After years of pushing for the top six, playing in the Premier League and having genuine hope and ambition, something of a reality check is hitting Cardiff City this season. The Bluebirds have just lost eight league games on the trot.
Cardiff City sacked manager Mick McCarthy after a disastrous run of eight defeats on the bounce. The shocking run of results has seen Cardiff plummet from eighth to 21st in the Championship in little over a month. During their desperate run, Cardiff have scored only one goal and fuming supporters were demanding McCarthy’s exit long before the final whistle of Saturday’s home defeat.
Mick McCarthy’s spell as Cardiff City manager came to an end following the 2-0 home defeat by Middlesbrough, their eighth consecutive loss and the worst run in the club’s history. McCarthy had been in charge at the Cardiff City Stadium since January and despite a promising start, which saw an 11-game unbeaten run, the Bluebirds missed out on last season’s Championship play-offs. Cardiff have not won since September and with fan discontent increasing, coupled with a record sixth successive home defeat, McCarthy and the club parted ways.
Let’s take a look at what the stats have to say about their poor form:
One of the major concerns for Cardiff this season has been their inability to score goals. They have only scored 12 goals from the 14 games they have played and have a very low goals per 90 ratio of 0.8. Cardiff City had a decent start to their season as they had three wins and two draws from their first five games of the 2021-22 season. 11 out of the 12 goals they have scored came in their first six matches, since then Cardiff have only managed to score one goal from their last eight matches.
The above visual shows us Cardiff City’s shot map from their most recent defeat to Middlesborough. Cardiff City only had six shots on the opposition goal with only one of these shots on target. They had a very low shot on target percentage and failed to be effective in front of the goal. Despite all of their efforts being taken from positions inside the penalty area, they only managed to keep one shot on target.
Cardiff City have lacked the creativity in their midfield and their midfielders have not been able to provide smart passes to their attackers. Cardiff City have only attempted 35 smart passes in their 14 matches and are second to last in the whole league for this metric.
While scoring goals has been a problem for Cardiff this season, they have also failed to defend the ball from reaching the back of the net. Cardiff have conceded the second most number of goals in the league with 26. They have managed to keep only one cleansheet from the 14 games they have played. The above visual shows us the defensive duels that Cardiff attempted in the match against Middlesborough. Cardiff failed to win most of the defensive duels they attempted and were not able to recover the possession of the ball.
It was a similar situations in their clash against Fulham the previous week where Cardiff only won three defensive duels throughout the match.
Cardiff City now have a crucial decision to make given the club are only one place and two points above the Championship relegation zone. Former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is the early favourite for the job according to the bookmakers, because of the fact that he was spotted in the stands at Cardiff’s game with Fulham last Wednesday. Cardiff need an immediate change so that they can try and turn around this poor form to get a better finish in the Championship. Even after they have a new manager, it is the responsibility of the players to step up and take charge so that their club does not go down.