Cardiff: Hasselbaink Failing To Fire
Cardiff City striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has undoubtedly been the veteran close season signing with the biggest impact on the side.
However, that is unsuprising given the amount of time spent on the sidelines by Trevor Sinclair (knee) and Robbie Fowler (hip). Hasselbaink has remained injury-free, despite being the oldest of the three at 35 years old.
However, Hasselbaink's recent form has been a cause for concern amongst the Cardiff faithful and there are lingering doubts over his fitness and impact. The recent game against Plymouth Argyle was a prime example. When in possession, Hasselbaink looked strong and dangerous. The problem being that those occasions were far too few and far between.
JFH simply couldn't get on the ball and mobility is a real issue for the Cardiff City striker severely restricting his impression on the game. There was no pace, and the normally faultless first touch was heavy and possession was lost.
There's little happening in the air for Hasselbaink and while the brain is still funticioning sharply, the physique is not quite there to back it up. Hasselbaink is a proven goalscorer in the Premiership but has strugggled to find his scoring touch at this level.
His last goal against Colchester United was a great team effort, well finished off but Jimmy also missed another sitter in that game. That one goal is a solitary goal in the last 13 league appearances for Hasselbaink, thats 4 for the season and Steve Thompson may be wondering why he got so much stick last year for a similar scoring record.
Hasselbaink has been rested on occasions lately, and was an unused substitute for the 3-1 FA Cup win over Chasetown. That means a full 10 days break for the veteran ahead of the weekend clash with Sheffield Wednesday. He must come back sharper and more involved if he is to keep Thompson on the bench while a less patient manager than Jones would have dropped both Hasselbaink and MacLean for recent ineffectual displays.
Hopefully a rest is all it takes and we will see a newly refreshed Hasselbaink back to his menacing best. The team has been winning even with an out-of-sorts Jimmy but we need to see that spark of ingenuity and hopefully a goal or two.