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Ole out of his depth

Cardiff City Apr 7, 2014
Read

A mess on and off the field

Cardiff City Mar 4, 2014
Read
Feb 2, 2014

Zaha impact helps Cardiff over Canaries

Craig Bellamy's goal in Cardiff's 2-1 win over Norwich made Premier League history. Bellamy became the first player to score for seven different clubs in the Premier League. His first Premier League goal was for Coventry nearly 15 years ago. Since then he has scored for Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham United, Manchester City and now Cardiff City -- a remarkable achievement as he enters his final years as a player.

- Report: Cardiff City 2-1 Norwich

New signing Kenwyne Jones scored the winner on his debut. Jones volleyed into the roof of the net in the 50th minute to cap a remarkable comeback for Cardiff with two goals in two minutes: firstly from Bellamy and then Jones. The former Stoke striker wasn't the only new signing on show; Fabio Da Silva started along with Jones while Wilfried Zaha came off the bench in the first half. Zaha's arrival came in controversial circumstances. Peter Whittingham had been having a torrid time in the open 35 minutes. His movement, passing and more worryingly, his dead ball delivery was poor so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the decision to substitute him. A section of the crowd, frustrated with Whittingham's performance, jeered as he left the pitch. The majority applauded Solskjaer's decision and offered applause for the manager and the oncoming Zaha. Whittingham looked dejected as he trudged off. Being substituted so early was bad enough, having your own fans celebrate your departure is out of order. Bellamy was enraged by the crowd's reaction to Whittingham. When Bellamy scored Cardiff's equaliser in the 49th minute, he ran towards the supporters with his finger on his lips suggesting the fans should shut up. They were of course celebrating the goal but the message from Bellamy was clear: You didn't have to be a lip reader to see that he was angry with his own fans. Speaking after the game Bellamy said: "I haven't heard the crowd like that. That's not the club I'm from. I saw them turn first half, and I've not been a part of that. I've not seen them direct it at individuals, which they did." Solskjaer decided to start Zaha on the bench and more surprisingly top scorer Frazier Campbell was on the bench as well. The manager opted to play Jones upfront in place of Campbell. Jones showed his aerial skills winning lots of headers and flick-ons. In the second half he was defending corners like a centre half. Campbell never got chance to play any part. Solskjaer made like-for-like changes in midfield and defence as Aron Gunnarsson and Kevin Theophile Catherine replaced Jordon Mutch and Fabio, respectively. Fabio had a decent debut. I've heard some fans comment that he was "superb" and man of the match, but I'd take a different view and say that he was OK. He had some lovely touches and played a neat ball that enabled Craig Noone to cross for Jones' goal. In the first half he was happy to push forward, but he was caught out of position when defending, and in the second half the fullbacks on both sides of the pitch allowed Norwich far too much time to put balls into the box. The man who had the biggest impact on the day was Zaha. His arrival lifted the crowd and he set up Bellamy's goal with a delightful through ball. In the second half when Cardiff looked to break from the increasing pressure from Norwich, he was a threat with his pace. He is only going to get better as he gets more game time. Norwich will be wondering just how they didn't take something from the game. The visitors led from a fifth minute Robert Snodgrass goal; Cardiff's defence left standing as he side footed home from six yards. Norwich created several decent second half chances but found David Marshall in the Cardiff goal at his breathtaking best. Three times Marshall produced world class saves to deny the Canaries. If Marshall looked to be beat, then the post, the linesman (who ruled out two goals for offside) and last gasp Cardiff defending kept them out. The final chance in the last minute of added time saw Sebastien Bassong head over the bar when unmarked. The victory was huge for Cardiff. The last four games had all ended in defeat and Cardiff started the day on the bottom of the table. The win over Norwich has lifted the club up a place and crucially keeps the Bluebirds in touch with the teams above them in the bottom half of the table. All the league games this month are against teams who are no more than six points ahead of Cardiff at the moment. The next game is the small matter of a South Wales derby against Swansea. Cardiff won the fixture at Cardiff City Stadium in November. No team has ever done the double over the other in football league history. The Bluebirds have a chance next Saturday to make history and at the same time go level on points with Swansea. Cardiff have not had back-to-back wins in the Premier League. Next weekend would be a very good time to start.

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