You will often here the statement “it’s never a dull moment at Cardiff City Football Club’. As a supporter of over 20 years I completely agree. Just over a week ago Paul Trollope become the latest managerial casualty after a poor start to the season, what has happened since then is quite remarkable – even by Cardiff City’s standards!
Paul Trollope Sacked
After the initial optimism of having a member of the Welsh national team’s coaching staff at the helm, many supporters have felt that a change has been needed in order to avoid what could quickly become a disastrous season.
In reality the signs had not been good for Paul Trollope, top players such as Fabio and David Marshall had left the club, with the majority of the new arrivals hardly capturing the imagination.
On Twitter the announcement was well received by the 2,658 users who generated 3,840 Tweets in the 24 hours following his departure. Many of the tweets were seen as ones of happy or thankful sentiment. Words such as “pleased” and “glad” appeared frequently. Those that were considered to be angry were aimed at Trollope’s performance in the role with words such as “shambles”, “clueless” and “abysmal” all appearing.
Neil Warnock Arrives
Despite what football fans think of Neil Warnock, his record is one that holds up against any manager in the Championship, having earned promotions with Sheffield United and QPR, as well as masterminding a number of relegation battle escapes.
12,961 Twitter users generated 14,994 tweets. The response was overwhelmingly positive with 86% of the Tweets considered to be of a happy sentiment, with words such as “delighted”, “over the moon”, “exciting” and “glad” appearing. There was an element of the tweets that were considered to be negative, with “hate” appearing from a section of Cardiff City supporters.
The club were quick to publish a number of stories on their official Facebook page, with four appearing in just over 24 hours.
The initial story generated the most response, earning 1,124 reactions, 399 shares and 147 comments.
Overall the initial stories relating to Warnock’s arrival generated 2,843 reactions, 669 shares and 276 comments.
Paul Trollope and his team failed to secure players that would make a positive impact on the teams performance in the summer and prior to the transfer deadline. Neil Warnock used his experience and his extensive network to quickly bring in four experienced players that can make an immediate impact and help ease the issues across the pitch – winger Junior Hoillett (Blackburn & QPR), centre back Sol Bamba (Leeds), forward Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal & Crystal Palace) and utility player Keiron Richardson (Man United, Sunderland, West Brom & Aston Villa).
This was met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction by Cardiff City supporters, with nearly 97% of the tweets relating to the arrivals of Hoillett, Bamba, Chamakh and Richardson being considered positive with words such as “glad”, “excited” and “pleased” being used frequently.
In terms of volume of tweets, the arrival of Chamakh triggered the most with 1,947, followed by Hoillett (1,005), Bamba (991) and finally Richardson with 399. #chamakhisabluebird was used on 402 occasions, with #juniorisabluebird 334 times.
Facebook told a similar story with the posts relating to Chamakh’s arrival generating the most responses – 2013 reactions, 366 shares and 287 comments. Sol Bamba’s arrival was met with the least Facebook enthusiasm, generating 953 reactions, 166 shares and 47 comments.
As we look forward to seeing how these players settle into life at the Cardiff City stadium, I predict that Sol Bamba, who was captain at Leeds last season will prove to be one of the best signings of the Championship season. Likewise, a focused Junior Hoillett could easily make an impact in the Premier League once again.
It was an exciting seven days to be a Cardiff City supporter, we look forward to seeing what (or should we say who?!) the January transfer brings and hopefully see Neil Warnock guide the team away from relegation and dare I say towards the play offs?!
Cardiff City Stadium Image Credit: Jon Candy