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Championship 2012/13 Preview: Cardiff City


Club: Cardiff City

Last season’s position: 6th, Championship

Recent history:

After the men’s football at the OIympics, Cardiff City may now be considered part of Team GB rather than just being Welsh. However, Cardiff City fans will be supporting the Redbirds this season after the owners changed their colours from blue to red. Why? Well, red is considered lucky by the club’s new Malaysian owners and is more representative of Wales. Their new crest has a red Welsh dragon with a bluebird almost apologetically crammed into the bottom of the badge. Red and blue together have never been a nice combination, in my opinion.

This will be Cardiff City’s tenth consecutive year in the second tier. They have never been close to being relegated and the last three seasons have seen them as one of the losing play-off teams. Last season, too many draws against lower sides meant that they had to face West Ham in the semi-final play-off in which they succumbed meekly by 5-0 on aggregate.

Manager profile:

Malky Mackay was brought in to take the reins after Dave Jones was surprisingly sacked in June 2011. In his first season, Mackay has achieved a similar level of success to his predecessor. He started well as manager of Cardiff, but their form dipped badly after they were narrowly beaten by Liverpool in the League Cup Final.

At 40 years of age, he is one of the younger managers, although he is one of the oldest players to have made his international debut when he won his first Scottish cap at 32 years of age.

Summer transfer activity:

In: Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Jordon Mutch (Birmingham), Filip Kiss (Slovan Bratislava), Joe Lewis (Peterborough), Etien Velikonja (NK Maribor), Kim Bo-Kyung (Cerezo Osaka), Heidar Helgusson (QPR).

Out: Jon Parkin (Fleetwood), Tom Heaton (Bristol C), Anthony Gerrard (Huddersfield)

Expected line-up:

Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Conway, Ralls, Mutch, Bellamy, Helguson.

Expected Tactics/Formation

Cardiff are expected to play 4-4-2, but with another major signing expected this week and with the work permit of new signing, Kim Bo-Kyung, still to be arranged, Cardiff City may be unsettled for the first week or two of the season. Cardiff failed to score enough goals last season, drawing 18 games – more than any other side in the division.

What are the fans saying?

Two things dominate the views of the Cardiff City fans. ‘Why the hell are the club playing in red?’ and a fear that they will never make the step up to the Premiership after 50 years of being away from the top flight. And, there is a third thing – some disagreement over the best kebab in town.

The fans seem somewhat underwhelmed by the summer signings, but Peter Whittingham remains a Redbird and one of the classiest players in the Championship. It’s easy to understand their point of view – if they started sliding down to mid-table, it would seem like so near yet so far.

Odds: 12/1 champions, 11/8 top six.


Cardiff City tonked a very strong Newcastle United 4-1 in a friendly, but friendlies are notoriously unreliable yardsticks. It would be nice to have something controversial to report here, but Cardiff City looks to be in line for another play-off place. They don’t look good enough to win the title and look far too strong to be struggling at the bottom. The days of John Charles have long gone, of course. However, assuming they can remember which colour shirts to pass to, Cardiff City look a good bet for 6th.

How do you see the bluebirds redbirds going this season ?


  • Underwhelmed? Who do they expect to get?
  • Underwhelmed? Who do they expect to get?

    It's the old story, I think, cafcsinger. The more success you have the more you (typically) expect. Their fans seem to feel as though they have almost made it to the Promised Land, but they will probably not make again this year.

  • I can still remember Craig Bellamy running riot at the Valley for Norwich stretching young Addicks defence. If he can stay out of the city bars, trouble and stay fit he might help the goal ratio. His running forces defence back and can be a feature of games even if he’s not scoring. We’ll see Mark Hudson in defence again, not popular here with some I remember must be getting on a bit now (31?) but still a good defender at this level in my opinion.

    All in all a solid squad that has been improved but, I still see them outside of the top six, with Swansea going up two years ago and Wham last year confidence begins to drain and hungrier groups of players are about! 7th or 8th .
  • Play-offs while flirting with the Auto spots.
  • Another bridesmaid club, though if Bellamy stays fit & interested .........
  • Playoffs or Autos defo, Great signings up front
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