McCormack Exit Heralds New Cardiff City Era?
Cardiff City today completed a deal that saw striker Ross McCormack depart to join Leeds United. The deal sees a clinical goalscorer, who previously netted over 20 Championship goals playing in a mid-table side, depart Cardiff City for a club expected to finish the season below us in the final table.
I cannot remember another player of Ross McCormack`s calibre leaving to such willing acceptance from the Bluebirds fans. He is a Scottish International and has just turned 24, suggesting he will indeed get better and go on to find his best footballing form elsewhere. We have been fortunate over the past decade to have witnessed some truly impressive talent at Ninian Park and the CCS. The likes of Earnshaw, Gabbidon, Collins, Roger Johnson and Graham Kavanagh have all been a delight to watch. Loan players like Koumas, Gary O`Neil and now Craig Bellamy have been inspirational while some raw but phenomenal potential has been shown by the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Cameron Jerome.
When each of the aforementioned players was sold on, mostly so as we could safely negotiate the forthcoming season in terms of finances, it was amidst obvious fans disquiet. The vast majority understood our situation but were obviously reluctant and disheartened to see key players depart the club. Consequently, we have been unable to build on solid foundations, and have always fallen short of our promotion aims. It wasn`t a lack of ambition that saw us sell those players, but is was disappointing - if Roger Johnson had stayed just one more season…..?!?
That McCormack is leaving to barely a whimper of dissent is a mark of how far we`ve come. There remain those who will always be sad to see 20+ per season strikers leave, the fact remains most agree with the decision, despite the reportedly low £500k pricetag.
The situation is partly due to McCormack`s stagnation at the club, and the lack of opportunities leading to a dip in fitness, form and confidence. Nevertheless, those are all knock-on effects resulting from the quality and strength-in-depth available this season. In Bothroyd and Chopra, we have an excellent front pairing while Craig Bellamy clearly has a major role to play this season. If Jones opts to continue utilising his fluid 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 system then that brings the likes of Chris Burke, Jason Koumas and Peter Whittingham into the mix. Add to that the new recruit Andy Keogh and it`s abundantly clear that McCormack wouldn`t get a look-in, despite his own pedigree and versatility.
For once we are selling a player in his prime, because we want to and because it serves our purpose at this time. We are not being bullied by Premiership clubs seeking cut price deal (Ramsey for £5m is a bargain!). There is a noticeable buzz around Cardiff City Football Club at the moment, and both the footballing side and off-field side of the business have made truly remarkable progress over the past month.
Chairman, Chief Executive, manager, local media and fans all appear in agreement over the decision to let a very talented player go - how many times have Cardiff City fans seen that situation in the last decade?!?