The Cardiff players and managers we were wrong about

Inspired by This is Anfield’s excellent piece on the former Liverpool players they were wrong about, the View From The Ninian team wanted to put a Cardiff City spin on the idea.

So here it is – the Cardiff City players and managers our team were wrong about. Enjoy.

Adam Le Fondre

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There was a lot of excitement following the signing of Adam Le Fondre. He was the fourth new signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was known for his impressive goalscoring record at Reading.

I was optimistic and hoped he would break the curse of Cardiff’s forgotten strikers. So was he. After signing, he said “scoring is what I’m about. I’ve often got into double figures during my career.”

Yet with only 3 goals for the bluebirds, he was sent out on loan to Bolton. In hindsight, I wonder if it could’ve been different had OGS not gone on a random signing spree. Nonetheless, I was disappointed.

Beth Phillips

Jay Bothroyd

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When Jay Bothroyd signed for Cardiff, it seemed like a bit of a panic buy. He hadn’t really set the world alight and at 300k, I thought we’d just bought him because Jones knew him and he was a cheap option.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Over three seasons with us, he showed himself to be a complete footballer. Need a target man? Sure. A player to run at defenders? Got it. Goals from inside and outside the area? Yep. A tough cookie? He liked a dive but he wasn’t scared to get stuck in.

Bothroyd was a class above at times and he gave us some of his best years. I was gutted when he left us and still think we could do with him now. He’s banging them in over in Japan but I really think he could still do a job for us now.

Ben James

Sol Bamba

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I didn’t want Sol Bamba. I’m still reminded of that to this day because I was wrong. Cardiff were already well stocked with centre backs, what did they want with this journeyman free agent?! Then he played and it was one of those occasions when you realise what you didn’t know you were missing.

Bamba bossed a defence that was in serious need of ownership, barking orders and leading by example. Bear in mind that this was also the Severnside derby and he also scored the winner. Since then, it’s been like watching a cult hero form before your very eyes.

Bamba has hardly put a foot wrong, apart from those odd games when he appears to lose all coordination, and is now very much my favourite player. Lee Tomlin also scored in that game and I thought he was going to be a Cardiff legend when he joined. Shows what I know!

Scott Johnson

Paul Trollope

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Paul Trollope stands head and shoulders above all others when I think of the times I’ve got it wrong regarding new personnel at Cardiff City.

He was supposed to be the real reason behind the resurgence of the Bluebirds under much-missed Russell Slade, his coaching methods were highly regarded by the playing staff and don’t forget he was an integral part of the hugely successful Wales side that reached the semi-finals of EURO 2016.

It would be fair to say that his appointment was not met with near-universal approval amongst Bluebirds (unlike Neil Warnock’s) but I for one was excited to see him bring new, modern methods of coaching and the exciting attacking brand of football seen in the Wales team.

Fast forward twelve games later to October 4th 2016 and a miserly two wins in twelve and Trollope was shown the door, I’m still sorry it didn’t work out for him but given his successor was our saviour then on this occasion I’m very happy I got it so wrong.

Paul Gronow

Darcy Blake

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Oh, Darcy. What should’ve been.

If there’s one thing that gets me excited, it’s a homegrown player. From Aaron Ramsey to Chris Gunter, I love seeing a local lad progress through the academy and make their mark in the first-team.

I thought Darcy would do just that. It’s not that he didn’t – he did make 90 appearances for the first team after all – but at 29, I feel like Blake should be an experienced Premier League player by now.

Nobody is quite sure where it went wrong. Blake looked comfortable after making the move to centre-half and famously kept Wayne Rooney in his pocket during an international match against England.

It’s all a case of what could’ve been with Blake. I was confident he’d be a top level player, but as he approaches his 30th birthday, nobody is quite sure what he’s up to these days. It’s a shame I got it wrong about Darcy Blake.

Scott Salter

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

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The prospect of Craig Bellamy on the one flank and JET on the other would have gotten be riled up before the 2010/11 campaign. The latter had always impressed me and I thought he was throughly deserving to be labelled as Arsenal’s next star.

Alas, I was wrong. Although not too bad in the games he did play for us, the impact wasn’t as expected due more than anything to his appalling attitude. His saving grace was that neat assist for Whitts’ screamer against Barnsley.

Nathan Walker