Vital Cardiff City reviews the season on a player by player basis. Today it’s the turn of winger Peter Whittingham …
Whitts is at the same time the most impressive and frustrating player to watch. He can be dazzling with moments of genius and prodigious skill but these moments are relatively few and far between and at other times he wanders mundanely round the pitch unable to get involved.
Inconsistency is the worry although it doesn`t help that the former Aston Villa man has been played out of position. Much of his gametime has come on the right side of midfield, only occasionally on his favoured left and even up-front in times of emergency. He has adapted to the new role and can have a huge impact cutting in and shooting left-footed. There have been some spectacular goals, most memorably the first in the FA Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough after he bamboozled several defenders before curling a delightful effort into the corner with his weaker foot. Whitts was inspirational in the entire cup run, scoring against Chasetown, Wolves and ‘Boro.
Whitts is often most effective when the team is performing, he finds spaces and has the creativity and skill to take advantage. However, when we are under pressure he is less likely to get involved and he has little impact. There have been times where he looks dis-interested but he assured fans that was not the case. Nevertheless, it is frustrating that such a gifted player cannot perform more consistently and offer more to the team. Defensively he is not brilliant but he is given more license to attack by the presence of McNaughton behind, he has certainly improved his tracking back and must look to contribute more in that area.
Whitts is a very good player, and we have seen some great moments from him this season. Enough to convince others clubs, most notably Nottingham Forest, to bid upwards of £1m for the winger. There is more to come, and if he can improve in a few key areas, he will be a real handful for Championship defences.
Season rating 6.5