Weekly Review 25/5/15.

CoymayJust a very quick report this week because there has been very little City related news over the past eight days.

In recent weeks, there has been some speculation linking us with Joe Ledley. I dismissed it when I first heard it because Joe has been a first choice at a Premier League club all season as Crystal Palace have enjoyed a second impressive campaign at that level, but the rumours were persistent and this story from earlier in the week suggests there may have been something to them. There’s something of an element of covering all bases to the story, but I’m more prepared to believe that something may happen with this one than I was previously as a result of it. The irony is that we would surely have stood a great chance of getting Joe when he signed for Palace in January 2014 for less than £1 million, but it was pretty clear that we were chasing “bigger fish” than him at that time - I thought he was exactly the type of player we needed back then and nothing that has happened since has made me change my mind.

There were a couple of rumours which emerged yesterday and they are both covered in this story. Regarding Alberth Elis, his name meant nothing to me before yesterday, but I think the reporter is probably right when he implies that City’s best, and, possibly, only, chance of getting him is to do a deal quickly – always assuming that there is any truth in the speculation of course. As for the Simon Moore to Leeds rumour, my first instinct when learning of it was that there may be something to it and, if it’s true that Leeds are prepared to pay £500,000 for him, then I’d say that might be a hard sum to resist. There was a time when we could afford to have £500,000 rated goalkeepers on our bench every week, but, given the club’s change in policy over the last eight or nine months, I think they have gone now – by the way, on the subject of good second choice goalkeepers, congratulations to Tom Heaton on his selection in the England squad this week.

The only other thing to report is how the Play Offs are progressing. In League Two, ex City players Joe Jacobson and Aaron Holloway suffered heartbreak as their Wycombe side (managed by ex City loanee Gareth Ainsworth) were, first, pegged back by a Southend equaliser deep into added time at the end of the game and then beaten in the penalty shoot out despite both of them scoring from their spot kicks themselves – in fact, Joe all but scored Wycombe’s goal when his free kick hit the underside of the cross bar before glancing off the Southend keeper into the net.

In League One, Preston trounced Swindon 4-0 yesterday to clinch what was probably a deserved promotion given how far clear of the other Play Off sides they finished in the regular season. Just as in League Two, the team I had supported during the Final had been beaten though, thereby maintaining my remarkable record in these matches whereby around 98% of the sides I support end up losing (how on earth we managed we managed to beat QPR in 2003, Lord only knows!) – all of which, almost certainly, means very bad news for Norwich City fans when they take on Middlesbrough for a place in the Premier League next season this afternoon!


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3 Responses to Weekly Review 25/5/15.

  1. Dai Woosnam says:

    Thanks for that, Paul.

    Your mentioning of Swindon Town town has me biting into Proust’s madeleine cake.

    Somewhere up in my loft is a handwritten letter from their then manager Bert Head, to 14 year old me, kindly consenting to my request to scout for him in The Rhondda !! (No…don’t say it!) Ah, the delusions of grandeur of boyhood, eh?

    What a nice touch that he took the time to reply. Can you imagine any EPL managers writing such a letter today? And if they did, you can be sure it would be worded by their underlings and typewritten rather than penned.

    Saw City play two or three times at The County Ground …one particular memory was a 5-1 hiding in 1977. I think Paul Trollope’s dad John was still playing left back for Swindon that day.

    Swindon fans trooping home from Wembley last night, will know how we felt back in 1977.

    Still, it is amazing that they got as far as they did, given the startling TV doc I saw a few weeks back. Even in the darkest days pre Peter Ridsdale, Cardiff never suffered this indignity!

    Go to 12.15 here:


    But my trip today down Memory Lane comes more from the events at The Britannia yesterday, than those with Swindon at Wembley.

    I refer of course to the Stoke demolition of Liverpool.

    I keep hearing on my TV that it was their heaviest defeat since 1954. I am sure that is technically correct. But it should be noted that Liverpool have suffered an almost identical defeat SINCE then …and at Ninian Park, to boot.

    I was 10 years and 5 months old, when on Boxing Day 1957, my mam and me were visited by my “Auntie” Elsie from Boreham Wood. I had never met her before.

    My dad had only died the previous month, and whether she took pity on me, I know not. But she gave me 7/6d…an unheard of sum for a kid to be given in the Rhondda by an almost complete stranger. And we were as poor as church mice: my dear mam had only just enough money to bury my dad. (Times were hard then: further up the Valley, it took a collection from friends and relations to pay for the funeral of Stanley Baker’s dad.)

    Anyway, I was suddenly awash with money, and able to go on the train 2 days following, from Porth to Ninian Park Halt, to see the Liverpool game. It had eerie echoes in yesterday’s collapse at Stoke.

    For Cardiff were similarly 5-0 up at half time. We were going NUTS in the Boys Enclosure! For this Liverpool team were a good team, have no doubts.

    They had Scotland international Tommy Younger in goal. Very solid full backs in John Molyneux and Ronnie Moran, and two quality wingers in Alan A’Court and “Mr Liddellpool” himself, Billy Liddell.

    But that day, Cardiff were inspired. Like yesterday, Liverpool went in at half time, 0-5 down. We kids could not believe it.

    I have written before in these pages Paul, that it was the most enjoyment from any game I ever saw City play.

    And as I said to you previously, we kids were not alone in being disbelieving. For so was manager Trevor Morris, as he warned City at half time that “we have not won the game yet!”

    And to that, captain Danny famously replied “Och, but we are slight favourites though boss, eh?!”

    And weirdly, like at Stoke yesterday, the second half too was a mirror of that 1957 game. Both sides exchanged a solitary goal each: and the game ended 6-1.


  2. The other Bob Wilson says:

    That’s a great story about Bert Head Dai – it was a different world back then wasn’t it.
    Two visits to the County Ground stand out for me. The first was on Easter Saturday 1971 when we drew 2-2 with Alan Warboys getting both of our goals – from memory, a few other results went our way that day and I can remember being very optimistic about our chances of going up on the train journey home. The other one was on Boxing Day 1975, we were on a great run and there was a growing belief that we could return to the second division at the first attempt and with Swindon anchored at the foot of the table, a win seemed a formality. Of course, it worked out nothing like that, City played as if they had spent Christmas Day in the pub and the 4-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of Swindon’s superiority – Frank Burrows scored one of their goals and John Trollope was certainly still playing for them at that time.
    The following day City entertained in form Peterborough in a top of the table clash and when the visitors scored in about three minutes it looked like City were playing with (another?) hangover, but, from that low point, they recovered superbly to win 5-2 with Willie Anderson and Phil Dwyer scoring great long range goals if I remember rightly.
    As for Liverpool, I can remember reading something on a Liverpool website around the time we played them in the League Cup when Darren Purse scored that we were their biggest bogey team. I thought the writer was talking rubbish when I read the piece, but, upon checking the stats, I found that their record was, indeed, pretty awful against us (they’ve beaten us three times since then, so I’m fairly sure they’ve got bigger bogey teams than us now).
    That match you describe is one of two against Liverpool from around that time to feature in this book (I think the other one ended up 3-2);-


    It’s well worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy.


  3. Dai Woosnam says:

    Yes…I too saw that 4-0 game and the home game against the Posh.
    What I recall most about that 4-0 game was the fact it was a crisp cold day and City never competed.
    Mike England had a shocker.
    (Though I was at The Shay a month or two later to see him score a rare goal…a last minute equaliser.)

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