It’s the year 2020 and we have flying cars, hover boards and Biff is the President of the United States of America. Ok, well only one of those is true, but we really are verging on Back to the Future now as Neil Warnock’s tenure draws to a close. What does the future hold for Cardiff City Football Club? Are they going to fly in to the future, or disappear into the Wild West of the Championship backwater?
Warnock has always made it clear that his appointment wasn’t a long-term arrangement. He never envisaged being Bluebirds manager for 10 years, overseeing a huge project. Instead he’s had to condense 10 years of development into three years, as his young fledglings flew the nest far quicker than even he thought possible.
“We’ve probably run before we could walk” is how he stated it. To be fair to him, he was absolutely right and now Bluebirds supporters everywhere are beginning to see things starting to fray around those golden edges. Not many supporters would have envisaged their beloved Cardiff turning over a Manchester United side, at Old Trafford, managed by none other than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened (even if it was a dead rubber of a match). Times have generally been good lately at Cardiff.
The supporters who for so long had become weary of a senior management structure that seemed intent on making questionable decision after decision, had to sit back and admire the unity on display as owner Vincent Tan waxed lyrical about his main man. Hints of red rebrands faded into the past as blue skies shone over the Cardiff City Stadium.
Surely amongst all of this positivity it would be remiss to question the goings on at a club that’s in better shape than it has been for many, many years. Well maybe not, as dark storm clouds might just be beginning to gather on the horizon.
It could be viewed in years to come as a colossal mistake to allow Warnock to have publicly confirmed his decision to hang up his whistle at the end of the 2019/20 season, come what may. Not even a second Bluebirds promotion could tempt the most successful Championship manager in history to stick around. Given this, in what possible world could Cardiff be benefitting from this stay of execution?
If you listen to some supporters, Warnock teams play a style of football that is on the verge of being consigned to the history books. The days of long kicks, throws and passes are passing quicker than a Clarks pie on the Bob Bank, but Warnock and his faithful backroom staff aren’t for turning.
Given this, any new manager will be faced with the colossal task of restructuring a football side who have been taught not to play ‘football.’ Granted, a measure of change is the norm for any new management, but this is akin to changing from a Model T Ford to a brand new Teslar in a few short months.
It’s difficult to see how this current situation benefits anyone except for Warnock. He has, after all, said on plenty of occasions that should the supporters withdraw their support or the board grow nervous, he’ll happily put the ‘out of office’ on permanently and thank everyone for the memories.
Cardiff need to do everyone a favour and confirm that the future planning is all in-hand, the successor has been chosen and there is a firm plan in place to continue what has been a generally strong three years for the club on and off the pitch. Uncertainty, as we’ve all seen, helps no one.
Now’s the time to rectify that.