Date:Thursday August 27 2009
Cardiff City have made a promising start to the 2009/10 season, have successfully made it through 2 rounds of the Carling Cup and sit atop the Championship albeit on goal difference. Quite rightly, we are attracting high praise from many quarters with the majority of it directed at hotshot Michael Chopra - who has racked up an amazing 8 goals already this season - including a hat-trick and a goal in every single league game thus far.
However, with the limelight firmly on the 'on-fire` Chopra, the contribution of another player has been somewhat overlooked. Every single player is performing well with Marshall settling well, Gerrard looking assured, Matthews hugely promising, Bothroyd influential and welcome returns to form for Rae and Whittingham. In Vital Cardiff`s opinion, there`s another who deserves a special mention for outstanding individual contributions this season.
Chris Burke was signed on a free transfer from Rangers last season, and brought in to replace the outgoing Wayne Routledge who opted to join QPR despite a successful loan spell with the Bluebirds. He had suffered injury troubles and was relatively unknown save for recommendations from ex-Rangers McCormack and Rae.
The end part of last season, Burke was one of few to emerge with any credit following our dramatic collapse. He attempted to induce some drive and creativity and scored a memorable solo effort to spark a comeback at Charlton. However, following a pre-season with the Bluebirds - Chris Burke looks an excellent acquisition and could become a key team member this year.
Burke offers genuine width and an outlet on the right, he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and is a skilful dribbler. He has caused all manner of problems for opposition defenders, winning 2 penalties and contributing several key assists. The game against Bristol City saw Burke at the heart of our best attacking football. His link-up with Matthews created the first, while it was his exquisite pass to Chopra that allowed the second before a slide-rule pass to Gavin Rae completed the set. One other menacing run resulted with Burke rounding the keeper only for the ball to get stuck between his feet as he tried to shoot.
Much has been made of Dave Jones` bargain basement signings but Chris Burke on a free transfer looks likely to be one of the best yet. While the £4m re-capture of Chopra is seemingly reaping the rewards, a little ginger fella on the right is causing serious unrest to defenders and creating space and service for the goal-machine. Long may it continue.
Date:Thursday August 27 2009
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Vital Preview: Cardiff v Nottingham Forest (Friday October 17 2014)
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