Cardiff City have certainly been a surprise package so far this season as they have currently won all of their first five games. I talk a lot about the Championship in general – but not often about specific teams within one article.
The reason for looking at the Welsh team specifically is because I think they are a special case. The Championship table hasn’t really settled down yet – and some teams currently in the top six such as Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town may not be credible. However, Cardiff have much more going for them.
This is largely an opinion based article using some stats and factual information to back up my views. I will be looking in detail at numerous factors around the club and ultimately why Cardiff can sustain their place in the top six. Winning your first five games of the season is only a start – but it gives the club a serious platform to build from.
So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get stuck into it…
1. Neil Warnock Knows All About The Championship
There are certain managers in the Championship that have loads of experience and have seen most things in football. Well, Neil Warnock is one of those – and his team has made a great start to the season.
The 68-year-old has enjoyed a long managerial career that started in 1986 and he is still going strong. During that career, he has twice won promotion from the Championship with Sheffield United and QPR.
Warnock has been able to maintain a 40%-win ratio over his career, which is impressive considering he has taken charge of over 1,300 games. Currently, the veteran manager has a win ratio of nearly 49% with Cardiff. Therefore, he will be looking to taste success once again – and knows what this league is all about.
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2. Cardiff Have A Number Of Strong Performers
Manager aside one of the big reasons that I like Cardiff this season is the fact that they have several strong performers this season. This is not the case with various other teams that are currently doing well.
In the top 10 players in the Championship, the Bluebirds have five of them. These players include Sol Bamba, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, David Junior Hoilett, Joe Ralls and Kenneth Zohore. It’s evident that these players cover various different positions in the team, which is all very positive for Cardiff.
3. Finding Value From The Transfer Market
Cardiff City have not been one of the biggest spenders in the Championship this summer – but they did invest around £4.5m. It’s the value that they have found that’s the crucial point here though. Bringing in established players from the Championship was part of that process – and the signings of Lee Tomlin and Danny Ward would be examples of that.
However, it’s also a matter of looking in the lower leagues for talent – and the capture of Mendez-Laing is already looking like an inspired business. The winger signed from Rochdale – and has made an instant impact in the Championship. In fact, the player has already made one of the biggest goal contributions in the Championship so far this season.
4. Getting The Balance Right Between Defence And Attack
Another reason why Cardiff have credibility as a top six side this season is because they are getting things right at both ends of the pitch. We see teams that are often strong in one area, but not another. As an example of this, you can look at Norwich City last season when they scored plenty – but had a dreadful defence.
Warnock’s Cardiff have already scored 10 times in the league, meaning that they are scoring two goals a game – as well as conceding only twice in five games. That comes down to having a really strong team unit, but also strong individuals. For example, they have one of the best defenders in the league in Sol Bamba – and a very talented young striker in Kenneth Zohore.
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5. Ability To Spend In January If Needs Be
As mentioned earlier, Cardiff were canny with their transfer business this summer. However, they do have a rich backer behind the scenes in the shape of Vincent Tan. We don’t hear a great deal from Tan these days – but one suspects he will be keen to chat again if Cardiff make it back to the Premier League.
After all, that was the case when the club were last in the EPL and he was keen to show how his investment got them there. It will certainly be interesting to see if the Bluebirds can maintain their current place in the league into 2018. If they can, then Warnock may get that extra bit of investment in the January transfer window that could seal a move back to the big-time.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as looked at some of the reasons that Cardiff could be the real deal this season. So, did we get it right? Or maybe you think that the Bluebirds spell at the top will prove to be short lived.
If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. You may also enjoy this look at the most creative players in the Championship so far this season.