Under the guidance of experienced manager Neil Warnock, Cardiff City are back in the Premier League for the 2017/18 season and supporters will be hoping that their boss can steer the Bluebirds clear of relegation and into the comfort of a mid-table finish.
Like all English Premier League sides, Cardiff will now come under the bookmakers’ spotlight and we can expect them to be the focus of many enhanced odds deals and price boost offers from the start of 2018/19. What form will those offers take and what do we know about this famous Welsh side?
The club was initially formed as Riverside FC way back in 1899 and at that time, the move was designed to keep Riverside’s cricketers fit and active during the winter months. In a short space of time, football started to emerge as a strong entity in its own right and a year later, Riverside joined its first competitive league.
A move to the South Wales Amateur League in 1907 enabled the club to change its name to Cardiff City and in 1910, they moved in to their famous Ninian Park home. By now, Cardiff City were known as a strong amateur team but it wasn’t until the 1920/21 campaign that they were accepted into the professional ranks as a division two side.
The move was a productive one and brought instant rewards as they won promotion to the first division at the end of that 1920/21 season. Cardiff also reached the semi finals of the FA Cup and this was a competition that was to prove very beneficial for the Welshmen. An appearance in the final followed and then, in 1927, the club was to make history.
Against the mighty Arsenal at Wembley Stadium, Cardiff became the first, and so far only team from outside England to lift the FA Cup, courtesy of a hard fought 1-0 victory. The side went on to claim the Charity Shield the following summer and while they have made it to finals since, these are their only major trophies to date
A decline set in and by the end of the decade, Cardiff were back in the second division and worse was to come when they dropped into the Third Division (South) for the first time in their history.
From the end of the Second World War until the present day, Cardiff City have spent much of their existence in the second tier of English football. Their most notable exploits came in Europe and during the 1960’s the winners of the Welsh Cup would gain entry into the European Cup Winners Cup.
In 1970/71 they even beat the great Real Madrid and their semi final appearance in 1967/68 remains the highest European place for a Welsh side.
In the league, fortunes began to change when owner Sam Hammam took charge in 2000. He was a controversial figure at times, even suggesting that the club change its name, but his input ultimately helped to steer Cardiff into the Premier League for the first time in their history.
A drop back to the Championship followed but under Neil Warnock, Cardiff are back in the Premier League for 2018/19 and supporters are looking to a positive campaign as they return to the top flight.
We’ve already seen that the 1920’s were extremely productive for Cardiff City and this decade has to be considered as the most successful for the football club. An FA Cup win in 1927 followed an appearance in the final in 1925 and this was a strong Cardiff side that was a match for most teams in the top flight of English football at the time.
The team that won that FA Cup in 1927 included the only goal scorer in the final – Hughie Ferguson. Signed from Motherwell in Scotland, the striker would go on to notch an impressive 77 goals in 117 game for Cardiff. Their captain was Fred Keenor, a full Welsh international who eventually spent 19 years with the club. In fact, Keenor was one of only three Welshman in a team that was drawn from all over Britain and Ireland but they were proudly claimed by Wales as one of the major forces in domestic UK football of the time.
Cardiff City had a great chance to repeat that success when they reached the FA Cup Final again in 2008 but they lost out to Portsmouth that time. That was a young and promising team but for consistency over an extended period, the 1920’s Cardiff was the best that the club has seen.
The following figures illustrate Cardiff City’s performances in major domestic competitions across the last few seasons.
|Season||Championship||FA Cup||EFL Cup|
|2017/18:||2nd – Promoted to Premier League||4th Round||2nd Round|
|2016/17:||12th||3rd Round||1st Round|
|2015/16:||8th||3rd Round||2nd Round|
Those results show a steady progression for Cardiff rather than a dramatic rise but credit must go to manager Neil Warnock for turning his squad into a promotion side. They haven’t gone particularly deep into the cup competitions but that could change now they are back in the Premier League even though survival is the priority for now.
Current Cardiff manager Neil Warnock is usually very active during any transfer window and there may well be a number of new arrivals before the 2018/19 Premier League campaign gets underway. Of the current squad, Kenneth Zohore is a Danish under 21 international striker who made important scoring contributions as the club lifted themselves out of the Championship.
Zohore has scored 23 goals in his time with Cardiff City and it’s possible that we may see some enhanced odds promotions based around the Dane in 2018/19.
We know that any side that Neil Warnock puts together will be a battling unit and one that is capable of grinding out results. A season of consolidation, away from the relegation zone, would be enough to keep Cardiff City fans happy in 2018/19 and the club can then look to build and improve from that point.
It’s going to be a busy year for the club and as they get picked up by the live TV companies in 2018/19 we should expect to see a number of Cardiff City enhanced odds deals come in from the bookies so stay tuned as we bring you the best of these.