8:24pm on a Sunday is a time where you search the very depths of your soul for the meaning to life.
It’s 8:25pm and I’m on the tube, rattling toward the far reaches of the Victoria Line. Cardiff have lost to Swansea. In Swansea. A game I left my house at 3pm yesterday to attend. I game I woke up at 6am for to travel to, despite it being 40 minutes down the road from Cardiff and a midday kick off. I spent the day treated like a criminal, our every move watched and scanned, all because we were going to a football match.
It’s 8:26pm and I’m still seething at the idea that football is meant to be a fun day out, a chance to forget about all that’s wrong with the world and watch as 11 men live out your hopes and dreams. Watch as 11 men snap into tackles, headers, and stretch every last sinew to get into a long ball, a through pass. It’s not fun anymore, is it?
At 7:50am as the buses left the Cardiff City Stadium, we were full of hope and anticipation. They’d been on a bad run of form, we looked on the up despite the late goal against us on Tuesday. They were there for the taking.
It just turns out we weren’t there to take them.
The South Wales Derby is just another game. It’s 11 men vs 11 men on a rectangle patch of grass. Except when you are watching this one, you have thousands of raging West Walians either side of you. You can see the whites of their eyes as they bite their own fists and snarl that they want to kill you.
This means more.
And it hurts more that, bar one or two exceptions, we simply didn’t bother today. Warnock can defend his team and say the ref was poor and that we tried and we gave it our best but sorry, we didn’t. Andre Ayew raced away in the opening minute and when hauled back, he was geeing up the crowd. We laughed at the time but isn’t that what we needed?
Instead, we had Sean Morrison walking over and applauding slowly, not daring to step closer than the penalty spot. He looked like a broken man but sorry Sean, you did that to yourself.
There is something wrong at Cardiff City and I don’t know what it is. Two years ago, we rode to promotion on a feeling of brotherhood and togetherness that was teeming out of every corner of the club.
This is a different club now. Morrison’s head hangs low every game. Marlon Pack, our saviour, looks lost. Bennett turns his back whenever a player attacks him. Murphy doesn’t exist anymore. Ralls has contracted from the beast he was 10 games ago. Glatzel lives off scraps.
All Cardiff fans want to see is some fight. Losing a derby is one thing, but losing it without even so much as a whimper is criminal. I’ve spent a long day couped up on buses, in cars, and at the stadium, and I feel dejected.
There needs to be some serious soul-searching from every member of staff at the club. Warnock’s golden goodbye is turning sour and the club needs to do something before it becomes even more toxic. It’s not working. It’s not fun to watch.
It’s 8:39pm. I’m still not home. But I am thinking about Bristol at home.