A slow and disappointing start for Cardiff City after the first six games sees the Bluebirds sit in 18th in the Championship. With only five points out of a possible fifteen, things need to improve fast.
Cardiff City: One step backwards
It has been the worst start to an EFL Championship campaign in recent memory for Cardiff City. Paul Trollope has overseen just one league win in six attempts, with three defeats and one clean sheet showing a concerning defensive frailty.
Last season, in contrast, saw Cardiff City and Russell Slade undefeated in their first six league matches. Three wins and three draws set up a promising start to the campaign.
With an overhaul on tactics led by Trollope’s appointment, it has taken the squad a while to adjust and with one fortunate win against Blackburn Rovers—thanks to two own-goals from Shane Duffy—the overhaul in playing style could see confidence severely dented.
The change to 5-3-2 has seen the Bluebirds concede nine goals in six matches, following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat against Norwich City. In comparison, only six goals have been scored, including the two from Anthony Pilkington at Carrow Road. The defensive weakness is a surprise coming from a unit strengthened with the acquisition of Jazz Richards and the re-emergence of Declan John and Kadeem Harris as wing-backs.
If conceding goals is going to become a part of how Trollope gains his results, he must counter this with scoring goals. Norwich are the perfect example. Alex Neil’s side conceded two goals against the Bluebirds, but still managed to bag three in return. Despite a fairly poor performance from the Canaries, they still came away with three points.
It is difficult to see Cardiff managing good results with poor performances at the moment but the signing of Rickie Lambert should help. Hitting the bar on his debut against Norwich was a sign of what he can do. He will be judged on his goals, having had a prolific spell in the Championship for Southampton a few seasons back.
With just three goals in two seasons for Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion, it’s difficult to see if Lambert can pull-off his past exploits at this level despite the hope of all Cardiff City fans. Trollope is aware of Lambert’s lack of game time, telling the BBC:
“He does lack game-time. He’ll take a bit of time to get back in the groove,” said Trollope.
“But there were really good signs. He and Anthony Pilkington can form a good partnership. They’ve got good attributes that compliment each other.
“And I think they showed good glimpses of knitting together our forward play.”
With the results seemingly taking a backwards step will it be in lieu of two steps forward towards the end of the season?
Cardiff City face rivals Leeds United at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday 17th September.