Despite their much maligned owner, Vincent Tan, Cardiff seem to be in the best place to get back to the Premier league since their relegation. This is undoubtedly due to their manager, Neil Warnock.
Seven promotions makes him the man to get a club into the next division up.
Many had thought him finished when he left Leeds, but his exploits with Rotherham a couple seasons back, miraculously saving them from relegation, showed everybody he’s still got it when it comes to Championship management.
Been there, done that acquisitions
Since taking over at Cardiff shrewd signings have been the order of business, the likes of Hoilett and Bamba on free last season for example.
That was followed this summer by getting Lee Tomlin and Danny Ward for fairly modest fees (given the current of market) of £3M and £1.5M respectively.
Every one of these acquisitions has an air of ‘been there, done that’ in terms of Championship experience. Hoilett and Tomlin both played key roles in promotions for QPR and Boro, while Ward was extremely impressive in a poor Rotherham side last term.
Direct style of football
Away from signings, Cardiff will likely line up in a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 style, and be relatively direct. Warnock often deploys a target man up top, with the more creative players feeding off of him.
Kenneth Zohore fills that role to a tee, starting to fire in goals toward the end of last year. Whilst players like Tomlin, Hoilett and Pilkington will all create opportunities for their team mates.
Not fancied, but Warnock has the know-how to make them compete
Not fancied by many punters, Cardiff could play the role that Huddersfield did last year and go under the radar for much of the season.
But having a manager who knows how to get out of this league is something that cannot be underestimated, along with the surprise factor they may have over many teams. Cardiff could worm their way into the promotion race.
Written by Dominic Mehlig
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