Latest from Bluebirds Banter
We are now just over 2 months into the 2011/12 season and something has been playing on my mind since the very beginning. The spine that runs through our side, which is so important to any successful team, is filled with players of a similar ilk.
At the back we have been playing with, for the majority of the season, Mark Hudson and Anthony Gerrard. Whilst these are two combative defenders, neither of them are blessed with a natural turn of pace.
This partnership was broken up, with Gerrard dropped to the bench, for reasons only known to Malky Mackay, and was patched up by the inclusion of new-boy Ben Turner.
As disturbing as it was to see Cardiff concede four goals at Peterborough again, it was great to see Stephen McPhail in a Cardiff shirt again, even if it was the foul new 3rd strip!
Along with Kevin McNaughton, McPhail is one of Cardiff's longest serving players, racking up nearly 200 appearances in his five years with the club. On the pitch, his spell has seen plenty of highs and a fair amount of lows, but they pale in comparison with the health problems he has encountered off it.
In November 2009, McPhail was diagnosed with stage one MALT lymphoma, which required radiotherapy, he also suffers with Sjogren's Syndrome and has suffered a series of setbacks as he has attempted to return to action. McPhail replaced Filip Kiss early in the second half on Tuesday and was instrumental in turning a 2-1 deficit in to a 3-2 lead, before the late collapse.
In recent years October has been Cardiff City's lucky month.
But this season Malky Mackay's Bluebirds seem to be suffering from a case of pre-Halloween jitters.
It is safe to say that Welsh Sport has seen better weekends, and better officials. Following on from the rugby team's controversial exit in New Zealand, Cardiff City had to settle for a point as they played out a 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Hours after the rugby ended for Wales in Auckland courtesy of an official blunder, the Bluebirds suffered the same fate against the Tractor Boys as City were the hope of many Welshmen to cheer up their sporting weekend.
It looked like ninth placed Cardiff were going to do just that when Rudy Gestede, who started instead of the injured Kenny Miller, slotted the ball home with a neat header. However, two goals either side of the interval put the Suffolk side ahead. The goals came from Cardiff villain Jason Scotland and one time hero Michael Chopra. However Cardiff deservedly got the equaliser when Peter Whittingham struck from the penalty spot.
Michael Chopra lines up against Cardiff on Saturday, the club where he made a name for himself and has spent the majority of his career thus far, scoring 58 goals in 142 appearances.
Both the club's record sale and record purchase, Chopra returns with his new manager full of praise for his new Geordie marksman. "We only paid a million pounds for him," claims Ipswich boss Paul Jewell. "I think Cardiff wanted to change things around a bit and maybe 'Chops' wanted a fresh challenge. All I know is that we got a terrific deal because I think he's the best striker in the division."
Chopra polarised opinion throughout his three spells with the club. His first spell was a huge success, signed for £500,000 from Newcastle, he scored 22 goals in 42 appearances. He developed a prosperous partnership with Steve Thompson and a great understanding with Stephen McPhail, signing a new contract with the club before moving to Sunderland for £5m at the end of the season.
In a week where all the talk in Wales is about the oval ball, Cardiff City Message Board (CCMB) owner Mike Morris has issued a rallying cry to Bluebirds fans.
In one of the posts of the week, in our opinion, under the headline "Amongst all the talk of Wales, lets not forget Cardiff City," Mike says:
"Injured players back for City, Chopra returning, we still owe Ipswich a tonking for spoiling our Ninian park farewell.
"Over 20,000 at CCS for the start of a run of weeks where we are playing twice a week, Carling Cup last 16, Saturday home games."
Click below to read the responses in the full thread.
Are you looking forward to Saturday? Have your say in the comments box below
Here's the inspiring story of Port Talbot based Cardiff City fan Paul Ferrell who lost 14 stone after struffling to fit through the Ninian Park turnstyles.
More than 700 Cardiff City and Swansea City fans turned up for Sunday's Mike Dye memorial football match between the two sets of rivals.
Here's how WalesOnline covered the story
And here is a selection of pictures from the match
Tweet me at @Roathboy
Anthony Gerrard and Mark Hudson are established as Malky Mackay's first choice centre back pairing, they've started every league game thus far and have both contributed a goal. There is also plenty of competition in this particular position with Gabor Gypes and Dekel Keinan available, plus Darcy Blake and Kevin McNaughton have both previously impressed in this role.
Clearly, Malky Mackay feels he can do better because he chose to part with £750,000 to sign Ben Turner from Coventry, despite more glaring weaknesses elsewhere in the squad. You don't spend that sort of money for back up players so clearly the intention is to bring him in to the side as soon as he regains match fitness. Having lined up in a couple of development fixtures, Turner is now available for selection, the question is who will he replace?
Mark Hudson or Anthony Gerrard: Who should make way for Ben Turner?
With thanks to Hoohaa Sports
Former Cardiff City player, Kevin Cooper, has been appointed to head the 1-Malaysia Cardiff City National Football Development Programme in Malaysia. Here he speaks about the objectives of this programme.