Vital Football

Know thine enemy!

Know thine enemy!
Nothing remarkable strikes out about Cardiff's season so far. Midtable in the Championship. Last season, they finished.12th. The season before, was clearly a remarkable season for them, as they finished.11th. Although admittedly, this season they have been pushing for a promotion place, and they do have a game in hand over most of there immediate competition (which could take them to 9th) - it would seem like, by and large, life in the Championship is something that they are finding quite comfortable.

There top goal scorer, Paul Parry (with 10 goals), doesn't make it into the Championships top 10, whilst there clean sheet record (12) is kept hidden by there website, and there goal difference (+3) is hardly something to shout about either. The 47 goals they have scored is just 1 more than our very own 46 - yet they have played 8 more games than us!

To further their problems, Cardiff seemingly have a small squad. They have only used 26 players (there site says 36, but 10 of these have yet to make appearances) this season - a figure that our 31 puts to shame. And who said we had a small squad?! But what they lack in size, they make up for in experience. Harry Redknapp is not the only manager able to lure the
experienced to their territory. With Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Robbie Fowler leading the way.

However despite these somewhat mundane statistics and small squad, Cardiff's form of late has been well above average - 12 (there magic number!) points from the last 6 games gives them the 5th best current from the in the league - and it is also exactly the same as our last 6 games, from which we have also accumulated 12 points, which puts us 4th (albeit in a
different league).

Unfortunately for us, it is there ability to come out and play in the big games that is what will worry us. At home to West Brom, they had a massive 65% of possession (despite playing out a 0-0 draw). They beat Bristol City 2-1, drew with Hull City, and drew with Watford - there record against the "top" teams is the rival of even ours!

Unfortunately, statistics quite frequently hide the truth. League performance is a mark of consistency. How frequently can you play at your best? Is it just for periods in a single game? is it for a couple of games in a row? Or, if you are Manchester united, will you only make one mistake in an entire season? This is the mark of a great team. However, like I say, this will count for nothing on the day.

There is something about the FA cup that makes less consistent players, at clubs that don't do so well in the League, perform well beyond the level at which it is assumed that they play at. Paul Parry is probably just as good at shooting as Jermain Defoe - its just that Defoe has the knack of "getting it right" in every game, not just every third game. But when it comes to a cup final, the chances are, we will find that more often than not, the Cardiff players "just get it right". They will find that, as opposed to timing there run a fraction of a second early, and being offside, they will get it just right. There goalkeeper will be able to catch what he would normally palm away, and mis-timed challenges will be a thing of the past for the midfielders. The adrenaline will be running through them, an will convert what should on paper, be a walkover game into one that we will be struggling to keep the ball in, let alone score.

However much we look into them and there league form, there is only going to be one performance from the last couple of years that will give us even a slight inclination as to how well they will play - there game against Middlesbrough, and that was just the quarter final. Think what they will be like in the real thing!

Written by pompeycarpet.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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Date:Friday April 18 2008
Time: 3:32PM


sorry for the delay in getting this added - it was sent to me last weekend...
18/04/2008 15:33:00
Good research Carpet. I was planning something like this on Toast but you saved me the bother. Nice one.
18/04/2008 16:05:00
hang on, we have a rug now we've got a carpet?! What is up with you Pompey boys?!?
The Fear
18/04/2008 16:08:00
The Fear - carpet been with us for some time now, you must have noticed him by now!!! shame his grammar/word choice is appauling :p carpet mate, look up the difference between there/their/they're! :p as for the article nice research. we should have them within 90 mins 1-0, 2-0 or maybe even 2-1... we looked in bad shape at wembley, adrenalin should kick in this match though, most of the world will be watching as the mighty pompey win the FA Cup!! btw could we make 5th... i didnt think we could but there's (note use carpet! :p) a chance now, we need to grab it by the balls ... so to speak!
18/04/2008 16:37:00
sorry dyslexic...:-)... never did understand the difference between their and there ;-)
18/04/2008 16:58:00
but if you're going to complain, remember the " ' " in "didn't". oh, and whilst your complaining at my grammar, there is a distinct lack of full stopps in your post too! sorry, im just being a bit of a pedant too now...and i know there are plenty of mistakes in my posts too... :P
18/04/2008 17:01:00
Touche carps...ha ha ha. Good report mate. We have to give them respect........but not too much, for christs sake, it's there to be taken, isn't it? it can't be their cup can it? They're no more likely to take it home than i am?...surely?
18/04/2008 22:40:00
technically pompey--pessimist that would be my fault, as i should pick up on these kinds of things before publishing really shouldnt i :-) so my bad...
pompeycarpet is some sort of 'tribute' to the great rug i believe The Fear - im a legend you see :-)
anyway, back to the article carps, really good stuff mate - full of information, you did dave proud!
19/04/2008 10:07:00
but still rug - i shouldnt have made the mistakes in the first place ;-). anyway, i was slightly concerned that with storagematt, and eastney dave doing statistics, i would have to get in early to get this one out first ;-)
19/04/2008 15:50:00
Cardiff will raise their game like nothing on this earth - they will play like a premiership side - its the cup final! I'm sure Arry and Tony and the boys will know this and give them due respect - because if they don't - well I don't want to think about it!
19/04/2008 16:07:00
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