Date:Tuesday May 3 2011
Cardiff City capitulated in familiar fashion slumping to a shock 3-0 home defeat by energetic Middlesbrough. The visitors closed us down effectively and looked the brighter side. It was schoolboy defending that saw us 3-0 down in the first half, but tactically - Boro were better and we simply couldn`t deal with the movement and poise of Emnes and Lita.
City were understandably shellshocked, and did at least endeavour to find a way back into the game. However, too many players were simply not good enough: McPhail was anonymous, Bothroyd good in patches but ineffective otherwise while Kevin McNaughton`s impressive second half display was matched only be the poor first half showing as his inexperience/unsuitability at centre-half was all too evident. Keinan too was below-par but unfortunately for City - it was the problem left-back position that led to all three goals with JLloyd Smauel allowing opponents far too much time and space to run.
Paul Quinn deserves credit, though he too suffered from the occasional rush of blood (though the game was lost by then) and Darcy Blake was solid when brought on as left back - though by this time, Boro were content to sit deep and barely mustered a meaningful attack.
I think many Cardiff City fans would secretly have harboured the doubts about a mid-table side with no expectations/pressures and in decent form. Think Ipswich 2008/9 - also a 3-0 humiliation last home game of the season. However, it was the manner of the defeat, our heaviest at CCS, that was the most difficult to stomach. Yes we created some chances, but Boro were always comfortable and we seem always destined to be the nearly men. The play-offs await, and the Cardiff City supporters, like yesterday, will be out in force, and in good voice - Dave Jones is probably right that our expectations are sometimes too high, there`s no doubt whatsoever - everyone deserves better than that showing.
Date:Tuesday May 3 2011
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