05/06: Preview: Cardiff City
by Matt Rowson
How did they do?
"That was it, pretty much, and Cardiff were, impossibly, even worse, just a wild free kick from Inamoto and an even wilder half-volley from McAnuff, both in the last couple of minutes. Robert Page came on, rightly applauded. The bloke two rows in front, who has gathered something of a cult following for reacting to absolutely everything with one of two (go on, guess) disdainful hand gestures, appears to have found a new friend...which means that opponents' off-target shots will henceforth be greeted in stereo. He did, however, join in with the applause of our former captain, which is an unprecedented compliment."
How will they do?
A fire-sale is never the best preparation for a football season, particularly when starting from a base that can only generously be described as fair-to-middling. The side that finished sixteenth has since lost Thorne, McAnuff, Gabbidon, Collins and Vidmar, and we're painfully aware that the calibre of replacements brought in is unlikely to provoke a revolution in South Wales. The investment of some of the Collins/Gabbidon money in dog-of-war Darren Purse suggests a pragmatic approach to the shtuck that Cardiff find themselves in, and if Dave Jones can sort Koumas' head out they've obviously got a player there; the Bluebirds also have some talented kids, Neal Ardley's right foot and Terry Burton so are not a completely lost cause. Strong candidates for the drop though.