No More Naylor Nightmares Please !
Cardiff City full-back Lee Naylor endured another torrid time on Tuesday night and was once again woefully under-par causing serious problems for his team-mates and the club.
Reading winger Jimmy Kebe joined the likes of Will Buckley (Watford) and Albert Adomah (Bristol City) in completely owning Naylor and carrying out a pre-match gameplan to perfection.
Yes Naylor is somewhat exposed by the inclusion of attack-minded Craig Bellamy on the left, while our inability to alter tactics/formation to prevent such obvious opposition strategies is also worrying - but those are side issues.
The fact of the matter is that Lee Naylor is completely out of form, and is severely lacking in confidence. Although and experienced campaigner - he needs to be taked out of the side, for his own sake as well as the team. He has had chances, many of them, and while he sometimes looks competent, determined and safe - at others he is a hapless, hopeless mess.
I hate criticising our own players, and its clear Naylor is trying hard. However, it is undeniable he is struggling badly and I also hope Naylor himself would be man enough to admit that.
During the first few minutes against Reading, Naylor had committed two needless fouls on Kebe, ending up on the floor on several occasions. Throughout the game, he was hesitant and completely unable to close down Kebe with the Reading man able to skip past with ease. How Naylor wasn't booked, I don't know.
The first goal came when Naylor was left in a heap, fro Kebe to tee up Leigertwood. The second came from a fast and incisive break-away, but once again it was Naylor who dived in, missed the ball, allowing Kebe space and time to pick out his man. Otehr should have closed down the move, but it was Naylor's man who again provided the goal.
The selection of Naylor was somewhat surprising with new signing Dekel Keinan left on the bench with emergency centre-half McNaughton continuing in the middle. Super Kev is the obvious choice to replace Naylor on the left, especially in light of the lack of signings in the transfer window - to the disappointment / amazement of many.
That now leaves Jones with a desperately difficult decision. Do you throw Keinan (if available) in against Swansea City. That would truly be a baptism of fire for his debut. If not, surely Gabor Gyepes or even Darcy Blake must start.
The thought of Scott Sinclair and Nathan Dyer targetting Naylor and Quinn is not a pleasant one. Brendan Rogers and the Swans will surely look to exploit our clear weakness, as other less gifted players have done, while Dave Jones must surely now move to shore up that source of goals. History suggest, probably not.