Date:Tuesday May 8 2007
A new category has been added this week to the list of life`s certainties. Sitting alongside death and taxes is the fact that for evermore Peter Ridsdale will be the pantomime villain, held solely responsible by Leeds fans for any malaise that affects the club. New depths were plumbed last week when an altruistic, congratulatory glass of champagne, offered to the Hull City Chairman to celebrate their survival, was portrayed as Ridsdale raising a glass and a middle finger at the good ship Leeds as its bows slipped pathetically below the waves.
I had occasion to chat to Ridsdale last week and mighty impressive he was too, appearing to care deeply about the club`s wretched loss of form and feeling passionate about the future. His detractors have very short memories. Only a few months ago the club was moments away from financial armageddon. Now, with Hammam gone, and a workable plan for the stadium and the club`s finances being implemented, the non-playing side of the club seems to have been secured.
Arguably Ridsdale`s two biggest mistakes at Leeds were to gamble on the club`s continued presence in the Champion`s League as collateral to underpin their financial planning and deference to the requirements of David O`Leary in the transfer market. At Cardiff he has shown a commendable reluctance to interfere in player transfers but must be wondering whether Dave Jones`s radar for detecting talent is any better than O`Leary`s. Jones`s scouting for forwards in particular (Chopra and Green apart) has been woeful.
In my opinion the only first team regulars who should definitely be invited back next season are, McNaughton, Loovens, Whittingham, Scimeca, Ledley, Gunter and Johnson. All the others are vulnerable. Chopra may well be sold to the Premiership as could Purse, whose best days at this club seem behind him. We simply can`t afford to keep on carrying non-scoring strikers and the future therefore looks uncertain for Thompson and Feeney. One positive aspect of a mass clear-out is that we can recruit players of real character who are not scarred by the cataclysmic end to this season. If the season had started in November we would have been relegated. Next season, as this, we need to hit the ground running but taking care to recruit players with the skill, robustness and strength of character to maintain momentum over the whole season. Dave Jones has a busy summer in front of him and a crucial third season on the horizon.
Article written by Cardiff City fan and VitalCardiff member Tim Edge.
Date:Tuesday May 8 2007
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