Ex Red Fraizer Campbell celebrates after scoring a brace for Cardiff City against City
The last time both clubs met was when Manchester United were in the old second division back in the 1974/75 season. United won 4-0 at Old Trafford in the March and also triumphed 1-0 in the away fixture back in the August. United finished Champions, whilst Cardiff City were relegated.
That is of course hopefully a good omen for United fans, although the Cardiff faithful will no doubt quash such a suggestion. Malky Mackay’s men have already claimed the scalps of Manchester City and Swansea at home this season and will no doubt be confident in taking points off a growing in confidence United, who are, if you’re a betting man, clear favourites to win the match.
The visitors are still without Michael Carrick, who signed an extension to his contract during the week, and Phil Jones whilst Cardiff welcome back Peter Odemwingie and Aron Gunnarsson. The last time Cardiff City beat United at home was back in the 1960/61 season – something David Moyes will hope to continue come tea time on Sunday.
1) So, what does it feel to be in the top flight again after all these years?
It’s a great feeling. It seemed that Cardiff were always the bridesmaid and never got to be the bride after so many years of falling at the final hurdle but to finally get here and look quite competent really is brilliant. Lets hope we can stay here!
2) What have you made of the start of your season? Happy with performances and results?
We’ve been okay thus far. The wins against Man City (you’re welcome) and Swansea were absolutely immense and the performances to match were just as pleasing. The only downside is the fact we do seem to be too scared to attack. We set up to defend from the off even against teams like Norwich where three points are very possible. But like I said, after eleven games to be sitting where we are is more than satisfactory.
3) Malky Mackay has been a revelation at Cardiff – do you think he’ll still be your manager come the end of the season given your owner?
Honestly, no. I fear that at some point during this season we will go on a woeful run and people will start to talk. Like you have said, Malky has been nothing but brilliant for this football club but I fear everyone can see it apart from our owner. Vincent Tan’s footballing knowledge is very limited and it is quite probable he would have a knee jerk reaction and sack Malky.
4) Speaking of owners, what do you make of Vincent Tan and also the change in strip to red?
Well I would rather be in the Championship and playing in blue than be in the current situation. Like I said in question one, it is great to be here and playing teams such as yourselves but it has come at a hell of a price and something just isn’t right. Can you imagine United coming out of Old Trafford wearing anything other than the famous red? I know the clubs are of different statures but the point remains the same. The colour and identity of the club matter an incredible amount to the people who should matter the most, the supporters. It doesn’t feel right watching Cardiff play in anything other than the blue. It is worrying how slowly but surely, red is becoming the prominent colour of fans attending the game. Sadly the majority of fans seem to want to watch Premier League football, no matter what. Then there is the case of the sacking of our well respected head of recruitment. ‘Our loss is most definitely someone else’s gain’ said Malky. Nail. Head. To replace such a quality key member and replace him with an unknown ‘friend of his son’ is barbaric.Also the recent news that his new guy has had to leave because he doesn’t have a visa is astonishing.
5) How have big money signings Gary Medel, Steven Caulker and Andreas Cornelius settled in thus far?
Gary Medel – Fantastic player as you might have realised last Friday when his Chile team came to Wembley. It says a lot than Xavi and Iniesta spoke of his talent and wanted Barcelona to take a look at him. Known as ‘The Pitbull’ he is everything a decent premier league team should have. He sits just in front of the back four, breaks up play and gives a simple ball. He’s probably our most influential person who appears to have fallen in love with everything in Cardiff. However he won’t be with us for much longer and I can see him joining a team like yours, probably next year.
Steven Caulker – Another super signing. He’ll also move to a bigger club and will one day captain England. Forever a Cardiff hero after his winner against Swansea. His defensive efforts have been nothing short of incredible and is an absolute steal. Spurs should be quite rightly kicking themselves after letting this asset go.
Andreas Cornelius – He hasn’t played much football due to injury. 45 minutes in fact in a cup game away at Accrington Stanley. However he has gotten through a reserve game in the last few days and is expected to start making an impact in the league soon. If Medel and Caulker are anything to go by, it will be worth the wait.
6) What have you made of United this season in the post Ferguson era?
Like most neutrals I admittedly did have a chuckle when results were going against Moyes at the start. Sorry about that! However he appears to have gotten it spot on now and you’re playing very well. Replacing a manager with the record that Sir Alex had was always a near impossible task but like I said, normal service looks to have resumed. I don’t buy into the theory that the players ‘didn’t trust Moyes’, I don’t think pros would disrespect a manager of Moyes’ calibre. I just think it took a bit of time for Moyes to get his head around in it and work everything out. I think winning is in the DNA of the club which stems far deeper than who is in the dug out. I expect United to be just as successful in the next few years as the previous.
7) What reception will Ryan Giggs get if he plays a part in the fixture? Should he have had more caps for Wales?
He’ll be booed I imagine. The general consensus here is that Giggs turned his back on Wales and should have definitely won more caps. Depending on who you speak to it was either him pulling out of squads or Fergie. Usually any player who hails from Cardiff is booed when he returns here with a team but for Giggs it will be quite special, it’s the first time ofcourse.
8) In their pomp, who is better Giggs or Bale?
Has to be Giggs. I’m not old enough to remember at his speedy best but obviously everyone in football knows how good of a player he was and still is somehow. Gareth Bale is simply a freak. His athleticism is probably one of the best in football, not many players run as fast as he does for the entire duration of the game. It’ll be a long time before Gareth Bale achieves what Ryan Giggs has in club football. Also to be able to effortlessly move into the centre of midfield and play for a club like United approaching 40 is remarkable. Definitely Giggs for me, easily one of the greatest.
9) Cardiff have reached two domestic cup finals in recent years, do you think you can go one better and win the FA Cup this season?
A lot depends on the draw obviously. Quite frankly I would happily leave the cup early in order to concentrate on the league. Swansea’s form dipped horrendously following their cup win last year as did Birmingham’s which proved fatal. I know the media blame people like me for the FA Cup losing its magic but there is too much at stake nowadays. ‘Bigger fish to fry’ as the saying goes, even if it does make me sound a footballing snob.
10) Give us a fact about Cardiff City that isn’t very well known.
Cardiff are the only team to have taken the FA Cup outside of England after beating Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley in 1927. Eleven years previously, our captain, Fred Keenor was fighting in the Battle of the Somme during World War I. He suffered a severe leg injury and was told he would never play again. However as history now says, he not only played again but he also walked up those famous steps to lift the most famous cup in the world. Hero.
11) How will Cardiff line up on Sunday and what will be the score?
Catherine – Caulker – Turner – Taylor
Cowie – Gunnarsson – Medel – Whittingham – Bellamy
Apart from Sunday and the return fixture, all the best for the rest of the season.