Ahead of the trip to South Wales for the final away trip of the season for the Eagles, TEB had a chat with the guys at popular fan site View From The Ninian on the season so far and thoughts on the game.
Q. What did you make of the game at Selhurst earlier in the season?
I think it was a good point for us. Obviously, you were the dominant team and had a hell of a lot of shots, but we defended well, whilst probably getting a slice of luck at the same time. It certainly wasn’t a game to write home about, but it was a good point for us.
Q. How has the season been for Cardiff?
Obviously, right now it looks like Cardiff are down and our loss against Fulham on the weekend was tough to take, so it’s feeling a bit negative right now. That said, we were promoted against the odds last season and this season was always going to be tough. We’ve struggled to hit consistency, which has probably been our biggest problem, along with goals. Whatever happens over the next two games, I think every Cardiff fan has enjoyed this season and is thoroughly proud of the club.
Q. Many had Cardiff down by Christmas before a ball was kicked so fans must be pretty happy to still have a chance with two games remaining?
Absolutely. Listen, we were all realistic about how tough this season was going to be, but we’ve battled since the first ball was kicked. I think we’ve proved a lot of people wrong, particularly when so many were criticising us for not spending much money and praising Fulham for the big money they spent. We’ve got it all to do over the next two games, but to still be in with a shout is great.
Q. How much of an impact has the loss of Emiliano Sala had on the club?
It was massive at the time, absolutely. Lots of fans of other sides have criticised our club and fans, saying that we overreacted about a player who hadn’t even kicked a ball in a Cardiff shirt, but I think they’re missing the point. Emiliano believed in us and wanted to be a Bluebird when so many were negative about the club. It was also a prolonged transfer pursuit. Our fans were excited about him for months and had invested in him as a player.
Obviously, the biggest tragedy is that Emi was a human being, a son, a brother and a friend. His family and friend’s loss was far greater than ours. For us, though, he was seen as the player to change our season. On the pitch, the club had struggled for goals and he was a goalscorer. Sadly, we’ll never know how he would’ve fared in a Cardiff shirt.
Q. Who has been the stand out Cardiff player this season?
Neil Etheridge. Signed on a free from Walsall last season as back-up to Lee Camp. Etheridge soon established himself as number one (Camp swiftly left the club) and hasn’t ever looked back.
Nobody knew how he would step up, but Etheridge has been phenomenal. He’s kept 7 clean sheets this season – only Pickford and Dubravka have kept more in the league outside of the top six.
Q. What are you expecting from Cardiff in the summer?
Presuming we’re relegated, as expected right now, I think that Warnock will go. I know he’s said that he’d like to stay on, but I think it’s mind games. I think it’s probably the right time. Warnock has transformed the club and has worked wonders, but maybe it’s time to move on.
I think whichever league we’re in, the majority of the squad will stay. Our centre of midfield will need reinforcing, Gunnarsson, Arter and Camarasa won’t be here next season. We’ll also need a striker.
Q. If you could pick one Palace player to sign, who would it be and why?
I think the majority of opposition fans would say Zaha, but following his last stint in Cardiff, I don’t think he would be welcome in South Wales again! We need a right-back and Wan-Bissaka has had a superb season, so I’d say him.
Q. Name a player from each side that you believe will be a threat in this game?
Zaha will be desperate to show Cardiff fans what we missed, no doubt. He’s clearly dangerous and his pace could cause our slightly slower backline plenty of problems. For Cardiff, Victor Camarasa is our best player. He’s technically brilliant and can easily score a beauty.
Q. Perhaps you could share your opinions on Palace this season?
I think you’ve had a good season overall. You flirted with the relegation zone but I don’t think you were ever really in trouble. You’ve got some superb players and lots of exciting players. If you can get a good striker to score some goals, I think you can progress again next year.
Q. Your prediction?
It’s the hope that kills you, so I think we’ll win this 2-1. That’ll give us plenty of hope going into the final day, which will probably be squished.