9 March 2014

Review - Cardiff City 3 - 1 Fulham

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE. VERY STRONG LANGUAGE.

Felix Magath has fucked that up. Big time. We've reverted to Jol tactics, whereas Rene Meulensteen actually did things correctly.

Well, here's the stats:

The stats follow the same list: Jol's last win, Jol's last game, RM's first game, RM's first win, RM's last win, RM's last game, Magath's first game, Magath's latest game:

Where possible, the players are in the same bracket, so this does not reflect the formations used.

Stekelenburg (CRY) - Stekelenburg (WHU) - Stekelenburg (TOT) - Stekelenburg (AVL) - Stockdale (WHU) - Stekelenburg (LIV) - Stekelenburg (WBA) - Stekelenburg (CAR)

Riether - Zverotic - Riether - Riether - Riether - Riether - Riether - Riether

Senderos - Amorebieta - Senderos - Senderos - Senderos - Heitinga - Heitinga - Heitinga

Hangeland - Hughes - Hughes - Hughes - Amorebieta - Burn - Hangeland - Hangeland

Richardson - Richardson - Riise - Riise - Riise - Riise - Amorebieta - Riise

Ruiz - Duff - Karagounis - Karagounis - Richardson - Richardson - Richardson - Richardson

Parker - Parker - Parker - Parker - Parker - Kvist - Parker - Woodrow

Sidwell - Sidwell - Kasami - Sidwell - Sidwell - Sidwell - Sidwell - Sidwell

Kasami - Kasami - Dejagah - Dejagah - Duff - Tunnicliffe - Dejagah - Dejagah

Bent - Bent - Kacaniklic - Kacaniklic - Taraabt - Holtby - Holtby - Holtby

Berbatov - Taarabt - Berbatov - Berbatov - Berbatov - Bent - Rodallega - Mitroglou

Comparing the Cardiff and WBA teams to the Palace and West Ham (away) teams, i.e. the Jol teams, there is a striking similarity. Hangeland is preferred to Dan Burn, when Meulensteen prefers Burn. Hangeland is missing through injury for some of these games, but the Burn is team selection - Hangeland was fit to play that match.

I can't work out why Jol and Magath do everything possible to try to avoid playing John Arne Riise. Yes, he's not fantastic, but he's the best left back we have. Magath even played Amorebieta at left back, for crying out loud!

Again, Parker was dropped after the January transfer window at Fulham for Kvist and immediately fortunes changed, with a well deserved point at Man Utd and very unlucky to lose to Liverpool. But these two games wouldn't change Shahid Khan's mind and Meulensteen was on his last games. Parker was injured for the match against Cardiff, but Magath prefers him to Kvist.

Sidwell and Stekelenburg, two of Fulham's top 5 players of the season, have been mainstays, and I have talked about the curious case of Scott Parker, but the other two midfielders are on a merry-go-round. Richardson only featured in the final two Meulensteen matches featured due to injury, but Magath prefers him to, erm, somebody (Karagounis, possibly?).

The persistence of playing Akshan Dejagah is not a good one, as Rene Meulensteen found out, disposing of him straight after his first win against Aston Villa. But he's back in Magath's lineup. Oh dear.

The striker/CAM role is, well, obvious. The Jol problem was that there were too many cooks, for Berbatov, Bent, Ruiz, and Taarabt all had to cram into the starting XI, which is why Ruiz is at right midfield against Palace. I just would have left Woodrou's debut to next week if I were magath and started Darren Bent, who Felix Magath doesn't want, having started Hugo 'how the fuck did you miss that, you twat' Rodallega against West Brom.

Now, onto the match. Not much to say. Sascha Riether couldn't do anything about the own goal, but the second goal was completely his fault. He's caught napping by Craig Noone, who provides an assist for a tap-in by Caulker. Having stamped on Januzaj and conceding a stupid Senderos-esque penalty against Liverpool, is there anything he CAN do?

I would prefer Burn to Hangeland if we're going to persist on only four at the back. I wish Magath would make his mind up about Riise and Richardson. Every 10 minutes until Riise came off, they swapped positions.

Akshan Dejagah is a waste of time and Kasami or Karagounis would be better. Bent instead of Woodrow.

I've outlined my starting XI in the past, and I will do so again now:

Stekelenburg
Riether; Burn, Hangeland, Heitinga, Riise;
Parker, Sidwell, Karagounis;
Holtby;
Mitroglou.

The marks out of 10 are in for the Cardiff disaster:

1 M Stekelenburg 6
27 S Reither 3
4 J Heitinga 5
5 B Hangeland 4
3 J Riise 2
24 A Dejagah 5
7 S Sidwell 6
10 L Holtby 6
15 K Richardson 4
18 K Mitroglou 5
25 C Woodrow 3

SUBSTITUTIONS:

45'' OFF 3 J Riise, ON 11 A Kacaniklic 6
50'' OFF 24 A Dejagah, ON 14 G Karagounis 7
76'' OFF 25 C Woodrow, ON 39 D Bent 6

Watch out, Championship, the drop may mean that we land on you and flatten you into league one.

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