Mackay plays it safe in presser as Guardian reports of Cardiff owner’s matchday interventions


Embattled Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay refused to give reporters anything juicy at his press conference Friday ahead of Cardiff’s match with Chelsea.

Unfortunately, the cats continue to sprint out of the bag.

The Guardian is reporting that Cardiff owner Vincent Tan – already taking flak for his completely random sacking of recruitment chief Iain Moody – has been occasionally interfering with matchday operations, including sending his suggested substitutions and tactical changes in from the stands.

The report packs an additional punch with the whisperings that Tan knows next to nothing about the sport of soccer, and the Cardiff brass are well aware.

The Guardian cites a filmed conversation in Malaysia earlier this year between two executives of one of Tan’s pharmaceutical company.  Al Chuah, managing director of te company, said, “He doesn’t know any rules about football. He invested in pharmacy without realizing what drugs are all about.”

Tan has proven devoid of emotion when running his “business” at Cardiff.  Earlier this season, he changed the club’s color from blue to red, a move that caused much fan backlash due to the lack of respect for the club’s history.

Just last week, Tan out of nowhere fired the club’s chief of recruitment Ian Moody and filled the position with his son’s friend – someone who has zero prior experience in soccer.

This has caused massive tension between manager and owner, with many speculating Mackay could be out the door soon.

The manager defended his former colleague at Friday’s prematch press conference, saying he believes Moody’s £35 million ($56.6 million) spending spree this summer was actually under budget despite public suggestions by Tan that he was as much as £15 million ($24.2 million) over budget.

“Iain is an absolute class act as far as I am concerned” said Mackay. “He has done a very impressive job for the football club. In one of the periods of success, which we have been in over the last two and a half years, he has had a huge part to play in the restructuring of my squad. He helped bring in more than 20-odd players. He will be missed by everyone who works for our football club. He leaves with my utmost gratitude and respect. I would say our loss will be someone’s huge gain.”

However, Mackay refused to go any further into detail on the situation, even stopping short when the club’s press official twice intervened.  Mackay said on six different occasions during the presser that he wished to only discuss Cardiff’s upcoming match with Chelsea.

Finally, Mackay for now reiterated his intention to stick this one out. “As far as I am concerned, again for clarification, under no circumstances was I asked to resign and at no time have I thought of resigning from the football club” said Mackay.

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)

Wenger lauds team spirit following Arsenal’s big win

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Arsenal put on a superb performance against Manchester United today, flying out to a three-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United ]

United was stunned by the fast-paced, free-flowing Arsenal attack, unable to recover from the Gunners’ early dominance.

All of this came on the heels of a disappointing loss to Olympiacos in the Champions League, after which many questioned manager Arsene Wenger and his side.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s win vs. Manchester United ]

Following the big 3-0 win at the Emirates, Wenger praised his team’s spirit, saying there were outstanding performances throughout the side.

You go from Petr Cech up to Theo Walcott, and we had only outstanding performances. Sometimes we have that magic side in our game.

[Against Olympiacos] maybe we lacked a little bit of urgency and discipline, and that’s why we lost the game. But let’s not forget, last Saturday we won 5-2 at Leicester. Today we beat Man United 3-0.

[The players] have shown that we have an outstanding spirit in the squad. To respond the way we did after what happened to us, you need to have an exceptional spirit.

The Gunners’ performance today immediately silenced all the critics, as Wenger’s side put out on a display that many have been waiting for all season. The combination play of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott was brilliant, as Santi Cazorla continued to impress in the center of the midfield.

Wenger’s teams have not always been known to show strong heart and resiliency, but that’s exactly what they showed today against a Manchester United side that was in great form. Now sitting second on the table, Arsenal continues to climb up the Premier League.