A Pathetic Lack Of Leadership At Cardiff City
Cardiff City wasted an excellent opportunity to collect points yesterday and produced a pathetic second half performance to gift Ipswich Town 2 goals and the win.
A noticable caveat to the game was the body language shown by the players in defeat. Several of the players looked in shock, I really don't know why because it was evident that at least one Ipswich goal was coming, and the lack of player reaction to that only heightened the fans frustration and a second looked possible if not likely.
Jay Bothroyd is a usual exponent of body language, his languid style often lends himself to criticism but while he wvisibly tired and became frustrated in the second half - who could blame him? He needs knee surgery and has been playing through pain, so to have long hopeful balls punted towards you, and be repeatedly clattered by defenders coming onto the ball - cannot be a welcome experience. Jay loves to play football, with impressive skill and technique - he barely had a chance.
Another whosing his frustration was falling hero Joe Ledley, whose personal impact was negligible. His flailing arms and mini tantrum when no-one ran for him was indicative of his recent poor form. At that point, he had space to run into but instead looked to pass, and ended up turning and finding Kennedy .....again.
The worst moments of the match were predictably when Ipswich scored. The first had been coming, and was directly linked to a Gavin Rae mistake. He knew this and had his head in his hands, others looked skywards...I looked at Hudson. Nothing. Not a peep from our supposed captain and natural born leader. Gyepes has never been vocal, there was no leadership from midfield and the strikers cut lonely, forlorn figures isolated from the rest. When we cried out for someone to get stuck in, lift the team, even give Gavin Rae a consoling pat - we got nothing.
Because of that, nothing changed. There was nothing to fight for and Ipswich were understandably buoyed. It's noticable that there was little from the Cardiff bench to match the tactical changes and substitutions of Ipswich and Roy Keane. The ITFC substitute keeper was louder that our team all afternoon, while Walters and Delaney were committed and led by example.
Going 2-1 down should have been a disaster, shock and kick up the behind - the Cardiff City boys turned and trudged back to positions without a word and I was forced to think about Roger Johnson - currently helping Birmingham City to lofty heights in the Premiership. He was never made CCFC captain, but he sure as hell cared and would not have stood for the rubbish we saw yesterday. Someone to lead, shout, encourage....even Anthony Gerrard gives us something of that - but he was on the bench.
Perhaps it's Hudson's personal poor form that saw him quiet and distant from his team, perhaps its signs of a creaking dressing room balance but either way it's unacceptable. Cardiff City fans have always demanded committment and determination - sometimes even above quality. Jason Perry, Jeff Eckhardt, Andy Legg, Scott Young..... the pride and passion was not on show at Cardiff City Stadium - the only noise being the disgruntled bemusement of the fans, which turned to boos - the one man left standing in the middle? 17 year old Adam Matthews.