Etien Velikonja; Adam Le Fondre; Gary Madine; Omar Bogle; Guido Burgstaller; Marouane Chamakh; Anthony Pilkington; Tom Lawrence; Nicky Maynard; Javi Guerra; Peter Odemwingie; Wilfried Zaha.
This is a list of extremely talented forwards from the last five years that were either ruined at Cardiff or never given a rub of the green with us. Bobby Reid could soon become added to this list and we have absolutely no idea why.
When Bobby Reid signed for the large sum of £10.5m, it created quite a lot of buzz around the Cardiff faithful, what with him being Bristol City’s player of the season and all. It wasn’t just the chance to gloat at our rivals, though. Reid proved himself to be one of the Championship’s finest players last season. Here we are, ten months on and he’s simply not getting a game.
Reid has only featured in a mere 25 games for us this season and, quite unbelievably, he has also only started 14 of those, playing a total of 1243 minutes out of a possible 2,250; which roughly means he averages just over one half of football per game he’s played.
In this time, he’s remarkably still managed to produce four Premier League goals for us chipping in also with two assists. You might not think that’s a huge amount, but it does mean he’s our joint second highest scorer with barely any playing time. He’s also scored one less than our top scorer Victor Camarasa, who’s played in virtually every game for us, racking up over 2500 minutes.
No surprise then, that Reid’s brother worryingly retweeted the following tweet:
📊 Bobby Reid averages a goal or assist every 207 minutes this season.
No Cardiff player has a better goal contribution to minute ratio.
🥇 Bobby Reid: 207mins
🥈 Victor Camarasa: 285mins
🥉 Callum Paterson: 399mins pic.twitter.com/AhGisCXSQg
— The Grange End (@TheGrangeEnd) April 30, 2019
I can only feel the perception amongst some Cardiff fans regarding Reid’s omission is wrong. Most of our fanbase have been calling for Reid to come on as our leading striker. I would argue it’s Camarasa who’s been keeping him out of the team; not Niasse, Patterson or Zohore and even Healey! Reid’s best position is just behind the striker and that, unfortunately for him, has been occupied by our much-loved Spanish loan signing.
The most important stat for me is that three of Reid’s four goals this season have come from that attacking midfield role. He’s simply not as effective playing the leading striker. My guess is as good as anybody’s, but the only reason I can fathom why Warnock doesn’t play him is that Reid has the most amount of offsides out of our whole squad in the little that he’s played up top and he much rather Camarasa in that number 10 role and, to be honest, rightly so.
However, after the Bournemouth game, where he single-handedly tore down the Cherries’ defence, I could only feel that that was it. That was enough to convince Warnock that Reid was his man to push this team forwards. You’d think, anyway.
Reid is quite simply unlucky. He was looking to be our trophy signing last summer, until Warnock came across Camarasa in a stroke of luck watching our pre-season friendly against Real Betis, who impressed him enough to put a loan-bid in.
I doubt Warnock even imagined Victor would be as pivotal as he has been this season and neither did most of us, with his transformation from playing on the right-midfield to a more attacking role. This has been Reid’s downfall. That was his spot. I believe Warnock only sees Reid as an attacking midfielder, to the point that Rhys Healey will play striker ahead of him. A striker who had a bang average goal return even in League Two.
Just imagine being Reid. Watching Healey lace up his boots instead of him after convincing himself all game – and most of our previous games – that surely he’s going to get his chance soon. Surely. But he watches on as Healey runs onto the pitch instead of him, in place of Camarasa no less, feeling complete bewilderment and you can only feel resentment also. With three minutes to go, his name is finally called. Three minutes to prove yourself? It’s just an insult.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. Cardiff are, at the moment, very likely to go down to the Championship. Camarasa, therefore, is also very likely to never play for Cardiff ever again. The attacking-midfield position opens up and Reid finds himself in a league again where he scored 19 goals previously, with pretty much guaranteed playing time.
Good for Reid, great for Cardiff.
However, it might not be that simple, unfortunately. There’s the small matter of leaving. Do you see anyone tabling bids for him? I don’t. Maybe a couple of championship clubs, maybe even Bristol. Can you see him leaving? Possibly, yes. If the situation – of which we’re completely unaware of – is that bad then more playing time might not be enough for him to stay.
Putting my positive hat on for a moment, from what I’ve seen of Bobby Reid I can only feel he’s not the kind of footballer to throw his toys out the pram. Myself, I genuinely believe he has enough of an affinity with our fans to want to prove how good he truly is to us, and a regular starting spot in the championship is his best opportunity to do so.
That is, of course, taking into account Warnock doesn’t play any more League Two players ahead of him.