Weekly review 28/6/15.

CoymayA few weeks ago Russell Slade said this would be the time when you could expect to see more transfers in and out of the club and, with the players having reported back for pre season training last Wednesday, we would, in an ideal world, be seeing these three new players that our manager tells us he is chasing arriving in the next week or so, thereby giving them more or less a full training programme at their new club to help integrate them by the start of the season in six weeks time.

While I understand and, in some ways, sympathise with the view that the grass isn’t always greener when it comes to bringing in new players to any club (see Ole’s many and varied signings last summer for proof of this), I do believe that, at this moment in Cardiff City’s life, it needs the stimulus that a couple of exciting signings which get people talking about an upcoming season can provide more than most times in it’s recent history.

In a way I feel sorry for local newspapers in particular during this time of year as they strive to find something worthwhile to say about the clubs they cover and it seems to me that some of the stories you read in the South Wales Echo these days have an air of desperation to them as hacks try, and largely fail, to engender some interest in a subject where, to be frank, little has happened in the last couple of months to raise enthusiasm levels.

Now, I wonder how many read that reference to nothing interesting happening for a couple of months and thought I was being generous – try the last eighteen months, not two! Notwithstanding the encouraging announcement from the club last week about almost 10,000 season tickets having been sold (well,  I thought it was encouraging!), that sort of response typifies the attitude of what seems to me to be many Cardiff fans at the moment – they need something to happen to get them fired up about their team again and they are far from convinced that the current squad, ownership and management have it in them to provide that catalyst.

There are valid reasons why such thinking is somewhat unfair, but an attitude that emphasises the negative over the positive (in fact, any positives are barely acknowledged) has taken hold among vast swathes of City fans, myself included, over the last couple of seasons and, surely, even those who see any criticism of City as disloyalty have to acknowledge that there is an awful lot that the club has got wrong on and off the pitch in since getting promoted.

So, in an effort to accentuate the positive, I say well done again to the club for ensuring that the new blue kits are going to be available by the end of next week and also for getting season tickets out to fans in the last few days – both of these things represent considerable improvements when compared to what has happened too often in the past and tends to add a little credence to my theory that Ken Choo has overseen an improvement in some aspects of the club’s administration at least.

That said, something happened last week that didn’t put the club in a good light when there was an acknowledgment that it was looking less likely that the training week in the Netherlands next month will include the hoped for couple of fixtures against top rated Dutch clubs. Besides that, with Russell Slade not prepared to see the team play on artificial surfaces in the two matches against junior sides offered as replacements, it seems that our pre season trip abroad this year could be a training only event – just as they were in Malky Mackay’s last two seasons with the club.

The reason for this is explained in this piece, but the reference to Swansea having had a match called off for similar reasons in the past, could beg the question as to why no one at Cardiff thought to raise this when the idea of going to the Netherlands was first mooted or is this an another example of the sort of willingness to only judge the club negatively which I referred to earlier?

Maxi Amondarain in action for his country - the fact I could find so few photos of him playing for City tends to confirm his lack of impact at Cardiff in the last two years.

Maxi Amondarain in action for his country – the fact I could find so few photos of him playing for City tends to confirm his lack of impact at Cardiff in the last two years.

For the third consecutive week, there was an announcement of a player leaving the club. This time it was Uruguayan centre back Maximiliano Amondarain who agreed to a termination of his contract halfway through what I understand was a four year deal. Amondarain signed after a successful trial in the summer of 2013 after having been a member of the Uruguay squad which had reached the Final of the World Under 20 Championship a few weeks earlier. Amondarain didn’t got any game time in that tournament though and never once made it into the City first team – he was largely solid, steady and composed in the fifteen or so Development team games I saw him play for us, but I’d say that Deji Oshilaja and Tom James overtook him in the central defender pecking order at the club during his time with us and so letting him go looks a sensible move for both club and player.

The only other piece of worthwhile info I can think of from last week is that City’s Head Coach Paul Trollope will be Wales’ new Assistant Manager. There’s been no formal announcement yet, but it looks certain that he will be the replacement for Kit Symons, who stood down after the win over Belgium this month to give his full attention to his job at Fulham. Like Symons, Trollope will work with Wales on a part time basis and continue at his club, so, it seems that, despite our conspicuous lack of Welshmen on the pitch, there will be a Cardiff City presence in the parties that link up for international games.


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6 Responses to Weekly review 28/6/15.

  1. Dai Woosnam says:

    Thanks as ever, Paul.

    As you say, there is not a lot happening right now…we are akin to yachtsmen, becalmed in the mid Atlantic, with the seas like a millpond and not the slightest breeze. Are they called “dog days” or something like that? (Probably not, but then many an infant has been pulled from the breast knowing more about sailing than me!)
    So, needing a football fix, I have been getting mine from watching the England Ladies. And I write this barely 12 hours after their win over Canada.
    How wonderful it is to see a football team that does not make a false god out of “ball retention”!! This obsession with “keeping the ball” has been the ruination of the men’s game. One meaningless square pass after another.
    Here we see a brilliant and brave player like Farrah Williams who is not afraid to try a risky pass. So WHAT if some are mis-directed!?
    As the saying goes, better to be a lioness for a day, than a sheep all one’s life !! (I will take the pun, as I deliberately switched it from “tiger”!)
    And how good to see this girl Lucy Bronze take a throw-in. The best throw-ins I have seen from either sex for years.
    And Jodie Taylor…she leads the line better than any Cardiff City striker for years. With pace and wonderful movement and commitment. Reminds me of the way Alan Brazil used to lead the line at Ipswich when Paul Mariner was not with him…sublimely intelligent movement across the pitch.
    And as for Steph Houghton: she is a throwback in playing style to the most famous English defender of my early childhood.
    Even looks PHYSICALLY like she could be an identical twin sister of …
    …the great BILLY WRIGHT.
    Plays football exactly his way.
    One final thing…are any of your readers reckoning it worth a trip to the betting shop to put a fiver on the next manager of Cardiff City and his assistant, being the two in the England dug-out in Vancouver yesterday?

  2. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Morning Dai. Now that the English media have finally cottoned on to the fact that their team of flat track bullies always have their limitations exposed when the competition gets serious, it’s not as much fun watching Rooney and co fail on the big stage every two years. However, the strange thing is that I’m not watching England’s women looking forward to the time when they get their comeuppance – far from it, I want them to win the tournament. I doubt it if they will do because I feel they are the weakest if the four teams left in the competition, but then I read a fair bit of stuff saying they were the weakest of the quarter finalists before the Canada game.
    When I watched England’s women play in tournaments before this one, it seemed to me that they lacked a striker capable of making an impact at the top level and so it makes you wonder why Jodie Taylor had to wait until last year, when she was 28, to get her first England cap. I agree with you about her – I’ve not seen a great deal of her until this tournament, so I suppose the level she is currently playing at may not be typical of what she has produced for the last decade or more, but it seems barmy to me that previous England manager Hope Powell did not even call her into an England squad apparently during her time in charge.
    The Cardiff boy in charge said a few things before the Canada game which I feared may blow up in his face, but, fair play to him, he’s done a great job so far and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up getting job offers from well established teams in the men’s game. I don’t see one of those teams being Cardiff City mind, when Vincent Tan comes to make his choice (I reckon there’s a good chance that will happen around October time) for the next City manager, my fiver will be going on……………Vincent Tan!

  3. Anthony O'Brien says:

    Do I detect a sense of desperation as Cardiff – so we are told – show interest in one player after another – and then nothing concrete transpires? And isn’t this scenario a wake up call for those “fans” who mock the quality of Russell Slades’s previous signings. Apart from not having the money to “shop in Harrods”, the reality seems to be that players with genuine quality don’t want to join the City squad? I hope my suspicions are wrong and that, within a very short time, some newcomers are brought in, that they actually want to join us, and also that they strengthen the squad in various ways. And isn’t this where the real test for the manager must currently be?his is where the real test for the manager must currently be?

  4. The other Bob Wilson says:

    I think you may be right Anthony. What I would say is that, despite relegation and a season of turmoil off the pitch in which, rightly or wrongly, our owner had a terrible press, there were plenty of players who opted to sign for Cardiff last summer and I would guess the overwhelming motivation for them doing so was money. For example, it’s hard to see what other reason someone like Bruno Manga would have for coming here than the size of his potential pay packet. If, as I suspect may well be the case, we are only offering a fairly average wage by the standards of this league for potential new signings, then it’s hard to think of much which would attract new players to Cardiff at the moment.
    It’s too early yet to say with any certainty that the sort of players who are good enough to transform the squad are just not interested in coming to Cardiff, but you may well be right that the likes of Peltier, Malone, Doyle etc. represent the best we can get at the moment – all of them have had their moments so far in their Cardiff career and I agree that they shouldn’t just be written off because they were signed by a manager so many of our fans have no time for.

  5. Anthony O'Brien says:


    I have to say, in all honesty, that your response to my earlier statement is one of the best examples of measured, fair-minded, perceptive comment I have ever had the pleasure of reading. You are undoubtedly the main reason why “The Mauve and Yellow Army” blog is consistently superior in all respects to any other I have happened upon -or I am ever likely to happen upon. Thank you for always maintaining the high standard of remarkably fair-minded, knowledgeable and intelligent work which you unfailingly produce.

  6. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thank you very much Anthony. Usually being able to see both sides of an argument helps I suppose, but there are times when I think it’s a curse!

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