The six Cardiff City players that have stepped up at the per

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The six Cardiff City players that have stepped up at the per

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:42 am

The six Cardiff City players that have stepped up at the perfect time for Premier League relegation battle


By Tom Coleman


Wednesday 13th March 2019



It’s fair to say none of us saw it coming, but Cardiff City's 2-0 victory over West Ham was comfortable in the end. Declan Rice struck the inside of the post late on and that might have caused a late wobble, but Cardiff should have had an even greater lead by then.

All the qualities that saw them see off Bournemouth only a few weeks ago felt like they were long gone. The defeat to Watford was a complete collapse and there were few signs of life in the limp loss to Everton that followed. Cardiff started well at Wolves, but were soon easily opened up.

Then just like that, Cardiff rolled back the weeks and recaptured the spirit of Bournemouth. Topped it even.

Make no mistake, this was the Bluebirds' biggest game of the season. With Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon, this was a chance to get a few more points on the board before a daunting run of fixtures.

Fortunately, the performance was befitting of the occasion.

Cardiff started on the front foot and probably passed more in the opening stages than they have in total over the course of those three successive defeats. It was a joy to watch.


Harry Arter returned and so did the press, as Cardiff upped their intensity and enjoyed the fruits of their labour.

Arter is so important. He has won everyone over by scampering all over the place, but there is far more to him than that.

He plays on the front foot and is a better passer than he is given credit for. His first instinct is always to make something happen in front of him.

There were impressive performances wherever you looked. Lee Peltier has found his feet and now looks solid at this level. He had the daunting task of marking £42million man Felipe Anderson and the fact that he was hooked at half time tells its own story.

The winning margin should actually have been wider too.

Oumar Niasse missed two great chances, the first of which was the kind of miss where you’re already up celebrating, and then your jaw drops.

Clean through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat, Niasse somehow scuffed his chance in to the ground and wide. I’ve watched it back several times and I still don’t quite get it. I was reminded of the pivotal chance Kayode Odejayi missed for Barnsley against Cardiff in the 2008 FA Cup semi-final.


It’s hard to know quite what to think of Niasse.

He seems like a lovely guy and is the perfect loan signing in that he seems to care and wants to win with Cardiff, but he makes the hard stuff look easy and the easy stuff look hard. There are shades of Eddie Johnson, but he is better than that.

You just can’t help but think that he should also be better than he is.

Niasse certainly played his part though. He put in the hard yards and his movement caused West Ham problems. Either side of him, the wingers also excelled.

At Wolves, Neil Warnock did away with the wide men and it did not really suit. Against the Hammers, both Josh Murphy and Junior Hoilett excelled.

Hoilett always puts in a shift, but sometimes looks a little bit intimidated by the Premier League. Not on Saturday though. The goal did him the world of good and he soon started breaking out the step overs again.

Murphy has all of the ability and none of the consistency, but he also looked back to his best and has improved significantly on the defensive side of his game. Murphy assisted for both goals and when he is on song, Cardiff look far more threatening.

Victor Camarasa is a class act and looks a cut above those around him at times. On occasion, he takes me back to the days of Jason Koumas, when one player absolutely dominates Cardiff’s creative output.

In recent weeks, he hasn’t looked fit and that is a debate that appears to be a bit of a long-running saga behind the scenes.

The proof is in the pudding I guess and Camarasa shone against West Ham, only to then limp off again. The damage was done by then in terms of the contest and fortunately it sounds as if the Spaniard's injury is not a cause for concern.

All the pieces clicked in to place and in that sort of form, Cardiff will give anyone a game.

The task now is to somehow try and maintain those high standards. They’re always competitive, but not always a threat. The balance was just right against West Ham and now that everyone is fit again, they had a strong bench to fall back on too.





All of Cardiff’s remaining games are against sides fighting at the top or the bottom of the table. There are no matches against sides in the comfort zone, which is probably where they found West Ham. The games at Brighton and especially Burnley now look massive. Chances are that they may need to take some points off some of the big boys too, as some of their rivals already have and will probably continue to do so.

It was a bit of a kick in the teeth to see Cardiff work so hard just to stand still in the table on Saturday, as results elsewhere went against them, but they’re still in with a shout, which is more than we could say leading up to that game.

Cardiff remain the underdogs every single week, but the odds are there to be upset.
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