Neil Warnock

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Top Ten moments of the Premier League season

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The Premier League season is over, and it’s not difficult to find the moments that will live a bit longer than the others when we imagine the 2018-19 campaign.

[ MORE: Derby County reaches playoff final ]


10. Neil Warnock stands defiantly at midfield, stares at referees

Cardiff City didn’t do enough to stay up, but it got a lot of help from officials in its fall into the Championship.

Fortunately for us, manager Neil Warnock did not lay off of the officials who made or reversed calls he perceived as major slights to his Bluebirds.

Perhaps his best tune would be best accompanied by a version of The Robot dance.

“I always thought Mike Riley was a manufactured referee from day one,” Warnock said after a loss to Chelsea. “I don’t think he’s changed since then. He’s been coached, manufactured, almost like a robot. He knows everything about the rules, but I feel these people struggle to understand the game and the human element. A lot of referees are like Mike Riley and that’s why I think we have gone backwards. Common sense is not allowed nowadays, but the best refs still use it.”

That loss ended with Warnock standing at midfield, staring at the referee crew before stating that the Premier League is “the best league in the world with the worst officials.”

9. De Gea stuns Spurs to take Ole mania up a notch

Manchester United’s star goalkeeper was not up to his standards this season, but his performance against Tottenham Hotspur early in the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era was impeccable.

Spurs dominated the Red Devils, but De Gea made 11 saves at Wembley to give OGS his first win over a top side.

8. Arsenal wins thrilling North London Derby

Arsenal finished below Tottenham Hotspur on the table, but the Gunners sent a message that they were up for the fight with a thrilling 4-2 win over Spurs on Dec. 1.

It had everything, including Mike Dean calling penalties for both sides. Arsenal outshot Spurs 22-11, and the teams combined for 13 shots on target. And the Gunners trailed 2-1 at the break!

Most importantly for the Gunners, it was a victory over their hated rivals which ran their unbeaten mark to 19 matches.

7. Wolves howl into contention with first upset

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s Wolverhampton Wanderers became giant killers for the first time when they ended a six-match dry spell by using a second-half burst to beat Chelsea 2-1.

The win was typical of Wolves’ best days, as Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota were the goal scorers. On the season, the newly-promoted Wolves beat Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, and Manchester United, drawing the Blues, Gunners, and Red Devils as well en route to a possible Europa League berth.

6. Mourinho’s “respect” rant

Manchester United had just lost 3-0 to Spurs at Old Trafford, but that’s not the three Jose Mourinho wanted to discuss in his post-match media briefing.

“Three-nil. Do you know what that also means? Three Premiership titles, and I also won more titles than the other 19 managers combined.”

5. Emiliano Sala‘s plane disappears

Cardiff City’s joy at the record purchase of Nantes striker Emiliano Sala soon turned to sickening grief when the Argentine’s plane was lost at sea. His body was recovered from the wreckage a few days later.

4. Pickford error gives Origi, Liverpool the derby

Everton supporters don’t need to be reminded that Liverpool had two moments of good fortune for every bit of bad luck in a run to second on the Premier League table. Jordan Pickford lost track of the ball in stoppage time to deny the Toffees a memorable point against their despised cross-town Reds.

3. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha mourned

Leicester City lost its owner in November when his helicopter crashed after leaving King Power Stadium, and the world soon learned just how deeply Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was loved by the Foxes’ faithful. The scenes at the next home game were poignant and unforgettable.

2. Kompany’s thunderbolt

Manchester City’s big Belgian leant an aire of inevitability to his side’s title defense when he busted down the door of Kasper Schmeichel and Leicester City with an absolutely stunning strike.

  1. Eleven millimeters

Let’s set the scene: Unbeaten Liverpool has a chance to put Man City in its rear view mirror at the Etihad Stadium when Sadio Mane beats the keeper and hits the post. City center back John Stones‘ effort to clear the ball hits his keeper Ederson, and the Englishman does this en route to City’s 2-1 defeat of the Reds.

Cardiff City management confirms Warnock will stay in charge

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Cardiff City brass confirmed on Tuesday that manager Neil Warnock will remain in charge next season despite the club’s confirmed relegation to the Championship.

Just two days ago after Cardiff was confirmed relegated after a 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace, Warnock was unsure of his future, saying, “I’ve got to let things settle and not do anything rash,” Warnock said after the match. “I will be working next year, I will have a year somewhere. I am looking forward to that challenge again now.” When asked directly if that would be at Cardiff City, Warnock responded, “I have no idea.”

Warnock brought the Bluebirds up from the second tier last campaign, only to see them sent back down. However, Cardiff owner Vincent Tan pointed to Warnock’s specialty in promotion as a big reason for his decision to keep the 70-year-old in charge, as he currently owns eight promotions in his career, a record in English football.

“I am happy for Neil to stay and achieve his ninth promotion to the EPL,” Tan said on Tuesday. In addition, club chairman Mehmet Dalman also threw his support behind the current boss. “I think he’s playing such a critical role and it would be a shame to see anything different from that – I do not expect anything different from that,” Dalman told BBC Radio Wales. “I talk to Neil on a regular basis, we have a great relationship. I know Vincent has a great relationship with him.”

Warnock believes despite relegation this season, the club is on the rise, even going so far to say this is his favorite season as boss. “I think when you look back to when I came to the club, I thought the club was broken, I thought it was really in a poor state,” he said after the loss to Palace on Saturday. “You saw the fans tonight, I think club is almost reborn now. I’m so proud that the fans have been like they have been because I’ve never experienced anything like that in my career. As daft as it sounds, I think this season has been the best I’ve ever had in management – I’m quite proud of what we’ve achieved, and we’ve got relegated. It is a difficult thing to digest but that’s how I feel.”

Warnock has spent time in charge of Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United, and Crystal Palace throughout a 39-year managerial career. He joined Cardiff in October 2016 after spending less than a year at Rotherham United where he helped the club avoid relegation to League One.

Warnock, Cardiff City react after relegation confirmed

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Cardiff City’s stay in the Premier League was a brief one — just one season — as the Bluebirds’ inevitable fate was sealed on Saturday: relegation back to the EFL Championship.

[ MORE: Liverpool survive Newcastle scare to take PL title race to final day ]

Manager Neil Warnock was quick to put the club’s current situation in perspective, taking one last opportunity to remember Emiliano Sala and what it means to suffer through a real tragedy — quotes from the BBC:

“We worked really hard for two months to get the lad signed, that puts it into perspective — yes, we’ve got relegated, but life is far more important.

“You can’t plan for something like that and I didn’t think it would affect the players in the way it did.

“I did think he would score 10 or 15 goals, he was the type we needed. It wasn’t to be.”

“The fans knew when I took over the club was in a mess, it’s been reborn – everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet.

“They know we’ve given it our best. We had some great chances in the second half.

“The Chelsea result killed us, that night in the dressing room. It was really low that night, they have kept fighting so I have no complaints.

“The problems we have had to put up with throughout the season, I have nothing but praise for everybody. It makes such a difference when you hear the crowd.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Warnock, something of a promotion specialist throughout his career, will stick around the Cardiff City Stadium and chase a return to the PL at the first time of asking.

[ MORE: Cardiff City relegated from the Premier League ]

Captain Sean Morrison is undoubtedly feeling the pain of being relegated, but the 28-year-old whose been at the club since 2014 is hopeful of a quick return.

“We always felt we had a chance but it just wasn’t to be today, another day a couple of them would go in but it’s been like that all season – it just hasn’t been our year.

“We would’ve loved to have taken it to the last day. We’ve fallen short today and over the season and we’re relegated because we didn’t do enough over the year. We’ve lacked a bit of quality but we’ve always bounced back. Hopefully we can bounce back again.

“The fans have been incredible, every year gets better and better, they’re as proud of us as I am and they can see the effort we’ve put in. I’m sure they’re disappointed but to hear them cheering like that is nice to hear.”

PL preview: Cardiff City v. Crystal Palace

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  • Cardiff City has not scored a single goal in 3 PL meetings vs CPFC
  • Crystal Palace has the 2nd most PL away points in 2019 with 16
  • Cardiff has just 9 first-half PL goals all season

Cardiff City needs a win or relegation is all but complete as they host Crystal Palace on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Thanks to a far superior goal differential, the magic number is two for Brighton & Hove Albion to secure Premier League safety and relegate Cardiff City, meaning any combination of two points dropped by Cardiff City or gained by Brighton would complete the bottom of the table. With Brighton taking on Manchester City in the final week of the season, Cardiff could significantly boost their hopes of survival with a result this weekend.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Still, Neil Warnock is staring down his third Premier League relegation with a third club, and he will be without a host of injured players at his disposal. Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson, Joe Ralls and Matthew Connolly are all confirmed out injured for the remainder of the season, while Aron Gunnarsson and Harry Arter are questionable for Saturday’s critical match.

Crystal Palace sits 12th in the Premier League, above the classic 40-point threshold teams often target for safety. They are limping to the finish line like their opponents, with Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Pape Souare all out for the season plus Christian Benteke who is sidelined at least this weekend with a facial injury suffered last time out.

What they’re saying

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock on relegation fight: “We’ve got to win this game. If we don’t we can forget it, so we’ve got to concentrate on that really. We always give effort and sometimes we are a bit limited. But with two games to go we’re still in it.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson on playing a desperate side: “We have to expect a very motivated team, a team that will give its all to cling to the last chances of staying in the league, and hoping they can win while Brighton don’t. We have a desire to win the game as well.”

Prediction

Cardiff City needs a result in the worst way, but they are dangerously thin, and Crystal Palace is a quality road opponent, having topped Arsenal last time away from home. The Bluebirds will come close to earning a hard-fought draw, but they will throw everything forward at the end in desperation and concede late for a 2-1 loss to seal their relegation.

Warnock admits tactics wrong; mourns loss of Sala

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Neil Warnock held up his hands after Cardiff City lost 1-0 at Fulham on Saturday to move them closer to relegation in the Premier League.

Cardiff’s manager admitted he set his team up to be too defensive, as they sat back for most of the game, then launched a furious onslaught on the Fulham goal late on and almost scored on four occasions.

Speaking after the game, Warnock isn’t giving up hope despite his side being at least three points from safety with two games of the season to go.

“It is disappointing, The team selection was wrong, I should have changed it earlier, but they have tried hard, I can not fault them, we are not out of it yet,” Warnock said. “We still had enough opportunities, on another day we could have scored two or three goals. We could not get it in at the end. I always thought this was a must win game, but you just don’t know in football.”

Warnock’s men hit the crossbar and missed several glorious chances late in the game as Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico made a couple of fine saves, but it was more about the poor finishing from Cardiff.

After the tragic plane crash which killed club-record $19 million signing Emiliano Sala in January without him playing a game for the club, Warnock pointed to the fact that the Argentine striker would have added 10 goals in the second half of the campaign.

“You see the chances, we should score some of those chances. You pay for your finishers in this league, we have never been blessed with that,” Warnock said. “Emiliano Sala would have been that and that was a big blow… I was over the moon to get him and he could have scored 10 goals for the rest of the season on his own.”

Cardiff are still in with a chance, but it’s a very slim one as they host Crystal Palace next weekend and then travel to Manchester United on the final day of the season.

Warnock’s side will have to win both to have a realistic chance, but Brighton do have Arsenal and Man City to play in their final two games.