Cardiff City Attack: Form Concern or Expectation?
Whilst Cardiff City as a whole have enjoyed a good season so far, and that season is built on a dangerous attacking line-up and the goals they have scored - it is apparent that we are not fulfilling our potential, and of the four strikers within our squad, only one can claim to have shown good and consistent form:
1) Jay Bothroyd
Fifteen goals speaks for itself, and an England cap thrown in for good measure. This season has surely eclipsed even Bothroyd's dreams and he has built on his key role of recent seasons, to add a ruthless touch in front of goal. His contribution is worthy of a 9/10.
2) Michael Chopra
Started well, but was badly injured in an awful (unpunished) challenge by Doncaster's Wayne Thomas. Since his return, Chopra appears short on pace and confidence, and has been named on the bench in recent weeks. Certainly, a great deal more to come 6/10.
3) Craig Bellamy
3 goals from 11 appearances is no bad return, especially given he has operated mainly from midfield. Bellamy is understandably marked tightly by opponents, and it has been diffficult to provide quality possession. He has looked dangerous, and created space and chances for others - but he is disappointed by his own high standards, and has been poor in front of goal on occasions (Swansea / Preston). 6/10
4) Andy Keogh
Keogh has been given the impossible task of deputising for Jay Bothroyd, which is a thankless task and one he has neither the physique nor style to match. Keogh is a link player, and would love to play with Bothroyd, but has been utilised mostly as a bit part player, or from the bench. He has netted crucial headed late goals against Millwall and Preston and worked hard - but his overall contribution is lacking until he finds a defined role in the team. 5/10
Of the others, Burke has been inconsistent this term, and while he remains a real danger - he does not look to have the cutting edge in front of goal at the moment. Whittingham too has lost that knack, courtesy of a change in his role. Now, Whitts looks to drop deep and dictate the play, rather than coming in late from the left. Nevertheless, he is performing a crucial role for the team. Olofinjana's form has declined after a strong start, the big Nigerian is a threat at set-pieces, netting a couple already and providing the knock-down for Keogh's late leveller against Preston. Koumas has been woeful, and is yet to produce a meaningful contribution over any preiod of a match.
With so few players reaching their potential, fans will be frustrated and somewhat disappointed. This is of course assuaged with the good league standing, but concerns remain as to whether we can maintain this position on the back of current team and individual form.
Alternatively, you may argue that all teams have blips, while the likes of Chopra, Bellamy, Koumas and Keogh are all short on fitness and first team action.
Cardiff City have scored goals for fun despite poor form, what will happen when things start to click and these quality players produce their best.....?!?