Cardiff 2 - 3 Hull. Comment

Last updated : 09 November 2022 By Paul Evans

They keep stats on almost everything these days in football, but there’s some things that you don’t need them for.To give a couple of Cardiff City examples of what I mean, we discovered in tonight’s 3-2 home defeat by Hull City that we are half the side we can be when Ryan Wintle and Cedric Kipre aren’t playing.


With both of those players out because of a one match suspension for five bookings we were reduced to a return to the turgid long ball stuff I’d hoped we’d seen the last of. Wintle and Kipre bring a degree of poise that wasn’t seen tonight and I’m afraid their absence offered further evidence of the adage that you don’t realise how important some players are until they’re missing from the team.

Wintle has an ability to switch the ball either way when receiving passes from keeper and centrebacks that looks pretty straightforward and easy to emulate, but clearly isn’t because it seemed that without him, we decided not to play as we’ve tried to throughout the season. Instead, apart from a short spell when we looked in control at 2-1 up, we were second best and 3-2 suggests a closeness to the match that wasn’t really there.

Kipre contributes to the playing out from the back game we’re trying to implement, but he’s also the rock our defensive game is built around and we looked lost at times without him.

Also missing was Jaden Philogene who has been in such good form recently and, again, you think he’s cemented his place in the starting line up by not being there tonight.

Returning to stats, I can only assume that City do not keep them for the number of times a player loses possession, I say that because surely Mark Hudson would not be so keen on picking Sheyi Ojo for every game if a record of how often he gives the ball away was kept.

I try not to single out players for criticism on an individual basis on here, but seeing Hull’s first two goals come as a result of him losing the ball inside his own half just brought my frustration with him to a head.

Okay, Ojo may have had a bit of a case for a foul against him with the first one (I didn’t think it was mind), but it happens far too often week in, week out with him. Sadly, he doesn’t look the player he was in his first spell with us – he wasn’t great then, but at least he was inconsistent, now, sadly, he’s very consistent.

Vincent Tan was there tonight to watch what I’m pretty sure was his first live game since before the pandemic (the BBC reported that it was his first home game since Palace in 2019 – we also lost that one 3-2) and beforehand came the so predictable news that Mark Hudson had been offered the manager’s job until the end of the season.

I don’t think Hudson has done a bad job so far, but I can’t shake off the feeling that an “interim” manager with a record like his would not be getting offered employment until the end of the season at other clubs.

City’s dismal first half performance could perhaps have been put down to the sort of thing you sometimes see when an on loan player signs for a club permanently – his performance levels drop once his future is sorted out and I wonder if there was a similar reaction on a collective level from the team because of the news of Hudson’s contract offer? Alternatively, and flippantly, maybe it was that City saw Sunderland’s first half showing against us on Saturday and were so impressed that they decided to copy it.

Suffice it to say, if our first forty five minutes on Saturday was our best half of the season, tonight we provided our worst so far. Hull were in front in just four minutes after a lovely cross from the left byJacob Greaves was turned in by Dimitrios Pelkas from close range with the left side of City’s defence sleeping.

Hull could have added to their lead when Greg Docherty’s deflected shot was superbly tipped over by Ryan Allsop, but the keeper should have been left with no chance when Ryan Longman glanced a close range header wide.

All City could offer in response was a well struck Joe Ralls shot which flew a yard wide with goalkeeper Nathan Baxter beaten.

With Hull committed to playing out from the back, Baxter had given City some hope as he often looked ill at ease with the ball at his feet and a couple of minutes after the break City we’re level courtesy of a mistake by the keeper.

Baxter played a short pass to Jean Michael Seri, but Ralls was in quickly to direct the ball to Callum Robinson who turned and beat the keeper from twelve yards.

City, who had been ponderous in possession, were now playing better (they could hardly be worse), but it was still a surprise to see them go ahead just after the hour mark when Robinson flighted a fine cross in from the left that was headed in on the far post by Gavin Whyte.

The Northern Ireland international had been brought on with Mark Harris for Romaine Sawyers and Neils N’Kounkou who were both poor on the night and they helped to bring about a more urgent and confident approach from City that suggested they could see the game out.

However, having scored more than once at home for the first time, they chose this night to concede three for the first time on their own ground in a league game this season.

Regan Slater turned the game on its head with two goals in two minutes, the first was a low shot from twenty yards after he got away from Ralls too easily and the second was to finish off a move which had a fluency and cutting edge that City couldn’t match.

Slater’s finish from eight yards gave Hull a deserved win, but they did have a brittleness about them that better sides than City could have exploited. However, they also contributed virtually all of the good football as, increasingly, City reverted to high balls into the box – an approach which made you wonder if they thought Flint, Morison and Moore were still playing for us.

Only when Curtis Nelson headed a Ralls corner not too far over the bar did an equaliser look possible, but it was not to be and so it’s beginning to look like City could be on their way to unwanted hat trick of seasons where they lose more home matches than they win.