'Stray Dog Earnie' Not Cardiff City's Answer
Cardiff City striker Robert Earnshaw will have been desperately disappointed with how this season has gone since returning to his boyhood and hometown club but spending almost the entire campaign in the stands or sometimes on the bench.
Earnshaw has wscored goals wherever he's been, and was offered a new deal by former club Nottingham Forest over the summer. However, he became the nominative replacement for Michael Chopra - whose £1m departure to Ipswich was decided prior to Mackay taking over.
After beginning the season as first choice striker alongside Kenny Miller, Earnshaw soon lost his place and is now firmly behind Miller, Gestede and Mason as the Bluebirds strikers. As if that weren't bad enough, we routinely begin the game with a lone striker - further restricting his opportunities.
Eanrshaw has conducted himself brilliantly this season, despite his obvious discontent. Unfortunately, the above factors have meant that, even now, having managed to get a few substitutes appearances of late - Earnie is not in a position to take advantage.
On Saturday, Earnshaw was brought on late in the game, when a goal would have been decisive and hugely important. However, that very fact means that we as a team were struggling. Passes went astray and there was a lack of cutting edge and ideas in attack.
As for Earnshaw himself, he was a shadow of his former self. Starved of possession (and attention), he certainly wanted the ball but when involved was so desperate to make an impact that he over-though, overacted and acheived nothing. A wasteful shot ballooned over the bar was indicative of his game. Like a stray dog, desperate for affection, to be involved and looking for a home.
I don't blame Earnshaw, who has seemingly only been recalled because we're playing poorly and are now desperate! As a player reknowned for scoring goals but not having too much else to his game, it's certainly not in his nature to come on for the last 10-15 minutes and remain patient for a chance that may or may not come. He wants to play, loves to score - but Earnie as a late substitute isn't what City need right now.
It's increasingly difficult to see where Cardiff City can find goals at the moment. However, relying on Robert Eanrshaw to score in the dying minutes, given his lack of gametime and the lack of width in our current system does not seem to be a winning formula.