With the race to avoid relegation as competitive as ever, Cardiff City dropped crucial points against the Tigers. What on paper seemed to be an even match turned out to be a rout, and it all began with the Andrew Taylor’s accidental deflection of Tom Huddlestone’s right-footed effort, allowing the ball to slip past David Marshall.
It is no wonder that Taylor has not made an appearance for England at the senior level, as he was drowsy throughout the day before he was replaced in the 74th minute for 18 year-old Declan John.
The Bluebirds were fortunate to hold the ball for the majority of the match. Taylor’s average position was near the halfway line, but the Welsh side was caught on the counter. Poor marking and situation-recognition contributed to Taylor’s woeful performance.
The Tigers’ second strike came with Shane Long’s pass back to Nikica Jelavic, whom Taylor did not pick up as he made a run into the box. Ten minutes later, Jelavic was able to strike again. As centre-back Steven Caulker and Taylor were switching back into their natural positions, enough space was created for the Croatian striker to take a free header beautifully.
Taylor simply lacked the drive to seek out the ball and pick up runs on the defensive end while making no meaningful contribution to the Bluebird’s offensive efforts. For what it is worth, he registered three successful clearances, but his performance justifies his inability to break into England’s senior squad. With fullbacks like Leighton Baines, Kieran Gibbs, and Ashley Cole ahead of him, this comes as no surprise.
Nonetheless, it is disheartening to see an Englishman lack drive on the pitch, and the 27 year-old did not exhibit enough quality to help Cardiff on Saturday.