Were you really surprised after watching how the last eight months have developed?

CoymayWas that fantastic night when fifty one years of exile from the top flight was ended by that draw with Charlton really just under a year ago? At that time, Cardiff City still had off field issues, but, on the pitch at least, they were going up as Champions of a division they had won at a canter – the two sides that accompanied them into the Premier League (Hull and Crystal Palace) were left trailing in their wake.

The agonies the supporters of the first named side had to go through on the final day of the campaign in a match before their promotion was confirmed against a City team that had been celebrating going up for getting on for a month and the fact that a Palace side that had scraped into the Play Offs after a terrible run of form still had a few more weeks to endure before they got confirmation that they would become a Premier League club only goes to show the in built advantage City had over those two clubs as the summer transfer trading started.

However, it seems everything the hierarchy, both on and off the pitch, at Cardiff City has touched since then has turned to base metal and if you needed any evidence of how much things have declined in twelve months you only need to look at the two “relegation six pointers” we’ve played at Cardiff City Stadium against those clubs.

Six weeks ago, a Hull side who were ruthless in front of goal on the day, but, just decent in other facets of the game were far too good for a mish mash of poorly selected individuals masquerading as a football team – 4-0 might have flattered them a little, but Hull gave a demonstration as to why it’s, correctly, been generally regarded for most of the season that they were good enough to stay up.

All through his career, Joe Ledley has had people calling him ordinary or limited and yet he's always been one of the first names on the team sheet wherever he's played. Yesterday, as happens in most games he plays, he was better at what he did than his immediate opponent and, as he does from time to time, he came up with an important goal - he would certainly improve our team, but he is not a

All through his career, Joe Ledley has had people calling him ordinary or limited and yet he’s always been one of the first names on the team sheet wherever he’s played. Yesterday, as happens in most games he plays, he was better at what he did than his immediate opponent and, as he does from time to time, he came up with an important goal – he would certainly improve our team, but he is not a big enough name for us it seems.*

That match, along with others against West Ham and Swansea since the turn of the year, encapsulated why it was very likely we were going down, but yesterday’s total humiliation by Palace was on a different plane – these four matches were lost by an aggregate of 12-0, but, at least, you could console yourself a little after the first three of them that there was still time for things to be put right. Not after yesterday’s capitulation though – forget the fact that there are still fifteen points to play for, we are down now and, in all likelihood, we will be finishing bottom of the league.

Under Tony Pulis, Palace have been predictable but successful – they were not going to change their approach against us and, in that regard, we could plan throughout last week safe in the knowledge that our opponents would come up with little that could catch us on the hop. On the other hand, the Palace boss would have been uncertain as to the personnel and formation his team would be facing.

On the face of it, that last paragraph reads like an advantage to Cardiff going into the match, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Pulis’ attitude is based on a philosophy which says you know how we play, counter it if you can, whereas Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s habit of altering his team and formation every week can only be construed as uncertainty and dithering given the results it’s brought.

To an extent, Ole was hamstrung by the fact that yesterday’s match was one we just had to win, so he was always going to pick a team which looked more designed to attack than defend, but, like a few others it seems, I must admit I had a sense of foreboding when I heard the side picked for a game where three points were essential.

The selection of Zaha, Dæhli and Mutch in a four man midfield with Campbell featuring in the kind of halfway house role he was used in against Fulham left us looking very open to me. Although Palace beat Chelsea last week, their record against the better sides this season is poor – top half teams can take them on in a football match and be confident that their superior ability will prevail.

However, the reason Palace are, almost certainly, going to stay up is that they have an outstanding record in their matches against bottom half sides (especially under Pulis). Palace don’t lose many against teams who also have relegation on their minds and, if they do, then defeat doesn’t come about because they were given a lesson in the fine arts of the game – it’s because, their opponents stood up to them and ground out the three points.

On the face of it, Ole went into yesterday’s match with an attitude that Palace would not be able to cope with the attacking ability of our front five and the defensive side of things would look after itself because our opponents don’t score many goals on their travels (only six before yesterday). However, when you look at the attacking personnel our manager chose and the way we’ve have been defending since he came here. it seems to me that the lightweight side selected was playing straight into Palace’s hand – I’ve no way of knowing this for certain, but I reckon Tony Pulis was very pleased when he heard the Cardiff team.

Although I’d have much preferred us to have faced the second half of the season with Malky Mackay still in charge, my attitude has tended to be that there was no point looking back – he’s gone now and we need to move on. Therefore, I’ve tried to look for positives in Ole’s management and, if anything, I have gone against what I was actually thinking at times to give an upbeat assessment on here of the job he was doing.

Sadly though, eight points from fourteen matches is an appalling record in anyone’s language and, although I think he should be given his chance in the Championship and so won’t be joining in with any “Ole out” shouts at this stage, it’s also enough time and games to reasonably conclude that he has come up well short in the challenge of managing a Premier League team in 2013/14.

Selecting Wilfried Zaha and Kenwyne Jones in particular to start looked wrong at the time to me and it looks foolish now with the benefit of hindsight. Zaha reacted to the occasion just like most would have expected him to – i.e. by doing nothing to suggest that his heart was really in trying to keep his temporary club up at the expense of the side where his reputation was founded. He was put in something of an awkward position by requests to do the Ayatollah, but his failure to respond to them still spoke volumes as to his level of commitment to the Cardiff cause – there’s also the fact that, even without the Palace connection, he’s done little so far to show he is someone who is temperamentally suited for a relegation scrap.

The same applies to targetman Jones – there was one occasion in the first half where he used his power and strength to turn his marker in the penalty area where you saw the player Kenwyne Jones could be, but, for the rest of the time it was the usual “after you Claude” stuff from someone who it seems to me has settled for the comfortable life a career being a squad member of ordinary Premier League sides can provide.

Don’t think for one moment that I’m putting the shambles we saw solely down to Ole and a couple of our players. Right from the first whistle, the large majority of our team looked either not good enough, beset by nerves or not interested in proceedings. There were those who fell into one or both of those first two categories, but it was sad to see others join Zaha and Jones in the other one – the least a supporter of a team should expect is for it’s members to show some desire, but how many of that starting eleven really cared about what was happening?

Is this the moment that Vincent Tan realised that his club is not going to be in the Premier League much longer?  He'll, no doubt, find someone else to blame for our woeful season and he'd be right to the extent that it isn't all his fault. However, if he is being honest with himself, surely he must realise that he has been a negative influence since August - for example, is it right that in years to come, the images that will define Cardiff City in 2013/14 will come from pictures like this.*

Is this the moment that Vincent Tan realised that his club is not going to be in the Premier League much longer?
He’ll, no doubt, find someone else to blame for our woeful season and he’d be right to the extent that it isn’t all his fault. However, if he is being honest with himself, surely he must realise that he has been a negative influence since August – for example, is it right that in years to come, the images that will define Cardiff City in 2013/14 will come from pictures like this.*

For me, the only outfield player who can feel reasonably pleased with his showing yesterday was Mats Dæhli – true, he faded as the game went on, but, shamefully for his older team mates, he was the one who showed a little leadership as he played an important part in the only phase of the match (a quarter of an hour or so from the tenth minute onwards) where we looked like we were competing against opponents who were not mugs. but, more significantly, were far more up for the occasion.

For the biggest challenge of the season when their club needed them more than ever, virtually all of those selected showed themselves to be not up to it and I don’t think people will forget the attitude a few of them showed while doing that in a hurry.

In our last relegation season (1999/2000), there was a game with Cambridge United which came to represent that campaign. The visitors were in almost as much trouble as we were, but strolled to a 4-0 win – City were absolutely awful that day and it was a game played at a couple of levels lower than the one we are at now (for a few weeks more anyway), but, in my book, the current team were worse yesterday than that side was fourteen years earlier.

It’s possible to get relegated with a degree of dignity – for example, I’d say Yeovil Town and Barnsley are probably doing it in this season’s Championship. However, nothing could be further from the truth at Cardiff. Whether you look on the pitch, at the manager, at the “cat that got the cream” Chairman who proclaimed that going down was not an option in the local press on Friday or the owner who slagged off the ex manager in public for the last three months of his time at Cardiff (and still won’t let the matter drop) you see complacency in some of them, lack of ability in nearly all of them and an unfailing ability to put his foot in it from one of them – as I always say, if there’s a way to cock things up, you can rest assured that Cardiff City will find it and, not only that, they’ll do it while displaying an arrogance totally out of keeping with the level of achievement at the club for the last half a century or more.

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

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13 Responses to Were you really surprised after watching how the last eight months have developed?

  1. Steve says:

    I would have loved to see Cardiff stay up but the ultimate blame must lay at your owners door !!! Our two wins over cardiff this season has been against the worst team I’ve watched in the league this term. Tan should have stuck with Mackay !!

  2. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Can’t disagree with a lot of that Steve – I saw both games and a five goal difference between the sides doesn’t flatter you, but we were especially awful yesterday. I’m not supporting Tan here, but my theme for a while has been that, rather than lay the blame on individuals, we should try and name someone who is completely blame free for our fiasco of a season – the only one I can come up with is David Marshall. For example, I’m still a Malky Mackay fan, but it’s not Tan’s fault that some of the signings he made were duds – however, if you are talking degrees of blame, then, I agree, Tan is the most guilty of the lot.

  3. Matt N says:

    Once again, your piece is absolutely spot on, I see no hope of survival – I’d be pleased as Punch to be wrong, but the last two games were the get out of jail free card, where we needed at least 3 points. We were very lucky to get one.
    Managing from my armchair, it’s very easy to criticise, but each defeat has followed a full week of preparation, and neither game has started with the least clue of how to counter the opposition’s weaknesses. Scrapping your formation after 20 minutes, two goals down against west brom – brave, yes – but surely a team needs a strategy with which it is comfortable to begin with? Then comes Crystal Palace – a side built on a reputation of counter attack. Fielding 5 attack minded players, two of which at least are in the luxury category, is not going to work. It did not work. It’s shocking, and I don’t think the players can be expected to perform with such constant tactical changes. Confidence has to be at rock bottom now amongst the squad, and there aren’t the characters there to create any kind of fighting spirit.
    I feel ashamed of the next paragraph, but don’t feel I will be alone with the sentiment. I’m certain we’re headed for the Champo, sadly with little more than a whimper. Even more sadly, we’re headed down without having made any friends or drawn any more support to the club, due to the back room nonsense. We simply haven’t been deserving of a place in the Premier League.

  4. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Yes, I agree with you Matt – in fact there’s not much I can add regarding your first two paragraphs.

    As for your last one, I always said I couldn’t care less what opposition fans think about the rebrand – they can be as critical as they like and tell us what we should be doing, but most of them will never experience anything like we have.

    However, it does hurt to see the club, rightly, being portrayed as a laughing stock – a line I’ve used once or twice is that we’ve read and absorbed every word of that best seller, “How to make a complete and utter balls up of a Premier League season”!

  5. Graham T says:

    I’m far, very, very far from being a Tan fan, but to blame just him for our awful failure, not just yesterday but throughout the season on the pitch, is silly – our owner is well practised at firing people, but the one he should have fired is his PR person [don't all big business people have PR advisers?] .. it’s the WAY he’s set about doing what he wanted that’s created a bizarre situation where Cardiff City is the ONLY football club in Britain which has stadium bars where hardly any ‘club colours’ are being worn on match days .. Tan wanted to love Cardiff City FC and be loved back : for proof just look at the videos and photos of him and the wonderful then-Chairman TG parading around the Wembley cup-final pitch .. and why did TG go? The first stupid sacking?
    But as for yesterday .. last night I sat on the train back to London where I live thankful that my buying a Senior Railcard at the start of the season meant that the overall cost of using my Ninian Stand season ticket wasn’t too horrendous for me to reconsider continuing the early morning starts to get to home games of my Club .. and, of course, I’ll be doing that next season in the Championship – again – because just as you can’t choose your parents, you can’t CHOOSE your football club .. on the train back I managed to avoid the carriage full of Palace supporters quite rightly celebrating that they were staying up courtesy of our display .. just in front of me, as I tried to console myself with a can or three, was a table of Palace supporters and opposite thenm two young Norwegian journalists tapping away at their laptops – I didn’t know such people existed and attended our games -they still had Cardiff City FC Media badges around their necks .. anyway, the totally pleasant Palace fans engaged the on-line journalists in conversation having ascertained what language they were speaking .. I decided to just listen in rather than take part .. the agreed view was that Palace won “because we wanted it and Cardiff didn’t” .. and .. “.. we’ve been to loads of Palace games away this eason and we haven’t seen us score before ..” … and ” .. Cardiff fans seemed more keen on attacking the owner than on supporting their team ..” .. it all increased the gloom and misery of probably – no, certainly – the worst train journey I’ve had from Cardiff to London after watching my Bluebirds .. and why are we in this state : in the end it’s down to what Roy Keane said about Michael Chopra years ago : “he’s a fox in the box, and every team has to have one of those”
    .. Earnie, Chops, Ross .. gone, all gone .. we tried to find new ones – Rudy, Andreas .. Kenwyne Jones? – you’re having a laugh .. but .. oh, I see Joe Mason scored Bolton’s winner yesterday .. and apart from that, yesterday [and all games] was about managers – they’re paid so much because they matter .. Pulis’ team knew each other and knew what was expected of them .. this has probably gone on too long, but let me finish by saying I think Caulker is a great individual player but a captain? Hmm .. despite what he “said” in the programme [how many do they print? hardly any are on sale and/or bought in the Ninian Stand .. ].. captains do more than stand in the middle for a pre-game photo .. don’t they .. they lead ON THE PITCH – last season Hudson or Bellamy led vocally and by example ..it’ll be interesting to see what we do for our next and last 5 games .. why not let loose some of our younger U21s – at least they’ll put in more enthusiasm than some of our players yesterday ..

  6. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thanks Graham, just a few quick thoughts on what you say.

    1. I don’t believe Tan has any PR advice. After all, surely someone would have put him right on basic errors such as we won the Cup in 1928, “I came to your town” and people should be apologising to me – they may not be big things in themselves, but they are insensitive comments, guaranteed to antagonise an already largely hostile fanbase.
    2. Hard to argue with those conclusions the Palace fans and the journalists came to – I’m all for pro blue songs and letting Tan know what we feel, but, sadly, it’s true to say that these days, the atmosphere which, arguably, played apart in beating Man City has long since disappeared – as you say, it’s as if people are counting down the seconds to the 19.27 protest.
    3. Regarding the managers on Saturday, it was like the sorceror and his apprentice – as I said in my piece, I’m sure Pulis was happy when he saw the team Ole had picked. In terms of talent, I’d say the two sides were evenly matched with us. possibly, edging things in that department, but Pulis’ side were ready, willing and able to give their best with full belief in what they were being told whereas us……….
    4. I find it difficult to analyse Caulker the captain, but, in truth, I don’t see him being in charge as being a major factor in our relegation. As for a few Under 21 players being given their chance, why not? I don’t see that a few minutes here and there as a sub for the likes of, say, O’Sullivan, Wharton and Healey (who I see scored again yesterday for the Development team) would do any harm, even if it was in a losing cause.

  7. Graham T says:

    Yes – I absolutely agree about PR advice – if there IS someone doing that job, they’re rubbish at it .. there are 15 job titles under ‘Executive Management’ in Saturday’s programme – what a shame that none of them have felt secure enough to suggest nicely to our owner that it’s best if he just said nothing .. he has stupidly [not deliberately] created an atmosphere which diverts support from players on the pitch and that’s the support that matters .. I agree too that our manager has seemed like someone learning the job through trial and error – looking across the pitch on Saturday I wondered now and then where he was – and then spotted him .. I don’t think Malky knew how to sit down during a game let alone where .. talk about showing disinterest!
    In the same way that Malky as manager just behaved on the touchline as if he was in charge during a game [and the fans noticed and responded], so Bellamy especially when captaining on the pitch never stopped being in charge abnd being seen and heard to be in charge .. not a big issue but it is one that I think has mattered this season ..

  8. Adrian Lloyd Pickrell says:

    Hello Paul,
    there are enough talking points this season to fill the entire summer with blog postings but I think you summed it all up rather well with your “How to make a complete and utter balls up of a Premier League season” quote above.
    Not even Stan Stennet could have topped this years comedy!
    Despite me being anti Tan and anti red and not convinced of Oles competence at this level, it’s still a pity really, we were all looking forward to this season so much.
    Oh well, we are still not mathematically gone yet but we are making it difficult for ourselves… again.

    Best regards

  9. Dai Woosnam says:

    I guess you will agree with precious little of what follows. Nor will most of your very regular posters on your Comment pages.
    I salute you all for the great fans you are, even if I do not share your point of view.
    The fact that you allow me to put across what is a rarely articulated “not passionate on blue” view (even the Vincent Tan inner circle don’t seem to be able to), speaks VOLUMES for your magnanimity.
    And if in what follows I seem to accuse blue diehards of suspect motives, then I am assuredly not tarring all of you with that brush. Put it down to artistic licence! But the charge still remains re some of them.
    (So posters need not write in and say that they are assuredly NOT caught up in the hysteria of it all: but rather their position is a measured and well-thought-out one. It is a given that I know that.)
    But that does not change much in what follows. Here are my thoughts.


    Cardiff City – the club that so entranced me and took over my life as a boy and youth – are going down. It is so unnecessary.

    They bought vastly overpriced players like Cornelius, Medel, Caulker: the last-mentioned incidentally is hardly the “colossus” that respected Welsh journalist Paul Abbandonato says he is. I reckon that Steven might look a great athlete, but I submit that he is nowhere near the defender that Leon Barnett is, and Leon was gagging to join City for a mere quarter of the fee paid Spurs. And Steven is no captain either. Those of us brought up on Danny Malloy, the finest centre half who ever wore a City shirt in my lifetime, know what a great captain is. They should erect a statue to Malloy outside CGS, and if he is not shown with his right fist clenched and apparently verbally urging-on his teammates, then they should ask the sculptor for their money back!

    The one star man they bought at a fair price – John Brayford – they never even gave a Premiership game to! That particular transfer stinks, incidentally, and I pray for the day when the leading parties involved come clean on it.

    Cardiff are going down because they went into the season with a manager that many of us predicted would not hack it at Premiership level: his “crowd the midfield at home and park the bus away” boring football might have got him out of the Championship in a very lean year, but was never going to cut it in the top tier.

    And now they have replaced him with exactly the wrong man. I had big hopes at first, but everything I now see of Ole, bodes ill for the future.

    Vincent Tan needs a lesson in what makes a top manager. And being a former star player usually disqualifies a candidate. Tony Adams, Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, etc., could not hack it: the guys who can, are the average – even totally anonymous – players like Martinez, Wenger, Rodgers, Ferguson, Mourinho, etc.

    So Man Utd star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is doomed from the start.

    Trust me, I am not a wise-after-the-event fellow. I have written evidence to show that I was asking for former Cardiff fan Tony Pulis to take over at Ninian Park when he was sacked at Gillingham in the last millennium!

    Oh, imagine where Cardiff would be now…

    But the saddest thing, is the self-destruction over the shirt colour debate.

    Of course I realise that some do not share my views. That said, I think most people will eventually come round to them.

    That is NOT to say that I disagree with a word they – and you Paul – say on Vincent Tan’s logic. He clearly HAS none. This “lucky colour” business is arrant nonsense. I knew it at the time.

    You only have to look at all the teams wearing red who are relegated annually all over the world!!

    The whole thing is as flawed as those daft blighters who try and read your fate from where the stars and planets were on the moment you were born!! How mad is that? You only have to say to them: “I bet there were people born at the same minute on the same day as Adolf Hitler, and yet THEY turned out to be well-adjusted non-psychopaths!”

    We know why Tan did it. It was his way of saying “I have saved this club from being wound-up. Allow me my whim please!”

    And guess what? Had people had the good sense to say “whether England play in white or red, whether Leeds play in yellow/blue (note that the Leeds Rhinos rugby team have kept the old municipal colours), whether…
    ….well you get my drift.

    There is a wonderful web page…it shows the jersey colours of 1946-47:


    Amazing eh? ESPECIALLY when you click on each club and read the history of their shirt. I salute the guy who put this amazing site together.

    It is as mind-boggling a site as I can think of !!

    Do you reckon that the guy who owns the franchise for historical replica shirts is the compiler?

    It blows my mind almost as much as the extraordinary


    which surely is the most remarkable site on the whole of the internet.

    That site BTW, when it appears on the screen, seems at first unremarkable, and then you start clicking on things, and then the fireworks start! (For instance, you click on English, then on Results, and you get ALL the results in the English leagues week by week back to season 1870-71. Absolutely off-the-scale in its sheer staggering range!)

    But back to the historical kits site here…

    Leeds, Hull City, Oldham, Coventry, Crystal Palace, Walsall, Watford, Torquay, Orient, Notts County, Stockport, Tranmere, Bournemouth, Luton, Southport …they are clubs where the jersey colours have changed dramatically. (This excludes those teams who have changed design but not the colours: Exeter City for instance were clad in red and white hoops, 67 years ago, but made the change back to the stripes we know today; Norwich from halved green-and-yellow shirts, to the predominantly canary yellow shirt of now.) And what is more, some teams have changed colours several times in those near seven decades.

    So we have fifteen clubs with a major colour change. Hardly the rare event that so many Cardiff fans think it is.

    I have also excluded teams like West Bromwich Albion, where the move to plain blue in the War years was clearly down to an inability to get their navy blue and white stripe.

    I have a friend who is a Leeds fan. He does not recall the 1960 colour change, but he has investigated it for me…and the info on this site backs him up.

    It appears that yes, there were many dissenting voices, but they were silenced after a year or so, by seeing their new manager Don Revie being so POSITIVE about the change, that had occurred just before he took the reins. He wanted them to look (and play) like Real Madrid, in much the same way as Vincent Tan wanted his boys to look (and play) like Manchester United.

    The tragedy for Cardiff was that Malky – the more I think about him, the unhappier I get – did his usual thing of trying to hunt with the hounds and simultaneously run with the fox – and thus NOT give Mr. Tan the backing he should have had. Shame on him for his usual “let’s do what favours Malky PLC” position.

    Steve Bruce is acting exactly the same at Hull over the Tigers name. (We saw his shameful REAL nature when he angrily went off down the tunnel after the referee at the final whistle, after that 2-2 home draw against Cardiff in the final game of last season.) I hope their Egyptian philanthropist leaves them with a far more parsimonious new owner: it will teach their fans to get a sense of priorities!

    Gee, words fail me … Hull fans always call the club “THE TIGERS”, as it is! I remember their then Chairman (Paul Duffen) ringing that ship’s bell in 2008 and making that moving speech on the day that Hull finally got into the Premiership, which went something like “I dedicate it to those generations of the TIGER NATION that can’t be here today, but dreamed that this day would one day come”. (My emphasis.)

    Internecine strife amongst supporters is unforgivable. It will destroy a club. I have always known that South Walians are conservative in everything except perhaps their politics. But I never thought they would be this daft about such a trivial issue as shirt colour. They are as silly as Vincent Tan.

    Some of these fans are prima donnas strutting around in blue in the stands, hoping their banner can be picked out by the TV cameras, so that their workmates on Monday will congratulate them for caring so much.

    “Caring”? Do not make me laugh. They are showing themselves to be historically illiterate: these duffers think that changing shirt colour is a rare event and one worthy of pulling your club apart over!

    I beg you, you blue diehards…do NOT be dinosaurs. Stop all this nonsense about the changing of the shirt colour. Keep this going next season in the Championship, and you will prove to be Fifth Columnists who will end up destroying – from the inside – this club you profess to love.

    Get with it, Cardiff fans: red is a proud colour. It is your NATIONAL colour. Richard Burton famously saw to it that he wore one item of apparel that was red, every day of his adult life.

    Imagine your girlfriend, who always wore blue undies in bed, runs off with the milkman. And she is replaced in your affections by her much sexier 22 year old sister…who always favours scarlet scanties.

    Do you kick her out of bed?

    In the immortal words of Eliza Dolittle: “Not bloody likely!”

    Stop moving deckchairs on your Titanic. It is your obsession with the trivial, that has made your club take their eye off the iceberg! Get behind the Cardiff City Dragons!

    (Incidentally, whoever saw a BLUE dragon?)

    And seriously, folks… what are the players to think, when they see all that blue in the crowd? How can a player believe in the red shirt he wants to wear with pride, when the fans are telling him it is worthless?

    Elementary psychology, my dear fellow.

    Personally, I think that plain red, is a commonplace jersey of no real distinction. As commonplace as a BLUE one.

    I would love the team to adopt a strip that NO OTHER team has. Lots of little bluebirds on a white background … looking as distinctive as the – allegedly formerly fascist party – checks of the Croatia flag and shirt. Or conversely, lots of little red dragons on a white background.

    (And no . it will NOT look like a design better suited for jim-jams or your onesie!)

    Trust me, Cardiff City will be relegated this season because the Twelfth Man – the fans – chose to indulge themselves in making a giant mountain out of what was hardly even a molehill.

    I cannot get from my mind that searing image from the late great blind Argentine short story writer, Jorge Luis Borges. Here was a true Anglophile lamenting the fact that his two favourite countries were going to war over The Falklands, and doing it in the most memorable way imaginable. He famously said that the conflict was “like two bald men fighting over a comb”.

    Cardiff “Blue till we die” fans, Vincent Tan (for his daft idea in the first place) and above all Malky Mackay for shamefully not backing his boss on an utterly trivial issue: all should be very ashamed. Had Malky immediately backed his boss, the dissenting few fans would have skulked off with their blue tail between their legs, such was Malky’s stock at the start/middle of his reign.

    “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”.

    Dai Woosnam

  10. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Good to hear from you again Adrian – I think saying we are “making it difficult” for ourselves is a very restrained way of putting things if I may say so!

  11. The other Bob Wilson says:

    I’m going to leave your comment on here without saying too much about it myself Dai. I would just say though that I believe you are completely wrong in the conclusion you come to in your penultimate paragraph – I reckon very few were swayed by what Malky Mackay had to say on the rebrand.

  12. Dai Woosnam says:

    Thanks Paul for printing my piece in full.
    Re the penultimate para: I actually agree with you. Malky swayed nobody, because he had splinters in his derriere!
    My point is that had he done a Don Revie, and backed Vincent with a passion, he could have won the day and put the matter to bed. After all, Leeds fans are notoriously resistant to change, yet Don persuaded them.
    And Malky is more than Revie’s equal when it comes to persuasion: he is far more personable than Revie was, for a start.
    Before signing off, one cannot ignore the elephant in the room here. Some of the press coverage has been nakedly xenophobic.
    I wonder, if the owners of Cardiff and Hull had been Brits, would the script have followed the pattern it has?

  13. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Still far from convinced by your Malky argument Dai, but I agree about your second point. I’ve said on here (or it might have been on the messageboard) before that if we had Fred Tan the dollar billionaire from Surrey in charge of the club, the nature of the coverage received in some quarters would have been different – the number of cock ups at the top at Cardiff during the course of the season would have drawn criticism whatever the nationality involved though.

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