Naylor: A New Breed Of Cardiff City Full-Back ?
Carrdiff City signalled the end of a mini-era when allowing Mark Kennedy and Tony Capaldi to leave the club over the summer. The two left backs clocked up a combined 153 appearances for the Bluebirds in recent years, and, along with the versatile Kevin McNaughton occupied the left back berth for many seasons.
Lee Naylor came in, and was immediately installed ass first choice left back by Dave Jones. He has been by no means impeccable thus far, and remains shaky in defence but there`s no doubting he offers more in attack than Capaldi or Kennedy ever did - despite both having played in midfield earlier in their careers. Naylor has a dangerous whipped cross in his repertoire while he has also popped up with 2 goals already in his fledgling Bluebirds career.
His opener against Leicester City was certainly a fluke, and intended to be a cross as it sailed over Weale and into the corner from fully 40 yards. However, there was no criticising last nights effort as he lashed a 20 yarder in with his right foot leaving Schmeichel stranded. Indeed, the two goals in 12 appearances looks even more impressive when you consider the contributions of previous full-backs for the Bluebirds:
Mark Kennedy: 0 from 76
Tony Capaldi: 0 from 77
Chris Barker: 0 from 180 (some in central defence)
Kerrea Gilbert: 0 from 26
Chris Gunter: 0 from 31
Kevin McNaughton has netted 2for the Bluebirds in his 160 plus appearances, but one was a fluke effort he didn`t celebrate, followed by a good strike against lower League opposition (Hereford Utd in the FA Cup). Rhys Weston also netted 2 for the Bluebirds (200+ appearances), but in the pre-Championship era. Other full-backs with limited appearances include Alan Wright (0), James Chambers (0), Darcy Blake (0) and Adam Matthews (1) - a 50 yard floated free-kick!
It has certainly been a very long time since the Bluebirds possessed a full-back capable of contributing 5 goals over the season. That is even more useful since we have no-one in the mould of Roger Johnson or Scott Young who could always be relied on to chip in from central defence. It would be superb if Lee Naylor could step up and contribute goals over the season, and certainly help negate any defensive worries over his performances - with the second best defensive record in the league, and mistakes by other defenders, he can hardly be terrible defensively!
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