Premier League unplugged [2]

When the famous ‘Gunners’ of Arsenal are in town the local Bluebirds need to ensure they do nothing less than shoot for the moon.

night-cannon-moon

But… you need to have an ability to score goals if you are to stand any chance of collecting valuable points. A current track record of scoring 0, 0 and 0 in the first three matches of the season doesn’t bode well.

Until we speak again, and for the record, Cardiff City FC score 2 goals! However, Arsenal go one better. You may feel the unplugged in the title of this post has been substituted by unhinged as I celebrate winning a 2-3 defeat!

 

Feline fortitude

So, what did we learn from watching more than 124,000 seconds of Championship football home matches at the Cardiff City Stadium across 2016/7? The main message to take into the summer:

Football is… a bunch of fat blokes sitting down, telling a bunch of fit blokes running around, what to do.

Pinterest and 9Gag

And, for those cats who prefer the scintillating excitement of watching on TV from the comfort of their sofa…

Zak Show dot Com

Until we speak again, choose your refreshment to get into shape, and build your ridiculously high expectations for your team, in time for the new season in August!

[For the record the Mighty Bluebirds have risen from 24th in October 2016 to finish 12th at the end of this season. Project that rise forward, and… no, I’d better not go there, at least until too much sun has fried my brain.]

[With acknowledgements to Zak Show.com & 9GAG for the original images used to illustrate this post.]

 

It’s going to be great, really great!

Optimism can be infectious, even when the source is somewhat dubious and dangerous. But beware to take in the full picture when someone is promising to make things great again, really great folks. It’s going to change, really change folks! I loved a recent comment on the change in American politics… a nation that has undergone a transition “from the changey-hopey thing to the strangely-gropey thing!”  And I was particularly reminded of this in the following photo from my perennial seat of hope down at the Cardiff City Stadium. What is Bartley the mascot doing to that woman steward? If this is leadership, then Cardiff City FC may just be taking the USA lead a little too literally.

bartley-2

But, where there is optimism greatness may just follow. Our own new leader seems to be doing something right…

warnock

Following a recent home defeat we then went on to two away wins before hosting the bottom of the table Rotherham United. Well, expectations of a thumping win were high, and for once our team on the pitch didn’t disappoint…

5-0

Yes, even I need to blink… 5-0. Things are going to be great folks, really great!

fireworks-on-dark-sky                                       chilling-in-the-sun

Until we speak again, Bella reminds us to enjoy the sun while it shines, because in this game there will always be a ‘but…’

Inauguration Day

Well, if it’s good enough for the ‘Man Fart’ in Washington D.C., then it’s good enough for the War-lord in Cardiff!

As the massed ranks take their place to witness the pageantry, all await the Gettysburg, no, Cardiff City Stadium address…

city-v-burton-1

“We’re going to make the Bluebirds great, again!”

warnock

“We’re going to build a wall to keep the others out!”

wall-of-balls-2

“And we’re going to make the Albion pay for it!”

city-v-burton-2

Until we speak again, don’t blink with the boredom of the first 91 minutes, the outrageous promises of the previous campaign may have been missing, but you don’t want to miss the big moment!

look-no-eyes

Post truth

Politics has probably always been the art of conning the masses into believing something that rarely stands up to the facts. Come the time for an election (or referendum for that matter) the claims to shoot for the moon abound… anyone in the UK might remember a certain red bus with £350 million on the side? Anyone in the USA might remember how the Mexicans were going to pay for a wall to keep them out?

night-cannon-moon

We have plumbed new depths for claiming that our values and feelings are actually facts. Why, just the other day while the Bluebirds were shooting for the moon (well, they hardly have sight on goal) it became apparent that the moon was presenting an elusive target… is this evidence that it was actually shifting back and for across the sky?

moon-shooting

But nothing resembles the new ‘post truth‘ better than the home fans chant of:

“And it’s Cardiff City,

Cardiff City FC,

By far the greatest team in football,

the world has ever seen.”

If you are part of the tribe, and you listen to it long enough, you might just begin to believe. Though the second half siege that Aston Villa laid on the Cardiff defence would surely cast doubts in even the most deluded of minds. Juno certainly had a sceptical look whenever this chant was presented as an interruption to feline ablutions. “Lick this Luciano!” was the most likely refrain…

lick-your-own

Until we speak again, the final score was Cardiff City 1 Aston Villa 0. Perhaps that ‘post truth‘ chant had a scintilla of foundation to it. But then, maybe Brexit & Trump will be good for us all as well!? Next time: pigs will fly over the Cardiff City Stadium!

 

Brexit explained

Be very wary of those welcoming messages, they might just be hiding something more sinister for unsuspecting visitors…

Welcome to Cardiff City Stadium

“It’s those immigrants, coming here and taking our overpaid prima donna roles.” [With only five Welsh players in the whole squad, three of whom you never hear about!]

“How is our local economy going to survive?” [Our home grown talent has to make do with only a few grand a week!]

“It’s those foreigners, coming here and taking all off our points!” [Cardiff City 0 Queens Park Rangers 2.]

“What is happening to our sovereign status as an independent sporting power?” [Oh yes, we are in hock to a Malaysian owner!]

Until we speak again, keep the welcome in a language designed to keep all of those interlopers baffled…

Welcome in Welsh

 

Wales Euro Stars!

Ready to eatCats all over Wales have had a month of excited bewilderment, as the focus of the nation’s passion for sport took a seismic shift from rugby to football. We could be forgiven for thinking after a 58-year wait, that turning up to make up the numbers was a great achievement. But this is Wales, a land with a passion for the spectacular.

Apart from Gareth Bale, who would have thought in the heady days of early June that we would go further than the former World Champions and current European Champions, Spain; and then equal the current World Champions, Germany? Along the way we managed to send home the hosts of the next World Cup, Russia; and magnificently dispatch the so-called World’s second ranked team, Belgium! We might have scrapped a win against Northern Ireland, and lets just forgive and forget the generosity we offered England (while thanking Iceland for the non-Wales highlight of the whole tournament). All great stories need to come to an end, and for us Portugal in the semi-finals is recognised as the game too far.

The City of Cardiff decorated itself with banners and flags to raise expectations…

Welsh football [2]

Brewery Quarter banner

St Mary Street waits

Then there was the reminder that we had a little matter of group games to negotiate…

Welsh football [1]

But fairy tales happen (not just shit, then); and they often begin with some kind of castle in the picture…

Castle [1]

… and just a few adoring fans lurking in wait for a glimpse of the heroes of the story…

Castle [2]

And who would have thought that over-paid young football players would forgo the expensive cars to travel anywhere on a bus?

On the bus [1]

On the bus [2]

On the bus [3]

On the bus [4]

This was a one-way ticket to adoration, destination Cardiff City Stadium, and a rousing rendition of the Manic Street Preachers Welsh football anthem. And this was a squad that didn’t win the competition! But, perhaps the salutary lesson of the great homecoming was a sign that even Solicitors have a heart… occasionally!

Solicitor

Until we speak again the great new footballing super power will be recuperating in time to stride towards the even bigger stage of the 2018 World Cup. Look out world, we are coming.

[With acknowledgement to BBC Wales for some of the images used in this post].