Cardiff City - Are Cardiff City Wasting Good Squad Options?
UK time is: 12:16:54
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Are Cardiff City Wasting Good Squad Options?

Cardiff City do have a relatively small squad, and have relied heavily on a select group of players to continue the play-off push, even after the gruelling exploits of the Carling Cup. It`s abundantly clear that Malky Mackay is not happy with the depth of squad available to him, and several players he inherited from the Dave Jones era have been largely sidelined.

However, despite the claims of a small squad, Cardiff City are able to put our two starting XI`s which would surely be very competitive in the Championship. Mackay`s favoured formation and line-up is as below:


McNaughton, Hudson, Turner, Taylor


Cowie, Gunnarsson, Whittingham



This is a narrow formation, with no natural width. With Kenny Miller up front on his own, we need the midfield to be creative, support him in the box and to get Joe Mason on the ball in dangerous areas. This gameplan has been excellent at times, but looked ineffective since the turn of the year.

The players left-out of that line-up, however, fit very nicely into a conventional 4-4-2 system and you`d have to wonder which would triumph over the other given current form, fitness and confidence.


Quinn, Gerrard, Blake, Naylor

Harris, Kiss, Ralls, Conway

Gestede, Earnshaw

The above 'second XI` has a very balanced feel to it, with natural players on the flanks in Harris and Conway. Winger Harris is pacy, unpredictable and raw while wideman Conway is a clever footballer and accurate crosser rather than a winger. Up-front is the little-and-large combination that has proved successful for decades. Crucially, every player knows their roles and responsibilities. The back four all have significant experience at this level, while Kiss, Ralls and Conway in midfield have all impressed at times this season before falling completely out of favour!

I think the above illustrates that Malky Mackay has become too reliant on individuals like Miller, Whittingham and Cowie. None of whom fit perfectly into our systems. Whitts is phenomenal on his day, most effective in a central area - but does he have the physique to play in a midfield two? Malky thinks not. Miller is a goalscorer, but not a target man and needs support. His form has suffered badly. Cowie has a fantastic engine, but does not offer enough in a central role, and does not appear comfortable on the right wing. Can we afford an 'extra man` in midfield?

Cardiff City fans will notice that on-loan midfielder Liam Lawrence did not make it into either XI. He is currently in favour, and did well against Millwall but he looks best on the right side of midfield - again not fitting in with our current system.

Malky Mackay has a clear idea of what he wants, and trusts his favoured personnel to deliver it. It does seem to me that we have alternative options, incredibly useful when form or confidence dips/fatigue hits, but have perhaps not utilised the squad to its maximum potential.

One thing noticeable with both formations is that neither looks at their strongest in the final third - presumably hence our recent lack of goals !

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Bluebirdshroom Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 3 2012

Time: 10:00AM


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Cardiff City Articles

Slade - Best Team Won (Monday November 23 2015)

Cardiff Announce Watt Deal (Monday November 23 2015)

Vital Report - Derby 2-0 Cardiff (Monday November 23 2015)

Video - Derby Highlights (a) (Sunday November 22 2015)

Stats: Derby County v Cardiff (Saturday November 21 2015)

Derby County v Cardiff - Team Line Ups (Saturday November 21 2015)

Ralls' Cardiff Future Secured (Saturday November 21 2015)

Slade Relishing Derby Test (Friday November 20 2015)

Vital Preview - Derby v Cardiff (Friday November 20 2015)

Archived Cardiff City Articles

List All Vital Cardiff Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

1. westonal 4

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
6. Birmingham 17 8 4 5 6 28
7. Reading 17 7 6 4 7 27
8. Sheff Wed 17 7 6 4 3 27
9. Cardiff 17 6 7 4 3 25
10. Ipswich 17 6 7 4 0 25
11. Brentford 17 7 3 7 -1 24
12. Fulham 17 5 6 6 1 21

Cardiff City Fixtures (view all)

Breaking League News

Manchester United Goalkeeper linked with Wolves
Wolves : 25/11/2015 10:23:01
RUFC - Reserve Game Change
Rotherham : 25/11/2015 08:58:00
RUFC - Ref Watch v Bristol City
Rotherham : 25/11/2015 08:47:01
The Gary Rowett Saga
Birmingham : 25/11/2015 08:25:01
LUFC On This Day - November 25th
Leeds Utd : 25/11/2015 07:06:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Derby MotM
Suggested By:  VitalCardiff
Marshall 50%
Peltier 50%
Morrison 0%
Connolly 0%
Malone 0%
Noone 0%
Dikgacoi 0%
Whittingham 0%
Ralls 0%
Jones 0%
Mason 0%
Sub:-Ameobi 0%
Sub:-O'Keefe 0%
Sub:-Kennedy 0%