Erol Bulut took over at EFL Championship side Cardiff City ahead of the 2023-24 season. After a slow start, the former Turkey U21 international has found his feet in South Wales.
Can Cardiff Finish in the Top Six?
Avoiding relegation has been at the top of Cardiff’s priority list over the past couple of seasons, and the Bluebirds were tipped to struggle again this year. They made a sluggish start under new boss Bulut, but City have been on a great run of late. They are now looking towards the play-offs, with the team having football odds of 6/1 for a top-six finish and 16/1 to be promoted.
The Welsh team have picked up several good wins this season, with the derby victory over rivals Swansea City in September being the pick of the bunch. They squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at Ipswich Town in the game before, but Cardiff were not to be denied against the Swans.
Aaron Ramsey, who returned to his hometown club in the summer, was outstanding in the middle of the park. The Wales captain ran the show and capped off a stunning performance by scoring Cardiff’s second from the penalty spot.
Finishing in the top six will be a tall order for Cardiff. There are several top teams in the Championship this season, including the likes of Leeds United and Leicester City. Still, Bulut’s men will fancy their chances of success after making an unexpectedly good start.
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) September 30, 2023
Bulut’s Turkish Experience
Born in Germany, Bulut made a breakthrough at Eintracht Frankfurt in the early 1990s. He then spent four years at Fenerbahce before moving back to Frankfurt in 1999. Bulut also played for Trabzonspor and Adanaspor before moving around Europe and retiring as a player in 2012.
His first managerial job came at Yeni Malatyaspor in 2017. Two years later, Bulut took over at Alanyaspor, taking the club to a Turkish Cup final in 2020. That earned him a move to Fenerbahce, where he had a 61.76% winning record.
Before arriving in South Wales, Bulut signed a three-year contract to take over at Gaziantep, though he left the club in January.
Will Bulut Be Successful in the Welsh Capital?
Cardiff have had a couple of dreadful years in the Championship. Last season was particularly bad, as the Bluebirds finished 21st in England’s second-tier table with just 49 points to their name. City won 13, drew ten, and suffered 23 defeats.
Over the past decade or so, Cardiff have competed at the top end of the Championship table, winning promotion to the Premier League on two occasions. Although the EPL is currently a distant dream, the club from the Welsh capital look set to have a far better season this time around.
CARDIFF RED HOT ?
Erol Bulut has gotten his side playing now, with 5 wins in their last 6 matches in all comps ✅
— eflpublished (@eflpublished) September 25, 2023
Finishing in the top half of the Championship table would be a massive improvement, but can Cardiff cause an upset and secure a top-six finish? Bulut’s troops could surprise a few this season.