Cardiff City Take The Lead(ers)
The end of last season's campaign still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of Cardiff City fans with words like 'bottled', 'capitulation' and 'surrender' common in match reports and season reviews. Opinion is divided as to who is to blame, the manager, the players, bad luck etc but it was evident to Bluebirds fans everywhere that our side was tired and lacked leadership at the crucial time of the season.
Darren Purse is a natural leader, but was out-of-favour for the past two years. The next most natural choice for captain is Riccy Scimeca who has played only a few minutes in the past two years! To my mind, McPhail is no leader but he was next choice for Dave Jones but again was not a first team regular for much of the season.
The likes of McNaughton, Gyepes, McCormack and Bothroyd are all extremely able Championship players but none are particularly vocal or able to inspire their team-mates at crucial times. That particular asset was missing from our squad and we paid a high price for it.
With Roger Johnson already gone, and Joe Ledley desirous to leave - we were looking increasingly short of leadership qualities in the Bluebirds squad. Dave Jones though has identified this weakness, and moved to bring in some steel and captaincy candidates.
Mark Hudson, Paul Quinn and Anthony Gerrard all captained at their previous clubs and all are 100% committed, determined and influential players. This should give us a much more steely character when up against the wall where previously we were observed to surrender meekly e.g. the horror shopw that was Preston North End away.
The actual captaincy is anyone's guess, it could be offered as a carrot to entice Ledley to stay - either way it is comforting to see the influx of these type of players. Paul Ramsey, Graham Kavanagh or Scott Young in last season's side would never have stood for what went on - any hopefully the class of 2009/10 can add another dimension to an already talented squad.
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