Sunday, December 15, 2019

Cardiff surviving the drop this season will a big achievement

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 19 Apr 2019

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At the start of the Premier League campaign, Cardiff City were one of the favourites to suffer relegation. The Bluebirds won promotion last season under the Marmite of English football Neil Warnock. A few weeks ago, the Welsh side looked dead and buried after a terrible run of form. However, going into the last few weeks of the campaign they are still alive and kicking in the top-flight.

A big win against Brighton

In the last few weeks, Brighton have suddenly become the team that Cardiff need to catch to survive the drop this season. The Bluebirds went to the south coast and picked up a precious 2-0 win against the Seagulls on Tuesday night.

The win leaves Cardiff just two points behind the south coast outfit in the table. The Seagulls may have a game in hand, but their confidence seems to have now hit rock bottom after four straight league defeats.

If they had not picked up the win and Brighton had won, then it would have been a long road back for Warnock’s side. However, the win has put them right back in with a fighting chance of survival. The fact that Brighton face Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City in their last four Premier League games of the season does not bode well for a big points haul.

Not a Premier League squad

In truth, on paper, the current Cardiff City squad is not a Premier League squad. Most of the players were with the club from the Welsh capital in the Championship. Unlike Fulham, who also won promotion and spent big, Cardiff spent very little on new additions in the summer.

The Welsh club spent less than £25million in the summer strengthening their squad, although they did bring wingers Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid for £10million each. Their summer spending was chump change by Premier League standards.

Despite an apparent lack of real quality in the Bluebirds squad, they have against all odds still hung in there and are still fighting for their top-flight status. Warnock’s managerial acumen has been key to Cardiff’s apparent overachievement this season in still having a chance of survival.

The current group of players are certainly putting up more of a fight than the last time they were in the top-flight. The Welsh side finished rock bottom in season 2013/14 after spells under Malky Mackay and current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

A mixed remaining fixture list

Cardiff face a tough home game against Liverpool this Sunday, a game in which they are massive underdogs at odds of 16/1 to win. It seems unlikely that the Bluebirds will have enough quality to challenge the league leaders.

However, the Welsh side are still likely to have hope left in their fight against relegation after this weekend, as they still have games against Crystal Palace and Fulham to come this season, as well as a visit to Manchester United on the final day of the campaign.

Despite making up ground on Brighton, it still seems like a major task to for the Bluebirds to survive the drop this season in the Premier League. If they do survive, then it will be a big achievement.

City boss Warnock splits opinion. However, the experienced boss has done a fantastic job in the Welsh capital to firstly to help Cardiff to promotion and to make them competitive enough to still be in with a chance of surviving the drop.

If the Bluebirds do not survive, then I doubt many of their fans can criticise the team, as they have done the best they could in one of the toughest leagues in the world.

Will Cardiff survive the drop this season?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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