop Brighton ‘rocking’ on Tuesday!

  5. Russell says:

    I too support Anthonys view on Tom Adeyemi, he does give us something different in midfield (box to box and leggy pace ) I suspect his problem is both wages , and motivation, the latter could be provided by NW

  6. Geoff Lewis says:

    I did not travel to yesterday’s game from my small dwelling in the Llandeilo area, I felt that at my age it would be very cold and the game against Burton would be a dour affair.
    Excellent contributions from every one and it is pleasing that Warnock is giving the youngsters a chance at last, especially Kennedy who to me is an old fashioned type of winger.
    We do not need a winger, I feel a new striker is more important to the team if we can get one in the January transfer window.
    I was a young man( early twenties) when we were beaten by Hamburg 3-2(1968), very unlucky, I was in the Canton stand right behind the goal, when they scored the last two goals, poor Wilson our goalkeeper, he came off his line too early for their third goal.
    I thought Tom Adeyemi was sold to Rotherham, part of the package with Halford being signed by us.
    I must say that at long last we have a Manager, who can turn a game around with his use of players on the bench.
    Roll on PNE game 31st January, hopefully i will try and make this game.
    Geoff

  7. Russell says:

    Geoff you made a good decision its was so cold, and so boring , not for us golden oldies, ,my brandy hip flask just about kept me going.

    That Hamburg game was something else,do miss those floodlights cascading down on those wintry European nights,wonderful times.

  8. Richard Holt says:

    Thanks for the write -up as ever Paul. It seems I chose a good game to miss. It is refreshing though that players such as Healey and Kennedy are given a chance if merited by Development team performances. Under previous regimes it seemed that some players were banished to the reserves ‘come what may’ with little to motivate them in the way of first-team possibilities.
    I too wondered whether MacGregor’s debut was a goal-keeping record and reckon it is …… sort of. It’s the first time that we’ve used six recognised ‘keepers in first team games during a season. However, Moore didn’t play a league game for us this season so in purely league games we’ve just equalled 82/83 and 87/88. Also of course Phil Dwyer played in goal during a match at Bradford in 82/83 so maybe it’s not quite a record after all. I shouldn’t set any quiz questions on this topic any time soon.

  9. Clive Harry says:

    What a game! Thrilling end to end football, super defending and skilfull attacking aided by excellent refereeing. Hang on, my medication is wearing off – it was a dreadful game with an annoyingly fussy ref. However, like most football fans whose team have won with a last minute goal, my son and I went home with large smiles on our faces!
    In reality, however, when I thought about the team afterwards we had both full backs playing out of position and looking as if they were! Their fellow defender Sean Morrison made some great 45 yard touch finders but they proved fruitless in a game with no line outs. Turning to midfield, Joe Ralls couldn’t master the knack of passing to a player on the same side as himself and Anthony Pilkington seemed to be still thinking about last week rather than yesterday. Hoillett meanwhile was toilet. Kadeem, to be fair, always looked as if he might do something and finally did with his cross to Rhys Healey. Kenneth Zohore remains something of a mystery to me – he looks strong and pacey with decent control but rarely threatens to score.
    Nevertheless, Colin showed he is not afraid to change things around and yet again his substitutions worked. Healey showed his knack of being in the right place at the right time but also showed a couple of nice touches outside the box. I also thought that Matty Kennedy looked promising with one curling cross on the run which was only just cleared being the pass of the match in my opinion.
    All in all, an excellent three points ahead of a difficult week (albeit with thick fog forecast for the south of England on Tuesday!).

  10. MIKE HOPE says:

    To Geoff in Llandeilo , you will know from reports and comments that you made the right decision in staying at home but, trust me,you needed to be there to realise just how bad it was.
    I went to the game already suffering from man-flu and after watching ninety minutes of ineptitude my feet,fingers and even the mucus in my nostrils had frozen.
    And yet, it shows my mentality about Cardiff City, that I left the ground smiling through chattering teeth because of our 90+1 winner.
    I agree with Paul about Gerd Muller.
    When the Barnsley striker somehow managed, whilst falling backwards, to score against us by directing a looping header into the one small part of the goal which the keeper could not reach I told my grandson that it must have been a fluke because only Gerd could have done that intentionally.
    He seemed to have the knack that if the ball reached him near the goal it did not matter how it reached him or which way he was facing, he would somehow manoeuver it into the net.
    If we are reminiscing about Cardiff strikers surely Earnie is the king.
    I think he is unique in having scored hat tricks in all four English divisions(including the Premier) as well as in the FA Cup the League Cup and at full International.
    Whilst our manager is right in saying that we need strengthening in several positions if we are to be promotion contenders next season I agree with Anthony that in order of priority we should start in midfield.
    Unfortunately however I do not see Adeyemi as the answer.
    If only we could find a really creative player like Cairney of Fulham or Hernandez of Leeds.

  11. Adrian Lloyd Pickrell says:

    I tuned into the “Highlights” after the game… and if that what was shown really were the Highlights then thank heavens I was not subjected to the rest of the game like you poor stalwart devils.
    However, City scoring a last minute winner! Unthinkable just a short memory span ago when just about everyone was queing up to score last minute winners and equalizers against us …while our defenders stood back and admired the pluck and skill of their opponents.
    In the last few weeks City have “held onto a one goal lead (Villa), turned a game around (Bristol C) and now snatched a last minute winner”. A lot more satisfying than that what we were getting used to just a few months ago. Now if only the Events described in Clive Harry’s brilliant first sentence above really were to come true!!!

  12. The other Bob Wilson says:

    As usual, thanks for a series of entertaining and perceptive replies. Adrian, the commentator on the highlights on the club’s website said that seven out City’s last ten goals have been scored after the seventieth minute of games (think that’s right, it was late on anyway), so now it’s eight out of eleven apparently. I was not convinced by that, so did some checking and, if we discount the Fulham cup tie, I can confirm that he was right. If you go back over our last eleven league goals starting with Pilkington’s winner against Wolves, only Morrison’s early header against Barnsley, Whittingham’s pen at Brentford and Ralls’ goal against Villa were scored before the seventy minute mark with four of the eight we have conceded in the same period coming in the last twenty minutes as well – perhaps whoever is doing the fitness training now should take a bow, because I can’t remember a time recently when we have been scoring so many late goals which change the results of games.
    It’s amazing how just a few seconds of action can change how a whole game is perceived isn’t it Mike. I’m not saying the ninety minutes and more of dross which preceded it should be forgotten, but someone in blue executing a pretty easy header adequately changes how we all think about Saturday’s match. Regarding strikers, I was surprised by that stat BJA provided about Uwe Seeler because I never thought of him as being as prolific as that, but it’s still Muller because of that amazing scoring rate in international football over more than sixty games. As for City, my point in mentioning the three players I did was that people can have the “knack” of being in the right place at the right time when it comes to goalscoring, but it doesn’t guarantee they make it to the highest echelons of the game – by scoring that goal on Saturday, Rhys Healey has done something that Stant, Dale and Pike never managed once in their careers despite them all having the “knack” to varying degrees (pretty sure I’m right in saying that). As for Earnie, I’m not sure I’ve seen a better instinctive goalscorer than him on our team – I can remember saying at the time he scored that great volley against Stoke that he wasn’t just the most in form striker in our division, he was the most in form striker in Britain.
    I remember that cross of Kennedy’s Clive, it was a yard away from being brilliant. Regarding Zohore, he hasn’t got that knack I’ve been talking about, but, with the confidence of being a first choice Championship level striker behind him, I’d back him to get ten to fifteen goals next season if he’s still with us and being picked for games at the same rate as he has been in the last six weeks or so.
    Yes, I’d forgotten about that game at Bradford in 82/83 Richard, I always say we used five keepers that season (we also did when we got promoted from the Fourth Division five years later if I remember rightly), but, besides Dwyer, Lindon Jones also had a go in goal that day didn’t he, so it was seven overall – six specialist goalkeepers in a season is a club record though I believe.
    I agree Russell, those European nights under floodlights were very special weren’t they, especially when there was as much at stake as there was against Hamburg. I was at that game (stood on the Bob Bank at the age of twelve with my Dad) and, besides the heart breaking late goal and the thrill of seeing Brian Harris score his only ever goal for us, the thing I remember most about the game now is how upset my father was when that winner tricked in – it wasn’t just him either, there were stacks of older men around by me who were so down at the final whistle. I was surprised by this because I’d seen us lose plenty of times already in my City supporting life and thought how unperturbed the adults were after these games, but, this time, they knew what a huge prize was at stake, whereas I, in my naivety, was thinking we’d have further European Semi Finals where we could celebrate reaching a Final in the years to come.
    Finally, to Tom Adeyemi – he’s on loan at Rotherham Geoff, but I’m fairly sure his contract with us is up in the summer, so I think he’s yet another one who cost plenty, but will leave the club for nothing. Anyway, I’m with Mike on Adeyemi – yes, I think we need a player like him, but it would have to be someone with more ability than him for me and, again, I agree with Mike about Cairney in particular, he’d give us that creativity we lack when Whitts is missing.

  13. Lindsay Davies says:

    As ever, thanks to Paul and all MAYAns – very enlightening for those of us stuck in Eastern England.
    Agree about Adeyemi – I’d have him back like a shot.
    Why have we all accepted Gestede’s departure and progress so meekly (if, indeed, we have – apologies)? We ‘discovered’ him, took a punt on him, began to ‘develop’ him, and so on.
    Agree with Russell on Tony Evans…and, with Paul on Gerd Muller (that international goal/match ratio – it’s always been literally awe-inspiring.)
    Mind you, watching the Bundesliga recently, it was lovely to see Uwe Seeler, on his 80th birthday, as Guest of Honour at his beloved, if relegation-haunted, Hamburg a couple of months ago.
    Funny that our Hamburg match should crop up twice in as many weeks – initially, in the discussion about the origin’s of Paul’s Nom de Blog.

  14. Paul says:

    Hi, you might need to re-think this a bit. Brighton have been one of the biggest proponents of FFP and have never broken the rules, or come close.

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