Cardiff City fans probably didn’t envisage going into the second international break of the season lying second from bottom in the Championship table.
Then again, maybe some fans did, as Paul Trollope was not exactly a universally popular appointment. The 44-year-old English-born ex-Welsh international got the sack after just five months in charge at the Cardiff City Stadium, which is hardly a surprise given the *relatively* high turnaround of managers in the Welsh capital under Vincent Tan, and the fact that Trollope, whilst a coach with Wales’ successful Euro 2016 side, had not held a managerial position for six years since being fired at Bristol Rovers in 2010.
Arguably Neil Warnock is the most qualified candidate to have the reigns at Cardiff in recent years. Paul Trollope, Russell Slade, Scott Young, Danny Gabbidon and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are the immediate men to have preceded Yorkshireman Warnock. The 67-year-old is vastly more experienced than any name on that list, and fans of the Bluebirds will be banking that it is that experience which will rouse Cardiff City from 23rd in the league.
First up for Mr. Warnock? A Severnside derby under the Friday night lights at the Cardiff City Stadium, in front of the Sky TV cameras. Exactly the kind of game he will relish, especially given his history (with both
First up for Mr. Warnock? A Severnside derby under the Friday night lights at the Cardiff City Stadium in front of the Sky TV cameras. Exactly the kind of game he will relish, especially given his history (with both Gary and Lee Johnson) with Bristol City. A game that before his appointment Robins fans were banking on three points from, but that evaluation will no doubt have changed since their mate “Colin” (if you know, you know) was appointed.
In recent years Warnock won promotion to the Premier League with QPR and Sheffield United, as well as getting Crystal Palace into the end of season promotion play-offs. However, what may be more relevant is his experience in his most recent role, at Rotherham United. Warnock kept the Millers in the Championship.
As someone who watched a Warnock led Rotherham side gain an away point I can attest to the fairly dull but organised football on display, but I can also attest to the fact that this gets results. Warnock is a great fire fighter, he can turn around struggling sides, organise them at the back (and teach them all the old “tricks” of the trade whilst he’s at it) which may not be the prettiest on the eye, but is incredibly effective.
This is what I believe he will bring to Cardiff, and I’d be amazed if Cardiff weren’t a Championship side next season under Warnock’s guidance. That said, is he the right option for the long term? Will he achieve his eighth promotion of his career at Cardiff, or even at all?
No. Not to put too fine a point on it.
Neil Warnock is a very astute appointment in the short term, but going forward as part of a longer term “project”, Cardiff City should perhaps look elsewhere. The 67-year-old, at this stage of his career, almost specialises in rescuing teams and laying the foundations for someone else to rebuild them.
The Cardiff City board deserve congratulations for securing the services of the Sheffield born gaffer. However, now they have just over half a year to start the search for another name to take charge in Cardiff in the summer, as part of a longer term project, safe in the knowledge that Championship status is secured thanks to Mr. Warnock.
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