Cardiff City: The shackles are off!

Russell Slade has come under increased pressure in recent matches for his on-field tactics. In the win against Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend, Slade allowed the team to play with far more freedom.

Cardiff City: The shackles are off!

The pressure had began to mount again over the recent weeks on Slade where any mistake had become heavily scrutinised by Cardiff City fans. The most recent criticism has been the lack of freedom that the players are allowed to show on the pitch. These tactics employed by Slade have seen the midfield become a non-existent force in the defeat against Hull City, where the Bluebirds didn’t manage one pass inside Hull City’s box. This follows the disappointing and frankly humiliating exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Shrewsbury Town, who had themselves been beaten 7-1 in the previous round of league matches.

Against Wolves it was a case of ‘do or die’ for Slade and his gamble paid off with all three goals coming from a revitalised midfield. With three glorious strikes from outside the box. Craig Noone’s first effort was an absolute screamer, which gave Carl Ikeme no chance in the Wolves goal.

If Noone’s first goal was a belter, his second was beautifully executed, taking on Wolves left full-back Matt Doherty, before cutting in on the edge of the box and curling a pin-point shot into the far left hand corner. Joe Ralls finished off the scoring with a soaring 25 yard bullet 48 minutes into the second half. Remembering when Cardiff City last scored three goals from midfield, all outside of the box will take some researching but it was clear to see that Slade had to enforce a more attacking display and flair players such as Noone and Ralls flourished with the license to attack.

The shackles may have been loosened on the pitch, but after targeting three transfers during the January window, Cardiff City were shocked to receive a transfer embargo for breaking the Financial Fair Play rules.

According to the BBC, “Last season’s Championship clubs had to submit their FFP returns by 1 December and a maximum loss of £6m was allowed, subject to certain deductions.

But BBC Wales Sport understands Cardiff exceeded the limit as owner Vincent Tan turned £13m of debt to equity, as well as investing a further £3m.

Cardiff’s accounts are to be published in March and chairman Mehmet Dalman says they will show a profit for the year to June 2014.

The club’s statement added: “Whilst extremely disappointed that the Football League has decided to take this action, we will remain co-operative and compliant with the League’s position in respect of FFP.”

Chairman Mehmet Dalman responded to the BBC after being asked, “Why the club were being hit with a transfer embargo, Dalman replied: “It’s a very technical answer to that question; we have actually been in dialogue with the Football Association for the past ten days to two weeks.

“Unfortunately in a meeting where different interpretations were applied, they (the Football Association) have come up with the conclusion we haven’t complied (with FFP).

“We are disappointed. We will look into it and will consider and take advice on an appeal, but within the spirit of the rules the League have put to us.”

Dallan had fuelled the fire before the Wolves match stating that the jury was still out on Slade despite the manager stating the clubs board were satisfied with his management of the club in recent interviews.

To add insult to injury off the field Charlton Athletic have rejected Cardiff City’s offer of a loan extension for Tony Watt, who’s last match for the Bluebirds would have been against Wolves. A disappointing situation for both club and player, where the latter will be returning to his parent club that are also in turmoil, having recently re-appointed Jose Riga after he was dismissed 18 months ago, despite keeping Charlton Athletic in the Championship after a strong finish to the campaign. Watt will now be entering a dressing room that has conceded 11 goals in two away matches.