Beware of the old boy.

Author – Paul Harper
Isn’t it amazing how many times players score against one of their former clubs? Unless you pick Fernando Torres as your fantasy football captain as you’re relying on him to score his first Chelsea goal against Liverpool. But that’s another story. When Nottingham Forest faced Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t much of a surprise who would score the winning goal.
Cardiff were on the wrong side of a Robert Earnshaw strike when the one-time City forward netted the winner in a 2-1 victory over the Bluebirds.
Earnshaw is somewhat of a hero for Bluebirds’ fans. After all, he scored a lot of goals during his spell for Cardiff after coming through the ranks at what was then Ninian Park. Earnie scored 105 goals from 205 games in a Cardiff City shirt before leaving to join West Brom for the princely sum of £3million. So quite rightly, he is fondly thought of at Cardiff City.
The 29 year-old Zambian-born Welsh international has done alright for himself. As I mentioned, he scored just over a goal every two games for City, and he has continued to score goals at such a good rate at the other clubs he has been at since his time at Ninian Park came to an end in 2004.
With that superb goalscoring record, perhaps Cardiff should have expected that he would score against them and push them a step backwards in the quest for a promotion spot in the Championship.
Earnshaw’s current club, Nottingham Forest, leapfrogged City with their triumph at the City Ground. Worse still, South Wales rivals Swansea City have also risen above them and the Bluebirds lie fourth in the standings.
Cardiff’s promotion push has come off the rails in recent times. At one stage in the season, the Bluebirds were flying high, battling with Queens Park Rangers for the top spot in the division. Now they will be hard pushed to reach one of those two automatic promotion places, and after last season’s heartache, the play-offs is the last thing they want at the new Cardiff City Stadium.
With QPR a few points clear of the rest of the field, it appears to be a six horse race for that second automatic promotion position. Leicester City, Leeds United and Norwich City join Swansea, Forest and Cardiff in that fight, with Earnshaw’s strike putting Forest in pole position.
Should Forest continue their impress form of just 1 defeat in 10 league games since the turn of the year, Cardiff could be forced to play out the nightmare scenario that is the play offs.
The heartache of losing out to Blackpool last season at Wembley is still firmly at the front of Bluebirds’ fans memories. It’s best to avoid the play-offs then, I’d say. Now is time to forget the former hero of Robert Earnshaw, and for current heroes Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra and Craig Bellamy to step up to the plate.

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