RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Cardiff City

RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Cardiff City

We all know where we were in the weeks of November 2010 that led to the start of the Milan Mandaric era.

Thinking back now what’s shocking isn’t the fact that we nearly went under per se but how crisis at the club was the norm.

It was culmination of 20 years of incompetence at the very heart of the club.

From 1990-2010 the club went backwards and by November 2010 we’d reached the abyss: pending liquidation.

There have been some dark days over the past two decades

There have been some dark days over the past two decades

I’m talking exclusively about how the club as a business was run over this period as there were footballing highs in this period.

These include our sole major trophy of the modern era, two further cup finals and two promotions, which are up there with any cup win or European tour.

In a world of fantasy, football would be above this.

It would be a game where all that mattered was skill, man management and tactics.

That would be fantastic but it would be a fantasy and fantasies aren’t real.

Those that attack foreign owners assume that domestic owners are better.

We’ve had a succession of  local owners in the shape of Dave Richards, Dave Allen and even Lee Strafford and they nearly killed the club.

It would be amazing for the English game to have German style fan ownership but in the circumstances of the last four years, Milan has been far more effective than his predecessors.

So  we come to 7 February 2015 and the end of the Milan Mandaric era.

A tearful Milan says goodbye for the last time

A tearful Milan says goodbye for the last time

This was the day we came to say thank you.

We wanted to say thank you for not just survival (although that’s important) but thank you for a sense of progression.

An assurance and confidence that the next five to 10 years will be better than the last 20.

The Milan Mandaric legacy is one of stability and hope.

The fans’ love of him is brought out of what was lacking in the 1990 – 2010 era.

For every success there was an equal or greater disappointment.

A cup win and promotion double led to heartbreak two years later.

And then the disastrous footballing decisions that followed: a time when the club chased Andy Sinton and turned down Eric Cantona.

The events of November 2010 were themselves a legacy of our failure to progress after the incredible 2005 League One playoff success.

The most reckless decision making of the Milan Mandaric era was a January 2011 splurge on the likes of Michael Morrison and Mark Reynolds.

Forward to the end of the Milan era and it’s somewhat fitting that it was an unspectacular affair.

The day started slowly with the usual five-a-side cancelled. Pre-match therefore consisted of a few pints and into the ground nice and early for the North Stand tribute and Milan speech.

Xbana Milan: The North Stand pays tribute

Xbana Milan: The North Stand pays tribute

In the end I couldn’t see anything of note from the North Stand but it was a good speech and a nice farewell.

The other exciting prospect of this game was how we’d line up with all the transfer deadline day activity.

Given our poor form in front of goal, it was a shame that Sergiu Buș was only on the bench and Felipe Melo didn’t even make the squad.

THE MATCH

Kenwyne Jones is still remembered fondly 10 years on

Kenwyne Jones is still remembered fondly ten years on…just stop scoring against us!

We’ve been poor at home lately and it was frustrating to see yet another slow start swiftly followed by another softly conceded goal.

It was a good header by Kenwyne Jones and parts of the Kop applauded.

I understand why people do this but celebrating a goal by an opponent isn’t something that sits comfortably with me.

Cardiff were content with the one goal lead and barely had a chance at goal after this.

There weren’t many highlights of the first half but the most striking element was the horrendous and embarrassing state of the pitch.

If ever there was a pitch NOT to concede first on it’s this one and it must be a priority for the new owners in the summer.

Half time soon passed and also the club’s latest attempt at a half time game, which consisted of trying to kick a football in a wheely bin.

It was as bizarre as it was dull.

The second half started with Jose Semedo coming on for Chris Maguire and with it a more purposeful Wednesday.

There was more bluster but little to show for it in the early stages of the second half, however Cardiff had little influence on play.

Will Keane celebrates slotting home the penalty

Will Keane celebrates slotting home the penalty

On 63 minutes there was a debut for Buș and he influenced play well and from what he had of the ball, looked a threat.

It was Buș’ surge through the box that led to the penalty Will Keane’s first professional goal.

We surged again and looked like getting a winner.

Lewis McGugan made his first appearance of his second spell and looked likely.

He and Tom Lees were very close to a winner but the game petered out and was another cold and frustrating home game.

And there it was, the Milan Mandaric era ended with a slightly dull, cold and frustrating draw.

It wasn’t a disaster, it wasn’t a joyous end but it’s a base on which the club can grow.

As reflected by his legacy: stability, progress and hope.

JP
Owls Alive
E-mail: admin@owlsalive.com

Twitter: @jpowls and @OwlsAlive


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