Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jay Bothroyd

So, Jay Bothroyd has been very cagey about his future over the last month or so, although as he's now effectively a free agent everyone has been expecting him to leave Cardiff City.

His tweets have generally been implying, "chill, I'm cool, nothing decided, just enjoying a rest, not thinking about my future right now..." Yeah, right.

Today, he's tweeted in response to the news that three of Cardiff City's backroom staff have been put on "gardening leave" until the end of their contracts. Specifically, his tweets today were:

"Can't believe ccfc has put Terry burton on gardening leave he is one of the best coaches in the league if not the best. !!!"

"Are people stupid how can the assistant manager be blamed for not getting promotion ?"

"Haha Cardiff fans have short memory ... Our team wasn't good enough as a whole thats honest and that's why we didn't gain promotion "

The second of those particularly doesn't look like the sort of response that suggests his immediate future lays at the Cardiff City Stadium, but then that's hardly surprising I'd say.

On the specifics of his tweet, I have a couple of observations.

Firstly, I see no factual evidence that Terry Burton is being blamed for the Bluebirds not getting promotion. I'd lay the blame, if blame is even the right word, at the door of Dave Jones and the players, although clearly as a key part of the coaching team TB has some accountability for the performances and results. At least in mitigation, Jay's second tweet acknowledges that the team as a whole wasn't good enough to gain promotion, although with hindsight, and an almost certainty that he won't be around to put that right next term that's an easy thing for him to say.

Secondly, if anyone has a short memory, it's not Cardiff City fans. We have long and painful memories of many disappointments over the years, long before JB turned up, fell over a lot and then disappeared into the sunset.

Don't get me wrong. I think Jay performed (at times) excellently, and the side generally looked a lot better for him being in it than when he was absent. But for me, his last season was in three part. Before the England cap when he was excellent, between the cap and the last three or four games of the season when he looked like he couldn't be arsed, and the last few games when he looked like he was trying but the rest of the team (by and large, with a few exceptions) just weren't up to the task.

I'd keep Jay at City if we could, but it's not going to happen. I don't think he wants to stay - I don't think he ever did after he got his one (and probably only) England cap.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hurrah for the weekend.

Lawks, how I love weekends!

Who invented them? The bloke (for it surely was a bloke) should be given a medal. However, why he had to stop at two days is a mystery. Three would have been nice. Four greedy, but hey why not? Whatever, they're great, and there should be more of them.

Just started off with a Chinese takeaway. Should be off the the Glamorgan/Hampshire Twenty20 now with @ministats, but the weather is horrible, and I don't fancy sitting in the rain for a few hours with the hope of a 10/10 or worse 5/5 bash. Sooner watch it on the telly in Welsh (S4C) with a beer in the dry and warm of my own home.

Tomorrow a few chores (the one downside of any weekend), and because the forecast is so atrocious, unlikely that I'll get out into my garden which is one of the way I like to chill a bit. Still, tomorrow evening we're over to see some good friends for tea, and no doubt make final arrangements for a holiday we're going on together to Turkey in the not too distant future.

Then on Sunday it's Father's Day. We've got my Dad and my Out-Laws over for Sunday dinner, so that'll be nice. A lazy afternoon, and then before you can blink that'll be it. Weekend over and back to the grindstone.

But it's only early Friday yet!!.......

Malky it is! Up the City

So, after a long, drawn out process that included final delays to a 3pm press conference that eventually took place at about 4.40pm, Malky Mackay has been installed as Cardiff City's new manager.

Apparently he's on a three year contract, and both he and Chief Exec Gethin Jenkins stated that the objective was to be competing at the top of the Championship, and Jenkins confirmed that there was money to spend, although stopped short - with a smile - of stating exactly how big the pot was.

At last, Cardiff City can move forward, and given the view that competing at the top = pushing for promotion, not doing a "season of rebuilding" (although obviously some element of rebuilding is imperative) and accepting mid-table mediocrity, expectations will no doubt start to build.

I'm pleased. As I've stated on several occasions, Mackay wouldn't have been my first choice, but perhaps I didn't know enough about him. I've warmed to the prospect over the last few days, and genuinely wish him all the best in his challenges - of which there are bound to be a few.

On another note, City's new season kit was unveiled today, and what do you know? We're not being sponsored by a company. We're being sponsored by a whole country! How amazing is that?

Blimey. All of a sudden, things are looking up.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Now it's Malky...probably

After the shenanigans around Alan Shearer the other night...will he, won't he, he's definitely coming, no he's now looks like it's odds on that the man in pole position before Shearer came out of left field, Malky Mackay, the current incumbent at Watford is the man most likely.

He certainly wasn't my preferred choice. That was Chris Hughton. But, he's not a bad go to option. He seems to have done a fair job at Watford with not too much in the way of resources, and is reckoned in game to be someone with a bit of managerial promise. Certainly, he got one over Dave Jones when the Hornets thumped us at Vicarage Road at Christmas, and they were one of the few teams to get the better of QPR last season, in a match where they performed brilliantly.

So he has got something. Rumour has it that he's keen on the City job, but it's just a rumour - no way I'd know of course. And after Shearer was almost shoe-horned in (by the frenzied media if no-one else), how does he feel about not being first choice?

We'll see of course, it could be all off tomorrow and we'll be back to square one - again. I don't think so though. I think this is it.

If he does come, he's going to have his work cut out. The clock is ticking, and the cupboard is bare. How much money he (or anyone else) is going to have to spend is anyone's guess. Not millions I'd wager, especially as it's likely we'll have to pay at least some compensation to Watford if Mackay does come.

Whoever it is, and I'm warning to the idea of Malky, I wish him all the best.

In other news, tonight's Echo speculates on potential incoming players. Old City favourites Gabbidon and Earnshaw are mentioned. They'd surely be a crowd pleaser, though personally I think their best years are way behind them - even at the Championship level, although as many have pointed out, Earnie coming off the bench would be a decent shout.

Either way, the 11 that take the field in August aren't going to look anything like the 11 that finished the season just gone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shearley not?

Well talk and rumours are now rife that Shearer is in line for the City job.

I'm still not convinced - let's wait until a decision is made, but the media is now near certain old Al is going to be the new City manager.

I can't think what the logic is here. Sure, he's a legend, a known face, but his managerial experience is very limited, almost non-existent in fact apart for a short spell at Newcastle, when, certain he could save them from the drop, they were relegated.

Especially if he's going to have to rebuild a near derelict squad from scratch. I don't know, I just don't know.

Stop dithering

Cardiff City have yet to make an announcement on their new manager.
Rumours are rife, and this morning various comments had Alan Shearer installed as hot favourite ahead of Malky Mackay who has been the bookies favourite for the last week or so.

I can't see it being Shearer personally, and I'm pretty sure i wouldn't want him over Mackay or Hughton - he just hasn't got the managerial experience.

We'll see in due course obviously, but the time this is taking is now becoming unsettling.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, June 10, 2011

The cupboard was bare....

Whoever the next Cardiff City manager is, and according to the latest rumours we should know this weekend, he's going to feel a bit like Old Mother Hubbard when he looks in the playing cupboard, because it's pretty bare.

Tonight's Echo showed the Bluebirds current squad as its stands for next season, and certainly isn't going to put fear into any of the other teams in the Championship. It reads like this:

Tom Heaton
David Marshall
Jordan Santiago

Darcy Blake
Anthony Gerrard
Gabor Gyepess
Mark Hudson
Dekel Kienan
Lee Naylor
Kevin McNaughton
Paul Quinn
Alex Evans

Stephen McPhail
Peter Whittingham
Aaron Wildig
Solomon Taiwo
Jon Meades
Ibrahim Farah

Nat Jarvis
Jon Parkin

That's 20 players. Three are first year pros. Three were out on loan last year. Of the strikers, one's a first year pro and the other only came in at Christmas and barely got a look in (and whilst a fan favourite hardly strikes fear into the opposition (apart from their snack bar).

We've got 9 defenders, but our defending was pretty ordinary last season (I'm trying to be generous, OK!).

Only about half of the players played anything like regularly for City last term.

OK, so it's only June. We haven't got a manger, so it's unlikely anything will happen until we do, but looking at that lot, he's going to have his work cut out and he's certainly going to have to earn his corn to make City competitive next season.

Oh, and Chopra has gone......

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Chop chop

So Burke's gone, and now it looks quite possible that Chops may be on his way too. At this rate, I'm not sure we'll be able to field 11 players come August.

Seriously, it would be sad to see Chops go. I don't think he had the best of times last season. A combination of injury and Dave Jones intransigence in picking him at times meant he didn't get on the field as much as he, or indeed the fans wanted.

I always thought he brought something to the team. Even if he wasn't scoring, his runs and general awareness made us a better side when he was in it in my opinion.

However, there's no doubting that there were some off field shenanigans that Jones had to deal with too, but that aside, I believe he's been an asset to the club in his spells with us.

Is a move to the Tractor Boys a positive move for him? I suppose he'll get more games than he did last year, but with a new manager (as yet unknown), might he be better off just hanging on a bit? Incidentally I saw a tweet tonight that Alan Shearer was being quoted at 4-1 for the manager's job. Sounds a bit ludicrous to me, but a fellow Geordie were it to happen.

We'll see, but I suspect we may have seen the last of Chops, and for me, that would be a bigger loss than Bothroyd.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Apple goodness....Lion, iOS5 and iCloud

For users of Apple products (and that's me with an iPhone 4 and a Macbook Pro), the keynote delivered by Steve Jobs and his crew at this week's WWDC has shown us some wondrous goodies that we can expect over the next few months.

I'm no techie, so I'm not going into any massive detail here, but essentially there are three strands to what's coming.

  1. Lion - the new incarnation of Mac OSX - the core Mac operating system. Already a super slick user interface, Lion brings a whole host of UI enhancements, better and clevere multi-touch gestures, improved apps and a whole lot more. And all for $29.99 (though here in the UK that'll probably translate to a more expensive £29.99. And that's for a 5 license OS - yes, you can install it legally on 5 Macs!
  2. iOS5 - the latest operating system version for iOS devices - the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Again a whole ream of developments and enhancements - too many to go into here, but some notable ones include improved notifications, better handling of previously purchased apps, improved mail app, and great use of the lock screen. It's coming in the Autumn.
  3. iCloud. The new way to sync your data across all Apple devices. At the moment I use MobileMe (and pay for the privilege). That's now effectively dead in the water. When iCloud arrives it basically means if you change data on one device (my iPhone for example), that data is automatically updated on my Macbook Pro. In the words of Steve Jobs...."It just works" No set up, no fiddling, it just works.'s FREE! Awesome.
If you want more detail about all this lovely Apple goodness, then trot across to any of the tech blogs/sites which are awash with the detail of these three core elements. Me, I just can't wait to get hold of them.

Au Revoir Burkey

So Chris Burke has gone to Birmingham, where most of our good players go. Well Roger Johnson anyway. Was never convinced by Jerome myself.

Anyway, Burkey goes with my blessings. He did a good job for us for a couple years, though I felt he was a bit undercooked this last season. I'm sure the Blues fans will welcome him. Just hope he has an of game when we play then next year!

In other City news, there's still no sign of a manager, although rumour has it that Chris Hughton is in pole position. He's my preferred choice as I've said a few times, but as is the way with these things we'll have to wait and see. Hopefully not too long....

New Cardiff City Blog

There's a new Cardiff City blog around town, and it's called "You are my Cardiff". The author is City fan and twitterer @wingnut1927. (What is it with this 1927 lark????)

I'm sure this will be a fascinating read, so whether you follow another dedicated Bluebird on twitter, or via his blog, make sure you drop in regularly!