Date:Friday January 22 2010
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones has a reputation for sticking by his players and showing prolonged reluctance for squad rotation. This policy is even more obvious when it comes to his defenders - just ask Darren Purse.
Purse was the fall guy last season, and spent much of it frustrated on the bench. Roger Johnson was also confined to such a role after his move from Wycombe Wanderers until his form meant he simply couldnt be dropped.
This year it has been Hungarian Gabor Gyepes marginalised and confined to bench duty. Anthony Gerrard and Mark Hudson both joined the Bluebirds over the summer and immediately moved above Gyepes in Dave Jones' plans. As such, the Hudson/Gerrard combination has been first choice and started every game when available.
Mark Hudson was recently ill and was rested for the FA Cup third round win over Bristol City meaning that Gyepes got a rare start. Although the Wurzels were poor and outplayed by the Bluebirds - they do have good strikers in Maynard and the powerful Akinde. The Bluebirds defence and Gyepes in particular easily handled the threat and the Hungarian will hope to have another chance to stake his claim.
He was strong and committed in the tackle. In addition, Gyepes looked impressive, determined and despite not being the quickest, was comfortable with the ball on the ground as well in the air. In truth, the Gyepes/Gerrard partnership looked as safe as we've had all season.
There's something un-convincing about Hudson and Gerrard as a pair, we look fragile. Although the league position etc tells otherwise, fans will know that our defence is not what a promotion-chasing team would like. Hudson has looked much improved and a commanding presence of late, while Gerrard is strong, 100% committed and regularly covers the mistakes of others.
With Hudson back to 100%, and Gerrard available against Leicester City (but suspended for the Bristol game on Tuesday) - Dave Jones faces a difficult decision. Gyepes will feel he deserves a chance...but he shouldn't hold his breath.
Date:Friday January 22 2010
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