Will City’s failure to bring in defensive cover prove costly?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
City fan Chris Bewick has a look at the club’s reaction to those early-season injuries to key defenders
I agree that defensive injuries derailed City's season before it got going. I also agree that injuries to Klose, Zimmermann and Hanley couldn't have been forecast.
However, some contingency should have been made and failure to do so will probably end up costing us dearly.
Going in to the last week of the summer transfer window City had just one fit centre-back (Hanley) and one recently converted centre-back (Godfrey - less than 20 games in the position). Two others, Klose and Zimmermann, were not fit and returning from injuries. Starting with just two was reckless in the extreme and, in those circumstances, an additional 'Premier League level' centre-half should have been 'borrowed' to cover eventualities (which duly occurred).
I've mentioned this before to Paddy (Davitt) and for people to moan about bad luck (which it was) overlooks a lack of contingency planning. Two fit was not enough.
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Like many, I still hope and feel that our form will lead to points being gained and that survival is still possible. Should we go down, the above error will have been a leading factor.
In my opinion two other factors have contributed.
- 1 MATCHDAY LIVE: Norwich City complete their double over Cardiff
- 2 Farke reveals Buendia concerns and fitness updates on Pukki and Krul after 2-1 Cardiff win
- 3 City squad can expect long term disruption due to Covid impact
- 4 STARTING XIs: Pukki missing for City as Barden starts at Cardiff
- 5 Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 2-1 Championship win against Cardiff City
- 6 City boss on Quintilla future amid Giannoulis pursuit
- 7 Farke's advice for Barden ahead of red letter day
- 8 Cardiff City v Norwich City - all you need to know
- 9 City edging closer to deal for Giannoulis
- 10 No Pukki no problem for Canaries as they move seven points clear at the top
1: Poor use of the loan system: Fahrman - flop, Roberts -flop. If neither is deemed competent enough to play then why borrow them? Most disappointingly the flop of Amadou - seen as the physical hope in defensive midfield - turning out to be viewed as inferior to Tettey (only given a contract at the last minute) showed a complete failure in the loan market.
2: 4-2-3-1. We used this under Hughton when we went down, with Grant Holt cutting a forlorn figure at the top. If you play this system then you need goals from the three behind the striker. With the exception of Cantwell, the others just haven't contributed. As Pukki's finishing has weakened (have goalies worked him out when 1-1?) this has been starkly exposed. With just some contribution from others then points at Leicester (a), Wolves (h), Sheff Utd (h), Crystal Palace (h) Spurs (H and A), Newcastle (A) would surely have been gained. Big question - why has it taken Farke and Webber so long to see it?
I know that last year, with the playmaker deeper we had four players for the opposition to mark in forward positions and that wasn't ever going to be the case at this level so it should have been obvious at the start that we needed someone else with goals in them to play in the three behind Pukki.
Let's hope today continues our upturn and the above becomes irrelevant.