Mackay Inherits Severely Un-balanced Cardiff City
New Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay is under no illusions as to the massive squad re-building task that awaits him, but as a former defender himself - he will slightly bemused that a vast proportion of the players still with Cardiff City are defenders and most played their part in a shaky defensive line last season.
Former captain Mark Hudson is entering his third season with the club and is vastly experienced. He showed some excellent form at times last season, while Dekel Keinan arrived from Blackpool to provide a steady presence - only to lose confidence and form at the season`s end. Anthony Gerrard looked to be on his way out after falling out of favour with Dave Jones and spending all of last season on loan with Hull City - he won their player-of-the-year award. Mackay will surely want to speak with Gerrard about his future, and may see him as an important player.
Gabor Gyepes is another player who would certainly have left if Dave Jones had remained after the two publically fell out. Gyepes has looked bereft of confidence of late, but was given no support by his former manager and has looked a decent Championship player in the past. Further competition is provided by young Darcy Blake, who has never made any one position his own but produced his best performances at centre-back during a prolonged run in the first team in the 2009/10 season.
Full-back has been a persistent concern for the Bluebirds, save for the ever dependable Kevin McNaughton - able to play on either side, or in the middle at times. Any arriving Championship manager would be delighted to see McNaughton within his inherited squad. Paul Quinn improved dramatically last season and established himself as first choice right-back - his no nonsense style may be supported by fellow tough Scot Mackay.
Promising youngster Adam Matthews has departed to join Celtic after being frozen out by Jones, a disappointment for the majority of Cardiff fans, though few will lose any sleep about the departure of Bolton Wanderers loanee Jlloyd Samuel - who was little better than a liability. Lee Naylor completes the set and is a difficult dilemma. He has pedigree, but was woeful at times last season - including the away game at Watford.
I`m sure Malky Mackay would dearly love to bring in some of his own defensive targets, however his priorites for now will have to be strengthening the severely depleted midfield and attacking departments whilst trying to offload a defender or two - if anyone will have them !!!