In a move that paradoxically comes as little but huge surprise to Cardiff City fans, the club has confirmed that manager Paul Trollope has been relieved of his managerial duties with immediate effect.
Manager Paul Trollope: An era ends before it begins
In perhaps a more shocking move, the Bluebirds also confirmed the departure of assistant coach and former manager Lennie Lawrence along with performance director Ryland Morgans, either of whom seemed the natural choice to temporarily take control of affairs at the club. With no clear ‘caretaker manager’ in place, this suggests that the board intend to have a replacement in soon. The international break will give the club time to carefully consider their options and sort out a permanent replacement for Trollope while minimising the disruption a managerial change can cause for fixtures. A Severnside derby against rivals Bristol City may await the prospective new manager as their first game, a sink-or-swim opportunity to show the club and the fans what the squad is capable of.
A new manager may bring a breath of fresh air to the Bluebirds’ squad as a number of fringe players should see increased game time. Kadeem Harris has showed excellent promise in the early stages of the season but remained a fixture on the bench under Trollope whilst a new manager may look to use him as an injection of pace and flair into the side, something that had been lacking. This could be amplified by an increased presence of Matthew Kennedy, a youngster who had consistently shown promise since joining the club but remained frozen out by both Russell Slade and Trollope. New signings Emyr Huws and Joe Bennett may also find themselves with an opportunity to stake a claim for a starting place in the lineup, featuring minimally under Trollope despite both being his signings
Opportunities for some
With the opportunity for players to break their way into the squad, this may mean the career of some Bluebirds comes to an end. It is unlikely that a change in management can bring certain players up to the required standard. Strikers Kenneth Zohore and Fred Gounongbe have consistently looked out of their depth at Championship Level and it is likely that a new manager would spend funds in January bringing in a strike partner for Rickie Lambert. In contrast, players such as Bruno Manga and Craig Noone who have failed to perform under Trollope may find themselves back to their old form as a new manager may utilise them correctly instead of forcing them into a system they were not comfortable with playing.
Excitement and worry
The departure of the management team is both an exciting and worrying time for the club. The right appointment could be the springboard to an excellent season given the huge talent in the ranks at the club. However, another uninspiring appointment may further disillusion fans and players and could simply accelerate the spiraling downfall in the Welsh capital.
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