Is Paul Trollope the right man for Cardiff City?

Written by Scott Salter

This week fans of the football league were in shock as Paul Trollope was named manager of Cardiff City. The former coach replaced Russell Slade, who moved upstairs to a mysterious Head of Football role.

As a Cardiff fan, I can’t help but be underwhelmed by Trollope’s appointment. That’s not to say I won’t support him – of course I will – but is it the right appointment at this time for Cardiff City?

Who is Paul Trollope?

A former Welsh international, Paul Trollope was a first team coach under former manager Russell Slade at the Cardiff City Stadium. He comes from a football family; his father John is the record appearance maker for Swindon, turning out in 770 games between 1960 and 1980. “It introduced me to football from a very early age” Trollope told the BBC.

Trollope himself went on to be a professional footballer himself, playing for Torquay United, Derby County and Fulham. He became the youngest manager in the Football League when he was appointed Bristol Rovers manager in 2005 at the age of 33. The Welshman guided them to the Football League Trophy and to promotion from League Two via the play-offs. He was considered for the Swansea job after Brendan Rodgers left the club, with Chairman Huw Jenkins saying “I’ve seen the names being linked with us in the papers, but I don’t understand why people are not looking at the managers who are doing a great job under a limited budget at other clubs lower down the leagues. “Look at Paul Trollope at Bristol Rovers for example – he’s done very well there.”

Following Rovers, Trollope worked as a coach under Chris Hughton at Birmingham and Norwich, before joining Slade’s back room staff in South Wales. He is also Chris Coleman’s Assistant Manager for Wales.

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The Need for Inspiration                                     credit Jon Candy

After the lacklustre tenure of Russell Slade, the Cardiff faithful have lost all faith in the club. A boring brand of football, a lack of goals and next-to-no motivation from Slade means fans are staying away from the stadium. The Bluebird fans need a man to reignite their passion for the club and to motivate them towards success, similar to the effect Malky Mackay had when he joined from Watford.

Big Names

A number of high-profile names were linked to the vacant managerial position at Cardiff City. From Steve McClaren to Tim Sherwood and Paul Clement, the list was endless. We can rule McClaren out straight away because he’s a joke in my opinion but the latter two and Nigel Pearson would have been great appointments for the Bluebirds.

Pearson in particular is a man who could’ve ignited the passions in South Wales, both for the players and for the fans. He’s the opposite of Slade and his predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who were both too nice.

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credit Simon Williams

Craig Bellamy

In my opinion, the best option for Cardiff City would’ve been Craig Bellamy. The former captain of the club is a passionate, intelligent student of the game and would motivate the fans in a difficult spell. Can you image Bellamy taking any rubbish from the players? Hell no. His tactical understanding and passion for the game mean that he’s likely to make a great manager one day and I’m sure we’ll see him in the Cardiff dugout soon enough.

The right choice?

Was Trollope the best man for the job? Probably not.

Was he the right man to appoint? I think so.

Whilst he won’t necessarily get the juices flowing for Cardiff fans, there’s little doubt that this is a difficult job. There won’t be much money to spend and players will have to leave, which would’ve no doubt limited the options for the vacant post. In Trollope, though, Cardiff have got a Welsh manager (it feels good to type that) who will give youngsters a chance. The fans, though, will need to see past Trollope’s attachment to the Russell Slade regime.

Cardiff fans, what do you make of my thoughts? Was this the right appointment? Let us know in the comments below!

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featured image by Jon Candy