Category Archives: Cardiff City

The Battle for Premiership Survival!

The fight for Premiership survival has entered the business end of the season, and each game is slowly becoming increasingly more crucial for the teams fighting to avoid the drop.

With just 7 games to go, it looks beyond possible for both Huddersfield and Fulham to escape relegation.

Huddersfield have a mere 14 points and Fulham just 3 more than that. It looks impossible for them to catch up with Burnley who currently sit 17th with 30 points on the board.

Even if Huddersfield and Fulham were to win all of their remaining games, they would still only sit on 35 and 38 points respectively, which even then leaves both teams looking at relegation.

A Burnley win this weekend would bring the Lancashire-based side up to 33 points, virtually dooming the bottom two clubs, Huddersfield and Fulham, to the drop.

Cardiff still have a fighting chance of staying up, but their inconsistency this season means they find themselves in the relegation zone, but the current form table paints a hopeful story for the Welsh team.  Cardiff sit 12th based on recent form, having had 3 wins in their last 6 games.

Talking of 12th, looking at the present standings in the Premiership, that position is occupied by Bournemouth on 38 points, just 2 points away from the safety margin of 40 points.

When you look at the current form, then it makes dodgy reading for the Cherries, because with 1 win in the last 6, they currently sit 3rd bottom, suggesting that although they appear safe, there is still work to do.

In terms of consistency, Burnley find themselves in the same position in the current form guide as they do actual position, but you would back the clarets to find form at the right time, as seems to happen with them most years under Dyche.

Either way, it appears most clubs are entering the infamous ‘squeaky bum time’ of the season, and if you were a betting man, then you would probably get good odds on betting against the current bottom 3 being the ones to make the drop.

Advertisements

Brexit: How will it affect the Premier League?

It comes without surprise that all 20 of the current Premier League clubs were against Brexit in the first place. With Britain set to leave the EU on March 29th, and a ‘no deal’ Brexit looming closer by the minute, what will happen to The Premier League and English football in the future? 

 

The first likely outcome of Brexit on English football is the restriction on the movement of players from Europe to the UK, and vice versa. Players will most likely have to acquire work permits when transferring from The UK to Europe. It is estimated that only 60% of all players in the top flight are UK nationals, so there is major potential of future issues within the league. The clarity of movements in the transfer market may be completely hindered, with it being harder for Premier League clubs to sign European talent, and harder for players with UK citizenship to move to European clubs. Furthermore, with the Champions League quarter finals set to take place just two weeks after the March deadline, and four out of eight teams being from the UK, how will the final three stages pan out?

 

Another potential issue Brexit may reveal regards the 1995 Bosman ruling. The Bosman ruling has made a vital development to football around Europe, allowing players to act as free agents once their contract with the club has expired. The ruling came after three separate legal cases between Jean-Marc Bosman and UEFA, The Belgian FA and Bosman’s club at the time – Royal Football Club De Liege. Bosman won his case at The European Court of Justice in 1995. With the UK departing European jurisdiction, and it no longer being a requirement to follow EU law, UK players could potentially be at risk from a lack of free movement. 

 

The FA has already made a pre-Brexit statement regarding all teams in the Football Leagues. Back in November, they stated that every roster must consist of a minimum of 12 players from a UK background. This could have a positive and negative effect on the league; forcing managers to train with a more ‘British’ based team, leading to further player development and possibly lead to a stronger English, Welsh and Scottish national teams. However, it could lead to a lack of European talent in Premier League teams. Talented players such as Van Dijk, De Bruyne, Sane and Hazard may aim to look at joining major clubs in Europe, to mitigate against the uncertainty that Brexit may bring. Premier League scouts will most likely put their focus on British talent, and the number of European players brought to the top flight could be dramatically reduced. Furthermore, more pressure may be weighted on football academies, as there is an increased need for young English talent. This would lead to the increased development of young English players, the likes of Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Callum Hodson-Odoi all generated their success through excelling in their respected football academies. Could Brexit result in a breakthrough for unseen flair?

 

The main question on everyone’s mind is “Can Britain beat Brexit?” Although the outcomes still remain indistinct, it is clear that it could be rough. Lets just hope that it doesn’t tarnish our league and restrict the luminous football we are all so familiar with. 

Top 3 Welsh Wonders in the Premier League

Since the evolution of the Premier League, there have been a flurry of Welsh players such as Joe Allen and 2016 Premier League winner Andy King. But who are the top three players?

 

Ryan Giggs

The former Manchester United captain has won (nearly) everything there is to win in club football, from league titles, to cups, including European glories and the FIFA Club World Cup. He also holds a unique record of scoring in every Premier League season (except in 2013/14).

Just a pity he never played in any international tournaments, but at least he was part of Team GB.

 

Gareth Bale

Since being plucked from Southampton by Tottenham Hotspur, Gareth Bale went from strength to strength, having first experienced Champions League football with the North London side back in 2010/11, and captured the imagination of fans with a memorable hat-trick against Inter Milan. Since then, he’s achieved more than he could ever imagine with Real Madrid, having won a league title, one Copa Del Rey, and four Champions League titles. Three of which were consecutive.

 

Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey signed on at Arsenal from Cardiff City in the summer of 2008. During the period, he showed promise, and his confidence improved from there on. Although he was showing he was the real deal, it all came crashing down in February 2010. A horror tackle by Ryan Shawcross saw Ramsey out for the rest of the season.

Thankfully, he recovered from that, and returned to form to help his Arsenal side end their wait for a trophy in 2014, and win two more along the way.

 

Special mentions: Ashley Williams – He’s been instrumental in the rise to prominence of Welsh football, having been part of the Swansea City side that won promotion in 2011 – thus being the first Welsh club to compete in the Premier League, and the side that won the League Cup two

 

Joe Allen – comically known as “the Welsh Xavi”, like Williams, he was part of a successful Swansea City side that won promotion, and was a regular feature at Liverpool until his unfortunate injury just before the 2015/16 season.

 

Andy King – Having signed for Leicester City as a teenager in 2006, the Barnstaple-born (qualified to play for Wales through his grandmother who is from Wrexham) midfielder didn’t experience Premier League football until 2014. His side stayed up in their first season back in the top flight, which included a memorable 5-3 win over Manchester United. He was a instrumental part of the incredible 5000-1 side that exceeded expectation. In doing that, he became just the fourth Welsh international to win the Premier League.

 

So, those are my top three Welsh players who have graced the Premier League. What are yours?

Cardiff vs Leeds United: Match Preview

Sol Bamba looks set to return for the Bluebirds against his former club, Leeds, in this intriguing top of the table clash with Cardiff sitting third on goal difference behind early front-runners Leeds this evening.

Bamba was left out of Neil Warnock’s side that beat Sunderland at the weekend nut is expected to replace Bruno Manga in the starting lineup and fellow defender and again former Leeds United player, Lee Peltier is expected to return after a minor knock.

Striker, Danny Ward, is still a doubt after recovering from a virus so Omar Bogle is expected to keep his place on the bench.

Leeds can boast an almost fully fit squad with striker Caleb Ekuban (foot) the only absentee as defender Pontus Jansson returns to the squad after being left out of the Whites’ home win against Ipswich on Saturday.

Neil Warnock has enjoyed coming up against his former club in recent years winning all three meetings against Leeds since his departure in April 2013 including a 2-0 win at Elland Road with his Cardiff side last season; Leeds have however won the last two meetings at the City Stadium.

 

Is football for the fans anymore?

It’s been a crazy summer for football this year with some crazy numbers coming from the amount that clubs have spent with Neymar and Mbappe etc. The money from the new Premier League television rights deal is well and truly coming to fruition with Premier League spending and revenues on the up. Even in the Championship spending has increased with Wolves paying 14 million pounds for Ruben Neves (just one player!)

 

With all of this money you would think that this would benefit English fans who follow their teams week in week out right? It couldn’t be more wrong as the price of season tickets are going up and kick off times for matches are set to change for an international audience.

 

So this begs the question do clubs really care about their local fans who pay their money to support them through the good and the bad times?

 

The answer to that question has to be a no. English clubs are charging a monumental amount of money to go to football matches and even when they are there the cost of food and drink is extortionate.

 

Premier League newcomers Huddersfield are the only exception from that statement as their cheapest season ticket comes in at just 175 pounds which is amazing considering the start they have had. In reality Arsenal’s cheapest season ticket comes in at just over 1000 pounds. That is a ridiculous amount of money to expect from a working class fan base.

 

Even in League One Bradford City fans were charged 28 pounds at Peterborough for a pay on the gate match. 28 Pounds for an away game in League One is scandalous and shows the director that English Football has taken.

 

On top of the prices clubs have all gone into the corporate fan bases which gives people the opportunities that most fans can’t afford. An example of this is Manchester City’s new Tunnel Club which offers people the chance to meet players and get up close and personal with the management team in exchange for a hefty price. City have alienated their fan base by taking opportunities away from their traditional working class fanbase and giving them to people who can afford to pay for the privilege. It’s not just Man City who are guilty of this as it can be seen up and down the country.

 

I’m not saying that the people who go to matches in corporate hospitality are wrong because they have paid for the service and fair play to them. Whats wrong is that most English clubs no longer see their traditional fan bases as the most important.

 

Another example can be taken from the recently named Carabao Cup. The third round draw for the competition took place live from China at 4:15 AM (GMT) meaning most British fans were sleeping when their teams draw took place. A spokesman for the FSF said: “In our 2017 national supporters’ survey fans expressed increasing frustration at instances of overseas audiences apparently being prioritised over domestic supporters. Holding the draw in Beijing at that time can only increase the sense of disconnection many domestic fans feel.”

 

Do you think that English Football is losing touch with its fans and becoming corporatised? Let us know in the comments section below…