May 2012 Archives

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With the talented Chris Wood up for grabs, Nicky Shorey, Joe Mattock plus Paul Scharner all released, West Brom's cast off's are sure to generate plenty of interest this summer.

Despite featuring 28 times for West Brom last season, Scharner failed to feature in 25 matches for 20 minutes or more, which would have activated a clause in his contract, entitling him to a 12-month extension. He has since announced his intention to seek pastures new and is certainly a player that Cardiff should pursue.


The versatile 32-year-old Austrian is a seasoned Premier League performer, joining Wigan in 2005 in a £2.5m deal from SK Brann, before moving to West Brom two years ago. He is keen to remain in Britain, despite interest from overseas, but may be reluctant to drop down a division, recently declaring his desire to remain in the Premier League.

Cardiff City 2011/2012 Season Review

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Five Positives

Joe Mason
A revelation. 29 starts, a further 16 appearances from the bench, 11 goals, 3 assists, an absolute steal for £250,000. A goal scorer in the Carling Cup Final, he received Cardiff's Young Player of the Year award and should have won the overall prize. Natural football intellect and positional awareness, he has become integral and provides a link between attack and midfield that is lacking in his absence.


Team Spirit
What Cardiff may have been lacking in individual talent, compared to the previous season with the likes of Jay Bothroyd, Craig Bellamy and Aaron Ramsey, they certainly subsidised with an infectious team spirit and togetherness. Team huddles, youthful exuberance, a lack of ego and never say die spirit are qualities that bode well for the future and made this season's side far more appealing.

Malky Mackay
A breath of fresh air. Where Dave Jones had become increasingly dour and prickly, Mackay has won over the fans with his enthusiasm and positivity, he would make a great politician. The right appointment at the right time and already awarded a new deal, the hope is that he will be able to replicate the transfer market prowess he demonstrated last summer.

Big Wins
Having struggled to beat the top sides in the division in Dave Jones' final season, it bodes well to see Malky's charges defeat Southampton, Blackburn and Birmingham at home, West Ham and Middlesbrough away, while beating Reading twice. With an extra year's experience, hopefully Cardiff can add a bit more consistency next year. Very encouraging.

The Carling Cup
They may have been fortunate to avoid anybody of note until the final, but reaching the final was a massive achievement. The performance they provided against Liverpool was astonishing and will never be forgotten. In dreadful form going in to the game, they rose to the challenge, took the lead, defended heroically and somehow found reserves of energy and courage to score a late equaliser to take the game to penalties. A glorious failure.

Five Negatives

No Width
Cardiff only really had Chris Burke as a winger by trade last season, so when he departed, wingers would surely be high on the agenda when Malky assessed the needs of the squad he inherited. Only Craig Conway arrived, Don Cowie, Joe Mason, Joe Ralls, Peter Whittingham and Aron Gunnarsson have all filled in but a lack of natural width and pace on the flanks made Cardiff one-paced and predictable at times. Kadeem Harris sounds an exciting prospect, having not yet played for the senior side, I cannot comment, but surely wingers will be brought in during the summer.

Losing leads
On 13 occasions in the league, Cardiff took the lead and failed to secure a victory, which cost them 31 points in total, a tally that would have see them automatically promoted with a 16 point cushion at the top of the table. I'm sure the rest of the top six will have also dropped a fair amount of points too, but Cardiff are league leaders regarding this particular statistic. Naivety coupled with a lack of rotation and fatigue are likely to be responsible, if Malky is able to address this problem, Cardiff will be a far more formidable proposition next season.

A lack of Earnshaw and Gestede
Injury has restricted Gestede to only nine starts, where he has scored on three occasions, with a further 21 appearances from the bench. With a lack of options up front, his availability would have taken some of the burden away from Kenny Miller and provided a tall, physical outlet that has been sorely lacking at times. Earnshaw made 13 starts, plus 15 cameo showings, with all five of his goals scored in the first few weeks of the season. He may have lost some of his explosive pace, which has in turn highlighted some of his inadequacies, but he should have played a bigger part and a pairing with Gestede may have been prosperous.

The January Transfer Window
With West Ham and Southampton adding to their squad from a position of strength, Cardiff identified three main targets and missed out on all of them. Relatively paltry bids for Brighton's Craig Noone and Blackpool's Matt Phillips were dismissed, as were belatedly increased offers. A bizarre £3m deadline day move for Watford's Marvin Sordell also proved unsuccessful, with an apparent lack of alternatives, only Kadeem Harris was acquired and Cardiff began to struggle. An opportunity missed.

Andrew Taylor

I seem to be on my own on this one, but I think Andrew Taylor is distinctly average. He may be pretty solid and consistent, but I was expecting far more from a former England Under-21 international. One-paced, positionally suspect, uncomfortable in possession and quick to blame others for his own failings and mistakes. The new Tony Capaldi, I feel that competition at left back is required.

In all the madness last week we forgot to announce YOUR 2012 player of the season.
We have been taking your votes for the last few weeks of the campaign and by some margin you voted for young starlet Joe Mason as Cardiff City's player of the season.
His goal against Liverpool launched him into worldwide acclaim but it was really his dynamic attacking performances as the Bluebirds surged towards the play-offs that won the hearts of Cardiff City fans.
So congrats to Joe Mason, the Bluebirds Banter 2012 Cardiff City player of the season.

RED shirts, red seats and red dragons - no thanks.
If you are a Cardiff City fan, you will bleed blue and white and will always be a Bluebird.
I'm a proud Welshman but seem comfortable with my fix of red shirts and red dragons from following my country.
Furthermore, as somebody completely dismissive of superstition, I can't see any justification for ripping up more than 100 years of history purely because the Malaysian owners believe red to be a more dynamic and prosperous colour than blue.

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Gareth Rogers

Gareth Rogers

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Age: 29

From: Bedwas

Twitter: @bluebirdsbanter

Favourite game: Beating Manchester City 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round in 1994

Lee Jefferies

Lee Jefferies

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Age: 27

From: Dinas Powys

Twitter: @LePeJe

Favourite game: It's a toss up between the Play-off final of 2003 against QPR in the Millennium Stadium and the home tie against Swansea in 2010

Jack Carter

Jack Carter

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Age: 19

From: Gloucestershire

Twitter: @jackccfc39

Favourite game: 2-1 win over the Jacks at the CCS

Nathan Walker

Nathan Walker

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Age: 17

From: Merthyr

Twitter: @nathaanwalkerr

Favourite game: Doncaster 1 - 3 Cardiff last season

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson

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Age: 32

From: Cardiff

Twitter: @roathboy

Favourite game: Leeds United 0-4 Cardiff City

Jonathan Lee

Jonathan Lee

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Age: 22

From: Porthcawl

Twitter: @RCSaintsJon

Favourite game: The 3-1 win over Burnley towards the end of the 08/09 season


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