Cardiff City Squad Review (11/12): Stephen McPhail
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.
37 - Stephen McPhail
here is a lot of love around Cardiff City for the Irish midfielder who last season underwent treatment for a malt lymphoma and who has struggled with the difficult Sjogren`s syndrome. A recurrence of the illness denied McPhail a pre-season and his fitness was badly knocked - limiting his impact over the first half of the season. However, once fit and with a sensible management and selection policy to look after his health - McPhail became a valuable player once again and acquitted himself well.
McPhail brought a balance and calm assuredness to the Bluebirds whenever he was available to feature and his presence in front of the back four had multiples positives not least a controlled tempo, precise passing and a free advanced role for Peter Whittingham. Though he rarely forayed further than the centre circle, there is a creative benefit to including McPhail and while he will never be a goal threat - the shape and style benefits meant we looked much more threatening.
A full pre-season is a must for the experienced McPhail. Mackay has praised his professionalism on countless occasion and clearly still sees a role for the veteran who is also the official vice-captain. Based on last seasons performances, a fully fit McPhail remains a big asset in the Championship.
Season`s Rating: 6.5/10