The early part of the week saw attention focused on the vote for the winner out of the four blue shirts, produced by Kukri in conjunction with Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust, that, hopefully, will play a large part in sending out an even bigger signal to Vincent Tan that far more than his so called vocal minority have had more than enough of red shirts and beermat badges. With the Echo getting involved, nearly 8,000 supporters took part in the poll and, in the end, there were only four votes separating the top two. Speaking as someone who voted for the runner up, I think that, with such a tight vote, it would be good if fans were also able to buy that shirt as well, but that’s a minor quibble – I’ve already ordered mine.
Thanks should go to Trust member Phil Jones who was the driving force behind the idea and with 750 shirts sold in the first couple of days since they went on sale, the signs are that Ty Hafan Hospice (which receives £5 for every shirt sold) will be receiving a sizable donation in the coming weeks – the very reasonably priced shirts can only be purchased online from Kukri at this link (note the code to be used for free postage and packaging).
On Wednesday the new season was made to feel that much closer by the release of the fixtures for the upcoming campaign. To be honest, I had nowhere near the level of enthusiasm I did twelve months earlier and with away matches to begin (it was reported that preparations for the UEFA Super Cup to be held on 12 August meant we were always going to be on our travels for the season opener) and finish our campaign, no home Boxing Day match, only two games over the Christmas/New Year period and no local derbies, I still don’t find too much to get excited about – I suppose the best thing to do is remember that the Championship is a great division (much better than the Premier League in many ways) and the decade we spent in it before our promotion was a largely enjoyable one.
Here are our fixtures anyway and it’s worth noting that the matches at Blackburn (which has been moved to the Friday night) and Coventry will be shown live on television.
On the transfer front, what headlines have been made have come from the club saying that they hope to hang on to players who I would guess many had down as certainties to leave in the next couple of months or so. First, Chairman Mehmet Dalman said he had received no indication that Gary Medel (very good for Chile in the win which dumped Spain out of the World Cup earlier this week) wanted to leave and then there were further stories about the club being hopeful that David Marshall will stay at Cardiff for the coming season.
Despite what Mr Dalman says, I don’t see much chance of Medel playing for us next season, but with the Chairman remarking that ”I’m not in the habit of selling anything at a loss”, I wonder if a season long loan is a possibility? As for Marshall, it’s reported that no formal enquiries have been received yet concerning the keeper regarded by many to have been the best in the Premier League last season and, with him seemingly happy to stay at Cardiff for another year at least, perhaps there is a chance that Scotland’s number one will be playing for us in 14/15.
As far as incoming transfers are concerned, there was a report yesterday that we may be after Chris Eagles, who has just been released by Bolton – with the player’s Manchester United connection, maybe this is one that has an element of truth to it?
Finally, a few words about a World Cup that is, up to now, maintaining it’s early promise. As mentioned above, the holders have already bowed out, as have England, who were pretty awful in their second 2-1 defeat of the competition against a Luis Suarez inspired Uruguay. As for a possible winner, well many of the fancied teams (Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Holland and Italy) have looked pretty ordinary in their second matches, but I don’t really see the teams who have looked impressive in winning both of their games so far (Costa Rica, Chile, Columbia and France) going all of the way – at the moment, it’s still Brazil, for me for no other reason than I think they have a huge advantage as the host nation.
*picture courtesy of http://www.walesonline.co.uk/