The root of Cardiff City’s problems this season was an under-performing midfield unit with Dave Jones also having to shoulder some of the blame for a) Neglecting the balance of our central 4 and b) Not finding a way to integrate a better formation.
The defence was rock solid at times and Bothroyd, McCormack and Chopra did brilliantly to net so many times with such inconsistent service. The midfield needs a complete overhaul and that means player exits – the only time we looked right was when Wayne Routledge offered pace and trickery on the right – he created space for other players and we went on a great run.
Paul Parry, Stephen McPhail and Peter Whittingham are the main culprits. ledley was dependable if not spectacular while Gavin Rae did his job – he’s never going to be the silky skills man, beating players or scoring 10 a season – but we knew what we’d get and he worked hard and never hid.
Chris Burke looked lively towards the end of the season, despite having few chances. He will need to improve, and deliver a better end product but the signs were encouraging – hopefully a full pre-season will see him at full pelt next term.
Ledley is almost certainly on his way – and there is little dissent from Cardiff City supporters. It’s his time to move on. However, two of Whitts, Parry and McPhail must also go – all three woefully underperformed this season and could have run their course in a Bluebirds shirt. Parry of the three enjoyed a good patch at least, mid season when deployed on the left he caused problems before fading horribly and contributing next to nothing later in the season. Whittingham played a number of times, but can you remember them? McPhail is a long term target of the fans, but can have no complaints – he was withdrawn, negative and played nothing like the creative influence he is purported to be.
Unfortunately, those three players are well known and liked by Dave Jones. All three are talented left-footers who probably are Championship level players – they weren’t last season and things need to change. This will be a test of Dave Jones’ mettle – is he man enough to ship out the dead wood and bring in fresh ideas? Time will tell.
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