2011–12 Cardiff City F.C. season
The 2011–12 season was the 85th season of competitive association football in the Football League played by Cardiff City Football Club. After suffering defeat in the Championship play-off semi-finals to Reading the previous year, Cardiff competed in the second tier of English football for the eighth consecutive year. The season covers the period between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012.
|Chairman||Datuk Chan Tien Ghee|
|Stadium||Cardiff City Stadium|
|FA Cup||3rd Round|
(eliminated by West Bromwich Albion)
|Top goalscorer||League: Peter Whittingham (12)|
All: Peter Whittingham (13)
|Highest home attendance||League: 25,109 vs. Leeds United, 21 April 2012|
All: 25,652 vs. Crystal Palace, 24 January 2012
|Lowest home attendance||League: 20,366 vs. Hull City, 13 March 2012|
All: 6,829 vs. Huddersfield Town, 23 August 2011
|Average home league attendance||League: 22,139|
Malky Mackay was appointed manager at the start of the season and signed 9 players in the summer transfer window ahead of his first season in charge of the club. Cardiff occupied a place in the play-offs for the majority of the season and eventually finished the regular season in sixth position. During the season, Cardiff reached the Football League Cup final, however their first final in the competition ended in defeat against Liverpool.
Background and pre-seasonEdit
At the end of the 2010–11 season, following a second consecutive defeat in the play-offs, manager Dave Jones was sacked from his position after an end of season review into the club's performance. At the time of his departure, Jones was the longest serving manager in the Championship having held his post since May 2005. The club held talks with former England and Newcastle United captain Alan Shearer to replace Jones but he rejected the job despite stating that he was impressed with the "vision, ambition and determination of the owner Dato Chan Tien Ghee and the board". The Bluebirds instead approached Championship rivals Watford for permission to speak to their manager Malky Mackay, which was initially rejected. However, after the two clubs agreed a compensation fee, Mackay was officially appointed as Dave Jones' replacement on 17 June on a three-year contract. Mackay set about reshaping his coaching staff, allowing assistant manager Terry Burton, first-team coach Paul Wilkinson and fitness coach Alex Armstrong to leave the club, before appointing David Kerslake, Joe McBride and Richard Collinge as their replacements. Goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson later also left the club to take up the same position at Premier League side West Ham United. Cardiff also appointed Mackay's former Watford colleague Iain Moody as their new head of recruitment.
Players released at the end of the season were Martin John and Gavin Rae, while Jay Bothroyd and Chris Burke also left the club after failing to agree new deals. Adam Matthews departed on a free transfer to Scottish side Celtic, having agreed a pre-contract agreement in February 2011, and striker Michael Chopra was sold to Ipswich Town. During the summer transfer window, Mackay agreed deals to sign free agents Craig Conway, Don Cowie, Robert Earnshaw, Rudy Gestede, Aron Gunnarsson and Andrew Taylor. The club also completed transfers for Joe Mason, for £250,000, Kenny Miller, for a reported £870,000, as well as signing Slovakian midfielder Filip Kiss on a season-long loan deal from Slovan Bratislava.
|15 July Friendly||Charlton Athletic||0–1||Cardiff City||Coria del Río|
|19:30 CEST||Report||Gestede 25'||Stadium: Guadalquivir|
Referee: Barea Gonzalez (Spain)
|20 July Friendly||Cardiff City||0–1||Celtic||Cardiff|
|19:45 BST||Report||Stokes 34'||Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium|
|23 July Friendly||Bournemouth||2–1||Cardiff City||Bournemouth|
|13:00 BST||Malone 8'
|Report||Taylor 58'||Stadium: Dean Court|
|26 July Friendly||Yeovil Town||1–1||Cardiff City||Yeovil|
|19:45 BST||Ehmer 52'||Report||18' Whittingham||Stadium: Huish Park|
The opening game of the 2011–12 Football League Championship season saw Cardiff travel to West Ham United, who had been relegated from the Premier League the previous year, with debutant striker Kenny Miller scoring the only goal of the game in the 91st minute to secure a victory for Cardiff. In the following match, the club progressed through to the second round of the Football League Cup after defeating League Two side Oxford United 3–1 in extra-time. The team continued their winning start to the campaign in their first home tie, defeating Bristol City in the first Severnside derby match of the season. Three days later, on 17 August, Cardiff suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 3–1 to Brighton & Hove Albion. Cardiff ended August with two successive away draws in matches against Burnley and Portsmouth and advanced to the third round of the League Cup after a 5–3 victory over Huddersfield Town. On the final day of the summer transfer window, Coventry City defender Ben Turner completed a transfer to the club. As part of the deal, Cardiff striker Jon Parkin had been expected to move to Coventry but, after he failed to agree terms, the move subsequently collapsed, Turner joining Cardiff in a cash-only deal for a fee of £750,000.
At the start of September, prior to an international fixture break, a club record 10 players were called up for international duty by their respective countries. Due to a close affiliation with the country, Malaysian international Safee Sali attended a two-week trial at the club. Cardiff played their first match of the month on 10 September, defeating Doncaster Rovers 2–0 after goals from Anthony Gerrard and Robert Earnshaw. In the following match, a 1–1 draw with Blackpool, Cardiff recorded their third consecutive away draw after Don Cowie had initially given them the lead. Three home matches at the Cardiff City Stadium, a 0–0 draw and a League Cup penalty shoot-out victory over Leicester City and a 2–1 victory over Southampton, ensured Cardiff finished the month of September unbeaten. Striker Jon Parkin left the club on an initial one-month loan move to fellow Championship side Doncaster Rovers and goalkeeper Elliot Parish joined Cardiff from Aston Villa on a loan deal set to last until January 2012.
Cardiff suffered their first defeat since mid-August on 1 October, losing 2–1 to Hull City. Youth team graduate Joe Ralls scored the Bluebirds only goal of the game with a volley that was described as "spectacular" in his league debut. Following a two-week international break, Cardiff recorded a 2–2 draw with Ipswich Town, Peter Whittingham equalising from a penalty after Ipswich had taken the lead through former Cardiff player Michael Chopra who had been sold to the club three months earlier. Their following two matches saw a total of 15 goals as Cardiff suffered a 4–3 defeat away to Peterborough United on 18 October before recovering with a 5–3 victory over Barnsley four days later. On the same day as their victory over Barnsley, Chief Executive Gethin Jenkins stepped down from his position on the board. Cardiff defeated Burnley 1–0 in the fourth round of the League Cup following a goal from Joe Mason, reaching the quarter-finals of the League Cup for only the second time in the club's history. In their final match in October, Cardiff drew 1–1 with Leeds United, Mason netting for the third consecutive match.
Cardiff began the month of November with two wins in the space of three days, defeating Derby County and Crystal Palace 3–0 and 2–0 respectively, elevating the team into the play-off places for the first time since the end of September. Following an extended break due to international fixtures, Cardiff recorded a 2–1 win over Reading after goals from Peter Whittingham and captain Mark Hudson. A second Malaysian international, national team captain Safiq Rahim, attended a three-week trial with the club. Rahim had originally been invited on a trial with his teammate Sali in August but was only able to attend in November. Cardiff drew 1–1 with Coventry City on 22 November, having gone ahead from a Peter Whittigham goal, before beating Nottingham Forest 1–0 in their final league game of the month, ending November unbeaten having won four and drawn one league match, a run of form that saw manager Mackay awarded the November Championship manager of the month award. Defender Dekel Keinan left the club on loan to join Crystal Palace on an initial six-week loan deal and Jon Parkin completed his second loan deal of the season by joining Huddersfield Town until January. On 29 November, Cardiff defeated Blackburn Rovers 2–0 in the quarter-final of the League Cup, reaching the semi-final of the competition for the first time since the 1965–66 season.
A goal from Kenny Miller secured a 1–0 victory over Birmingham City on 4 December as Cardiff continued their good form, reaching third place in the Championship table, and a 0–0 draw with Millwall saw the side record their ninth consecutive league match without a defeat. One week later, their unbeaten run came to an end as they suffered a 3–2 defeat at home to Middlesbrough, the team's first defeat since 18 October. A late own-goal by Watford defender Adrian Mariappa rescued a 1–1 draw for Cardiff to avoid a second defeat in a row on 26 December in manager Malky Mackay's first match against his former side. Cardiff eventually recorded their first league win since the start of December with a 1–0 victory over Nottingham Forest following a goal from Miller, ending 2011 in fourth position.
The club's first match of 2012 ended in a 3–1 victory over Reading following goals from Miller, Mason and Aron Gunnarsson. With the winter transfer window opening at the start of January, Cardiff completed their first signing with Elliot Parish joining the club on a permanent basis having been on loan since September. In the third round of the FA Cup, Cardiff were knocked out of the competition by Premier League side West Bromwich Albion after suffering a 4–2 defeat. On the same day, Cardiff saw a £400,000 bid rejected by Brighton & Hove Albion for winger Craig Noone. Three days later, Cardiff played the first leg of the League Cup semi-final against fellow Championship side Crystal Palace, losing 1–0 at Selhurst Park. Cardiff returned to league action for the first time in two weeks with a 0–0 draw with Doncaster Rovers on 14 January. Cypriot investment banker Mehmet Dalman joined the board, replacing U-Jiun Tan as a director. Cardiff failed in a second attempt to sign a winger after Blackpool rejected a £800,000 bid for Matt Phillips. In the club's last two league matches in January, they recorded a 3–2 victory over Portsmouth and a 1–1 draw with Southampton. On 24 January, in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final, Cardiff defeated Crystal Palace 1–0, following an own-goal from Palace defender Anthony Gardner, leaving the tie at 1–1 after extra-time, resulting in a penalty shoot-out. Cardiff goalkeeper Tom Heaton saved two penalties and Palace's Jonathan Parr missed his penalty to give Cardiff a 3–1 shoot-out victory, Miller the only Cardiff player to fail to score his penalty, reaching the first League Cup final for in the club's history.
In the closing days of the winter transfer window, Cardiff completed their second transfer, signing winger Kadeem Harris from League Two side Wycombe Wanderers for an undisclosed fee and allowed Hungarian defender Gábor Gyepes to leave the club after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. Jon Parkin left the club for a third time during the season on loan, joining Scunthorpe United, and Solomon Taiwo completed a loan move to Leyton Orient.
Having not lost a game since 17 December, Cardiff opened February with two defeats, losing 3–1 at home against Blackpool, after conceding three goals in the final 11 minutes of the match, and 2–1 to Leicester City, the first time during the season that Cardiff had suffered consecutive defeats. A 3–1 victory over Peterborough United in their following match saw Cardiff briefly return to third place, before a third league defeat of the month against Ipswich Town dropped them back into fourth. Despite suffering 3 defeats in their previous 4 matches, Malky Mackay was handed a three and a half-year contract extension, keeping him at the club till June 2016. On 26 February 2012, Cardiff played Premier League side Liverpool in the 2012 Football League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, the first League Cup final in the club's history. The Bluebirds took a surprise lead in the opening 20 minutes through Joe Mason but a second-half goal from Liverpool defender Martin Škrtel took the tie into extra-time after 90 minutes. Dirk Kuyt gave Liverpool a 2–1 lead in the 18th minute of extra-time but pressure from Cardiff saw Ben Turner score a late equaliser with two minutes left of the match to take the game to a penalty shoot-out. After 4 penalties for either side, the shoot-out stood at 2–2 before Glen Johnson gave Liverpool the advantage by converting his penalty. Cardiff defender Anthony Gerrard took the final penalty for Cardiff, needing to score to avoid defeat, but hit his penalty over the bar to hand victory to Liverpool. Despite suffering defeat, Mackay stated that the Cardiff players' performance had "done the club proud".
At the start of March, Cardiff returned to league competition, losing 2–0 to West Ham United, suffering consecutive league defeats for the second time in the space of one month and dropping out of the Championship play-off places for the first time since November 2011. A late goal from Sam Vokes saw Cardiff draw 2–2 with Brighton & Hove Albion in their next match, having led 2–1 going into the final stages of the game. Cardiff claimed a second Severnside derby victory of the season in the following match, beating Bristol City 2–1 with both goals coming from own goals scored by Bristol players. After a defeat to Hull City, Cardiff embarked on run of four consecutive draws, three of which came at home, that left them outside the play-off places in eighth position.
Entering April with a four match unbeaten streak, Cardiff continued their form, avoiding defeat in the remaining six matches of the season. This included victories over Middlesbrough, Barnsley, Derby County and Crystal Palace to finish the season in sixth position, securing the final spot in the Championship play-offs. Cardiff were drawn against West Ham, who had finished the season in third position, in the play-off semi-finals. Two goals from Jack Collison gave West Ham a 2–0 advantage in the first-leg and Cardiff were unable to mount a comeback in the second-leg, suffering a 3–0 defeat to lose the semi-final 5–0 on aggregate.
Football League ChampionshipEdit
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|4||Birmingham City||46||20||16||10||78||51||+27||76||Qualification for Championship play-offs|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
Result round by roundEdit
Last updated: 11 September 2012.
|No.||Name||Position (s)||Nationality||Place of Birth||Date of Birth (Age)||Club caps||Club goals||Int. caps||Int. goals||Signed from||Date signed||Fee||Contract End|
|1||David Marshall||GK||Glasgow||5 March 1985 (aged 27)||65||0||5||0||Norwich City||12 May 2009||£500,000||30 June 2013|
|22||Tom Heaton||GK||Chester||15 April 1986 (aged 26)||54||0||–||–||Manchester United||16 June 2010||Free||30 June 2012|
|29||Elliot Parish||GK||Northampton||20 May 1990 (aged 22)||–||–||–||–||Aston Villa||3 January 2012||Free||30 June 2013|
|30||Jordan Santiago||GK||Calgary||3 April 1991 (aged 21)||–||–||–||–||Academy||1 June 2010||Trainee||1 July 2012|
|2||Kevin McNaughton||RB/LB/CB||Dundee||28 August 1982 (aged 29)||207||2||4||0||Aberdeen||26 May 2006||Free||30 June 2013|
|3||Andrew Taylor||LB/LM||Hartlepool||1 August 1986 (aged 25)||–||–||–||–||Middlesbrough||4 July 2011||Free||30 June 2014|
|5||Mark Hudson||CB||Guildford||30 March 1982 (aged 30)||79||2||–||–||Charlton Athletic||2 July 2009||£1,075,000||30 June 2014|
|6||Anthony Gerrard||CB||Liverpool||6 February 1986 (aged 26)||49||2||–||–||Walsall||2 July 2009||£200,000||30 June 2013|
|12||Dekel Keinan||CB||Rosh HaNikra||15 September 1984 (aged 27)||20||2||20||0||Blackpool||21 January 2011||£300,000||30 June 2013|
|14||Paul Quinn||RB/CB||Wishaw||21 July 1985 (aged 26)||56||1||–||–||Motherwell||4 June 2009||£300,000||30 June 2012|
|18||Lee Naylor||LB||Bloxwich||19 March 1980 (aged 32)||31||2||–||–||Celtic||19 August 2010||Free||30 June 2012|
|21||Jonathan Meades||LB/LM||Cardiff||2 March 1992 (aged 20)||–||–||–||–||Academy||1 June 2009||Trainee||30 June 2012|
|23||Darcy Blake||CB/RB/DM||New Tredegar||13 December 1998 (aged 13)||90||0||2||0||Academy||1 June 2005||Trainee||30 June 2014|
|25||Ben Turner||CB||Birmingham||21 August 1988 (aged 23)||–||–||–||–||Coventry City||31 August 2011||£750,000||30 June 2014|
|31||Alex Evans||CB||Blackwood||3 May 1991 (aged 21)||–||–||–||–||Academy||1 June 2011||Trainee||30 June 2012|
|4||Filip Kiss||DM/RM||Dunajská Streda||13 October 1990 (aged 21)||–||–||–||–||Slovan Bratislava||21 July 2011||Loan||30 June 2012|
|7||Peter Whittingham||CM/LM/RM||Nuneaton||8 September 1984 (aged 27)||211||55||–||–||Aston Villa||11 January 2007||£350,000||30 June 2014|
|8||Don Cowie||RM/CM||Inverness||15 February 1983 (aged 29)||–||–||3||0||Watford||1 July 2011||Free||30 June 2014|
|11||Craig Conway||LW/RW||Irvine||2 May 1985 (aged 27)||–||–||2||0||Dundee United||23 June 2011||Free||30 June 2014|
|13||Liam Lawrence||LM/CM||Retford||13 December 1981 (aged 30)||–||–||15||2||Portsmouth||2 March 2012||Loan||30 May 2012|
|17||Aron Gunnarsson||DM/RB||Akureyri||22 April 1988 (aged 24)||–||–||23||0||Coventry City||8 July 2011||£350,000||30 June 2014|
|24||Solomon Taiwo||CM/RM||Lagos||29 April 1985 (aged 27)||10||0||–||–||Dagenham & Redbridge||25 August 2009||£250,000||30 June 2012|
|27||Kadeem Harris||LW/RW||London||29 May 1993 (aged 19)||–||–||–||–||Wycombe Wanderers||30 January 2012||£150,000||30 June 2016|
|28||Aaron Wildig||CM/LM||Hereford||15 April 1992 (aged 20)||21||1||–||–||Academy||15 April 2009||Trainee||30 June 2012|
|32||Ibrahim Farah||CM||Cardiff||24 February 1992 (aged 20)||–||–||–||–||Academy||1 June 2011||Trainee||30 June 2012|
|37||Stephen McPhail||CM/LM||London||9 December 1979 (aged 32)||193||3||10||1||Barnsley||13 June 2006||Free||30 June 2013|
|52||Joe Ralls||CM/LM||Aldershot||13 October 1993 (aged 18)||–||–||–||–||Academy||30 September 2011||Trainee||Undisclosed|
|9||Kenny Miller||CF||Edinburgh||23 December 1979 (aged 32)||–||–||55||14||Bursaspor||26 July 2011||£870,000||30 June 2013|
|10||Robert Earnshaw||CF/RW||Mufulira||6 April 1981 (aged 31)||205||105||54||16||Nottingham Forest||6 July 2011||Free||30 June 2013|
|15||Rudy Gestede||CF||Essey-lès-Nancy||10 November 1988 (aged 23)||–||–||–||–||Metz||26 July 2011||Free||30 June 2014|
|16||Jon Parkin||CF||Barnsley||30 January 1981 (aged 31)||13||1||–||–||Preston North End||1 January 2011||£100,000||30 June 2013|
|20||Joe Mason||CF/LW||Plymouth||13 May 1991 (aged 21)||–||–||–||–||Plymouth Argyle||10 July 2011||£250,000||30 June 2016|
|33||Nathaniel Jarvis||CF||Cardiff||20 October 1991 (aged 20)||–||–||–||–||Academy||1 June 2010||Trainee||30 June 2013|
- As of 7 May 2012
|No.||Pos||Nat||Player||Total||Championship||FA Cup||League Cup||Play-offs|
|4||MF||Filip Kiss (on loan from Slovan Bratislava)||33||1||13+13||1||1+0||0||2+3||0||0+1||0|
|13||MF||Liam Lawrence (on loan from Portsmouth)||15||1||12+1||1||0+0||0||0+0||0||2+0||0|
|Players currently out on loan:|
|12||DF||Dekel Keinan (at Crystal Palace)||4||0||0+1||0||1+0||0||2+0||0||0+0||0|
|16||FW||Jon Parkin (at Scunthorpe United)||2||1||0+0||0||0+0||0||2+0||1||0+0||0|
|24||MF||Solomon Taiwo (at Leyton Orient)||2||0||0+1||0||0+0||0||1+0||0||0+0||0|
|28||MF||Aaron Wildig (at Shrewsbury Town)||0||0||0+0||0||0+0||0||0+0||0||0+0||0|
|33||FW||Nathaniel Jarvis (at Newport County)||1||1||0+0||0||0+0||0||0+1||1||0+0||0|
|Players featured for club who have left:|
|MF||Haris Vučkić (on loan from Newcastle United)||5||1||2+3||1||0+0||0||0+0||0||0+0||0|
The following players have been named in the most starting line-ups. This line-up may differ from the list of players with most appearances.
|5||DF||Mark Hudson||43||Club captain|
Last updated: 18 February 2012
Source: Competitive match reports.
Competitive matches only
Matches started as captain only
Country: FIFA nationality; No.: Squad number; P: Position; Name: Player name; No. Games: Number of games started as captain.
Goals & Assist recordEdit