Terry Pierce - Clinical Cardiff ooze Premier League class
Published: 26 Oct 2010 - 08:20:52
Queens Park Rangers have rightfully received plaudits from across the media for the way they've started the season, but last night Cardiff City gave everyone a stark reminder that they're as good as anyone else in the second tier.
The Bluebirds moved level on points with Rangers at the Championship summit with a resounding win over Leeds at Elland Road, and the manor of the victory sent out a message to Loftus Road and the chasing pack.
Leeds were absolutely woeful, but the discipline and desire of Dave Jones' side in the first half laid the platform for a sensational attacking performance after the break, and the Welsh side strolled their way to a 4-0 success.
Following City's play-off final loss to Ian Holloway's Blackpool in May, concerns were rife across South Wales that they'd missed their big chance to finally reach the top flight again.
The club were in and out of the papers amid rumours of player unrest and a financial meltdown.
But, thanks in part to Jones and the new board, they managed to keep hold of their potent attack of Micheal Chopra and Jay Bothroyd.
And, of course, they have added real superstar quality in Craig Bellamy.
The former Man City forward could have joined his pick of Premier League clubs but elected to move back to Wales and his boyhood side.
In such a situation there is always the risk of the circus. The Craig Bellamy Show.
But his attitude and work-rate has been impeccable thus far, and he seems to be showing real desire to lead his club into the Premier League for the first time.
The Bluebirds have now won all five of the matches Bellamy has started, but he isn't the only star of the show.
Seyi Olofinjana has been outstanding in the holding role behind an incredibly progressive midfield of Chris Burke, Peter Whittingham and Bellamy.
And with the potent duo of Chopra and Bothroyd up front, they carry a formidable goal threat from every area of the field.
Most Championship sides would bite your hand off for Andy Keough and Jason Koumas, but they have to be content with a spot on the bench, a sign that Jones' squad now consists of real strength in depth.
City and QPR are now tied at the top and starting to pull away from the pack.
They both possess a solid defence, an unbelievable goal threat and players who can turn a game at the drop of hat.
The difference between the two clubs is marginal, but to me Rangers look like a side built to get to the Premier League while Cardiff look like a club who should already be there, on and off the pitch.
As the season rumbles into winter, it's looking more and more like a two horse race, but right now it's Bellamy's Boys I'm backing
Short by name...
And so the drama at Meadow Lane takes another twist.
Craig Short was this week relieved of his duties as Notts County boss, and the club will now begin the hunt for their third full-time manager in a year.
The baffling part is that County lie mid-table in a very inconsistent League One following their promotion last season.
And now all the hard work put in by Short, his staff and the players in pre-season has been chucked away, and yet again someone new, with new ideas and new players, will have to come in.
Don't forget you can follow Terry Pierce on Twitter - @telpierce
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:terry pierce
- Terry was born and bred in Wiltshire, and is a massive Swindon fan - travelling the length of the country most weekends to watch the 'mighty' Reds. He also manages a successful(ish) Sunday league side, and his life pretty much revolves around football. Five-year-old Terry was in the crowd when Swindon won promotion to the Premier League in 1993 with a 4-3 play-off win against Leicester. He cried after every goal. Read Terry's thoughts every week on life outside the Premier League. Follow Terry on Twitter @telpierce.
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