Crazy Formation Behind Cardiff City Win
Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay named a very aggressive line-up to face Watford last night with an attacking front four of Noone-Bellamy-Helguson-Smith supported by the lightweight midfield duo of Peter Whittingham and Don Cowie.
The move surprised many, with the tenacious Aron Gunnarsson left out and Jordon Mutch still yet to return and provide the height and calming presence in the engine room. Whittingham has matured into a truly gifted central midfielder, but there will always remain doubts over his role in a midfield two and he remains most effective when backed up by 'enforcers'.
The same could be said about Don Cowie. Tidy, efficient and a skilled passer, he will not win you games from the centre of the park and has played most of his career on the right flank - though clearly he is more at home when cutting in.
It seems certain that malky Mackay did his homework and judged Watford to be a technically gifted, but also lightweight side. I find it very unlikely he would have named the same starting XI i, for example, John Eustace had been available to run the Hornet's midfield. It did work, despite the closeness of the result, as City dominated proceedings start to finish.
The change was further backed up when Rudy Gestede was brought on for Ben Turner. A powerful striker for a centre-half - though that change was certainly guided by Watfords 2 dismissals leaving them with only 8 outfield players.
Whilst this skilled attacking line-up was ultimately successful - I doubt it will be utilised again when Burnley visit on Saturday when Aron Gunnarsson will surely be brought in to provide the steel to complement Whittingham and also compete with the more 'solid' Clarets midfielders like Dean Marney.