Cardiff City are unbeaten in four matches and will look to continue the current good form on Saturday when Hull City visit CCS, with the Bluebirds are currently level on points with QPR at the summit of the Championship. Key to the impressive start has been the switch in formation overseen by Dave Jones and allowing the likes of Craig Bellamy, Michael Chopra and Chris Burke the opportunity and freedom to roam and link up with the in-form Jay Bothroyd at the pinnacle of the attacking formation.
Another important feature has been the form and freedom of Peter Whittingham. Whitts caught the eye last season in a left wing role courtesy of a prolific goalscoring record – he netted over 20. He is yet to score this season, but has instead adapted a new role in the team in a more central position, coming short to receive possession and linking superbly with both wingers and Bothroyd. He is allowed this freedom due to the presence of three central midfielders, allowing him space and time. The contributions of the bulky Olofinjana all obvious, his breaking up of opposition play and skilful yet simple distribution have been an evident feature of our play.
However, the other contributor in the centre of the park deserves a great deal of praise and recognition also with Manchester United loan player Danny Drinkwater adapting to the Championship with some style. His energy and commitment have been extremely impressive and the ground he covers has allowed Olofinjana the chance to ‘sit` in front of the back-four, and Whittingham the freedom to roam. His work-rate has been exceptional, and after struggling slightly with his positioning at first, he has now found an excellent balance with Whitts and Oli to provide the platform for our attacks.
Drinkwater`s fellow midfielder Stephen McPhail is now returned to action, but has already indicated he does not deserve a place in the starting XI – due to the form of Whitts, Oli and ‘Drinkie`. Speaking specifically of the youngster, McPhail told the SW Echo:
“Danny Drinkwater has come in and underlined what a good young player he is. Danny trains his heart out in every training session.”
At the moment, the balance in the Cardiff City starting XI is right, and it has been many a year since the midfield has been described as fully functional (McPhail & Scimeca 5 seasons ago?). We have strength and experience in Olofinjana, class and creativity in Whittingham while Drinkwater contributes the youthful running, closing and linking that makes the current team work. We also have strength in depth with McPhail, Keogh and Koumas looking to force their way into contention.
Tickets are extremely limited for Saturday`s clash with Hull City, recently relegated from the Premiership – don`t miss out !!!
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