" Cardiff City were out-smarted " Says Nathan Blake

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" Cardiff City were out-smarted " Says Nathan Blake

Postby Forever Blue » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:10 pm

" Why Cardiff were out-smarted by Wednesday's rotating midfield "


By Nathan Blake


Thursday 21st September 2017

Although the way Cardiff City played in the last 15 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday deserved a goal and a point, I still think they got out of jail to an extent. A last minute goal is always a bit lucky, but I don't think Wednesday were a huge threat around the 18-yard box.

They were impressive in midfield though, the visitors. It was really enjoyable to watch, the rotation of their midfielders and the way their system seemed to cause Cardiff problems.

It was interesting to me that some Cardiff players didn't seem to know how to counter Wednesday's style of play. But you learn more lessons from games like that than you do from an easy win.

The issue was that Adam Reach and Kieran Lee were making diagonal runs from their wings without ever receiving the ball. It was dragging people like Lee Peltier and Joe Bennett needlessly out of position, as Reach and Lee ran across the central defenders, meaning Nathaniel Mendez-Laing found himself at right back to cover.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing of Cardiff City gets away from Barry Bannan of Sheffield Wednesday (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)
Equally, Joe Ralls and Craig Bryson were caught in between a rock and a hard place — do I press the ball or do I hold my position? Make no mistake, Barry Bannan ran the show and I wouldn't expect to see a midfield dominate like that in Cardiff's backyard very often.

Cardiff didn't particularly cope well, but they did manage to push their defensive line up to squeeze the game by 10 or 15 yards in the second half. In the end, Neil Warnock will have been delighted to get an excellent point.

It was an intriguing contest and I'm sure Warnock will have been busy on the training ground this week solving some of those problems. Because I would be disappointed to see that happen again.






' The midfield balance '

There is a saying that you don't want to look like a busy fool, but I'm afraid that is how Bryson came across on his first Cardiff start. He was chasing the ball relentlessly and couldn't get close to Bannan.

Having said that, I would probably leave the team largely untouched and give Bryson another go against Sunderland. I would like to see him in a game that Cardiff dominate. I have a suspicion they might do that against a vulnerable Sunderland side.

You win, lose or draw as a collective so there's no need for big changes or to single anyone out for blame at this stage.

Craig Bryson of Cardiff City is challenged by Steven Fletcher of Sheffield Wednesday (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)
There is, however, a need for Cardiff to get their wingers firing again, like we saw early in the season.

Cardiff's wingers should have stayed higher against Sheffield Wednesday and it left them lop-sided at times. Mendez-Laing and Hoilett were so good earlier in the campaign and they are both key to getting the best from Kenneth Zohore.

But the form of the whole team has plateaued a touch, confidence wasn't high off the back of the 3-0 Preston defeat and a couple of in-form players are now more in the middle of the road.
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" Cardiff City were out-smarted " Says Nathan Blake

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