No Place for Racists

There are many reasons why a Welshman might not extend the most gracious of support to an English football team. I was brought up from a young age to see Wales as my first priority in sport, and anyone playing against England as my second priority!

Whilst this might have been understandable childhood banter at that age, the English press and many of their fans kept providing the kind of arrogant sense of entitlement, combined with recurring failure, throughout the 1970’s that made it difficult to offer support to their team.

Then came 1983, with the English Football Association announcing they were no longer taking part in the annual Home Nations Championship, with a main reason being that they wanted to play stronger teams in more competitive matches! Understandable if they had a pedigree of winning major World and European Tournaments, but… they often struggled even to qualify for such tournaments!

Which brings me to 2021. Congratulations to Gareth Southgate and all of his squad for the completely different way they present themselves; and, now being a team that are showing they can compete with the best in the world. I, for one, hope they do win a major tournament soon (even if they do beat Wales in the semi-final to get there!).

And what has brought about this decades long change of mindset? A persistent minority of vocal vile English racists!

Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho… it took enormous courage to step up and do what you did on the night. Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings… congratulations for speaking out in the way you have. Particular kudos go to those of you who have shown up our despicable Government for their perpetual populist stance. You have changed my feelings towards the English team going forward.

And, a final congratulations to Italy… best team on the night and across the whole tournament.

Until we speak again, may all of the anonymous racist thugs just stay in the swamp where they belong… you will most likely find that Donald Trump is the plug preventing it from draining.

Premier League unplugged [19]

Take a picture of this… it’s August 2018, and most football pundits have Cardiff City FC as favourites to finish bottom of the Premier League come May 2019, well adrift of all other teams. Wind forward to today (May 2019), and Cardiff are in 18th position, with both Hudderfield Town and Fulham well adrift below them.

Two matches to go, and the mighty Bluebirds need a maximum 6 points from winning both if they are to retain a desire to remain in the Premier League for next season.

Until we speak again, it was fun while it lasted, but the final score is Cardiff City 2 Crystal Palace 3, with the inevitable outcome…

Down the pan

Premier League unplugged [18]

It’s the exasperating stage of the season where an unsuspecting cat wants the home team, Cardiff City FC, to win in order to gain points aiming for Premier League survival; while also wanting the away team to win, Liverpool FC, so they gain the points to give them a fighting chance of winning the Premier League! A draw suits neither team.

Confused woman

Until we speak again, the final score was Cardiff 0 Liverpool 2… and football remains a massively frustrating game when a definitive result still doesn’t guarantee any of the permutations you want! Here’s looking over the cliff edge…

Premier League unplugged [17]

When the home team, Cardiff City FC, rely on their tried and tested agricultural style of playing it pays to be fully aware of the opposition. After all, Chelsea is more often mockingly known for the stylish tractors of its super-rich residents!

So, this particular Sunday afternoon presents a clash of styles, with agricultural machinery favoured by a Juno lookalike representing the home team (Cardiff City FC)

Mr. Midnight Tractor Cat

And an altogether sleeker shinier machine representing the visitors (Chelsea FC)

Chelsea Tractor

Until we speak again, with 10 minutes left on the clock, agricultural endeavour was leading against the urban elite. But, it’s never over until it is over [for the record the final score was Cardiff City 1 Chelsea 2].

[Acknowledgements for the photographs to http://www.farmgirlfare.com and http://www.dailymail.co.uk]

Premier League unplugged [16]

Perhaps being at the Cardiff City Stadium is a bit like watching Barcelona these days…

Until we speak again, it certainly was like watching Barcelona, as the final score was Cardiff City 2 West Ham United 0! Oh, and just for the record Barcelona beat Rayo Vallecano

Premier League unplugged [15]

What happens when you mix a bunch of birds with an assortment of toffee?

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The home mascot, Bartley, may well be planning his own raid on someone’s toffees in the crowd…

Bartley at Everton match

Unfortunately, behind him on the pitch the Toffeemen of Everton FC were perpetrating their own raid on the poor unsuspecting Bluebirds.

Until we speak again, the home fans found themselves, not for the first time of late, caught up in the sticky stuff, as the final score read Cardiff City 0 Everton 3.

 

Premier League unplugged [14]

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Well, she could have waited until after we played Watford FC (aka The Hornets)!

Here were the mighty Bluebirds, on the back of a two consecutive Premier League wins and a two week rest. Now ready to take on a good Watford FC team, but one that we need to be winning or at least drawing against, if that is, we have aspirations to be playing them again next season in the Premier League.

Until we speak again, all self-respecting Bluebirds fans should look away now… final score: Cardiff City 1 Watford 5 (yes… FIVE). I can still hear Juno purring with laughter at the thought of a bunch of birds being tormented and played with by a bunch of hornets.

Premier League unplugged [13]

Another classy evening at the Cardiff City Stadium. It’s just a shame that it takes serious adversity to bring out the best in the football family. First it was dealing with the first match following the death of the Leicester City FC Chairman and others in a tragic helicopter crash; now it is even closer to home with the disappearance 12 days previously of the plane carrying the pilot and Cardiff City’s record transfer signing striker, Emiliano Sala.

Welsh men and women came together to show their grief at the loss of a young Argentinian man. The flowers outside the stadium were magnificent, the minutes silence before kick-off was impeccably observed, and it was accompanied by a tremendous visual display across the Canton Stand of blue and white colours of the Argentine flag with Sala in yellow.

Emiliano Sala

Until we speak again, even the team upped their performance to provide the occasion with a well deserved 2-0 home win against a confident AFC Bournemouth team.

Premier League unplugged [12]

“It’s a funny old game…” is probably one of the most used cliches about football. So, here we are, it’s January, and the two teams that have been odds on favourites to be relegated from the Premier League from before the season started meet at the Cardiff City Stadium, in what most pundits believe will be a game from the…

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Not much to laugh about when Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town met in Yorkshire back in August… and two teams firing plenty of blanks so far suggests a repeat result of…

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Until we speak again, funnier things have certainly happened, and surprise surprise as it ends Bluebirds 0 Marker Pens 0!

Premier League unplugged [11]

Sometimes, if you stand around for too long like dustbins you get what you deserve! For most of this game the home team made a good impression of the dustbins for Tottenham Hotspur to play around. At 26 minutes, with the score standing at 0-3, clearly Spurs were too hot for the dustbins in front of them…

fire-bin

Until we speak again, thanks go from the home fans to Spurs for treating the remaining 64 minutes of this non-contest as a training ground kick about, thus avoiding the inevitable humiliation that would have ensued from a more deserved cricket score! The biggest shock of the day was the score at the final whistle still being Cardiff City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 3.