The Welsh clubs in the English pyramids have exceeded all our expectations this season.
Who would have believed that Swansea would be competing with the giants in the top half of the Barclays Premier League sitting comfortably in 8th position with a trip to Wembley to face Bradford in the Capital One Cup final only weeks away?
Swansea’s success has given rivals Cardiff a much needed kick in the backside, who are now 10 points clear on top of the Championship and you’d be crazy to bet against them to finish the season in that top spot.
In the Blue Square Premier, Wrexham and Newport are scrapping for promotion and there’s a good chance that both sides could be playing in League 2 next season.
Although the results and current standings look highly promising, the fans have not been treated to any goal-fests recently.
Michu has been the master at the Liberty and with goals from left, right and centre; he’s been accepted into the Swan family with open arms.
But goals have been a rare sight for the fans to enjoy as the Swans have scored in only one of their last 6 matches and haven’t hit the net in their last 280 minutes of play.
On the other hand, not a lot of teams concede as little as Laudrup’s men who’ve only let in 3 goals in their last 7 matches.
The defenders are definitely doing their job but with Danny Graham leaving towards the bright lights of Sunderland there’s an added pressure on Swansea’s new star Michu to polish his goal scoring boots to turn the draws into three points.
The visitors this week haven’t been blessed with goals either, QPR travel to the Liberty following two stalemates against Norwich and Man City so no one is expecting an epic encounter from these two teams who’ve been well disciplined and organized, though not too thrilling since the turn of the year.
10 points ahead, 17 games left to play, only one loss in their last 14 league matches. Surely it’s now safe to say that Cardiff have finally done it this year!
The praise falls on the defenders.
In the last 2 months only 2 teams have managed to score twice against Cardiff. Peterborough & Macclesfield (FA Cup). In the last 2 months only 2 teams have beaten Cardiff… Peterborough & Macclesfield!
2 goals have been enough to beat Cardiff because the strikers aren’t knocking them in at the other end.
Malky Mackay’s men have only scored 9 goals in their last 8. Only 3 times in their last 12 matches have Cardiff managed to score more than one goal.
None of Cardiff’s players are in the league’s top 20 goal scorers, which is bizarre considering their league position.
Heidar Helguson and Peter Whittingham are their top scorers with 7 goals each. But the arrival of Fraizer Campbell, who scored the only goal against Leeds last Saturday, might be the answer, and the missing ingredient, which should now secure that Wales will have two clubs competing in the Barclays Premier League next season.
There were no goals for the Welsh clubs in the Blue Square last Saturday either.
Rodney Parade under water and Newport’s game against Tamworth being called off while Wrexham had their first goalless result since September at Forest Green.
Wrexham are on a run of 9 games without defeat in all competitions with only Gainsborough Trinity standing in the way of the Dragons and a trip to Wembley for the FA Trophy final.
But although Morrell’s men are second in the table, consistency has been a big issue as Wrexham haven’t won 2 league games on the bounce since October (16 games since then).
Newport have no problems in front of goal as they have a lethal weapon in the shape of Aaron O’Connor who is the leading scorer in the Conference with 17 goals this season.
But Grimsby are the team to watch as they’re currently on a 16 match unbeaten run (11 league games) and they’ve sneaked into the top spot. Wrexham and Newport aren’t far behind but they will have to start being more ruthless if they are to claim the automatic promotion place to avoid another play-off upset.
On this day in 1961 one of the legends of Welsh football - Ian Rush - was born.