Cardiff City managed to fight their way into the Premiership last year by winning the Championship by 8 points. In fact they seemed to be the most prepared of the three promoted clubs to deal with the pressure of the Premier League. There was hope for the fans of the Blue Birds with the money that came pouring in from Southeast Asia to make a charge at the Premier League. However not all is going according to plan in South Wales and January could end up being a tumultuous time.
Malkay Mackay was the driving force behind Cardiff’s fantastic Championship Campaign last year. However, the Scotsman has fallen out with Cardiff owner Vincent Tan, partly because of Mackay’s spending record. The Malaysian owner wasn’t too pleased when he found out he had to fork up millions of dollars in bonuses that weren’t in Mackay’s budget. This, in part, lead to Tan firing Mackay’s head scout and right hand man Iain Moody. Tan has also announced that there will be no money for Mackay to spend to improve his squad come January. So what will happen this winter for the Blue Birds?
Vincent Tan has already changed the clubs logo and their home jerseys. This move away from tradition hasn’t necessarily endeared the Malaysian to his fan base. This bout with Malkay Mackay hasn’t helped either, since the manager is a fan favorite. Basically what you have here is an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Something has to give or the whole thing will explode.
Tan will end up giving Mackay the money, just not as much as the Scotsman wants. Cardiff will have to then rely on loan moves and leagues with cheap transfer fees. Wilfred Zaha is a name that could be embroidered on a Blue Birds shirt come January, even if it is just for a short term loan. Cardiff will have to battle that one out with Crystal Palace though, as the London side looks to reabsorb the Manchester United midfielder. Mackay also seems to be targeting Portuguese midfielder Hugo Vieira. However, while his projected 2 million pound transfer fee may not seem much to those who keep up with the megadeal, it is a lot of money to pry from an owner not looking to spend. If the Blue Birds do need a cheaper option, I would recommend they look to the States. Graham Zusi is a name that comes to mind. Zusi is a mature player with Championship level quality that is capable of scoring goals and playing wide. While I don’t think he would be a first team player for the Blue Birds, he can most certainly add much needed depth.
And if this doesn’t happen Mackay will most likely be sacked by the end of the year…..
Cardiff does need to strengthen their side to stay above the relegation zone. If Vincent Tan wants his team to meet his expectations, he needs a history lesson. Brian Clough consistently spent more then what was allotted to him in his budget, much to the anger of his board. However, his results speak for themselves. He brought titles to both Nottingham Forest and Derby County, two smaller clubs. While I am not saying Mackay is on the same level as the greatest club manager of all time, he has proven that with the right funds he can lead the Blue Birds to good results. Let’s face it, in the Premier League if you’re not moving forward you get passed up. And I’m sorry to say it Cardiff fans, if Tan doesn’t open up that check book you will be going down.