Often Partisan

Gritty draws and not so gritty centre-halves – Cardiff Review

Gary Rowett’s glorious homecoming continued yesterday with a gritty 0-0 draw at home to Cardiff City. Blues were unlucky not to win with Wes Thomas’ goal controversially chalked off before the former Bournemouth frontman was given his marching orders for raising his hands to Cardiff defender Sean Morrison off the ball.

It was my first chance to see the Rowett Revolution up close and despite thinking we probably could have won it I left the ground happy. Happy because the team looked like they had a shape and a plan, the players knew their roles – and happy that players weren’t blowing out their arses after an hour despite playing the same starting eleven three times in a week.

You can definitely tell the difference Rowett has made to the fullbacks. Paul Caddis looks once again the useful signing he was when he was first on loan; Jonathan Grounds had his best game in a Blue shirt. Both attacked with purpose, giving support to the wide-men and helping us have more bodies going forwards. Gleeson looks like the player I hoped for when he signed, mopping up in front of the back four and playing neat little passes.

At half time I thought we’d done fairly well but without being very penetrative; Shinnie showed some real glimpses of talent but his lack of upper body strength meant he struggled against the (seemingly) rugged Cardiff centre-halves. Koby Arthur had been bright but didn’t quite have the skill to get past the full back on either side; indeed, the young Ghanaian was frustrated with himself after creating some space in the area and then finding the ball nicked off him as he went to pull the trigger. I opined on twitter at half time that I’d like to see both replaced and Rowett agreed with me – bringing on (as I had suggested I’d like to see) Demarai Gray and Wes Thomas.

Dimmi was sensational. I’ve been impressed with how much he has come on but my word, he looked like he could open them up at will. His skill gave Thomas the chance to bury from two yards out but the officials chalked it off (wrongly) for offside; he was unlucky not to score himself with an audacious overhead effort.

The only real sour point on the performance was the officiating. I’m not going to complain about Wes Thomas’s sending off because I think he deserved it, regardless of how much of a meal of it Morrison appeared to make. You can’t raise your hands to another player and Thomas did just that, striking Morrison clearly. That aside, Kevin Friend was picky when it wasn’t needed; continually let fouls on Donaldson go where he was being openly manhandled by two or more Cardiff players and inconsistent in general when he blew for a foul and when he didn’t.

All in all, it was a good result. There is clearly some change happening on the pitch and maybe we won’t be fighting relegation. However – and this is important – as much as things are better on the pitch, as much as we’re happy to have changed managers nothing has changed behind the scenes – we’re still owned by a failing business who could very well pull money out of the club (via selling players such as Dimmi Gray) to help prop up their failing business. In all our joy and positivity, we need to remember the club still needs to be sold.

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43 Responses to “Gritty draws and not so gritty centre-halves – Cardiff Review”

  • Peter Bates says:

    Agree entirely Dan but for a big lad Donaldson needs to toughen up kro

  • Marky mark says:

    Yep, exactly how I felt coming out the game, isn’t it great watching a game and not being beaten before we have even kicked off as was the case with LC most of the time, If they sell Gray in January they better not step foot over here again

  • steve says:

    I,ve been really impressed since GR has come in. For the first time in over two years i was looking forward to going to the game. Best of all,the atmosphere seems to be returning. I,m actually disappointed there is now an international break.At least it gives GR time to work with the players.

  • Blue Nose Gaz says:

    What a difference this past 2 weeks have been, the joy as returned at St Andrews I have witnessed the last 3 games and cant believe the transformation in the players who didn’t seem up to the job 2 weeks ago now playing with freedom and each knowing their roles in a team who play free flowing football.
    It just goes to show how poor a manager LC was and our team can hack it afterall

  • fingles says:

    The big difference is, we are competing.

  • Eddie Milner says:

    Playoffs here we come

  • clubclassblue says:

    I commented prior to the game that Kevin Friend is a very poor referee and he certainly was. Having said that, he was absolutely right in sending off Wes Thomas. Lets hope Thomas learns from that.
    Another positive performance although I thought we could have kept the ball on the deck a bit more against a big back four.
    Football wise it looks as though we should have enough to survive this season but the off-the field action (or lack of) is a worry.

  • 85Coy says:

    A long way to go yet, that being said I am really impressed by the quick progression shown by the players under Gary Rowett.

    I am particularly impressed with Gary Rowett, I championed his appointment but have to admit I was not really sure what kind of an impact he would make with the players, the early signs are very positive. I also looks forward (to the first time in a long time) our managers pre/post match interviews, under previous management the whole interview post Cardiff would of been centered around Wes Thomas’ ‘offside’ goal, all the cliques like “rub of the green” “that little bit of luck” etc etc, basically giving all involved an ‘out’ a ‘get out of jail’ an ‘excuse’ for poor performances all round so it was refreshing to here GRs response and for us to move on quickly.

  • Naime Rehman says:

    Dan – Do you know what the latest is with Matt Green ? As we could do with different options up front.

  • Alan Watton says:

    Yes as I predicted Mr Friend certainly isn’t. Good managers sort out the shape and defensive formations which GR has. What any manager can’t cope with (as well as crap officials) are missed chances. You can’t lose if you keep a clean sheet but if you don’t score you can’t win. At least we don’t have to score three to get a point but the biggest task faced is to turn potential into facts.
    Gray was tremendous but we did not score. Thomas and Donaldson worked hard but drew a blank. It will change (In Rowett we Trust)

  • steve says:

    Would our previous manager have made those changes 10 minutes after the break at 0-0 ? Those changes worked a treat.Just a shame the Lino cocked up.

  • Matt Barnes says:

    Really enjoyed the last 3 games. I think the break has come at the right time as Gary said he is going to work the players which is great to here. Been thinking about options would you have DJ back, or would he come back?

  • Davey says:

    Dj Campbell seems a good call imo.
    Should be good for 10-12 goals in the championship.
    There’s are a couple of good lads at Rochdale, oh, and Burton lol.

    To the end of the road.

  • Sheldonman says:

    really enjoying the Rowett revolution, actually looking
    forward to going to the match now.
    As for that wimp of a Cardiff defender
    did anyone notice that he couldn’t make up
    his mind which side of his face to rub better when he
    walked off the pitch?

  • Chris W says:

    Totally agree with you Dan, the improvement on the pitch is really only covering over the cracks of the real problem with our club.
    At least ewe can walk away from the ground with our heads held high, something we couldn’t do recently and it is good to hear the crowd in full voice regularly.
    KRO+DNM

  • Bluesbot says:

    I thought we played well and nullified for the most part a top championship team, you could see the class cardiff had at times.
    They had a couple of good chances first half – although mostly gifted to them by our own mistakes, however the 2nd half we looked quite the team (this wouldnt have happened in the 2nd half 5 weeks ago) and Gray was fantastic and the crowd was behind him almost every time he got the ball at his feet, I really hope we can keep hold of him for the next 3 seasons or so and Rowett is able to build a team around him (pipe dream I’m sure).
    We should have won and I reckon overall we just edged it but I left the ground happy and the 380 mile round trip from Weymouth was most certainly worth it, more importantly my 7 year old absolutely loved his first taste of St.Andrews – I think we made another BLUENOSE lol

    • tttpaule says:

      Thank god you didn’t take him in the Clark era would have put him off for life! Nice to have another young Blue nose on board though. We looked a lot better over the last 3 games than we have for almost 3 years, hopefully now its onward & upward & we can start enjoying our football once again. Just a change in ownership now & all will be looking Rosy KRO..

  • Dave mann says:

    With the greatest of respect dan I think every blues fan who knows there club,players and our new managers outlook that Thomas and gray were going to come off the bench so that’s not rocket science or the stroke of a genius but they did make a hell of a difference and yes your right on two counts, it was a goal from Thomas and gray was majestic and were find it very difficult to hold on to him in January but hopefully Gary can persuade the owners and the player to stay at blues and help us turn the corner.kro.

  • Luke says:

    A good performance again and a good result against one of the pre-season favourites for promotion. I watched the game online (I live in France, so can’t often get to games) and I was impressed how the team kept their shape and their heads up during the spells of Cardiff pressure.

    As for the sending off – from what I saw, the defender raised his hands first – both off should have been the call IMO.

    Next few games are vital now – I think for the players to feel the momentum, we need to move out of the bottom three soon. Rotherham A, Forest H, Blackpool A, Reading H – surely a couple of wins in there?

    Echo Dan’s sentiments about the ownership situation but, with Blues far from being out of the woods, I think we’re more likely to see modest investment during the winter than sales. Blues in the Championship is still an interesting proposition for potential buyers and investors, but in League One it’s a financial basket-case.

    You can currently get 6-1 on Blues finishing top-half on SkyBet.

  • mark says:

    the more excellent displays gray keeps putting his stock keep rising valuated at supposedly 2mil at the moment…. People really need to get over of the owners thing, they aint going nowhere in the foreseeable future. Firstly on gray situation imo me personally would like gray to stay maybe until his about 21, hes got bags of time to perform at a higher level, maybe in that period, and with some luck we had be challenging in the top half of the championship. But there absolutely nothing blues can do if the player is offered 5 times his weekly wage in January whether we are in a better shape or not………..

    • Agent McLeish says:

      What do you mean get over the owners thing? I certainly will be doing no such thing. You may be complacent about the owners but I see them as a noose around the clubs neck.

      • blue lizard says:

        Fully with you..i will speak out about these rats whenever I can…that is my right to do . delay no more

    • Chris W says:

      “Get over the owners thing”…..
      You may not realise this Mark, but it is because of the owners we are in the mess we are.
      Until BIHL sell up we will be selling whatever assets we have and not getting any investment, both of which need to make the club a success.
      I do agree with the need to keep the likes of Dimmi Gray, but the realisation is we will have to sell to barely survive unless BIHL have another sofa they have hidden money.
      KRO+DNM

      • mark says:

        and they have installed GR, and credit there it due we have GR….ANOTHER SAVIOUR..working under the same restrictions as clark…….for the foreseeable future….lets hope that GR has more luck………kro

        • Chris W says:

          To be fair Mark, BIHL had to do something.
          I feel GR has been given some assurances, but how genuine they are I’m not so sure, we all know that BIHL have no money but somehow manage to hold onto our club.
          Where are these loans we hear about coming from, what have BIHL put up to fund BCFC, next seasons ticket sales, St Andrews, these are the worrying facts we need answers to.
          Any success we have on the pitch will A) prolong the ownership of BIHL, B) only cover over the facts and keep some fans happy. It is not the solution to the underlying problems.
          KRO+DNM

          • mark says:

            whether we believe the hype is up-to individuals, panos already clearly stated that our financial situation is in better shape, and Gary still has got scope in the transfer market, or maybe loan market…. fans can keep using the owners as their avenue to not go…..Yes that’s the doubled headed sword if Gary bring success to the stans, again imo owners will lap it up………even more likely never to go……….so what….if Gary can bring success then surely we are all fore it, rather than against it……….When a big well done to BIH Dont you think…..kro

          • Chris W says:

            I agree that fans are still using BIHL as a reason for not going, obviously the team need the supporters behind them.
            I, for one, will never give BHIL any sort of thanks until they hand our club over to someone who is passinate about our club and willing to invest.
            What is worrying is what skeletons will BIHL leave behind, we already know that Peter Pannu is not going quietly, why?
            Has he something to hide?
            KRO+DNM

        • Shirley Blue says:

          It’s got nothing to do with luck it’s about competency.

          Is there something ………..wrong with whatever you…………….use to post stuff on here………………………..?…………………

          Your mate Staffs is unusually quiet given our recent little successful run.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            When I have something to say, I’ll say it. When I don’t, I won’t. What I won’t do, is resort to little digs against other Blues supporters, just because they disagree with me.

      • Art says:

        Mark lives in his own little word.

        If the owners want to sell Gray he will go and personal terms are a mere formality.

        The point which he never absorbs is if we had decent owners the likes of Gray and many other good young prospects would not have to be sold.

        The owners are a complete disgrace and are not fit to run our club.

        • Chris W says:

          Couldn’t agree more Art, the point I was trying to make.
          KRO+DNM

        • mark says:

          what load of horseshit…………….you seem to forget the players can clearly indicate if they want to move on…..sadly you forgot the player who went to Cardiff….. it simply not just owner thing….if you could read properly BIHL DIDnot want our midfielder to leave to cardiff…. he wanted more money….

          • mark says:

            A least i watch my beloved blues more than i personally say for you mate….you keep enjoying sky prescription in C

        • mark says:

          WHAT A SHORT MEMORY LOSS YOU HAVE WE HAVE ALWAYS SOLD PLAYERS WHATEVER THE OWNERS… DID KEN NEVER ASK YOU TO TURN LIGHT OUT WHEN LEAVING THE STADIUM……

  • mark says:

    with the international break hopefully GR can take a closer look at the full squad,…and also maybe bring in one or two players he may have his eyes on…….to keep the pressure on others…..

  • mark says:

    this will give him more time to instill self belief we are quite bunch up at the bottom of the table, so if blues can get on a bit of a run again we can certainly drag ourselves from the bottom three, some very good teams languishing down there with us……….any one of them can go on run any time methinks….

  • Dave mann says:

    The owners are not going anywhere so we have to accept it more so than get over it but I see your point mark……looking forward to Rotherham on the 22nd when a win will definitely get us out the bottom three and above Rotherham so a couple of weeks for Gary and his merry men to get themselves ready .kro

  • canaryblue says:

    Very impressed with the work Gary Rowett has achieved already on his return to Blues. Nearly two weeks ago I read an article about the Southampton academy regarding young British coaches and our man got a mention from Saints’ technical director Martin Hunter….

    QUOTE
    “One of the best is Gary Rowett. He understands about observation and communication, has a good eye for a player and has good tactical and technical sense.’’
    UNQUOTE

    Not something you could say about LC. I think we’ve got a real gem of a coach/manager here. Just hope we can hold on to him for the long haul. Full article here –

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/southampton/11199367/St-Marys-is-the-perfect-academy-for-youngsters-at-the-Southampton-dream-factory.html

  • Raymondo says:

    I suspect that the reason Pannu is still clinging on is that Chinese thing about not wanting to lose face. He will go in time but when it suits him. Also much will depend on what happens at CY’s appeal appearance, which, in turn depends on the test case before that. In the meantime, enjoy the new lease of life under GR. Let’s be grateful we have moved on from the Lee Clarke era. KRO.

    • blue lizard says:

      Which face will he be saving?….the shifty swivel eyed one or the fat pastry faced pie eating one?

      • Euston 9:15 says:

        Think pannu is thinking over his options.

        Which newspaper will get the “Exclusive”

        Or

        How much is “silence” worth.

  • mark says:

    Daniel if it okay i would like to pass on my condolences to Geoff’s Cox family and friends. Not old enough sadly to have known him…..RIP


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