Cardiff City are regarded by many as having a talented bunch of players. That has been the case for several seasons, but we have always fallen short with tiredness, fatigue and a small squad blamed for our failure.
This season is somewhat different, with this week proving that following the arrivals of Jon Parkin, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (and 1-2 more in the pipeline) – we have the ability to pick from a number of players.
Key individuals have been rested in both games against Stoke with the Bluebirds gaining two creditable draws without the likes of Olofinjana, Bothroyd and Bellamy, none of whom featured for a single minute!
In fact, Cardiff City could name a very impressive starting XI from those not picked to start in Tuesday`s replay. I remember writing articles like this before, but in previous years the ‘second` XI has always been padded out with the likes of Luigi Glombard, Darren Dennehy or Toni Koskela. The quality and depth to our squad nowadays is simply excellent:
Team A – Started against Stoke
Blake, Hudson, Gyepes, Naylor
Burke, Rae, McPhail, Drinkwater,
Team B – Rested against Stoke
Quinn, Riggott, McNaughton, Matthews
Whittingham, Olofinjana, Wildig, Bellamy
A difficult match up, but certainly the attacking threat of Team B, with Bellamy, Bothroyd and Chopra (our three best strikers?) all included and with the creativity of Whittingham to provide chances. The formation does include the injured Chris Riggott and McNaughton at centre-back – though the versatile defender has been playing well there of late and is ahead of Gabor Gyepes.
The only other possible weakness is the inclusion of youngster Aaron Wildig in midfield – but he came on to decent effect against Stoke and has always looked capable of contributing when he`s played.
Fans will also note that we also have new signing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, and the out-of-form Jason Koumas who could also feature.
Essentially, all the above does is to highlight the fantastic resources available to Dave Jones. Both of the above starting XIs are capable of doing well against any Championship opposition and that can only mean that we should be able to put out a fantastic matchday squad. Jones certainly has options to rotate, and cannot blame fatigue come the end of the season if we are un-successful.