Cardiff (Home): A Tale Of Two Cities
Cardiff City have played two home matches so far this season and they were strikingly similar affairs.
Both Stoke City and Coventry City came with a gameplan. Frustrate Cardiff, deny them time, space and quality possession and they'll fold. Tony Pulis and Iain Dowie continued the findings of Championship managers last season and got their 3 points as a reward.
Cardiff used MacLean/Feeney against Stoke, and MacLean/Parry against Coventry. Neither of these is a big combination but for long periods in both games we were guilty of lumping the ball forward - a waste of possession for a side like City.
Our problems arrive when we go behind, the whole game changes - and we just cannot force the game and dominate in midfield. Its an all-too-familiar story and a frustrating one, given how plain it is to see, and how long it has been the same.
Between those two games, we dominated the opening stages, go behind around the half hour mark - against the run of play. From there, we huff and puff, and largely fail to break down the opposition. Even then, in both games we have been granted a lst gasp penalty, both opf which we've missed !!
Its almost unbelievable, and it needs sorting fast. Other teams know what we're about, thats OK, but we just have to get better at what we do, otherwise there's no point.
At this early stage, it looks like we're making up the numbers this year. There have been some encouraging signs and a good run would change everything. Home form, though, is hugely important - and we have no points and its the horrible familiarity of the defeats that makes it even more difficult to take.