Date:Thursday October 14 2010
Cardiff City appear to have gotten over the disappointment of Wembley and after securing a number of promising signings over the summer, we have started the season reasonably well, despite a lack of cohesion and failure to reach our best form. However, the Bluebirds look to have omitted the single most important signing and one that 4 in 5 fans would have highlighted as the number one priority: adequate cover for Jay Bothroyd.
The likes of Feeney, Magennis, Etuhu and Andy Keogh have been unable to fill the considerable void left by any injury/suspension to Bothroyd. This fact seriously dented our Wembley hopes, and we were clueless and doomed to fail from the moment Bothroyd suffered his injury.
Bothroyd continues to highlight his importance to the team, and has started the season in fine form, including adding a goalscoring touch to his all round game - the former Wolves man has 5 league goals (+2 in the cup) and leads the scoring charts for us. He was absent for games against Leicester City and Hull City - we missed him badly in both games. Keogh is a willing runner, but is nowhere near qualified to perform the 'Bothroyd` role of targetman, cultured link man and creative outlet all rolled into one. We simply look very ordinary, and Bothroyd remains the one player we can`t seem to do without.
While Jay (mercifully) remains largely free of injuries, we need to take care of him. He has struggled with knee problems in the past, and played a number of games last season having had painkilling injections. A further worry is that Bothroyd will undoubtedly miss games through suspension. He is no favourite of referees and while he wins a great number of free-kicks, he also concedes many.
In the last two games, Bothroyd has collected two needless yellow cards. His frustration got the better of him against Crystal Palace and he was lucky not to see red after seemingly squaring up to the referee. He was cautioned for dissent, rather than the foul he was penalised for. Further to that, he was booking in the dying moments (4 and a half minutes into injury time) for needlessly pulling back Jacob Butterfield of Barnsley. The final whistle went 10 seconds later. Those two bookings took his seasons tally to three after a caution on the opening day (1-1 with Sheff Utd at home) and only three players in the Championship have a worse disciplinary record. Those are Diego Arismendi of Barnsley, Alan Dunne and Steve Morison (both of Millwall). That leaves Jay just 2 bookings away from an initial ban, and a long long way to go in the season.
Chopra is only returning from injury, while Bellamy looks set to miss a number of games to avoid aggravating his own knee problems. Andy Keogh has been disappointing so fan, but appears not to be an out-and-out striker so Bothroyd`s importance to the team seems as great as ever. Hopefully, he can continue his excellent form whilst remaining injury free and keeping his feisty temperament in check.
Date:Thursday October 14 2010
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