Eight points from the first seven Premier League games in a club’s history would be enough to convince most chairmen their team is heading in the right direction, but Cardiff’s Malaysian owner Vincent Tan’s behind the scenes tinkering has undermined manager Malky Mackay to the point that the Scot’s position at the club suddenly looks untenable.
The former Watford boss has leapfrogged Martin Jol, Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew to become the new 6/4 jolly in the next Premier League manager to leave market, which suggests Mackay could be pushed if he does not walk away from the job soon.
Head of recruitment and Mackay ally Iain Moody has been suspended and replaced.
Moody – who followed Mackay from Watford to the Cardiff City stadium just over two years ago – is understood to have been relieved of his duties by Tan and temporarily replaced with Alisher Apsalyamov, a 23-year-old friend of the chairman’s son who had been on work experience at the club in the summer.
Cardiff spent over £30m during the summer, but Moody’s signings have not all been instant successes.
Combative midfielder Gary Medel has looked assured in front of the defence since arriving from Sevilla for £11m and his completed pass rate of 91 per cent is amongst the highest in the division, while the £8m signing of England international centre-half Steven Caulker from Spurs raised eyebrows for its sheer audacity and ambition.
However, striker Andreas Cornelius has yet to start in the Premier League after the £7.5m Dane picked up an injury in the Capital One Cup win against Accrington and in his absence, Fraizer Campbell is the only player in the squad with more than one league goal so far this term.
The playing staff are in mutinous moods over end-of-season bonus row
Added to the current ill-feeling in the Welsh capital is Tan’s reluctance to adhere to traditional end-of-season bonus payments and although that argument was reportedly settled after the recent game against Hull, it has been suggested in the media that some of Cardiff’s squad wanted their paymaster barred from the dressing room.
Should such a revolt resurface at the club Tan could move to restore discipline by bringing in his own man, having inherited Mackay when taking over from former chairman Dato Chan Tien Ghee in March.