By Bulldog Drummond
The story thus far…
- Cardiff City v fresh orange juice and a touch of the Arsenal
- How journalists knew Özil was not ill, Mkhit’s travel issues and Cardiff v Arsenal
- Premier League Matchweek 4 – The Match Officials, the downfall of Madley and Cardiff v Arsenal
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.
|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|
|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|
|Goodison Park||39,571||Everton||Premier League||11|
|Elland Road||37,890||Leeds United||Championship||12|
|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.
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