BPL? I’m enjoying the Championship, thanks.
The Cardiff City Stadium erupted. A wall of noise, fans on the pitch… Tears of joy.
It was April 16th 2013, a single point was all that was needed to secure a return to top flight football for the first time in 53 years. The first time ever, for the club to see the Premier League, and it was in the bag. It was a good day to be a Bluebird.
The season started off fairly well. A loss against West Ham was a slightly disappointing start, but the whole league was rocked when Cardiff City vs Manchester City ended 3-2 in the Bluebird’s favour, with ALL the goals coming in the last half hour
Some touchy draws followed, a few losses, and not many wins. The sour spin on the season ended for Malky Mackay after a 3-0 boxing day defeat to Southampton. At that point, we’d won just 4 out of 18 games.
I liked Malky, I thought he was a decent (if defensive) manager and I was sad to see him go. I was also sad to see new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting a lot of stick from fans over social media, especially when his reign didn’t seem to have the quick turn around the fans seemed to be expecting.
To be honest, it was something which I never thought would happen. My hopes, of course, were that we could perform some kind of abject miracle and remain in the premiership but it was a harsh reality that it did not look promising. Indeed after a tight end of season battle between the bottom clubs, Cardiff were knocked out of the Premier League with a 3-0 loss to Newcastle in the penultimate game.
BUT… I quite enjoy the Championship.
I always thought that Ole Gunnar would need a little time to get his squad in order, to find out the best combination of players as well as make some signings. And what signings he ended up making! Admittedly, Eikrem has been largely forgettable so far but Daehli?! Seeing him in action,it’s obvious that his pace, and skill will be a major asset. Kenwyne Jones has picked up his game and ran with it as well, still sat as one of the league’s top goal scorers.
It really seems that this could be the start of the turn around. The squad seem to be gelling well, the defence have upped their game considerably and are starting to look solid, and we go to Molineux on a so far unbeaten run of three. In fact, including all preseason warm ups we’ve only had one loss so far. Promising? I think so. Though shaky at times the team are looking just that. A team, not just eleven players out there, but one entity, thinking together, moving together, and with the same vision.
And the biggest thing, my absolute favourite thing, the one thing that I know means I will enjoy this season, whatever happens…? The players look happy. They want to be there. There’s less of the prima donna antics, the falls, the broken legs and mugging victims we saw in the Premier League. Next time you go to watch a game, or watch the highlights on TV or other gadgets… take a look at their faces.
They’re smiling and, for me at least, that’s big. So that’s why I am enjoying this relegation. All that’s needed is a little time, breathing space… and we can start all that Premier League stress again next year