Can 2017 be better than 2016?

So it’s been a good 5 months since I last posted anything on here, funnily enough it was just before Wales destroyed Moldova 4-0 at home in our first game since the amazing success we had at the Euros. Things have gone marginally downhill since then with three consecutive draws leaving Chris Coleman’s men third behind Republic of Ireland and Serbia respectively.

Following on from the last game and the start of the New Year, I recently thought to myself can 2017 be better than 2016?

The answer.. well, to quote Leonardo Di Caprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, “absolutely f*cking not!”.

Quite a bold statement but it would take something special to top the heights Wales achieved last summer – especially as there’s no International football competition this year either. Just after my last blog post previewing Wales first World Cup qualifier against Moldova, the Welsh carried on their great year with a comprehensive win in front of their home fans. A flawless performance which saw Sam Vokes open the scoring, the in-form Joe Allen score his first international goal and the mercurial Gareth Bale putting in yet another MOTM performance with two goals.

Our next game saw us travel to Austria where twice we led through an absolute screamer from Allen and an own goal from Kevin Wimmer although Marko Arnautovic equalised twice, mainly down to unusually poor defending from Wales.

The following Sunday saw us draw 1-1 with Georgia in a bitterly disappointing result at the Cardiff City Stadium with Bale again finding the back of the net. Perhaps the most entertaining part of the night though was after the final whistle as I made my way up from the Canton end to the corporate lounge to meet one of the boys and his old man. On the way out, we bumped into Sam Vokes (who in fairness had an uneventful game) and to sum up his poor night my mate’s dad ended up calling him “Ched” by mistake. Ched Evans at the time was facing a retrial in court.

November saw us play our last game of the year against Serbia at the CCS and if I’m being honest, I remember very little of this game.. mainly because I was drunk as one of the boys had planned an all-dayer in Cardiff for his 30th. In fact I vaguely remember the following events – Bale scoring.. AGAIN! Dusan Tadic’s bloody nose, Bale hitting the post late-on before Mitrovic scoring the equaliser. Hopefully I’ve got those events in order, too!

Despite the late disappointment, 2016 wasn’t likely to be signified by a draw with Serbia. Our performance at Euro 2016 will be remembered by Welsh fans for decades.

2017 is likely to be a tough one for Wales with us 4 points behind Rep. Ireland at the top of the group and a trip to the Aviva Stadium in March is looking like a must-win already. With Gareth Bale seemingly ruled out due to injury, it looks like an even bigger test!

From a Welsh fan’s point of view, it’s difficult to see 2017 bettering 2016 however from a Cardiff fan’s perspective, 2017 surely can’t be any worse – I say this just a few hours after watching the worst Cardiff performance I’ve seen in years against Fulham in the FA Cup!

2016 saw City have three different managers at the helm and I’ll sum up the tenures of all three below in the form of Emoji:

Russell Slade: 😴

Paul Trollope: 💩

Neil Warnock: 🤔

No glowing praise for any of them although you would have to argue that if Warnock was in charge at the start of the season, would they be in the position they find themselves in now?

On the plus side if Warnock can steer Cardiff from relegation, the chances are we’ll be playing Swansea again next season who seem unlikely to stay in the Premier League after a calamitous campaign so far. If the prospect of a South Wales derby isn’t enough to bring the fans flooding back then nothing will!

On a personal note, 2017 is likely to top 2016 as I’m meeting Chris Coleman at Bryn Meadows Golf club this Friday.
Oh and I’m getting married on Easter Sunday! 😆
Until next time. Stay classy!