One of the many beautiful things about the beautiful game is that it’s subject to a plethora of platitudes. Nowhere was this more evident than on not-so-social media last Saturday evening. What was supposed to have been a morale-boosting victory for the Bluebirds against Burnley ended in abject disappointment and the moral high-ground being taken by both sides.
Mike Dean became the latest pantomime villain for the Cardiff faithful to vilify on Saturday, as he awarded then rescinded a penalty for the Bluebirds. If you were to roll the clock back a year, he was subject of near-adoration when awarding Cardiff not one, but two penalties in a frantic finale against the mightily-impressive Wolves.
The trouble with sport is that someone usually loses and when it’s your time to be that team, it can often seem that the world is against you. Whilst this may be how it feels (and I can corroborate that it is EXACTLY how it feels sometimes), does it bear any truth?
The reality that confronts us when we consider the argument is one of absurdity. On one hand, there is the brooding suspicion that ‘the man just don’t want us there,’ particularly because we happen to be based in Wales. Is it true that there’s a vested interest in the football elite for Cardiff to be relegated from the top tier and hopefully disappear into footballing obscurity?
When you consider this in the cold light of a Welsh spring morning, it becomes apparent that this idea is patently ridiculous and certainly not one based on facts. Cardiff may have been victim to many poor officiating decisions and believe me, I’m the first one to jump out of my seat and moan about it, but we aren’t in the relegation zone because of poor refereeing.
For now, it remains a suspicion for many that we just aren’t wanted by the footballing elite, but that’s all it is. Apparently, they sniff at our Welsh accents and quaint provincial ways, but I would venture to suggest that this may indeed be more of a reflection on our mind set, than cold hard facts.
We all love to moan about the “if only’s,” but are quite happy to accept the errors when they benefit us. I didn’t see anyone calling for Bamba’s late winner against Brighton to be chalked off, as there was a strong suspicion of offside.
It’s time for the moaning to stop. No one is going to suddenly award Cardiff 10 retrospective points for officiating errors and if they did, they’d probably have to award the same to the other teams too and then we would be back where we started.
Let’s stop looking back at what could have been and instead look forward to what’s to come.