Date:Monday September 21 2009
Cardiff City`s lacklustre display in defeat to QPR on Saturday was greeted with a chorus of boos at the final whistle with the Bluebirds failing to contribute anything in attack and putting in a sloppy shift. The result was our third defeat in four games, and the worst performance in many years prompting the usual complains, groans and musings by fans on the way out of the ground and in verbal assaults launched at the manager and / or players.
Over many years now, I`ve heard some hilarious, absurd and shameful abuse aimed at players amongst which Peter Thorne labelled a 'Park`s player`, Koumas a 'one trick carthorse` and perhaps most stupidly Dave Jones as 'the worst manager we`ve ever had`. I heard a few such complaints on Saturday, but far more surprisingly was a quote I had never heard before…..
"We really missed McPhail today - he would have made a difference"
McPhail is a regular recipient of abuse and has not shown his best form over the past two seasons often looking short of confidence and rarely adding forward momentum. There are those who support him but few who would pick him to start regularly. McPhail was banned for Saturday`s game and his replacement Solomon Taiwo was wasteful in possession. McPhail has definite weaknesses, but he can pass and hates to lose possession. Our negative play and backwards passing are precisely what McPhail is often criticised for but I had to agree it would have been preferable on Saturday.
The main point is that Cardiff City`s midfield is weak, unbalanced and in need of an overhaul. That has not happened and we remain completely incapable of bossing the centre of the park. Agains Scunthorpe, McCormack, Bothroyd and Chopra were outstanding. Against Bristol City, Chris Burke shone. When we are on form, we can compete and match other teams - but never beat them. Newcastle were too strong and organised, while Martin Rowlands was inspirational for QPR. McPhail, Rae, Ledley, Taiwo and Scimeca have all had a go in the centre - yet none appear able to forge a dominant midfield pairing. Until we get that right, we will remain frustratingly hot and cold and always know that teams like Newcastle will beat us.
There is hope for every team against because we are weak in a crucial area - putting sever strain on every member of the team. The full-back`s distribution was woeful but they had few options. The strikers were anonymous - but had no service. Burke was lively but had 2 men marking him in the age it took to shift the ball right. I don`t think we played with a left winger on Sat so can`t comment on him.
Date:Monday September 21 2009
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