Cardiff City and the Goal-shy Strikers

2008-2009 – that was the last season a striker for Cardiff City last reached the 20-goal mark when Ross McCormack had his most prolific season in the Championship netting 21 league goals.

Since that season, the highest goal-scoring strikers per season, have averaged 11.5 goals, over six seasons. Whilst Michael Chopra and Jay Bothroyd provided a formidable strike-force for the Bluebirds between 2009-2011, the loss of both strikers has had a massive impact on the clubs threat in front of goal.

The current crop of strikers have netted just nine goals in 17 Championship matches between the three of them, Joe Mason top scoring with five. Even if you count the goals from the four strikers currently out on loan at British clubs – Rhys Healey (Dundee), Adam Le Fondre (Wolves), Eoin Doyle (Preston) and Alex Revell (Wigan) the total only increases to 13 goals between eight registered Cardiff City strikers.

The only positive news relating to Cardiff City strikers is the form of Etien Velikonja on loan at Lierse in the Belgian Second Division. He has scored ten goals in 11 league matches, a goal-to-match ratio the current crop of under-performing forwards could only imagine.

Confusingly, the club believe that the solution to the goal drought up front is the loan signing of Tony Watt who has joined on loan until January from Charlton Athletic. The striker started this campaign in good form scoring in his first three matches, including goals against pre-season favourites Derby County and QPR.

The former Celtic FC man. who once scored against Barcelona in a Champions League victory for the ‘Hoops’ has seen a dip in his career despite being just 21 years old. There is no question of his potential, but his form is yet to offer any sort of consistency that would then lead to a bigger club willing to take him on. Watt’s goal scoring record is not that impressive regardless of his age, mustering 24 goals in 89 appearances – just 47 of those were starts – since his debut for Airdrie in 2010.

There has been controversy in his career too. While at Lierse on loan he was branded lazy and unfit by his boss, so after scoring a few days later he took off his shirt to celebrate and he told The Scotsman at the time : “I just wanted to show that I am not fat. I knew perfectly well that if I took my top off I would get a yellow card – it happens all over the world.

“But I just wanted to show everyone that I am in prime condition. I am not too fat and I wanted to prove this.”

Watt could surprise the majority of quizzical fans who are likely wondering what he could offer the club up front, but it seems the attacking instinct of Russell Slade is not quite of the caliber of Malky Mackay, or more impressively Dave Jones who brought Peter Whittingham, Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra and Ross McCormack to the club with each hitting over 18 goals in at least one season under Jones’ tenure. The type of goal-glut the supporters need to quench their thirst for goals.

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