Date:Monday September 13 2010
Second opinions are always good right? Well here's one from another Cardiff fan ahead of Tuesday night's tussle at the Walkers...
1. Five matches, 13 points and an unbeaten start. It's going well...
It is going well, and I'm still feeling like we haven't been properly tested. Saying that, it's so difficult to decide who is going to be strong and who isn't so early on in this league. It's obvious that we're one of the stronger teams in the division, and yet impossible to know where we will finish.
2. After the disappointment of narrowly missing out on promotion last season, will you do it this time around?
I sure hope so. I'm not a fan who is desperate for promotion season after season. Usually if I can go and watch us play, and play well, I'm happy.
This season is a little different, we're got the best squad I've ever seen us have at our disposal, it is most likely the best we've ever had in our history. The strength here is countered by the instability financially where everyone thinks we should pay them something.
The Malaysians arrived despite us not being promoted and have done absolute wonders, putting loads of money into the club despite owning a rumoured 30% (from memory) of us. It just feels like we need to repay them by putting ourselves into the elite 20.
3. Is there the feeling of now or never given the quality of your current side?
The likes of Koumas, Olofinjana, Drinkwater, Bellamy and Keogh are only here for the season, and I'd really love all of them to sign permanently (Keogh to a less extent as he's fairly new).
Koumas is a Cardiff legend already after his loan here a few years ago. Unfortunately for him, he's sat in the reserves in the Premier League since, and has lost a bit of his previous sharpness. He's shown glimpses of his previous form, and I'm hopefuly that he'll find it again.
Olofinjana is the midfielder we have been begging for since forever. We have always lacked a powerhouse who can just tear the ball from the feet of the opposition. He's an amazing presence.
Drinkwater seems like such a good prospect, he is primarily fairly defensive, but has contributed to a few goals already. Bellamy doesn't even need anything more said about him. He has already said that he feels like he belongs here, and I'm more than happy for him to be.
4. If Cardiff weren't to gain promotion this campaign, do you believe Dave Jones would have taken the club as far as he can? Is he still a popular figure among the Bluebirds' faithful?
I don't think so, but there's a few minor groups that tend to inform everyone that he's taken us as far as he can. Only when the tail end of a season goes badly, like we lost a play-off final, or falls from play-off certainties to 7th, or go from top of the league at Christmas to midtable in May, but when does that ever happen?
In seriousness, he's the longest serving manager at this level now, and to me that is only a good thing. It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that we've been milling around here for a fairly long time.
We rose through Division 2 and 3 so quickly after the devil invested in us, and since he left we've had to precariously sit around in the Championship. We are in the Championship because of Sam Hamman, and we're not in the Premier League because of Sam Hamman.
5. It looks as though you have significant injury issues up front ahead of the game - do you have confidence in the others to step in?
Thanks to the 25 squad rule, we've now got a squad full enough for us to adopt different tactics. Bothroyd was always our key player - without him we couldn't make any chances. Keogh wasn't quite his standard, but we managed to score two goals and hit the post on Saturday.
We used to be limited to 4-4-2, but when Chopra went off injured, everyone was amazed to see us change to 4-5-1. We finally have good quality midfielders. In answer to the question, while it's not ideal that two or three of the best players the Championship has ever seen are injured, I am confident that we have the squad to just about cope with it.
6. Joe Ledley aside, Cardiff managed to keep hold of their top stars amid widespread speculation of financial troubles. Do you think Jones has covered the loss of him well enough with his summer dealings?
7. Are there still areas of the squad that need strengthening?
Centre back is the topic of conversation every minute of every day. We've got two natural centre backs at the minute, though Olofinjana would probably be more than capable and Darcy Blake has proved he can cope there as well.
Mark Hudson comes in for criticism far too often, being blamed for everything from poor positioning to global warming. I have never understood it because if you look for errors in any player in the second tier, you will find them.
8. We all know about Cardiff's plethora of attacking threat, but is there anybody in particular who isn't usually picked out for praise that we should keep an eye on for?
This is a difficult question. We used to have an amazing attacking four of Whittingham, Bothroyd, Chopra and Burke, and the wings would be our main route to the front. All of these players rightly received a fair amount of praise.
I will just push on Whittingham a bit, which seems odd, but I'll explain. He won't get near the amount of goals as last season, so on paper it will appear that he's been less effective. I anticipate that he will play a much larger role in creating goals, it seems as though he's been given a free role behind the strikers, so far. My answer to this is Whittingham, and the spirit of Eddie Johnson.
9. And is there anybody you'd love to ship off to their next club in the first team picture?
The closest is Gavin Rae. I don't think he's quite good enough these days. I'd say he's a solid midfielder for a lower tabled side, or a strong League 1 side, but not for us.
10. Finally, a match prediction?
After spending the last quarter of an hour or so writing about how amazing we are, we'll end up playing so badly. I'm thinking 2-1 Leicester, but then I remember Sousa's your manager, so 0-0.
Date:Monday September 13 2010
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