Cardiff v Arsenal: culture shock, playing against 10 men, ground size, and no goals

By Bulldog Drummond

The story thus far…

Cardiff have picked up a couple of points from the opening three matches, but in two of them their opponents ended the match with 10 men, which suggests that keeping 11 men on the pitch despite of the referee might be the prime priority for Arsenal.

But we should also look ahead perhaps to what Cardiff have next on the fixture list.  It reads Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City.  That suggests the goalless draws thus far might well be an attempt to set up a system that can get something out of these three games.

Looking around at what the pundits are rambling about Mark Lawrenson is back with his bonkerisities, this time saying that the match “will be a culture shock for some of the new Arsenal players going to Cardiff.”

Now I have been trying to find out what he means.  I’ve always found Cardiff a very pleasant City to be in – although of course I have not spent much time there in the early hours of the morning when I understand it is populated by rather too many hearty young ruffians and ragamuffins.

So is it the stadium?  I doubt that.  Cardiff’s ground is the 15th largest football ground in the league (for this calculation I am just counting Tottenham’s Old WHL as one – otherwise what with Old WHL, New WHL, Wembley and now Milton Keynes ground they would just be cluttering up the list.  But the chant about having more stadia that league titles is particularly droll I think).

The capacity at Cardiff is 33,280, larger than Southampton, Coventry, Leicester and many more.  And indeed three times the size of Bournemouth’s ground.  Here’s the top of the stadium league in case you are interested.

Stadium Capacity Club League Pos
Old Trafford 74,994 Manchester United Premier League 1
Emirates Stadium 60,260* Arsenal Premier League 2
London Stadium 60,000 West Ham United Premier League 3
City of Manchester 55,097 Manchester City Premier League 4
Anfield 54,074 Liverpool Premier League 5
St James’ Park 52,338 Newcastle United Premier League 6
Stadium of Light 48,707 Sunderland League One 7
Villa Park 42,660 Aston Villa Championship 8
Stamford Bridge 41,798 Chelsea Premier League 9
Hillsborough 39,732 Sheffield Wednesday Championship 10
Goodison Park 39,571 Everton Premier League 11
Elland Road 37,890 Leeds United Championship 12
Riverside Stadium 34,988 Middlesbrough Championship 13
Pride Park Stadium 33,597 Derby County Championship 14
Cardiff City Stadium 33,280 Premier League Championship 15

*Counting the new seats at club level.

So, yes, rambling nonsense continues.

More to the point is the fact that Cardiff are the only club in the top four tiers of English football who have yet to score a league goal this season. However, their defensive record of two goals conceded is bettered before the weekend by Liverpool (none), although they let in one today, so that shatters their record.

But Cardiff could well be excited by the fact that if they were to keep Arsenal down to zero (or perhaps with referee assistance somehow contrive to give Arsenal -1 goals) they will be the first team in the top league to get zero goals against for three opening games since 1957, an era when dinosaurs roamed the valleys.

However this is not especially unknown for Cardiff as they went four without scoring in early 2014.  They last scored in April, and last scored in the Premier League in May 2014 against Chelsea.  It was a penalty.

As for us Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s next league goal will be his 150th in the top five European leagues (the BBC had that one – rather a good bit of research.  And they also tell us that if Danny Welbeck gets on it would be his 200th Premier League appearance.)

And here’s another good one from the BBC “since Sean Morrison scored Cardiff’s second goal against Hull City in April, the Bluebirds have failed to score with any of their 55 shots in league competition and are goalless in four league matches, their worst run since March 2014.”

One thing you can expect from the neo-nationalists doing commentaries is a substantial amount of discussion of places of birth.  Cardiff have no Welshmen in their side (at least so far) and Arsenal have used Englishmen for less time than any other PL club.

More anon.

4 Replies to “Cardiff v Arsenal: culture shock, playing against 10 men, ground size, and no goals”

  1. I hate it when we get these statistics about a team not having beaten us since 1846, as you know for sure that that is what they will do.

    They haven’t scored this season, so you know for sure they will tomorrow.

    I suppose, even friendly blogs have to findjj something to say.

  2. It’s a clean slate for our team and our lads will go out there and give their best. Cardiff are trying very hard to not concede and are we. Could get nasty.

  3. I hope the referee has taken due note of Warnocks stated intention to ‘rough up’ Ramsey and stamp down on any attempt to implement this assertion.
    It sounds to me as though there is clear evidence of malicious intent should any injury occur to Ramsey during the game.

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