Date:Wednesday November 16 2011
Cardiff City have a relatively small squad, but have a hard-working and high quality core of players supported by some capable fringe players who are either experienced or promising youngsters. Those players, e.g. Lee Naylor and Rudy Gestede have stepped in to good effect at times when injury or fatigue has kept others out.
However, Malky (like his predecessor Dave Jones) also favours a consistent line-up with his preferred back four of Taylor, McNaughton, Hudson and Turner always selected whenever fit. Turner has replaced the unfortunate Anthony Gerrard who faces a frustrating wait to try and win his place back.
Between Hudson, Turner and Gerrard - we have a strong defensive unit from which to select the two starting centre-backs. Additionally, Darcy Blake can count himself extremely unlucky not to get a chance when he certainly would have done at other clubs. This competition, and Blake`s versatility has meant he hasn`t had an opportunity to become established. His performances in that role for Wales has been extremely impressive and he is a perfectly acceptable option at Championship level.
If Blake is unfortunate, then the forgotten duo of Gabor Gyepes and Dekel Keinan will be aghast to find themselves 5th and 6th choice centre-halves at a Championship club. Both have played consistently in the starting line-up at this level with the Bluebirds when we have been challenging at the top of the table, and now know there is absolutely no chance of them getting a game. Even with a defensive injury crisis, both would probably only hope for a place on the bench!
Gyepes fell out badly with Dave Jones last season, and confirmed he would not play under him again. The Hungarian International must have thought he`d been given a Cardiff City lifeline when Jones was sacked and Mackay appointed. However, despite the apparent strength in this position - Mackay saw fit to spend a hefty chunk of his transfer kitty on Ben Turner - who has settled well.
Surely both players will be looking to leave the club in the near future, and even if neither commanded a significant fee, their departure would free up valuable space on the wagebill to bring in a winger or striker, either on loan or a low value transfer. Alternatives in either position is surely preferable to having 6 centre-backs, and for the sake of their careers, Israeli Keinan and Hungarian Gyepes will surely look to move on. Both could play at this level or lower, but meeting their current wages is likely to be a problem for any interested clubs.
I like both players, and think they could do a job in the Championship. Each has their weaknesses but on form, both are quality defenders. Keinan especially looked a very strong and competent defender, capable of distributing well from the back. Unfortunately, it seems to serve no-ones purposes for them to remain turning up for training every day but spending matchdays in the stands.
Date:Wednesday November 16 2011
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