Date:Tuesday December 12 2006
With Cardiff City currently hitting a rough patch in results and form, the question of the small squad and its ability to cover certain positions has been raised. Most recently the fullback and central midfield positions have been crucially lacking leading to the inclusion of 17 year old inexperienced fullback Chris Gunter and veteran Sheffield Utd loan player Alan Wright, while Joe Ledley is being played out of position in the centre of midfield.
While much has been made of Cardiff's lack of squad depth - they have 2 players out on loan in Chris Barker and Jeff Whitley who are both at top half Championship clubs.
Chris Barker is an experienced left-back who was Cardiff's player of the season at this level not so long ago. Known as Mr Consistent he has never let Cardiff down and is reliable and solid at left back. OK hs doesnt quite fit with Cardiff's tactic of attacking fullbacks to support the midfield but when at full fitness Barker does give you an overlapping option and recently won a penalty for Colchester after a 50 yard run. At one point, Kevin McNaughton was the only fullback on our books with any Championship experience.
Jeff Whitley is a Dave Jones signing and a tenascious midfield general. His distribution is good although unlucky to provide the final ball but his defensive work is excellent as he breaks up opponents play and regains possession for his side. Whitley is not in the Stoke side at the moment but would surely have been a decent option in McPhail's abscence where, although similar in style to Scimeca his cover would allow the wingers and fullbacks to push forward even more.
There is no doubt that either of these players would have been in the Cardiff side of late, if they were not out on loan which begs the question why? If the moves were forced upon Dave Jones due to money constraints then so be it, the money issues have eased slightly with the imminent takeover of CCFC, and Cardiff expect to sign at least 1 or 2 new faces in the New Year.
If Barker and Whitley return, it will be like signing two new players, both capable of stepping into the 1st team - something we desperately need.
Date:Tuesday December 12 2006
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