If Cardiff want same success as Chelsea,  Mackay must manage football matters, not a painter and decorator

By Martin Keown - Boot Room

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The international break is an opportunity for Barclays Premier League clubs to have a bit of time off; when managers can work with their non-international players and they can enjoy a bit of a breather.

There might be some disappointment at not being involved for your country, but everybody works hard to make sure they’re ready and prepared for the next league game. So spare a thought for Malky Mackay at Cardiff.

Too much, too soon: Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan (left) has made unreasonable demands of manager Malky Mackay

Demands: Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan (left) wants manager Malky Mackay to bridge a massive gap

It’s mad for a manager to have his right-hand man — head of recruitment Iain Moody — sacked and replaced by a 23-year-old Kazakh lad who not long ago was painting the walls of the stadium. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned loyalty?

It completely undermines the manager’s position at the club, and he now has to work with somebody who looks totally inappropriate for the job.

It will unsettle the players, who will obviously want reassurances from their manager, especially the new signings. The fact the situation is being discussed in public also calls into question the manager’s position — and this is a man who won the Championship last year.

Many people tipped Cardiff to go down this year, myself included, so they are currently exceeding expectations in the league. They have put in some great performances and had a fantastic win against Manchester City, but it seems that might not be enough for the owner.

Lift off: Cardiff striker Fraizer Campbell scores against Manchester City

Lift off: Cardiff striker Fraizer Campbell scores against Manchester City

Money matters: Chelsea have spent more than £1bn in pursuit of success

Money matters: Chelsea have spent more than £1bn in pursuit of success

Since arriving at the club in 2010,  Vincent Tan has invested around £140million of his own money in Cardiff. In that time they have been promoted to the Premier League and signed some outstanding players. But it can be a double-edged sword with these entrepreneurial owners.

The club controversially changed the colour of its kit to suit the Asian market, which upset the fans, but Tan recently announced he would write off £6m of club debt. The club’s fortunes have improved since the Malaysian takeover, and that is typical of the new breed of foreign owner — they want  success in everything they do and they’ll stop at nothing to get there.

If, as reports suggest, the owners want Cardiff competing for European football, it is too much, too soon. They play Chelsea this weekend, a club that has invested more than £1bn to become a football superpower. But even they are not guaranteed a top-four spot this year.

It’s a massive gap that Cardiff are trying to bridge — and not one that can be done instantly.

But if Cardiff want to work towards the kind of success Chelsea have had, they should leave the football in the hands of the manager and his assistants, not a painter and decorator.

Hot shotL Luis Suarez scores against Argentina

Hot shotL Luis Suarez scores against Argentina

PS

The Premier League showed its strength again during the international break, with 99 players involved in World Cup qualifiers this week, almost double the number of the next best league in Europe — Germany’s Bundesliga, which had 54.

It shows how many top-quality players we are watching every weekend but it can come at a price.

The distances travelled can have a big impact on players. Luis Suarez has endured a 14,000-mile round trip to play for Uruguay this week and Liverpool play this lunchtime. But, with the hunger Suarez has for the game, don’t be surprised to see him itching to play again.

Spotlight on.... Ravel Morrison

Age: 20, midfield, West Ham

Ravel Morrison of West Ham

Ravel Morrison is a player everyone is talking about and his wonder goal against Tottenham will have sparked his confidence.

But we have to be careful with young players — what works for one may not work for another. He has talent but needs to produce consistently.

He has had problems with his temperament and we saw a flash of that when he clashed with Wilfried Zaha in the Under 21s this week. He has an edge but he needs to prove he can be trusted.

On Saturday he faces Yaya Toure, who is arguably the best midfielder in the league.

It will be his biggest test and might show where he currently is with his development, but clearly he’s an exciting prospect.

What's the score: Jimmy Anderson (Burnley fan)

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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Stop moaning Martin! Cardiff sold his soul to VT. He has all the right to do so. If he dont like Moody, he can get rid out of him. Fair and square. This is just business and relationship! No love for the Brit!

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Looks like Cardiff could become the new Blackburn!!!!

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It's been a long time since football in the UK had anything to do with football

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why is that exactly??? Do you know anything else about that painter??? Why if he is he genius? Why shouldn't he get the shot? Or is it that you are more worried about the status quo being broken? And why did the man that he replaced did to deserve the position in the first place?? I'm sure the answer would have more to do with his family, his connections, where he went to school....Please stop taking us common people as idiots

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You just don't get it mate.

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If Vincent Tan have invested so many millions of his money into Cardiff, he has the right to call the shots. He changed colors and badge for that extra luck to help Cardiff into the premier league. This is what we Chinese call "feng shui" and it worked, of course with the players and manager's help. He found Moody not suitable and he changed him. The Manager thinks he is almighty after guiding the club up but remember he is just an employee. Managers come and go but the owner stays.

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We all know bluebirds is an embarrassing term in Malaysia, hence the efforts to change....but You can`t change years of history just because somebody has a bag of money...football stays, owners come and go. He won`t be there in 10 years !!

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If Cardiff want the same success as Chelsea they need to spend the same money. Just as Manchester teams do.

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" Jimmy Anderson (Burnley fan)" Burnley fan? He supports Arsenal. I remember him dyeing a bit of his hair red in tribute to Freddie Ljungberg. I see this being a weekend of big wins and draws. Chelsea and Arsenal should win by at least 3 goals and I'm expecting United, City and Liverpool to win by at least 2. The other five games could quite easily end in draws, although I've got a feeling Villa and Everton will just sneak home wins.

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Well, that was a prediction wasn't it ? Got Arsenal and Chelsea right ,Man U. well ,not quite . Maybe change your name to Mavis Doyed.

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