The Cardiff dance?

Andy Munro watches the start of Blues’ season at St Andrews.

If this was the Cardiff dance, it was unfortunately in a formation which is becoming sadly predictable. Yet with a good crowd and a sunny day, all seemed initially set fair.

Firstly, the highlight which had absolutely nothing to do with the match, a rousing and spine-tingling rendition of Keep Right Oon to mark the passing of Alex Govan, the architect of the anthem being adopted by the Blues. Unfortunately, it was all down hill from there, at least for the next hour. In fact it was our Polish stopper who kept us in the game as Cardiff seemed to pierce our midfield and defence at will and it took a miss of Ronnie Rosenthal proportions by their centre forward to keep things at level pegging.

So what went wrong? Leaving out players like Caddis, Tesche and Kleftenbeld for the likes of Spector, Gleeson and Davis are three reasons. Maybe the latter is excusable with Kleftenbeld recovering from injury but the other two are mystifying. Caddis is rumoured to be heading for Bristol City which will cut Cotterill’s effectiveness by half.

Cotterill, by the way, had the proverbial mare but that was a combination of his fitness levels following his Wales break and the fact that Spector’s supporting role was not in the Caddis class. Shotton at the back was a bright spot but he still doesn’t quite convince. Donaldson laboured up front but sympathy is due when Maghoma hasn’t the savvy to get even within hailing distance and Fabrini is anything but fab when he’s trying to mix it with big defenders on a cleaning out mission. To be honest, he’s no Toral and needs to stand or fall in a proper middle of midfield role.

In fact, it was turgid and uninspiring from a Blues point of view until the entrance of Reece-Brown and a certain Jack Storer. Firstly, Reece-Brown, despite being bizarrely stuck out wide, showed the likes of Shinnie and Fabrini that you can have silky skills and play the game both simply and robustly. Storer, meanwhile was a revelation. For years I’ve seen young centre forward hopes, like Aswante with crude touches and lack of awareness putting them in the great dope rather than hope category.

Jack’s first touch and awareness were a pleasure to behold. His aggression and desire to go for the jugular were also a revelation. Add to that the passion of a true Bluenose and you have an exciting prospect. He even had time to conduct the Tilton. When Blues’ fans chant their customary “Whooo?” maybe next time it should be in celebration of a Happy Jack.

Even so, Gary Rowett reckons his normal system works when players are braver yet he drops Caddis because he ‘neglects’ his defensive duties. A side’s attitude is a reflection of the manager so Gary – sort it!