After winning the Championship last season, we review the first half of Cardiff’s first season in the Premier League.
A positive effort has been made by Cardiff to maintain their Premier League status with their performances thus far.
Their resilient nature is a reflection of manager Malky Mackay’s wishes and, while the manager’s job may be on the line at the time of writing, it has nothing to do with his season.
The Welsh side never know when they’re beaten, holding Manchester United in the dying embers, and are difficult to beat. Their toughness was supported by signings Steven Caulker and Gary Medel, but the Bluebirds haven’t lost their passion either; winning the first ever Premier League Welsh derby was a big boost, and they won’t want that success to be in vain.
While Cardiff aren't noted for clean sheets, Steven Caulker has put himself in the frame for England with an exceptional start to the season for his new club.
A highly touted youngster at Tottenham, Caulker has matured with a season of first team football under his belt and is living up to his price tag as a solid centre half. He hasn’t missed a minute of the action so far this season and is exactly the kind of player Mackay needs; hard working, tough, and committed to the cause. Plus, scoring the winner in the aforementioned Welsh derby has ensured he will go down in history.
One to Watch
Although used primarily as a substitute so far this season, former Birmingham midfielder Jordan Mutch has really caught my eye so far. He netted the winner late on against Fulham and went on to score against Chelsea a few weeks later; he’s set up a couple of goals too and is now beginning to feature in Malky Mackay’s Starting XI more so than at the start of the campaign.
While he may not quite be a Gerrard or Lampard, he’s still proved to have a creative spark that may just rescue the Bluebirds out of some tight spots this season.
Top of their Christmas list?
May as well be nothing if owner Vincent Tan is to have his way. Fans will be desperate to see Mackay retains his job for what will be a difficult second half to the season, and need his type of character to maintain an impressive start.
A strong spine of the outstanding Marshall, Caulker, Medel and Campbell has formed and Mackay has players around them trying to make their mark after successful Championship spells; if he can squeeze any money out of Tan, it may only be enough for lower league scouting in a search for hidden gems. That’s providing he still has a job of course...
With Mackay’s job hanging on a knife-edge it is difficult to say; with him in charge, safety is highly likely and the building of a team stable enough to retain its top flight status (like rivals Swansea) is a probability over seasons to come. However should Mackay be sacked by Vincent Tan, it’s anybody’s guess where Cardiff will finish up.
I'm Hoping they stick with the former Watford boss and fight their way to safety this season; they have the squad to do it and the right attitude to avoid the drop: 15th