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James Collins at Cardiff City: How’s it gone so far? What issues does he face? What’s next?

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Even before Robert Glatzel’s departure to Hamburg was agreed, Championship side Cardiff City moved to sign Luton Town striker James Collins on the expiration of his contract at Kenilworth Road.

This deal to bring the 30-year-old to the Cardiff City Stadium was agreed and announced as early as May, arriving on a two-year deal after shaping his successful career in Bedfordshire.

With the Hatters, he scored 25 League One goals during the 2018/19 campaign to guide the Hatters to the Championship, before scoring 14 and 10 in the second tier during 2019/20 and 2020/21 respectively.

But they were unable to retain their star man and lost him to a Cardiff City side that finished in a very respectable eighth-place position last season after picking up their form under Mick McCarthy.

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With his international pedigree with the Republic of Ireland, scoring twice in 13 caps and currently operating under a manager who managed the national team once upon a time in Mick McCarthy, he was expected to be a hit in South Wales.

Whether he would be able to fill the goalscoring void Harry Wilson left on the expiration of his loan deal at the Bluebirds remained to be seen after seeing the Welsh international glide across the pitch and become such a vital asset for them, but how has he coped so far? Any issues he’s facing? And what happens next in his current predicament?

We have you covered in this piece.

How’s it gone so far?

Not brilliantly.

James Collins has failed to score in any of his 13 competitive appearances for the Bluebirds so far this season, a far cry from his good record at Luton, although the fact Mick McCarthy has persisted with him is at least a positive for the 30-year-old.

He has been part of a semi-underwhelming Cardiff side going forward. Although the concession of 19 goals in 11 league displays is a much worse record than scoring 12 times in the same number of matches, scoring at a rate of just over one goal per game won’t win them many games.

The forward needs to step up to the plate because of this, because his side currently find themselves in 20th place and just three points above the drop zone. On their current trajectory, it’s only a matter of time before they enter the drop zone.

But he will be hoping the international break will allow the Bluebirds to reset and get back on track. Surely things can only get better?

What issues does he face?

Kieffer Moore.

Although the Welsh international and Collins will be eager to see each other do well in their quest to get up the Championship table, there is only space for one man up top at this moment in time and it was the latter who was forced to drop to the bench at the weekend against Reading.

Despite still losing the game, McCarthy’s men performed much better against the Royals than they have in previous games and this could keep the Irishman out of the starting lineup after the international break.

Considering Moore is a fully established Welsh international who scored 20 goals in the Championship last term, there’s no shame in playing second fiddle to him, but it could be nearly impossible to get in the starting 11 if the Welshman can return to his form from the 2020/21 campaign.

The 29-year-old hasn’t exactly been in great form himself, but more chances to start could allow him to find the back of the net and this could keep Collins out in the cold at the Cardiff City Stadium.

What’s next?

A huge fight for a starting spot.

The last section may have been a pessimistic view of his time in Wales thus far, but as long as Mick McCarthy remains manager, the 30-year-old should have a reasonable number of first-team chances, especially if they play two up front at some point.

Things may start to look bleak for Collins if Cardiff opt to change their manager, but their board seem to be keeping faith in the 62-year-old as things stand.

And in other good news for the Republic of Ireland international, he remains under contract until 2023 so he still has plenty of time to make his mark.

You can’t write him off considering his previous goalscoring record at Luton.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: James Collins at Cardiff City: How’s it gone so far? What issues does he face? What’s next?

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