Can the Bluebirds bounce straight back?…
Cardiff’s very first season in the Premiership could not have been much more dramatic. They produced some excellent early season results as they showed they could be a side that took the Premiership in their stride. However, off field problems between Vincent Tan and Malky Mackay soon became the dominant story at the club with the owner Tan clearly demanding more control over the football side of the club. Results took a dip around the November period and it soon became clear Mackay was on borrowed time. The axe finally fell after a 3-0 home defeat to Southampton on boxing day. New manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed early in the new year and although the off field problems subsided, things struggled to improve on the field. Solskjaer’s January signings from old club Molde failed to make an impact and they only won another three matches all season, ultimately finishing bottom of the table.
Despite his famous and extraordinary playing career the jury is still out on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the manager in English football. Brought in from Molde in January 2013 after a successful period with the Norwegian side, which saw him win the title, he struggled to make an impact in the Premiership in the six months he was there. In many ways he seems to nice to be successful. He never question’s a referee’s decision and from the outside looks like he lacks the ruthlessness to be really successful.
In: Javi Guerra (Real Valladolid), Guido Burgstaller (Rapid Vienna), Federico Macheda (Manchester Utd), Adam Le Fondre (Reading), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace)
Out: Andrew Taylor, Don Cowie (Wigan Athletic), Steven Caulker, Jordon Mutch (QPR), Fraizer Campbell (Crystal Palace), Craig Bellamy (Retired)
Loans Out: Ben Nugent (Yeovil Town), Kevin McNaughton (Bolton Wanderes), Jo Inge Berget (Celtic)
Cardiff have an excellent squad many of which were part of a promotion from the Championship just two seasons ago. They have the spine of a really good team although they will need to keep hold of those players during the rest of August. Their chances of returning to the Premiership at the first attempt rely on Solskjaer’s ability to show a more ruthless side and Vincent Tan’s ability to keep out of the on pitch affairs.