Date:Tuesday September 28 2010
Cardiff City are currently doing well in the Championship and are the closest challengers to runaway leaders QPR at this early stage. Key to the good form so far has been a new fluid system allowing our classy creative players like Peter Whittingham, Jay Bothroyd and Chris Burke the freedom and license to roam.
The new system also employs three central midfielders, including an 'anchor` to protect the back four. Seyi Olofinjana has excelled in this role, while Darcy Blake and Gavin Rae have both covered in his absence. That has given us better stability in midfield, and our attacking threat speaks for itself.
However, the Bluebirds still have a tendency to be bullied and the Championship statistics reveal a huge discrepancy setting Cardiff City well away from other teams in the division. The football league statistics reveal Cardiff City to have made the fewest fouls so far this season with a paltry 65 fouls from 8 games - that`s less than a foul every 10 minutes. It`s maybe no surprise we are less dirty than others, we rely more on Whittingham, McPhail, Burke etc than some of the more 'old school` outfits.
A look at our rivals back this up with Swansea City renowned for playing attractive stylish football and without any 'brutes` - the Jacks have the next 'cleanest` record with 73 fouls, Scunthorpe United and QPR also faring well with 75.
At the other end of the scale are Leeds United - a massive 118 fouls, 15 per game or a foul every 6 minutes. Essentially, if you were to watch Leeds vs Leeds - there would be a stoppage for an infringement every three minutes, not including offsides, goal-kicks and throw-ins - there`d barely be any football ! Burnley aren`t far behind with 111 fouls.
Leeds and Burnley also lead the yellow card table with 17 and 20 bookings respectively making the Bluebirds tally of 5 (also the lowest) look minute by comparison. We are one of 11 sides yet to receive a red card, and one of 7 yet to concede a penalty.
In short, Cardiff City are the cleanest side in the league in terms of fouls committed and yellow cards received. We are also joint bottom of the penalty and red card tables.
At present, Cardiff City are doing well and lie second in the table. However, we also need to be able to mix it up if required. Relying too much on our high tempo, crisp passing style has caused problems in the past, especially as the weather turns and pitches become heavier. It also seems likely that our foul rate will go through the roof once our 'niggly` players like Chopra and Bellamy return!
Date:Tuesday September 28 2010
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