April 2012 Archives
After Cardiff City secured their place in the Championship play-offs at Crystal Palace on Saturday, one of the first people to congratulate them was former Player Eddie Johnson, from his new stateside home in Seattle.
After Eddie promised to do the ayatollah when he scores in the MLS, our man Scott Johnson caught up with the popular player to see what he has been up to.
'I get in trouble with Seattle fans all the time for giving so much love to my Cardiff fans'
There are good loan signings, the likes of Craig Bellamy and Jason Koumas, bad loan signings, Stephen Bywater and the second coming of Jason Koumas spring to mind, then there's Eddie Johnson.
A prodigy, he bagged 23 goals in 25 appearances for the United States at U-17 level, before scoring twelve goals in eleven games for Kansas City Wizards, netting back-to-back hat-tricks in the process, ahead of his move to Fulham. He made only half a dozen appearances before joining Cardiff ahead of the 2008/09 season, for the culture shock to end all culture shocks.
Cardiff City's players were quick to dedicate Saturday's amazing pressure win to the noisy army of fans who supported them at Crystal Palace and backed them all season.
Those fans who have suffered with late season nerves and ultimate disappointment in the final stages of each of the last three seasons, finally let their hair down at Selhurst Park and partied like they haven't for some time.
From the moment Don Cowie's sweet strike hit the back of the net in front of the White Horse stand, the angst and pressure that perennially comes with a Cardiff City promotion push turned to ecstasy as beach balls were tossed around and grown men dressed as everything from Scooby Doo to Captain America hugged and sang and finally started to believe.
It was a glorious sight as the colourfully packed away stand thronged with joyous excitement and the full repertoire of Cardiff City songs came out.
This Cardiff City team refused to choke, despite the most testing of circumstances, seeing as they trailed at half time.
And the travelling fans loved them for it.
If the winning goal was one of the most exciting moments of an already rollercoaster season, the highlight for me came at the final whistle when manager Malky Mackay and his team ran to the corner to take one of the most deserved ovations any football team has ever taken, in front of a 3,000-strong travelling support who, to a man, had stayed to offer their thanks and congratulations.
Maybe this time, those long suffering fans can enjoy a play-off push where all the pressure is on the three other teams, who were all relegated from the Premier League last season.
Former Cardiff City target Safee Sali has his own website which shows that he is still banging in goals in Malaysia and has signed a new big-money deal with Pelita Jaya FC.
The striker, who spent time in trial at Cardiff City this season, has continued scoring in his homeland and has penned a deal, which the website says: "is worth more than RM2 million and includes an extensive match bonus package, a house and a car with a personal driver.
Safee's taxes will be paid by the club, as well as any travelling expenses to Kuala Lumpur."
It's good to see Safee doing well but I'm not sure Cardiff City could match that deal and star treatment. The website http://www.safeesali.com/ also shows the 28-year-old starring in a TV advert.
While it seems as though our record in these end-of-season showdowns is poor, I still haven't abandoned all hope of Cardiff City making the play-offs tomorrow.
By teatime we will know one way or another whether we have 'done a Cardiff' (God I hate that phrase) to shuffled the end-of-season monkey off our back.
This time last year I remember travelling to Burnley still in the hope that QPR would be deducted 20 points or more for the Alejandro Faurlin saga. They weren't and the realisation of another dreaded play-off push started to sink in after a dour 1-1 draw in the Turf Moor rain.
The previous year we were beaten by Derby County but thankfully were already safe in the play-offs as Swansea missed out on the final day.
But going back three years is the most painful final day in living memory as we went to a struggling Sheffield Wednesday with our fate in our own hands.
Our beloved Bluebirds were however beaten by a Jermaine Johnson goal to miss out on a top six spot to Burnley and Preston North End in the most heartbreaking way.
After the furore of Mark Hudson's goal on Tuesday night, it's time to ask the Bluebirds Banter readers: Was it better than David Beckham's against Wimbledon in 1996.
David Beckham's goal
Vote here and comment below