Cardiff City Squad Review (11/12): Joe Mason
A brief look at the individual contributions of all the major Cardiff City players over the course of the 2011/12 season. The 'rating` as given is not purely based on performance but more the impact that player had compared to what we could realistically have expected at the start of the year and given their own standards and reputation.
20 - Joe Mason
ould Joe Mason be the compensation to Cardiff City fans for the dubious dealings and financial instability that typified Peter Ridsdale`s final year of involvement with Cardiff City? For sure, Ridsdale`s apparent tendency to prefer short term cash rather than long term value has worked out well for the Bluebirds in Mason`s case as touted the young Irish striker to City in a bid to secure the short term future of his next club Plymouth Argyle.
Mason arrived as a promising young player, looking to develop and hopefully force his way into the CCFC matchday squad. What transpired was that we had signed a young player with tremendous potential and a superb attitude and appetite for the game. One early subs appearance against Bristol City saw him terrorise our rivals, popping up all over the park and causing real problems. After continuing to make an impression, he won a first team place and made it impossible for Mackay to leave him out!
By the end of the season, Mason had excelled on both flanks, as a lone and second striker and in an advanced midfield position - which appears his most likely role going forward. He took his goal tally to double figures, ending the season as by far our most potent attacking threat and the manner in which he took the opening goal in front of a packed Wembley stadium showed a technical skill and maturity far beyond his years. Mason was the only real ball carrier for much of last season, and with the introduction of more width - he should see his opportunities to find space much improved. A very encouraging first season.
Season`s Rating: 8.5/10