Has Neil Warnock judged his Cardiff City squad correctly?


One of the first things Neil Warnock said when he took over at Cardiff City was that when he comes into any club, he takes a look at the players available to him and then decides on the way of playing which best suits them.

Now, I think it could be said that if I were to ask anyone who was old enough to have followed his managerial career throughout it’s close to 1,500 matches to describe what they would call a typical Neil Warnock side, the answers I’d get would be pretty similar, but leaving that aside for now, what did yesterday’s 1-0 loss at Cardiff City Stadium to a managerless Wigan team, that still find themselves in the bottom three, tell you about how he judged the Cardiff squad he inherited?

Before attempting to answer that question, I will say that we gave the sort of committed and hard working display that we’d seen in Warnock’s three previous matches in charge and we managed to put our opponents under more pressure than we’d grown used to seeing in home games under Paul Trollope.

As a result of that pressure, there was a season’s best nineteen best goal attempts by City, but the fact that only four of them were on target tells it’s own story about a weakness which, I would say, has been apparent at the club  since the end of the Dave Jones era.

Yes, this fifth loss at our home ground with the season less than a third over was different from the other four because we made our opponents work harder than the quartet of previous victors had to do for their three points. However, in many ways, the similarities between all five of them are very concerning and tend to tell a story which suggests that getting clear of the relegation battle under Neil Warnock’s management may not be as straightforward as many thought it would.

There was a definite pattern to how we lost four home matches under Paul Trollope’s management and, although there was always a bit more hope that a goal might be coming for us yesterday, in the end what happened was suggestive that, despite the changes for the good that the appointment of Warnock has brought, fundamental problems that will continue to hold us back remain.

Yesterday, just as against QPR, Reading, Leeds and Derby, we had the better of a goalless first half in which our opponents had rarely offered a goal threat, but we were unable to carry that “dominance” into the second half. Just as previously, the visitors found it easier to cope in the second period as what momentum we had faded and they were able to capitalise on the fact that we are incapable of keeping a clean sheet these days at home (or away for that matter!) by scoring the vital first goal, which three of them added to with a late second.

A captain in all but name - besides doing the Iceland style mopping up job as well as he has done in the previous three matches, Aron Gunnarsson also came up with the best shot hit by a City player and a contender for pass of the match from central midfield.*

A captain in all but name – besides doing the Iceland style mopping up job as well as he has done in the previous three matches, Aron Gunnarsson also came up with the best shot hit by a City player and a contender for pass of the match from central midfield.*

All five matches have seen us unable to score and, for me, the most damaging thing about yesterday’s loss is that any thought that we had left the dark days of Trollope’s time behind us forever were banished because, despite a better level of performance from us, the outcome was exactly the same, with the same shortcomings at either end of the pitch, and through the middle of it for that matter, being exposed.

Eight home games have seen not one clean sheet kept, while, at the other end, we have only scored a paltry five goals – that’s a recipe for disaster, which is magnified when you look into the nature of the goals we have managed more closely.

To start with, we had those two own goals by the same player that handed us our first win. Besides that, we’ve managed a penalty (gained from, arguably, the most incisive bit of attacking play seen from us in a home match so far this season, but still needing a very tight offside decision to go in our favour), a trademark Peter Whittingham free kick and a scrambled goal from a corner.

That tells you so much about Cardiff City in 2016/17 – no home goals from a striker and no home goals created in open play in 720 minutes of football!

As I said, problems at either end of the pitch and also, a sobering confirmation of what many have said for some time – we lack the creativity, technique and coolness to create goals from open play.

There have been two passages of play that have unfolded right in front of where I sit at the corner of the Ninian and Canton Stands in our last two home matches, where, first, Sheffield Wednesday and then Wigan have employed short, high tempo and clever passing in a confined space to open up a congested left side of our defence – Wigan were unable to take advantage of the man free in our penalty area this created, but Wednesday could and so headed back home with a point for their efforts.

The reason I highlight those two passages of play is, first, to say that I’ve not seen anything from us in a home game this season to indicate that we are capable of playing with that sort of skill and coordination and, second, to question whether we would even if we could?

I ask that because it brings me back to my original question about how Neil Warnock rated the squad at his new club.

If we accept the manager on his word that he bases his approach to playing the game on the abilities and weaknesses of the players at his disposal (a point of view I wholeheartedly agree with by the way), then it seems to me that his opinion of the ones he found at Cardiff was not that high.

How else can you explain the switch from the, generally completely ineffective and cautious, passing style employed under Trollope to the approach that sees us look to play it long and aerially from the back all of the time.

The days of goalkeepers rolling the ball to defenders to play out from the back have, seemingly, gone forever under Warnock’s management. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because the evidence accumulated throughout Paul Trollope’s time at the club as coach and then, to all intents and purposes, manager was that we were not very good at these attempts to play the game in the “right” manner.

Combine that with what I said about the nature of the goals we’ve scored at home this season and you have what amounts to some sort of justification for what is an unashamed long ball game that City are playing under the current manager.

As someone who will go to to his death bed wanting his team to play an attractive, passing game based on pace, skill and clever off the ball movement, I cannot really blame Neil Warnock for assessing the City squad in the way he has done – that is one that is, apparently, wholly unsuited to playing in such a manner.

Another thing Warnock said when he took over was that he wanted to play an attacking brand of football. Now, I believe that, just as with his recent claim that we are the number one side in Wales, was just a bit of old blarney from a manager who was saying things he knew the fans wanted to hear.

What has been clear from the first minute of the Bristol City game to me was that Warnock and his coaching staff have made shoring things up at the back their first priority and, despite our chronic inability to get a nil against our opponent’s name, four goals conceded in four games says that this has been a partial success.

However, what is true is that Warnock’s Cardiff teams have always included two wingers who are usually prepared to get chalk on their boots and, although they’ve both been expected to do their bit defensively, I always view that as a fundamentally attacking move.

So, I think the desire is to have at least three men in forward areas when we attack, but it still doesn’t alter the fact that whenever we get one of those wingers into a good crossing position in open play, there only ever seems to be one target for them to aim at!

It doesn’t have to be a winger, occasionally it can be a full back, the target man or even, as happened once with Joe Ralls yesterday, a central midfield player, but there only ever seems to be that one colleague waiting to receive the cross along with something like three defenders.

Yes, we can go on about a lack of quality on the final ball, but it’s uncanny how when you look at other teams who get one of their players into a similar position, he usually has more than one potential target to aim for.

Where the opposite winger disappears to in such situations is something of a mystery to me, but when you have a central midfield three of Aron Gunnarsson, Ralls and Whittingham you have a trio for whom bombing into penalty areas to make a third man running does not come naturally.

Therefore, if Neil Warnock is of the opinion that these three can do the best job overall for him in the middle of the park, then the option of a percentage based, long ball game where even Sean Morrison is taking long throws in his own half to try to gain dead ball attacking situations where he can come forward with Sol Bamba to pose an aerial threat, becomes a viable one.

I’ll not argue too strongly against the approach Warnock is using because we need points and, up until yesterday anyway, it was proving successful, but, being the true fickle fan that I am, I would say that playing this way when we lose is pretty depressing.

I do wonder though about sticking to the same approach when your first choice targetman is out through injury. It seems to me that having Anthony Pilkington as the player who will be looked for when the ball is being launched by Ben Amos, one of the back four or thrown down the line by Morrison is not utilising his talents in the best way.

I’ll talk a bit about the influence the officials had on the game shortly because I believe that was a factor in the dual between Pilks and the Wigan centrebacks, but, generally speaking, I think Burn and Buxton at the back for our opponents would have been worried when they heard who our front player would be, but then delighted when they realised he was going to be utilised by us in exactly the same way Rickie Lambert would have been if he had been fit.

We didn’t play much football that could be termed attractive last season, but around February and March we played good, and more importantly, effective football by using Pilks as a lone striker. The difference compared to yesterday was that back then we looked to exploit his cleverness and  excellent movement off the ball by having an in form Lex Immers operating behind him – the stand out example of this was the 4-1 win over Brighton which was only really rivaled for the title of best performance of the season by the win at Wolves in January where the personnel may have been different, but the method of using a clever and mobile lone striker (in this case Joe Mason) was the same.

With Wigan playing so deep for much of the time, could we have sacrificed one of the central midfield three and used someone who is more at home in advanced areas like Immers to give Pilks a bit of help?

City thought they had got themselves a bargain when Joe Bennett joined on a free from Villa and four games into his career with us, there are a few signs that they might have been right.*

City thought they had got themselves a bargain when Joe Bennett joined on a free from Villa and four games into his career with us, there are a few signs emerging that they might have been right.*

Of course, it’s easy to say this with hindsight, but I believe we could have done. Better still, if we were always going to adopt such an aerial approach then play Marouane Chamakh from the start with Pilks operating as a number ten just behind him. While Neil Warnock’s post match explanation for the substitutions he made sounded logical, the non use of Chamakh from the bench seems odd to me and what cannot be denied is that Wigan came into the game more after the first two of the three changes he made.

Stuart O’Keefe for a Whitts whose influence on the game, while never that great in the first place, was in decline and Kadeem Harris for Junior Hoilett seemed okay at the time, but they just did not work. Neither made much impression, but in Harris’ case this had more to do with a midfield fade out that played it’s part in ensuring it was about fifteen minutes before he got a meaningful touch of the ball – when he did, he sent in the best cross of the game from a City player which was wastefully headed over by Pilkington.

I can’t help thinking that different tactics and substitutions might have seen a different outcome, but, given those stats about how hard we find it to be create things at home this season, I’m probably just indulging in wishful thinking.

However, something that could have helped us considerably was a better set of officials.

I thought Oliver Langford was a poor ref. The BBC’s stats show that he awarded thirty one free kicks for fouls in the match and yet there were no yellow cards issued . I’m with Langford in that I didn’t see anything that warranted a caution in the ninety minutes, but, with that in mind, doesn’t the fact that he was blowing his whistle so often to stop the game indicate that he was being too fussy?

I believe it was four times in the opening ten minutes that he saw fit to penalise Pilks and this gave an indication of so much of what was to come in terms of the way he and his linesman went about their jobs. I paid particular attention to the attacking dead ball situations City had in the second half and, in every one of them, a Wigan defender had a hold of the shirt of the City player challenging for the ball.

Now, there were times when there were fouls being committed by City players in these situations and, invariably, they were spotted and penalised, but, there were always fouls being committed by defenders that the linseman on the Ninian Stand in particular could see that were ignored – in that respect, Langford and his colleagues were completely inconsistent in their application of the rules.

There were some good performances from City players – Joe Bennett improves with each game and was a little unlucky with a fierce late shot from twenty yards that was blocked close to the line by Stephen Warnock, and despite a typical centreback’s effort from what was a decent chance to equalise, Sol Bamba continues to impress.

However, City man of the match for me was Aron Gunnarsson who seems to be a man transformed under Warnock’s management – he may not have been able to avoid that midfield fade out around the seventy minute mark I mentioned earlier. but, before that, he was head and shoulders our best player and definitely didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

*pictures courtesy of http://www.walesonline.co.uk/










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16 Responses to Has Neil Warnock judged his Cardiff City squad correctly?

  1. Lindsay says:

    A very detailed analysis as usual but it could be summed up in a few sentences. We played parks football. Kick, rush and hope. No shortage of effort but a complete absence of guile and imagination. Bruising defenders, identikit midfielders. Strikers? What strikers?

  2. Colin Phillips says:

    “I’ll not argue too strongly against the approach Warnock is using because we need points and, up until yesterday anyway, it was proving successful, but, being the true fickle fan that I am, I would say that playing this way when we lose is pretty depressing.”

    Although probably understated they were my feelings exactly.

    I went from a position of how many were we going to get against a Wigan defence who were desperately poor, to, if Wigan go away from here with anything then we were in trouble and then they take all three.

    The loud bang at the end of the game was the Warnock bubble bursting!

    I think the thoughts before the game were that we should overcome Wigan comfortably but Cardiff have for as long as I can remember (mid-fifties) have had the unhappy knack of shooting themselves in the foot and that certainly happened yesterday.

    I agree the officiating was poor but that shouldn’t have been a factor for a “resurgent Cardiff”. I can’t put my finger on any reason for us subsiding into defeat. Agreed the finishing was poor but I was more concerned by the way we conceded mid-field again in the second half. Is it a fitness thing? Perhaps the warm-up which looked more energetic than usual and the running around cones before each half was too much for some of ours!

    So assuming a miracle doesn’t happen up in the North-East next week we are likely to be down among the dead men again. On yesterday’s evidence we may have a hell of a job getting out of there.

    Thanks for the report, Paul, excellent as ever but sadly hasn’t broken up the cloud of depression hanging over me.

  3. Barry Cole says:

    That was a well grounded report Paul and although I agree with most of your points there are a couple of areas that we can try and meet half way.
    Firstly when I saw the team I had this major problem in my head which said and where are the goals going to come from. As much as I like pilkington he is not a centre forward and he should not be put in that position without some back up. Maybe I read it wrong but I thought that chamahk would have been the ideal starter with pilkington on the wing and coming inside with the ball on the opposite wing and the same going for holiett.
    One thing you are correct in is the lack of fire power we haven’t had since the Dave jones era and that is something we need to get right. I am sure Warnock has seen this and the need for a creative midfielder.
    The two substitutions of whittingham and holiest had me bemused as I don’t think that Harris and o keefe would have been my choices . It was much the same and didn’t improve onn what we already had. In fact it was just about the same.
    This was followed by another questionable substitution with immers who is so out of touch from his early days.
    Maybe Warnock wanted someone to stand out and say this is my chance to claim my place but all three failed miserably.
    I can only think that Richardson was carrying an injury and maybe chamahk is still not up to speed but those two would have been my options to change the game.
    That said we were far better than Wigan in most areas and on another day we may have won one nil. There is a lot to do and we have been brought down to earth but I am confident that not only will warnock get it right I still believe we will get to the play offs.
    Without making rash statements I believe we will go to Newcastle and get a result be it a draw or win, I would never have thought that during the last 2 1/2 years.
    Roll on next Saturday and the bluebirds putting one over the tackems for my mates in Sunderland

  4. Anthony O'Brien says:

    For some inexplicable reason in recent weeks I have been following certain debates on various American news channels, including CNN and Fox News. The claim of Fox News in particular is to be fair and balanced, but the same could surely be said of Paul’s blogs and the comments of the other contributors.

    Concerns about players having to perform in what is manifestly not their best position, a general lack of speed and skill, creative failures and inability to score goals, and so on, have been a regular theme. We all know it and accordingly I’m somewhat surprised that Mr Warnock and his staff continued along the same route yesterday. Among several issues, including the team selection and the choice and timing of substitutes, I should like to ask why the ball was continually thumped high into the air by our goalkeeper in a failed attempt to find the head of Anthony Pilkington? To his eternal credit Pilkington gamely stuck to his impossible task, but why was he given it in the first place? If it was worth late on pushing forward Bamba and subsequently Morrison as leaders of the attack, why wasn’t it worth doing something similar early on and putting a genuine striker or a player with physical attributes alongside Pilkington to go some way towards making more even an unequal physical contest? In a brilliant phrase Colin Phillips talks about the loud bang at the end which was Mr Warnock’s bubble bursting. It also announced our reality check.

    I accept Paul’s remark that we fans are fickle, but equally there are obvious flaws in the Cardiff team which could have been addressed yesterday and which might have improved the result. Let us pray that a miracle really does happen next Saturday!

  5. Russell says:

    Thanks Paul your points are on the button , especially the decesion by NW to play to the teams current abilities ,rather than shoe horning players into tactics they cannot deliver, as per the Trollope experiment.

    I had yesterday’s game down as a draw , their keeper (who was top notch )and centre half almost delivered that result ,however they grew with confidence from their stout defending and a vey helpful referee (perhaps he’s a northern soul fan , me I’d like to have thrown him off Wigan Pier and not rushed to savevhus wet soul , he was a disgrace to his trade )

    Totally agree with your point about us not having any decent forwards with any real flair /threat since the DJ years.

    Pilks is way off being a threat or worry for any component championship defender ,where we find a consistent threat is a major worry, you are correct, our midfielders are not penalty box threats, perhaps Whitt’s more forward is the only class striker of a ball we have from outside the penalty area, so why not exploit that will more often ?

    I think this season will see us limping on just above of the relegation zone ,unless we can unearth some attacking gems from within NW’s phone book of contacts .

  6. Stephen Fairhurst says:

    At the point when Kadeem Harris had the chance to shoot and delayed and I think passed it on was when it was confirmed that we needed a proper forward on even a slightly under the weather Chamakh. Even that 10 mins at the end would have helped the cause. Don’t put someone on the bench if they can’t play. Forwards are selfish greedy so and so’s whose main care in a game is getting their name on the scoresheet and shoot first and look for better opportunities next. But that was what we needed. I was also not happy with on a possible cross everyone went to the back post. Would spreading the players make it harder for the opposition to defend, there would be someone there should the cross not quite come off. My only thought is that the extra players form a barrier around one who gets the header. My dislike of Noone playing on the right and moving the ball to his left was in evidence again in the match and the predictability of him being tackled and losing the ball happened many times. Opinion in our stand was that Wigan hadn’t done much but I had seen half chances for them. A underhit shot and danger on their right wing almost getting in. I felt Wigan would sneak one rather than us and when the goal came I thought we had maybe put too many players upfront as the defence looked sparse as the cross and tap-in happened. This especially as we are not blessed with speedy players to catch up in a breakaway or should I be pleased that we were, at least, going for the win. I am down that we were beaten by a team alongside of us but hopeful with Richardson and Chamakh who both should have been brought on, gradually getting fitter that similar games will not go the same way.

  7. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thanks for the replies, which, I must admit, surprised me a little because the positivity I experienced from people coming out of the ground at full time had me thinking that my downbeat assessment of what I’d just watched was overly negative. I’m not sure if Lindsay was at the game, but his use of the term “parks football” struck a chord with me.
    To me, Neil Warnock has done three things really since he came to Cardiff;-
    1. Sign four new players.
    2. Use his widely acknowledged motivational powers to try to give the players more confidence, while also trying to raise morale levels.
    3. Changed the team’s playing philosophy to one which, he believes, best suits them.
    With regard to point one, Leeds fans tell of Sol Bamba looking a world beater for his first five matches with them before slipping into a rut of mediocrity which came to be the norm from him, so I feel that info needs to be stored somewhere as something that we may come back to later, but, for now, he looks a great signing who has improved the team. Junior Hoilett has done okay so far and I would say that he represents a slight improvement on what we had with the expectation that there is more to come from him as he gets back up to match speed so to speak. I was impressed by Keiran Richardson’s cameo at Forest and surprised that he didn’t feature on Saturday, while I was less taken than some were by Marouane Chamakh in his half an hour or so against Sheffield Wednesday and feel that, reported illness in the days before the match notwithstanding, his non use on Saturday when Rickie Lambert was out injured tells it’s own story – perhaps both players should be given a chance to get some match fitness in tonight’s Development team game with Palace at Cardiff City Stadium?
    I’d say the subject of point two is the one where the Warnock factor has been felt most because there is undoubtedly an improved attitude among the players these days, while as far as point three goes, it’s tougher to analyse the part it has played in us picking up seven points from the first four matches under his management.
    However, I feel that the impact point two can have becomes less and less as time goes by and results and performances settle back down after the “new manager bounce”, which most teams experience after a change at the top, fades. Therefore, points one and three tend to grow in importance and, regarding the latter, I’m more of a glass half empty than glass half full merchant.
    I covered my concerns that our manager has opted for us to play in such a basic manner in my piece, because I see it as something of an indictment of the players he inherited, but, more than that, I firmly believe that we are playing at a level where you need to offer a bit more than basic, long ball stuff and a reliance on set pieces to make much progress. We’ve done okay by being so direct up to now, but I’d argue that this was more down to point two than than point three because, when you take out the up and at them spirit Warnock has done much to create, there was barely anything in the way of craft and skill to worry Wigan on Saturday.
    Neil Warnock has got a very difficult job I believe and I can understand why he’d want us to play in a certain way given the precarious position we find ourselves in. Perhaps the four new players (as well as some older ones getting some confidence back), will see us eventually being able to offer more going forward that we did on Saturday (or in the vast majority of our matches so far this season) because, to borrow from Lindsay again, if we are still playing “Kick, rush and hope” going into the last three months of the campaign, I think we are either going to be in the bottom three or very close to it.
    I accept that this is seen as an over negative assessment by a majority of our fanbase. For example, Barry has us getting something at St James’ Park on Saturday – I wish I could share his optimism, but, while we are a bit more effective from set pieces under Warnock than we were under Trollope, I still struggle to see where the goals are going to come from with this squad.

  8. Lindsay Davies says:

    I really appreciate Paul’s report and the MAYA reactions, as I’m afraid I’m not competent to judge the match – I saw only the few moments on that awful Channel 5 programme (which makes Manish Bhasin look like Orson Welles).
    The thoughtfulness and careful analysis of every MAYA contributor are really impressive, given that that was about as dispiriting a result as could be imagined.
    We have to keep hoping that Warnock can still work some magic, and exploit the promise that was beginning to emerge.
    P.S. This is going to sound very odd, but that other ‘Lindsay’ wasn’t me -I don’t think I was even awake at 9.06am! Although, I may have echoed his/her sentiments.

  9. Adrian Lloyd Pickrell says:

    I am very grateful for this Report as I followed the game via smart phone over two different “Live Ticker” sources. One source, from City themselves, had us dominating and being very unlucky, the other source (neutral) had Wigan on top.
    I suppose it’s a problem not unlike listening to the international news on both North and South Korean Radio stations. So thanks Paul for putting it into persepctive.
    I myself was not too confident about the game. As I realised City could put a comfortable few points between Wigan and ourselves by winning I began to get worried. City are not very good at making things comfortable. If the “Cardiff Way” was binned recently then the “Comfortable Way” was binned years ago. Anyway the reports I heard were united in one aspect…. City’s strikers always seem to be rather surprised when they suddenly find themselves in front of the net with a massive chance to score. I know it’s easier said than done, but shouldn’t they spend the entire game expecting the unexpected? Out on patrol in the army we expected an ambush every day… for days and days nothing happened but when the ambush did come..we were ready for it. Maybe City need a “Strikers Boot Camp”.

  10. Dai Woosnam says:

    Paul…I am indebted to you as always.
    Some wonderfully wise contributions too. And Orson Welles making an appearance…just makes my day.
    Welles has become a greater hero than ever for me now. Why, I wonder? Maybe because he has taken a lasting place in my affections, only now that I have become morbidly obese too.
    But Neil Warnock is hardly obese (“chunky”, at most). So why does he remain in my pantheon of heroes…?
    Well, perhaps it is because unlike all of my MAYA comrades, I really am not overly bothered by results. And so it was that Colin’s indeed memorable bang image worked a different way on me.
    There was no Warnock bubble to burst for me. I well knew the “warts and all” aspect of his C.V.
    I well knew that Warnock teams can lose matches they are expected to win.
    And I still thank heaven for him.
    For us having at last a manager who took in the Charles Hughes POMO football philosophy with his mother’s milk.
    A man who believes we can cause more problems to the opposition if we get the ball in THEIR penalty area, rather than have it in our one.

    Let the BALL do the work and save all the lung-bursting runs. It can often cut out five or six of the opposition with just on single pass. (Vital info is that, for any City manager to remember. Why? Well, because our players are too unfit physically and technically to work the ball in boring and often lateral movements from one end of the field to the other.)
    Praise God for our new boss …and let’s now give the ball some welly.
    And while we are at it, give the captaincy to the Icelandic warrior. Morrison has never persuaded me that he is a Championship quality DEFENDER, let alone a captain. Put him up front. Always play two up front, and fine the blighters if they come back behind their own 18 yard line.
    Easy-peasy eh? Maybe this armchair general role is why I have put on the old avoirdupois. Perhaps I should get out more…
    …but I’ve torn my anorak.

  11. Dai Woosnam says:

    ONE single pass.

  12. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Nicely put about the “Comfortable Way” Adrian – must say that I do have some sympathy for our strikers in home games because it must be hard to keep your concentration and anticipation at 100% when you know that, unless our opponents do the job for us, we only score when it’s a free kick, a penalty or a corner!
    Dai, that great man Tony Blair (do I really need to say I’m being sarcastic there?) used to talk about the “third way” and that’s what I subscribe to when applied to any long ball/short pass debate concerning Cardiff City. Too much of what we did on Saturday was “kick, rush and hope” stuff aimed at a forward who is not a targetman, but I accept that, based on what we have seen this season, it appears that a direct approach has a better chance of working for us than the one favoured by Paul Trollope. In saying that, the same fundamental problem applies – whether we are knocking it long or trying to build from the back, our targetman invariably ends up being isolated.
    What I saw on Saturday put me in mind of that awful two or three months during 2014/15 I often mention on here where we just wellied it up the pitch to try and gain attacking dead ball situations. That represented the worst of Russell Slade, just as the way too careful passing game where fear of being counter attacked stopped any chance of us doing any concerted attacking ourselves represented the worst of the Paul Trollope approach. However, when those two worked together, we ended up with something that was hardly great entertainment or spectacularly successful, but it did offer far more than the two extremes either man produced when left to their own devices.
    Surely it’s best to have a way of playing whereby our opponents have to plan for two, or more, approaches rather just stick slavishly to the one? As I say, we appear to be better suited to a long ball game currently, but it’s possible to play in such a way with a bit of method and thought – after a half an hour or so where we did alright and even actually threatened once or twice from open play, I didn’t see much evidence of that on Saturday.
    Anyway, I echo Dai’s thanks to Lindsay for his mention of Orson Welles. what an absolutely fascinating character, he’s a hero of mine as well Dai – rightly hailed as a genius as a teenager and young man, yet a has been at an age when he should have been at his peak in his chosen profession, is Wayne Rooney football’s Orson Welles I wonder?

  13. Colin Phillips says:

    In answer to your last question, Paul.

    Yes in stature, no in genius.

    Agree with Mr. Woosnam (Dai, to his friends) our Icelandic Warrior should be captain. I had doubts about his ability to command a first-team place before Warnock arrived. But it seems our new manager can pull “Gunners” strings to great effect. Seems a different player to those that played for Slade and Trollope.

  14. Dai Woosnam says:

    I won’t call you Mr Phillips.
    I shall be presumptuous enough to call you Colin.
    And you are so right about our Icelandic warrior and Neil being a marriage made in heaven.
    And what’s more, the guy captains his country to great effect, and even saw off what they regard as “mighty England” …being captain on the greatest day in Iceland’s football history.
    It is a “no brainer” that he should lead Cardiff City.

  15. Colin Phillips says:

    Fair enough, Dai!

  16. Dai Woosnam says:

    Thanks, Colin. You are a gent.
    Paul, a favour please.
    Any chance of using the message board to help form a ginger group to impress upon Neil and Sir Vincent the vital need to make our Viking* god our team captain?
    Sean need not be disappointed: we will reward him by making him our new centre forward.

    * Yes, I know…the word “Viking” for an Icelandic person is pushing it slightly, since although the Norsemen first settled the island, they peopled it with loads of Irish and Scottish slaves. So there is a lot of Celtic and Pictish blood there in nearly all their veins.

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