Cardiff City Season Review: Peter Whittingham
7 - Peter Whittingham
Peter Whittingham began the season as Cardiff City's first choice right winger allowing the inclusion of Paul Parry on the left wing. Whittingham had operated in that role to good effect last season and was again to be found drifting in onto his favoured left foot.
Whitts scored in the league cup and the winner against Barnsley in the league. He finished off a good team move after a poor headed clearance and enjoyed an impressive afternoon. However, some games Whittingham simply failed to turn up and sulked on the right side of the pitch rarely involved and providing no outlet for the team. At times, he was a passenger fore much of the game before contributing with several passes or moments of skill.
The former Aston Villa man lost his place against Nottingham Forest but appeared from the bench in that game and the subsequent match against Blackpool where he scored with an unlikely headed goal and earned plaudits from Dave Jones.
However, after winning back his place in the starting line-up, Cardiff City fans were once again frustrated by the limited impact Whittingham was having. He did not look comfortable on the right with defenders wise to his only option of cutting inside. Too often he came inside and failed to provide width while Kevin McNaughton was forced to loft high balls forward with his midfielder nowhere to be seen.
For the first time in the season, Whittingham was finding it more difficult to get a game and could have no complaints. With Ledley moving into a central role, Whitts had a better chance of securing a wide role but Parry, new man Chris Burke and an out-of-position Ross McCormack were all better candidates.
Despite this, Whittingham feature in 32 league games for the Bluebirds this season and few fans will remember much of his performances. To say that he faded away at the end of the season is an under-statement and although the entire squad was poor, Whittingham (along with Parry and McPhail) must be extremely disappointed with his personal contribution.
We're constantly reminded that Whittingham is the 'most technically gifted' in our squad, that he has Premiership quality but where's the evidence? He simply doesn't do it on the pitch, save for a few skilful moments per match. That isn't good enough and there was to be no repeat of his exquisite goal against Middlesborough last season. Disappointing, lacklustre and certainly a weak link - Whittingham was fortunate that Dave Jones is a long-time admirer of his. Many a manager would have joined the fans in bemoaning Whittingham's performance, he is known as a luxury polayer whose creativity is supposed to make up for a lack of defensive cover.....
Four goals is not really enough and certainly insufficient to make up for a lack in other areas. Whilst he can point to a poorly balanced midfield unit as a contributory factor - this was a season to forget for Whittingham - will the fans forget?
Season Rating 3