The Premier League is one of the most exciting and competitive divisions in world football, and as such, it’s considered (by many) to be a privilege to play in it. A lot of teams get the luxury of competing in it on a year to year basis, but some only get a taste of it every so often.
The cruel nature of the top flight also means that the looming threat of relegation is an ever-present possibility, and its especially hard for teams that come up from the Championship. Financially speaking they’re given a decent enough chance of survival, but simply adjusting to their new division can often be a stressful process in itself. This season, one of the teams that came up was Cardiff City – and while they aren’t the most popular of clubs, they certainly gave it everything they had in the top flight.
Battling the odds
As a Welsh side they’re always going to be pushed aside in favour of the English teams when it comes to remaining in the league, and while that may seem a bit ‘off’, that’s just the nature of football fans these days. Even so, with the world against them, the Bluebirds have been able to put together some really solid results ever since the campaign got underway in the summer.
Alas, it simply wasn’t enough, as their relegation back down to the second tier was confirmed earlier tonight with a loss to Crystal Palace. Ironically enough the win from Palace ensured that their rivals Brighton & Hove Albion remained in the Premier League for another year, but they probably won’t want to focus on that all too much.
Another amusing anecdote for most folks is that Neil Warnock has suffered another relegation, but to be perfectly honest, we’ve come to appreciate his honesty over the course of the last few months. He isn’t the best manager in the world and he certainly isn’t the most favourable, but he doesn’t pull any punches and that old school style can be beneficial sometimes.
That was echoed by the Cardiff and Palace fans during the latter stages of their game, as both sets of fans sung his name loud and proud as the minutes ticked away.
Will they be back?
They even had a late flurry which gave fans some false hope that they could pull off a miraculous comeback, but in the end, the writing was always on the wall. The final day drama that we were all hoping for simply wasn’t meant to be, but you have to credit their ability to stay in the fight and not throw in the towel.
The full time whistle blew, and from this moment on, the preparations will begin for yet another promotion push next season. If they can maintain the core of their squad then they could be in with a pretty decent chance of going straight back up, but one of the big questions will be whether or not Warnock remains in a job.
He’s 70 years of age now and had a long tenure in this game, so perhaps this will be the last we’ve seen of him.
Either way, it’s game, set and match for the Bluebirds – who will attempt to rise again in a matter of months.