Weekly review 29/5/16.


A shorter piece this week to reflect what has been a quiet week at Cardiff City. Main  interest I suppose has been come from the announcement of pre-season fixtures with City’s participation in a four team tournament in Germany to be held on 23 July.

Yes, a four team tournament to be held on one day does seem a bit odd doesn’t it, but it can be partially explained by the fact that the matches will only last sixty minutes each, not the usual ninety.

The mini league will consist of hosts VfL Osnabrück, FC St. Pauli and Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach as well as City – each team will play two games with us facing the first two named clubs. The tournament gets under way with us facing St Pauli at 3.30, they then play Mönchengladbach, before Osnabrück, who finished fifth in the third tier of the German league system in the season just ended, enter the tournament by playing us at 6 and the competition winds up with a game between the hosts and Mönchengladbach.

I’m guessing that most reading this will be familiar with St Pauli and the type of club it is, but suffice it to say for anyone who isn’t, they are one of the most unusual clubs in Europe – a look at their Wikipedia entry will show you what I mean.

So, our first match will represent an interesting clash of philosophies, with the archetypal modern day Premier League/Football League team under the ownership of a foreign billionaire in the money obsessed domestic game, coming up against a left wing, “punk” club who are probably the most extreme practitioners of “fan power” from a country where supporter rights are an accepted part of the game in a way I can’t see them ever being here.

St Pauli don’t do too badly with their diametrically opposite viewpoint to City’s either – they finished just short of the one Play Off position in Bundesliga Two this year and did make it into the top division in 2010, but, like us, they ate at the top table for just the one season.

The similarity with us doesn’t end there either, because, although St Pauli’s fourth placed finish in the German equivalent to the Championship looks very impressive, the truth is that they also finished a long way short of the Play Offs when you use points rather than league positions as your guide. The Hamburg club finished twelve points behind third placed Nuremburg, who were beaten over two legs by Eintracht Frankfurt in the promotion/relegation Play Off.

Still, St Pauli would seem to represent testing opposition for us following our first warm up match at Shrewsbury on July 16. City will then fly to Germany on 19 July and stay there for eight days before facing Bournemouth on 30 July, a week before the league season starts.

A unique club should have corner flags which reflect it's status - I'd say this one at St. Pauli qualifies!

A unique club should have corner flags which reflect it’s status – I’d say this one at St. Pauli qualifies!

We traveled to Shrewsbury and Bournemouth as part of our pre season programme last year and it struck me as odd then that we should play a Premier League side away from home – it seems doubly so that it should happen again, especially when you consider that, although the club say there will be more fixtures announced for the first team, it’s hard to see where a home game could be fitted in.

Just one last thing on pre season fixtures, a Cardiff City eleven (presumably made up of Under 21 players and Academy members) will play at Exeter on 28 July.

Apart from that, there isn’t a great deal to report. Paul Trollope has traveled to Malaysia to visit Vincent Tan and “club sources” have said that, in contrast to some of his predecessors who seemed intimidated by our owner, it was the new manager/coach who was behind the meet up.

I do find it a little concerning though that one and a half weeks after Paul Trollope said new arrivals to the coaching and backroom staff will be announced within days, we still haven’t heard anything. There was a story that the transfer committee would have to approve the new men Trollope wanted to bring in and I sincerely hope that the delay is not down to the money men digging their heels in, because that would send out completely the wrong signals as to the club’s level of ambition for the new season.

Some predictable, to me at least, news to emerge this week was that it looks like Russell Slade’s stay in his new role as Head of Football is going to be a short one. While being the bookies favourite for a job isn’t a guarantee that the person concerned is going to get, City’s former manager was installed as 1-2 favourite to take charge at Charlton a day or two before reports saying he had also been interviewed to become Blackburn’s next manager emerged – one way or another, I don’t believe Mr Slade will be at Cardiff much longer.

Finally, congratulations to Hull City on their 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday today to take the final promotion place in the Championship. Steve Bruce’s side were well worth their win over a Wednesday team which rode it’s luck to get past Brighton in the Semi Final and they just didn’t turn up as an attacking force today – to be honest only keeper Keiran Westwood looked to be of a Premier League standard today for an Owls team which, let’s not forget, were far too good for us in our “big Play Off decider” last month.

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10 Responses to Weekly review 29/5/16.

  1. Russell says:

    Can’t fault our pre season tour from the incredibly cult club in Germany to the retiree sloppy hamlet of Bournmouth via the half Welsh village of Shrewsbury.
    As you say quiet on our home front,I’m praying that somone is at home at the club masterminding our eventual progress next year.

    Looks like Slade will go eventually, still think the club have done right by him,by not sacking him,and providing him with a dignified departure. He deserved at least that.

  2. Enoch Mort says:

    So, Paul, next July, can we expect a quiz entitled “One Decade of Cardiff City v VFL Osnabruck Games ” ?

  3. Russell says:

    I wish it was a broader pre season european tour based on games against

    FC St Pauli
    AS Livorno
    Rayo Vallecano
    Olympus Marseille

    With a final return game against Newport County.

  4. Adrian Lloyd Pickrell says:

    Well, I for one am delighted!!! Osnabruck is but a thirty minute train journey from where I live in Muenster and my wife and I will be there.
    St Pauli are a much loved club over here and their fans are quite passionate to say the least. So I am looking forward to a nice and hopefully sunny Saturday in July over here.
    By the way, Osnabruck actually play in MAUVE but alas no yellow .. Mauve and white.

  5. Dai Woosnam says:

    Thanks Paul, as ever.
    Adrian telling us about the German scene, makes me remember that remarkable BBC documentary some 8 years ago on the St Pauli club and their extraordinary supporters. I wonder if it is on YouTube…?
    I have a friend in Hamburg called Carsten Luth. He is a Man of the People to the nth degree.
    He is a dear fellow. He tells me – in his gently droll way – that I am not a true socialist in that I want to flee the iron grip of Brussels and not build the motorways of Bulgaria, Romania and – pretty soon – Turkey too …!!
    I respond by telling him that he is not a true socialist either, in that he supports SV Hamburg and not St Pauli…the latter being the TRUE “People’s Team”.
    But then he counters with, “Ah but you cannot change the club you grew up with and gave your heart to as a lad”…and I must admit that he thus has me …CHECKMATE.

    For the record, I must here declare an interest of sorts…I was in my working days, twice a guest of St Pauli Brewery in Hamburg. Once they brought me over by ovenight ferry from Harwich, and once flew me with Lufthansa from Heathrow. I was pioneering the sales of their Astra and Jever beers in the UK. (For the record, Jever Pilsener is one HECK of a fine beer…and coming from a virtual teetotaller like me, that is some praise. And I recall visiting their brewery in Friesland…what a charming town thar was, btw.)

    Pity that St Pauli Brewery refused to spend serious money advertising Jever on.British TV. Alas brand recognition is the KEY to market penetration in the UK.

    Now to lighter matters…
    Pity City chose PT …(jeez…just realised his initials made him an obvious choice for Russell as his chosen successor…!!)
    Ryan Giggs would have jumped at the City job…in honour of his parents.
    But then…methinks, perhaps we should give ex-Man Utd stars a wide berth…remembering the Grinning Kamikaze.

    (Grinning Kamikaze is so much better than Smiling Assassin, eh?)
    Will sign off now. Apols in advance for any typos in the above…my iPad and me don’t get on together !!

  6. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Apologies for not replying earlier – for some reason, I only received an e-mail notification for Dai’s post yesterday and was assuming that no one else had replied until then!
    Russell, I think that Slade will be gone soon even if he doesn’t get the Charlton job – I think he’s a football manager first and foremost and I’d have thought he’d be looking to reach that 1,000 game mark before taking on a “Head of Football” type post on a permanent basis.
    Enoch, firstly welcome, and thanks for what I’m pretty sure is your first post on here. I don’t have a “Six decades” type question for you, but can you tell me who the European club competition winners Osnabruck played league matches against last season are?
    Adrian, did you see that City have now announced that they will be playing VfL Bochum at Herne on 26 July? Even if you don’t make that match, you’ll be seeing more of us this pre season than about 99% of City fans because I just don’t see where we can fit a home match in now it’s also been announced that we are visiting Forest Green again on 13 July.
    Maybe this blog should “adopt” Osnabruck for the eminent good sense they show in their kit selection? From now on, I’ll try to remember to check on how they’re doing every now and again.
    I must say though, that my team in Germany, if I had one, would be St Pauli and I really like the idea of us playing them. Dai mentions their cross City rivals and it’s strange that while they were winning European tournaments in the 70s and 80s, I paid no heed to HSV Hamburg really, but when they contested the Bundesliga promotion/relegation Play Offs in the previous two seasons, I desperately wanted them to go down and I always want them to lose when I watch that highlights programme on ITV every week. I suppose that Cup Winners Cup Semi Final defeat forty eight years ago still rankles with me somewhere, because I can think of no other reason why I should be so anti Hamburg.
    Have I told you before that I was in the same class as Ryan Giggs’ mum in Pentrebane Junior School? We drifted apart when we both went to Cantonian and she became one of the most fanciable girls in our year – actually, “drifted apart” is overstating things somewhat, we barely spoke to each other while we were in the same class, but I do remember kissing her at a Christmas party when we both must have been about seven! No, my main memory of her now is of how good she was at baseball (a game I was hopeless at, maybe because I was so disinterested in it – I wanted to be playing cricket) and that I didn’t feel in any way embarrassed when she got me out in a boys v girls match in about 1965 – I was far from the only one in our team to be dismissed by her that day.
    I agree about “Grinning Kamikaze” – very appropriate.

  7. Dai Woosnam says:

    Thanks, as ever Paul. And thanks for the classy way you corrected my missing the H off HSV.
    I too would have been uninterested playing baseball…and manifestly DIS-interested too (the latter would be a given)!!
    But I would have been like you, passionately interested in a pretty girl.

    A couple of rants before I leave for today, Paul.
    I see this new blighter Gianni Infantino is in trouble while still on his “honeymoon”, so-to-speak…!!
    But I am not surprised.
    He looks an absolute rotter to me.
    An acolyte of both of the cads: Blatter and Platini. He is keeping the seat warm for the latter…who WILL come back, just trust me.
    If George Graham can come back in just a year after taking a massive bung, so can Platini after three.
    Football has no morality at the top …or the bottom. Just a weird, cruel and fundamentally TABLOID desire to join the rabble in what is considered PC these days…like kick Ched Evans when he is down.
    I did some research.
    Imagine if the boss of FIFA came from Radyr. And he was sacked in disgrace.
    And then – amazingly, for there are 209 countries in FIFA – he was replaced by a chap from the VERY SAME country…and if that is not enough, a chap who was his bosom pal.
    And here is the clincher that proves the whole thing REEKS – for I have been doing research with Google Maps – …get ready for this Paul… the new chap lived in Treforest !!!
    The choice of 209 countries and they choose another scoundrel who comes from just 10 kilometres away !!????
    Bit of a coincidence, one might think !!
    That is how far Visp and Brig are apart. The same 10 kilometres.

    And to think our lot voted for him, and not King Hussein’s brother ! Unbelievable.
    One’s heart just breaks.
    Don’t know much about our FAW man, but Greg Dyke is another rotter. I have never forgotten how he did not stand by Andrew Gilligan over the Iraq dossier, and allowed himself to be bullied by our Government of the day …and all Gilligan’s claims of “sexing up” were later proved to be true.
    And of course Greg Dyke was banging the drum for Infantino. Kinda figures…after all, Dyke is the guy who had to be shamed into returning his bribe…that £15,000 watch. So it was inevitable that he would also be the egregious Roy Hodgson’ s chief cheer leader. Which brings me to rant #2:
    2nd: England has always been my second team in international competitions…until now. I want them to lose EVERY game now. My animus is running full throttle when it comes to this dreadful man.
    I can live with the fact he is massively – OBSCENELY – overpaid for what is really a part time job. I can live with the fact he is a devotee of negative tactics, and is a dunce when it comes to a Plan B (as Liverpool fans quickly ascertained a few years back when they got his number very quickly!)…but I cannot forgive this chap his bad manners and irritability. Such conceit in one human being! I absolutely detest the way he tries to jump down the throat of journalists and TV interviewers like the patently decent Gabriel Clark. Shame on him. He is a natural bully. And a paranoid one to boot.
    If England win Euro 2016, it will be DESPITE – and not BECAUSE – of Roy Hodgson.
    To think…he was once a nice chap…judging by the following clip.
    He may be right…perhaps they DID put something in his cheese here…?



  8. Adrian Lloyd Pickrell says:

    Yes I will try to get to the VFL Bochum game on the tuesday evening as well. The venue at Herne is only a half an hour in the other direction.

  9. Russell says:

    Should be an enjoyable pre season for Adrian ,wonderful German beer (finest and widest choice in the world IMO), watching free flowing Trollope footy,getting first dabs on viewing the new kit,and new multi million new signings ( jeepers the bourbon is kicking in )

    Lucky man I say.

  10. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Nice one Russell!
    Don’t know if you’ve heard of the film “Death of a Gentleman” Dai, but I watched it on Friday and it’s a devastating expose of rampant corruption at the top levels of another sport – this time it was cricket. Sadly, it seems that it’s almost compulsory these days that you have to be crooked, inept or plain stupid to get a job administrating the world’s best sports and the saddest thing is that it’s got to the stage now where so many just shrug their shoulders and say there’s nothing that can be done about it.

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