Cardiff City Season Review: The Keepers (2)
Dimi`s Debut Disaster
Injuries to Enckelman and Heaton had left Cardiff City with just emergency loan Dimi
Konstantopoulos in goal. The Greek had a big reputation and had impressed while on loan with Swansea
City earlier in the season. A tough debut awaited away at league leaders Wolves. However, it was not
the baptism of fire expected and Cardiff City were the better side outplaying the eventual Champions
and with a 2-1 lead in the second half. Disaster struck for Dimi when under no pressure he dropped a
hopeful cross back over his own line for one of the softest goals I`ve ever seen. A real clanger.
We then conceded just two goals in four games, one of those a penalty so it would be incredibly
harsh to blame the goalkeeper (the other was a top corner belter from Jon Macken). The next game
was the final straw for Konstantopoulos who was again at fault for an awful goal - this time he
failed to deal with a long ball and allowed Mooney to nip in and score for Norwich City in a dire
Bluebirds display. The big Greek stayed down for a couple of minutes, there was no foul but his
pride was rightly hurting. This turned out to be his last appearance despite staying at the club
until the end of the season. Six games, six goals
conceded but two absolute howlers and points
dropped. It`s worth pointing out that he was less than convincing at other times exhibiting some
woeful kicking and poor decision making. One of my favourite moments of the season was after a third
goal against Doncaster Rovers to seal the win, Roger Johnson sprinted back to lambaste his keeper
for not collecting a through ball minutes ago - Roger gave him a proper rollicking.
Taylor Takes Over
Stuart Taylor became the fourth goalkeeper at the club and the third on loan after joining from
Aston Villa. He arrived with good pedigree and a glowing reference from Aston Villa fans and he duly
slotted into the side. Unfortunately, his arrival coincided with a loss of Bluebirds form that
ultimately ended in capitulation and a complete and utter hammering at Preston North End. Prior to
that he witnessed a farce in front of him as some ridiculous refereeing saw us down to 9 men and
defeated 3-0 by Sheffield United. Taylor also showed poor kicking but was compact and effective in
goal, he looked pretty useful and although unspectacular he was a safe pair of hands. Unfortunately
for him, he conceded 15 goals in 8 games and kept just one clean sheet. Taylor was made somewhat of
a scapegoat after the 6-0 defeat although with 2 deflections, a 1-on-1 and an unstoppable own goal
- it was hardly Taylor`s fault.
Heaton Take III
Tom Heaton returned for his third stint of the season in goal and as you will know, we were now
panicking and dropping like a stone. Nevertheless, it seemed extremely unlikely that we would drop
out of the play-offs. Three games, one point and six conceded goals later - the season was over.
Tom Heaton returns to Manchester United, but failed to suggest he may ever be good enough to break
into their first team. Championship seems his level, for now at least but Cardiff City ruled out a
move although Swansea City remains a possible destination for the youngster.
Cardiff City were disjointed at times this season and suffered from a lack of consistency in the
goalkeeping department. Burnley have Brian Jensen, Sheffield United have Paddy Kenny, Hahnemann at
Reading , Birmingham City Maik Taylor and the most impressive for me was Andy Lonergan at Preston.
All the top teams have a SETTLED keeper and its noticeable that we didn`t. It certainly doesn`t
account for all our failings but it damn sure didn`t help. Next season Peter Enckelman and new
recruit David Marshall will hope for a less turbulent time.