Lack Of Pace Worries Cardiff City
Cardiff City's new look squad got a run-out last night when Celtic arrived at CCS and left with a 1-0 win. The result was less important than the performance and opportunity to see how the new players fit in.
City were OK, there were certainly some positives. However, we created very little throughout the 90 minutes save for one Jon Parkin effort after he beat the offside trap to meet Whittingham's excellent through-ball. You wouldn't base a gameplan around Parkin getting behind an opposition defence!
As well as a cutting edge in the final third, City were clearly lacking in creativity - though that will come as the players get to know each other better. More worrying, however, was the distinct lack of pace throughout the squad.
Parkin is the architypal 'big man', a powerful presence in attack and a focal point. Joe Mason played alongside 'the Beast' and was energetic at times though had little service. There were few incisive runs, or opportunities to take on defenders, who by and large were able to keep a rigid back 4 under little pressure.
Two new signings played on the flanks for the Bluebirds, but Andrew Taylor and Don Cowie were barely involved. Certainly, neither was a creative outlet and made few contributions in attack. I saw no pace or trickery on show from either, and while that will improve with time - neither appears to be the Chris Burke or Wayne Routledge style winger that has caused real problems for oppositions.
Clearly, several important players were missing for City last night. Robert Eanrshaw if our course a pacy player, always making runs and trying to get behind defenders. Craig Conway too is a more traditional winger than Taylor/Cowie (who are more wide midfielders), though he is not labelled as a speed merchant.
Malky Mackay apparently wants another 6 players in, with attacking midfielders and strikers a priority. Hopefully, within those new recruits will be some players with genuine pace, a key attribute at Championship level.