The South Wales Echo have published a twenty questions fans survey.
Over 2,500 supporters were canvassed and the results are below:
1. Cardiff City player of the season?
Plenty of candidates after a promotion-winning season, but there were two real standout choices among our readers.
Captain Mark Hudson, so influential at the heart of the Bluebirds defence, picked up the official player of the year award, and he was second in the voting here with 27.2% of the vote.
Your top Cardiff performer, though, was goalkeeper David Marshall – an ever-present in the City starting XI and surely the best stopper in the Championship.
Marshall kept 18 clean sheets this year, produced a series of world-class saves and took a convincing 43.7% of the votes.
Results (top five)
1. David Marshall: 43.7%
2. Mark Hudson: 27.2%
3. Aron Gunnarsson: 8.7%
4. Craig Bellamy: 7.5%
5. Kim Bo-kyung: 6%
2. Malky Mackay’s best signing?
Almost every one of the Cardiff City manager’s signings had a big impact on the Championship triumph, with only Etien Velikonja failing to hit the heights expected.
Fraizer Campbell’s addition in January undoubtedly provided the impetus, and goals, needed to haul the Bluebirds over the line, while hometown hero Craig Bellamy’s influence stretched well beyond the action on the pitch.
Top choice in our vote, though, was South Korean sensation Kim Bo-kyung who lit up the side after an initial settling in period. Class, dynamism and energy in abundance, Kim scooped 44.2% of the votes.
Results (top five)
1. Kim Bo-kyung (below): 44.2%
2. Craig Bellamy: 25.1%
3 Fraizer Campbell: 15.4%
4. Leon Barnett: 7.8%
5. Matt Connolly: 3.3%
3. Biggest disappointment of the season?
In terms of big disappointments, the division among some fans caused by rebranding has provided a slightly sour backdrop to this season’s achievements, but success has undoubtedly dampened the vitriol to a certain degree.
On the pitch, the failure of Etien Velikonja to break into the first-team has left many frustrated after his £1m summer move, while Peter Whittingham’s complete loss of form was uncomfortable to watch for a man who has been City’s talisman for so long.
Top choice in our poll, though, was the awful injury Nicky Maynard (pictured above) suffered.
Maynard was the man bought to fire the Bluebirds to the Premier League but, after just two-and-a-half matches, his season was all but over following a cruciate knee injury.
Nearly 40% of you chose that as your worst moment of the season, and it was great to see the former West Ham man make a scoring return in the final match of the season.
1. Nicky Maynard’s injury: 39.9%
2. Division caused by rebranding: 34.2%
3. Peter Whittingham’s loss of form: 15%
4. Etien Veliknoja’s failure to make an impact: 10.9%
4. Best moment of the season?
The past few weeks seem to have provided a series of unforgettable ‘I was there’ moments for all Bluebirds fans.
From finally lifting the trophy after the home match with Bolton, to the incredible parade that saw the Cardiff City heroes wind their way through the city’s streets, supporters really have been spoiled after so many years of close failures.
However, when you have been waiting so long to achieve the dream, the moment it is finally realised tops all others.
More than 70% of you chose the day promotion was secured against Charlton as your moment of the season, with the images from that night ingrained in the memory forever more.
1. Securing promotion against Charlton (above): 70.2%
2. Lifting the Championship trophy: 17.6%
3. Craig Bellamy’s return to the club: 6.3%
4. The open-top bus parade: 6%
5. Best performance of the season?
We came up with a shortlist of three superb Bluebirds performances – matches that showcased Cardiff’s true potential amid a series of more dogged, if slightly uninspiring, showings.
The 3-0 home win against Nottingham in April put City on the brink, coming after some slightly nervy displays as the road to glory reached its final hurdles.
The winning match, however, is December’s 4-1 win at Blackburn Rovers – a rampant display on a day when goals from Craig Bellamy, Mark Hudson, Joe Mason and Kim Bo-kyung put the home side to the sword.
1. Blackburn away (4-1): 57.8%
2. Nottingham Forest home (3-0)
3. Burnley home (3-0)
6. Best ever Cardiff City manager?
The legendary Jimmy Scoular has long been considered by many as the greatest Cardiff city manager of any era, but not anymore, according to our survey.
While Scoular, Eddie May and FA Cup-winning boss Fred Stewart all figure in the voting, current boss Malky Mackay is our runaway winner.
And why not? He may have only been at the club for two seasons, and none of us know what the future holds, but Mackay is the man who inherited very little, created a team founded on the ethos of hard work, and delivered the Premier League dream.
His place in Cardiff City’s history is secure, whatever happens next.
Results (top five)
1. Malky Mackay (above): 59.6%
2. Jimmy Scoular: 15.7%
3. Eddie May: 11.4%
4. Fred Stewart: 8.3%
5. Dave Jones: 3.9%
7. Were the rebranding changes worth it following promotion?
Before a ball had even been kicked, Vincent Tan’s decision to change the club’s colours from blue to red and alter the crest appeared to have plunged City into a divisive crisis.
Some fans vowed to never return, and have stuck to that promise.
But, like or it not, the majority have reluctantly embraced change, with the promise of the Premier League dream dangled in front of them.
Ultimately, Tan’s gamble paid off, and promotion means the Cardiff City Stadium will be packed out despite the controversy.
Nearly 65% of our readers believe the turmoil was worth it.
8. How many of the current squad do you believe are of Premier League standard?
The proof will be in the Premier League pudding when it comes to assessing who can grace the biggest stage of all. The most popular answer to this question was between four and six players – a reasonably conservative figure.
The likes of Kim Bo-Kyung, Fraizer Campbell and Craig Bellamy would almost certainly be among that number, while David Marshall is surely more than capable of playing in the Premier League.
Elsewhere, the likes of Aron Gunnarsson, Jordon Mutch and Peter Whittingham will also be confident of making the step up. More than half the people surveyed think seven or more current Bluebirds will make the grade, with 16.5% believing Malky Mackay already has at least 12 players of the required standard.
1. Four to six: 40.8%
2. Seven to nine: 37.8%
3. 10-12: 13.1%
4. More than 12: 3.4%
5. 1-3: 4.1%
6. None: 0.8%
9. How many players do you think Cardiff need to sign in order to survive?
The truth is, we will not know if some of the current squad are up to Premier League football until they are thrown in at the deep end.
Mackay, though, will have his own thoughts on the matter and he believes at least four or five new faces will be required over the summer.
The fans appear to agree with that assessment, 77.1% of readers insisting the Bluebirds should target four to six players.
More than 17% think more are needed, while, significantly, just 0.1% of you believe the current squad is strong enough as it stands.
Prepare for a busy summer at Cardiff City Stadium.
1. Four to six players: 77.1%
2. Seven to 10 players: 15.5%
3. One to three players: 5.5%
4. More than 10 players: 1.7%
5. None: 0.1%
10. Which realistic targets would you most like Cardiff to sign?
Silly season is upon us, and Cardiff supporters can expect the club to be linked with dozens of players around the world during the next few weeks.
We drew up a long list of potential candidates, with Crystal Palace’s young Welsh star Jonny Williams coming out on top.
Williams could yet be playing Premier football with play-off finalists Palace, but the expansive midfielder would be a great coup for the Bluebirds.
Other names to figure prominently in the voting were Bolton star Chris Eagles and former Swansea ace Scott Sinclair, while Wigan’s FA Cup final ace Callum McManamam and QPR’s Park Ji-Sung were further suggestions.
Results (top five player targets)
1. Jonny Williams (Crystal Palace, below)
2. Scott Sinclair (Manchester City)
3. Chris Eagles (Bolton)
4. Phil Neville (Free)
5. Adam Le Fondre (Reading)
11. How much does Malky Mackay need to spend this summer?
This season’s relegated Premier League clubs provide evidence there is no definitive right way to approach life in the big time.
QPR have spent, spent and spent some more, and their dismal results are there for all to see.
Conversely, Wigan’s continued financial restraints, compounded by injury troubles, have ultimately seen them fall through the exit door.
Cardiff City’s best bet appears to be to adapt a strategy somewhere in between, and, in Malky Mackay, they have a man who is more frugal than flamboyant.
More than 80% of fans believe it will take at least £16m or more, with nearly 20% wanting the club to spend more than the £25m Vincent Tan has already suggested will be in the kitty.
1. £21-£25m: 36.1%
2. £16m-£20m: 25.8%
3. More than £25m: 20.3%
4. £11m-£15m: 13.9%
5. £6m-£10m: 3.5%
6. £5m or less: 0.4%
12. Where will Cardiff City finish next season?
Make no mistake, next season will be different from the table-topping procession of the past few months.
Survival will be a more than acceptable achievement, and it seems most fans are confident that will be achieved. Just 5.6% of fans believe the Bluebirds will be one-season wonders, with the majority (80.5%) predicting a bottom-half finish.
Nearly 13% think Mackay’s men will secure a top-half finish, while 1% are not ruling out the top six.
1. Bottom half: 80.5%
2. Top half: 12.8%
3. Relegated: 5.6%
4. Top six: 1.1%
13. Will Cardiff City finish above Swansea City?
The rivalry may be fierce, but the Swans’ success in the Premier League is something that should really be applauded. There is much Tan can learn from the way Swansea have gone about their business, but Cardiff will need to find their own formula for success.
So, do the Bluebirds have a chance of outshining their nearest rivals next season? The Cardiff fans’ hearts may say yes, but the head appears to have ruled in our survey, with 59.8% of you predicting the Swans will come out on top.
14. Would you be happy to lose both South Wales derbies next season, but avoid relegation?
Aak fans what they are most looking forward to about next season, and a fair proportion will tell you it’s the South Wales derbies.
Never before will this fixture have been played on such a grand stage, in front of such a huge global audience, and there’s no doubt it is a mouth-watering prospect.
The derbies, however, are not the be all and end all for Cardiff – survival has to be key.
That is a fact the vast majority of fans appear to accept, with 77.1% confirming they would be happy to lose both derby fixtures if it means extending their stay in the Premier League.
That said, nearly a quarter say they would not be happy to lose the clashes against the Swans, but avoid relegation.
Whatever happens, the Premier League is about to witness two matches that will rival the intensity and passion of any derby days we have seen before.
15. Do you believe the Langston debt issue will be sorted before the start of next season?
It is the elephant in the room amid the celebrations – the monkey Cardiff City just can’t seem to shake off their backs.
Promotion to the Premier League is just step one in building a bright, prosperous future for the Bluebirds, now stability is needed off the field more than ever before.
Underpinning that is the desperate need and desire to finally settle the Langston debt, believed to be around £24m of Cardiff’s total figure of £83m.
With Vincent Tan only prepared to convert the huge amounts he is owed into shares once the Langston issue is sorted, it has to be top of the priority list.
Sadly, many fans remain sceptical after watching the saga drag on for so long.
More than half, 54.6%, do not expect a resolution anytime soon, despite the seemingly increasingly amicable relationship being built between Tan and Sam Hammam.
16. Would you be happy to see Sam Hammam return to the club in some role if the Langston debt issue is resolved?
The sight of Sam Hammam sitting among the Cardiff City directors at the Bolton Wanderers match was somewhat surreal, to say the least.
Seven years have past since Hammam (pictured) ended his six-year tenure as chairman, and the rollercoaster ride he set in motion has certainly scaled some wonderful highs and devastating lows in the intervening years.
An honorary president, an advisory role? Both appear to be possibilities.
So, what of the fans’ view?
Well, 57% say they do not want controversial Hammam to return to the club in any capacity, even if it meant the Langston weight finally being lifted.
Some might argue the club would not be where they are now if it were not for Hammam’s maverick ambition.
The majority in our survey, though, disagree, with Hammam’s name intrinsically linked to the financial struggles that have threatened the club’s existence in the past decade.
17. Do you expect to see further rebranding this summer?
Surely this summer cannot be as tumultuous as the one we witnessed 12 months ago when leaked details of Tan’s rebranding plans sparked initial uproar.
The now infamous BBC interview, in which the Malaysian billionaire reportedly suggested he was open to changing the name of the club, caused further concern during the season, but the City owner has since moved to insist no such change will be made.
The crest will also remain unchanged for at least this season, while there have also been assurances the traditional blue kit will still be used for some away matches.
Those assurances mean 64% of our readers are confident there will be no further rebranding this summer, although that still leaves more than a third who expect some sort of off-field developments in the next couple of months.
18. Would you sell Peter Whittingham if the club received a decent offer this summer?
It wouldn’t be a summer at Cardiff City without some sort of speculation surrounding potential transfer bids for Peter Whittingham.
Time and again, Premier League clubs have tested the water in an attempt to convince the Bluebirds to part with their talented midfielder, only to be met with the firmest of rebuttals. Times, though, could be changing.
Whittingham’s loss of form, ignored for some time by Mackay before the midfielder was finally pulled from the starting XI in the final weeks of the season, has seen his stock fall significantly, and you do wonder whether City would be anywhere near as determined to hold on to him should their rivals come calling again.
Interestingly, our fans’ poll shows supporters are pretty split on the issue, with 52% admitting they would let Whitts leave should a decent offer be received. That scenario could be unlikely, such was the 28-year-old’s sluggish demeanour for much of the second part of the season, but what happens next will be an intriguing sub-plot to the adventure ahead.
19. Who will be Cardiff City’s most influential player next season?
The likes of David Marshall, Mark Hudson and Andrew Taylor have rightly received huge praise for their performances this season, but they have not even come close in this particular category.
The standout player next year, according to the fans, will be Kim Bo-kyung – a young man who seems built to shine in the Premier League arena.
Kim’s performances in the latter part of the promotion season were both eye-catching and consistent, thus providing irrefutable evidence the South Korean star has settled into British football life.
No surprise then he takes nearly half of the votes, Craig Bellamy his nearest rival with 23.1%.
The home-town hero will surely be a key figure on and off the pitch once again, and he remains the only Bluebird who has proven himself consistently at the very highest level of the game.
Elsewhere, Hudson will be an important figure again, providing he can adapt his game to the Premier League.
Fraizer Campbell and Nicky Maynard will also both be keen to prove to the doubters that they have returned to the level where they belong.
Results (top five)
1. Kim Bo-kyung: 46.7%
2. Craig Bellamy: 23.1%
3. David Marshall: 9.2%
4. Mark Hudson: 8%
5. Fraizer Campbell: 5%
20. Will Malky Mackay still be Cardiff City manager at the end of next season?
A week ago, it seemed doubtful Mackay would be at the club for the start of the season, let alone its end, as he emerged as a real front-runner to succeed David Moyes at Everton.
That possibility remains, of course, but there is a growing sense Mackay will be with the Bluebirds next season as the likes of Roberto Martinez and Gus Poyet move to the front of the queue to succeed Moyes.
The months ahead will tell us more about how good Mackay is, and it will be intriguing to see what approach Tan adopts should the Bluebirds be bottom of the table at Christmas.
That uncertainty is why no-one should blame Mackay for not completely ruling himself out of the running at Goodison Park, but the fans have faith in both manager and owner, with 80.8% believing Mackay will still be manager at the end of next season.
Source: Cardiff City Online