Date:Friday April 6 2007
If Cardiff City had been floated on the stock market would recent events have investors instructing their brokers to buy, sell or hold?
In support of those inclined to buy or hold there is little doubt that Cardiff appear to have one of the more straightforward run-ins of the ten leading contenders. I don`t think I would swap our fixtures for anyone else`s.
Also the form of our defence gives cause for optimism, particularly in the centre where the makeshift partnership of Roger Johnson and Kevin McNaughton has been outstanding. Things will only improve on the return to the team of Darren Purse, bringing with him much needed leadership and motivation qualities. Purse`s arrival will cause a selection headache for Dave Jones: a sensible option might be to move McNaughton to his natural left back position moving Joe Ledley forward to cover for the injured Ricky Scimeca.
Although he had a quiet game against Sunderland, when his main duties were defensive, Peter Whittingham continues to impress on the left, scoring important goals and setting-up chances for others. Chopra aside, this was perhaps Dave Jones`s shrewdest signing of the season.
Those inclined to sell stock would site the continuing indifferent form with little time remaining to splutter into life. Steve Thompson seems increasingly ground-down by his inability to connect the banjo with the bovine backside. Stephen McPhail is a shadow of his imperious, early season self; resorting to crude challenges and committing schoolboy errors. It was his splitting of the defensive wall at the crucial moment that allowed the critical space for Sunderland`s winner.
Perhaps most worrying is that very few players are playing like they believe that they will reach the play-offs which is why the re-introduction of Purse is vital. I have little doubt that mental toughness will be a major factor over the last six games, as will luck.
Talking of which, my first match as a City fan took place at Ninian Park in September 1971. The opponents? - Sheffield Wednesday. Despite being played off the park for long periods Cardiff somehow managed to win 3-2. Making our own luck will be important in the weeks ahead.
Article submitted by VitalCardiff member Tim Edge.
Date:Friday April 6 2007
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