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steven caulker

A preview of Cardiff’s Premier League season including ‘player to watch’ and position prediction.

Cardiff City

The priority for any promoted club in their first season is consolidation, and of the three promoted clubs, Cardiff are best equipped to maintain their Premier League status. During the close season, they have broken their transfer record twice with the capture of Danish striker Andreas Cornelius for 7.5 million, followed by the arrival of England international, Steven Caulker from Spurs for more than 8 million. They are still in the market for a midfielder and have been credited with an interest in French international Etienne Capoue from Toulouse, having come close to signing Tom Ince from Blackpool.

This kind of investment shows Cardiff are intent on staying at the top table having waited so long to get there and expect further signings before the transfer window slams shut. Steven Caulker is seen as a major coup for the Bluebirds, and with Tottenham’s defensive concerns going into the season, many were surprised that AVB was willing to let him go. Caulker’s impressive form last season saw him receive his first England cap against Sweden, a game which also saw him score his first international goal. Cardiff will be reliant upon Caulker’s Premier League experience, and the player himself will be keen to impress ahead of a World Cup in the summer.

John Brayford and Simon Moore have also joined the ranks from Derby and Brentford respectively, and while they will add more competition for places, as with many of the squad, the Premier League rollercoaster is a ride they have not had the pleasure of riding as yet. That is where Cardiff will look to the more experienced campaigners to help with the transition from Championship to Premier League and Craig Bellamy could be crucial to their chances, with his knowhow and endeavour.

I expect Cardiff to be in a battle to stay up, but I think they have enough quality and financial backing to do just that. They will eagerly await the games versus Swansea in the Premier League’s first ever ‘all Welsh’ derbies and in Malky Mackay, they have a young up and coming manager who will be looking forward to testing himself against the very best week in, week out.

Player to watch – Steven Caulker

Premier League Position – 17th

The post Cardiff Premier League Preview 2013/14 appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It’s that time of year again. The January transfer window is open for business and all 20 Premier League sides are looking to strengthen.

As with every season motives are different. Some clubs are trying to stave off relegation, others advance their lot by pushing for Europe. The title race and four Champions League spot remain as wide open as they have in years at the top.

Some managers are known to dislike the winter window, but love it or hate it only the brave or foolish ignore it. Certain teams desperately require strengthening to realize their ambitions and others need to have a quiet month, ensuring they hang on to their prized assets.

Players seeking moves may have extra motivation to do so this January as we are now in a World Cup year. Competition to make the plane to Brazil will be cut-throat for many of the 32 countries involved in the greatest sporting show on earth.

National coaches want their players getting regular football in the run-up to the World Cup. That can cause crazy winter gambles by outsiders to force their way back into the fold in time for June.

All these considerations have been weighed up by the WhatCulture sports team. So, for your delectation we have gone through all 20 English top flight teams, assessed what they need, who they have been linked with and who we would like see join them. We proceed alphabetically, so click next to start with Arsenal.

The post Premier League Transfers: What All 20 Teams Need In The Winter Window appeared first on WhatCulture!.

fulham

It was a piece of sheer class from in form Cardiff man Jordon Mutch that proved to be the difference between the sides at Craven Cottage on what proved to be a frustrating autumn afternoon for the Fulham faithful.

Mutch’s goal, struck deep in to added time at the end of the second half, stunned the cottage as Cardiff seized all three points to the delight of their travelling fans and the dismay of under fire Fulham boss Martin Jol.

As the boos echoed once more at the end of the ninety minutes at Craven Cottage, the Dutchman cut an isolated figure as he pondered his future, head in hands within the Fulham dugout.

The early encounters saw Fulham attempt to force Cardiff to play the predominant amount of their football in their own half but they were unable to provide any tangible assistance to strikers Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov who were both peripheral figures throughout the afternoon.

When Steven Caulker rose powerfully to nod home the opener on twelve minutes, it was slightly against the run of play. Cardiff went on to become the more dynamic of the two sides, however, and were a constant threat to the Fulham goal in the face of some hapless defending.

Despite Giorgos Karagounis forcing in-form Cardiff keeper David Marshall into a superb diving save on 28 minutes, it was Cardiff that continued to look the most likely to add another goal as both Fraiser Campbell and Aron Gunnarsson went close around the half hour mark.

Ruiz’s brilliant goal on the stroke of half time gave hope to the Fulham crowd, but it was Cardiff who kept pushing on and it came as no surprise that it was them that took all three points through young Mutch’s stunning effort that sent the Cardiff fans in to dreamland.

His 94th minute effort consigned Jol’s Fulham team to their fourth defeat in six league games this year and means they remain in the bottom three.

Cardiff on the other hand, rise to 11th, leapfrogging champions Manchester United in the process.

The post Fulham 1-2 Cardiff: Mutch Magnificence Sinks Forlorn Fulham appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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