Cardiff City Inquest Begins: Midfield
The midfield area for Cardiff City has been an area of concern for some time. However, this season has shown a big improvement - especially in the re-births of Peter Whittingham and Stephen McPhail. Unfortunately for us, neither were available through injury and didn`t we suffer. Dave Jones opted to leave Joe Ledley in the centre and Tony Capaldi was selected to cover on the left flank. Normally a defender, Capaldi has barely featured over the past two seasons and was unable to make any impact in a more advanced role. The attacking threat was non-existent and we looked unbalanced and under-strength.
Rae and Ledley were unable to compete in midfield and were outnumbered by Pratley, Britton and Allen. Neither was able to track Pratley`s late runs into the box and Ledley let him go each time. On the right flank, Chris Burke was ineffective - particularly disappointing given his impressive season so far. He looked frustrated and isolated whilst he also failed to close down Bessone when the Swans full-back crossed for Pratley`s winner.
Dave Jones` proposed solution to get us back into the game was to haul of Capaldi (understandable) and replace him with Sol Taiwo (not a striker? - keeping the 4-4-2 formation then). Taiwo is an inexperienced central midfielder but instead played on the left even with Ledley perfectly able to switch. Unfortunately for Taiwo, his performance can only be described as pathetic. He lost possession, wasting the ball on numerous occasions while he failed to make even a single pass or header count. An awful substitute cameo.
From those players, its difficult to select a 'best` performer. I`ve hardly mentioned Gavin Rae, so for that reason perhaps he would get it. Chris Burke produced a sublime ball for Jay`s goal, but contributed little else. However, Joe Ledley gets the vote for a determined display even despite poor form. He made some good challenges and never stopped running.