Ned Thomas : Last season, the summer and next season

” Last season, the summer and next season ”

I’ve waited a while to write this, as I wanted the dust to settle on the 2014/15 season first. I’ll be giving you my personal opinions on the season just gone, what could happen this summer and the season ahead.

Let’s first go back to the start of August 2014. Cardiff City were being billed as one of the favourites to secure an immediate return to the Barclays Premier League. And why wouldn’t they be? Despite the relegation, the general consensus was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserved the chance to take Cardiff City up. It was his one and only chance to manage in the English divisions, and he failed.

But what went wrong? Solskjaer signed players who were capable of performing at Championship level. Players such as Adam Le Fondre, Anthony Pilkington and Sean Morrison. There were the others, too, of course. Mats Daehli, Kenwyne Jones and Fabio who he’d brought in during the 2014 January window as well as bringing in players from overseas last summer. Bruno Manga being the most notable of those.

As we all know, due to his tactics and a dreadful start to the season, Solskjaer would soon be relieved of his duties. Out of all the names linked, Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade would be the man that Vincent Tan would ultimately appoint – his first personal appointment as the owner of the club.

That appointment left the majority of supporters bemused, it didn’t make sense to many people. Having said that, you can not argue with Slade’s first few home games. He picked up 12 points from his first four at the Cardiff City Stadium. But the away form wasn’t so good.

As the season went on, and it was clear that the club would be finishing somewhere in mid-table, the form changed. The away results improved, but the home results suffered. This coincided with some of the top earners leaving the club in January to be replaced with the likes of Eoin Doyle, Lee Peltier and Scott Malone.

What else is there to say about the season? It was one that promised much but failed to deliver.

On to this summer then, and I think we all know what’s likely to happen. We can expect the high earners to go, to be replaced by more lower standard players. We know that Slade is targeting a few big signings as well, but will he get them? I’m not so sure.

Next season will be more of the same I feel, I struggle to see us getting anything more than a top half finish. And that’s being optimistic. But there are players I have high hopes for next season. Eoin Doyle finished the season strongly, and he could well be someone who can score plenty of goals for us. The return of Joe Mason was encouraging too. Lee Peltier’s work-rate has been good to see. There are others who need to show more, such as Stuart O’Keefe.

Feel free to put your own opinions below, whether you agree with a single word of that or not.

Fixtures are released two weeks today which will begin the countdown to the next season, and of course the Wales match next Friday which should be a great occasion – especially if it results in a home win or draw.

See you all next season and thanks for reading  :thumbright:  :ayatollah:  :bluescarf:  :sladeout:  :bluebird: