9th October 2007
It's been announced that the Manhattan Sports Capital Partners Limited have withdrawn their takeover offer for the club. I imagine this would probably explain the resignation of Paul Fletcher on Friday.
This is clearly very bad news for the Club although the official website is claiming that 'takeover deals are very much alive'.
I've been hearing very worrying rumours of the club imminently going into administration. If so, we would be penalised 10 points (we currently have 15), placing us at the bottom of the league with 5 points (a point behind QPR) and with a serious relegation battle on our hands!
I was very shocked and sorry to hear that Managing Director Paul Fletcher resigned on Friday.
He was very positive and passionate about the club and what could be done with it going forward - exactly what the club needs in that role in my opinion.
On the few times I've had dealings with him, I've found him to be very approachable and I felt he cared about the issue or problem I was bringing to his attention. He ALWAYS replied to my emails personally and promptly and acted on them as he said he would.
I'm obviously not familiar with the goings-on on upstairs at the Ricoh and with the details of the takeover bid(s), but clearly something has gone wrong that will no doubt come out in the not too distant future.
I wish Mr Fletcher well in whatever he moves on to and would like to thank him for the all hard work and dedication he showed to Coventry City FC during his time here. I hope he'll be back if it's possible.
I'm pleased with our current 8th position in the Championship after 9 matches. Dowie and his management team are doing an excellent job in my opinion. Dowie is DEFINITELY the right man for the job. We had a dream start being top, but I knew we couldn't sustain that. The excellent victory in the Carling Cup over Manchester United at Old Trafford is certainly the highlight of the season so far.
The squad is clearly a lot fitter than last season and this has shown with late goals in a couple of matches and we've often looked the stronger side at the end of games.
The one area I've been a bit disappointed in is the defence. We don't seem to be fully organised in that department, letting in some soft goals, and in the few games I've seen him play in Arjan DeZeeuw hasn't given the great performances I was hoping for.
I've been very impressed with the way Dele Adebola has been used to hold up the ball. He may not have the pace of Mifsud, but when he gets the ball down the left wing he is excellent at keeping possession whilst the other players get into a shooting position.
I think Leon Best is lacking in confidence. Against Charlton he missed a couple of sitters when he hesitated in front of goal. Having said that I do think he shows potential for the future.
I was very pleased to see Andy Marshall keep his place in goal for the home match against Charlton after his excellent performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
I was surprised that Dimitri Konstantopoulos was made 1st choice goalkeeper after Marshall played so well last season and was voted Player of the Season. It certainly thought it was a good idea to get another quality goalkeeper in as cover in case of injury or suspension to Marshall, but I would have thought he would have to wait for Marshall to become unavailable or have a bad game before being given the opportunity to stake his claim as the first choice goalie.
I have been quite impressed with what I've seen of Dimitri, but I don't think he should have been brought straight in to the first eleven.
Well, well, well..... the Sky Blues have ditched Manchester United out of the Carling Cup at Old Trafford and from what I've heard it was a fully deserved victory.
A lot of people will no doubt argue that United didn't play their first team squad but I'm not taking any of that b****cks! Alex Ferguson had his big name players at his disposal and he CHOSE to under-estimate the MIGHTY Sky Blues. I've also read that the United midfield at the end of the game was worth £5 Million and there we 6 internationals in the team.
By all accounts Michael Mifsud played a blinder and Marshall made a brillant save towards the end of the match. I just hope Premiership teams haven't got his eye on him as we don't want a repeat of the McSheffrey saga!
I had a funny feeling we might see a shock result from this game. We were clearly up for it and we had nothing to lose seeing as most people thought the result would be a formality. For YEARS we have often done well against tough opposition (and often let ourselves down against teams we should have walked over - who remembers Sutton United?). Back in the 70's/80's we beat Liverpool on several occasions and one of the best ever games I went to was Coventry 3 Manchester United 2 at Highfield Road on 29th December 1997 with Darren Huckerby scoring what is probably the best goal I ever saw (I think it was a contender for goal of the season).
This fabulous result comes off the back off a few disappointing results (a home loss against Bristol, a 1-1 away draw against Palace losing our 100% away record and a 4-1 loss away to Ipswich) so I just hope we can take this positive attitude forward to the rest of the season.
26th August 2007
This morning the Sky Blues are top of the Championship!!!.... and it feels good!!
Yes, I know we've only played 3 league matches and I know there's a good chance that we won't still be top by the end of today (Ipswich play Crystal Palace today and if it doesn't end in a draw, one of those teams will probably go above us) but it feels good, so I'm making sure everyone knows about it!!
We've won all our away matches so far, which is virtually unheard of at Coventry City! Keep it up lads!!
19th August 2007
I was disappointed that City didn't manage to take all 3 points against Hull City at home. Hull clearly came for a draw and got one, deservedly! Oh well, at least we're still unbeaten this season.
The one thing that worried me about this performance was the way that on numerous occasions we stopped playing in order to call for an offside. This is very dangerous, particularly when in front of our own goal. We should always play to the ref's whistle and ask questions afterwards.
15th August 2007
I was pleased to see that we managed to get past the first round this season against Notts County. To be honest I thought Notts County were the best team in the first half, but we took control after the interval.
Julian Best on the wing impressed me as did Robbie Simpson when he cam on towards the end. He has real eye for goal, something we've lacked in recent seasons.
I thought Leon Best looked good although I think he needs to learn the offside rule (memories of Darren Huckerby?)! Several times he stood in an offside position for a dead ball situation and there's no excuse for that. It's a waste of a potential goal-scoring opportunity. He also managed to get himself a needless yellow card for kicking the ball away which I wasn't too impressed with. Yellow cards will add up over the season and could cause us a serious problem later in the year.
I was a bit concerned about the lack of organisation in our defence. Hopefully once Arjan DeZeeuw gets fit this will be sorted out. In the meantime, think I prefer Elliott Ward to Robert Page. I noticed Notts. County's defence worked as a unit lined up in a perfect straight line moving forward together once the danger had been cleared. There was no-such organisation in the City defence!
10th August 2007
Did anyone else notice that there was no clock on the scoreboard for either of the pre-season friendlies at the Ricoh Arena?
I had to email Paul Fletcher at the club about something else recently and I mentioned this to him. In his reply he said that he'd also noticed it and that it would be sorted by the start of the season. Let's hope so as I think it's pretty important when following the match!
Also, did anyone else notice during the friendlies at the Ricoh Arena that some of the players weren't wearing the shirt numbers stated in the match programme? Anyone know why? Hopefully that will also be sorted out by the start of the season.
It's a pity we didn't keep our 100% unbeaten run in the pre-season friendlies, but I have to say that we were outclassed by Udinese.
I noticed quite a few of our passes were going astray - something which happened far to often during last season!
I also thought that once he came on, Leon McKenzie was being left on his own down the wing far too often, with everyone else just standing there watching him trying to get past 2 or 3 defenders single-handedly. Surely someone should be been giving him some assistance.
I thought our man of the match was Andy Marshall. Without him we would have lost by a lot more than 0-2. I hope he'll continue to be our first choice goalie, although I do think bringing in another quality goalkeeper over the summer is a good move, both as cover in case of injury/suspension and also to keep each other on their toes.
We've made 8 new signings over the summer. I can't remember the last time we signed that many! I think the 'strength in depth' can only be a good thing with competition for places and stand-ins for injuries and suspensions.
Here are the new signings....
21st June 2007
I really hope the takeover bid by American Consortium "Manhattan Sports Capital Partners" goes through. It's been announced recently that the club hopes to have the deal finalised by the end of June.
The bid is being led by lifelong Coventry fan Gary Hopkins. There was also mention recently that Graeme Souness had been shown round the Ricoh Arena with a view to him making a bid. This apparently fell through, which to be honest I'm quite relived about, as I'd much rather see a takeover led by someone with Sky Blue blood in their veins than from someone that didn't.
This is just what we need to clear the clubs £28 Million debt and to give Iain Dowie funding for quality signings if we're going to make a serious push to get back to the Premiership.
It was clear last season that we just don't have the quality in the side at present to get the club where it needs to be at the end of the season, i.e. Top 6, prefereably Top 2!
There are some good quality players in our squad, but last year there was far too much giving the ball away needlessly, not enough commitment to tackling opposing players, not enough quality balls from midfield to the strikers, too many defensive errors and too many passes not reaching their intended targets.
I was shocked to hear that when Dowie took over in late February, the players were only doing 9 hours training a week! No wonder they weren't fit! This was apaprently up-ed to 19 hours straight away.
Hopefully come August, we'll see a much fitter Coventry City team, READY to take on the Championship and confident of being at the correct end of the league come April!!!
PLAY UP SKY BLUES!!!!!
I've heard that City want to sign Cambridge United striker Robbie Simpson, who's currently doing a degree in Sports Science and Maths at Loughborough University.
I've had a surf on the web and found a photo of him and I can't say I recognise his face from around town.
The signing looks set to go to a tribunal over the fee, but rest-assured that if he does sign for us I'll be keeping my eye out for him, and if I find him "out on the razzle" the night before a match, he'll be in BIG trouble!
Coventry have made what must be their "biggest" name signing ever - Goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos!! That's a full 24 letters!
I'm tempted to buy the new Goalkeeper shirt this season, just for the novelty of having his name emblazoned on the back ...then again it may be a bit pricey!!! (Shirt £39.99 + 15 letters at 99p each comes to £54.84!)
Although I 've said that the goalie position is the only one that didn't worry me last season due to Andy Marshall's excellent performances, I'm pleased to see we've got cover for Marshall in case of injury and competition in the squad can only be a good thing.
With Dimitrios keeping 25 clean sheets for Hartlepool during 2006/07 and Marshall hopefully keeping his run of good form going, it look like the Sky Blues are going to be in safe hands next season!
I was very pleased to see Andy Marshall get the Sky Blues "Player of the Season" Award.
He has performed consistently all season and has rescued us from defeat on several occasions.
To be honest, the goalkeeper role has been the only position in the side that hasn't caused me worry this last season. He's certainly the most reliable goalie we've had in recent years.
We just need to sort out what's going on in front of him.
28th February 2007
I've been very impressed with what I've seen of Iain Dowie so far. He had a very impressive first 6 matches in charge and even though the results in the next 6 games weren't as good, those games were against tougher opposition, so I'm not going to slag him off like a lot of fans seem to have done, until next season when it's a team that he's built and not just inherited.
From what I've heard he's not had any money to bring in new signings straight away and he's been given the no.1 task of keeping us in the Championship next season with a view to re-building then. This he's managed to do successfully (even if the fans had a few scares on the way, but we're used to that being Sky Blues fans!).
I'm very pleased to see Dowie's not afraid to make difficult decisions (ie having a clear-out of players not in his plans for next year) and he's also prepared to take responsibility for the club at all levels, from the youth team up to the senior squad.
I'm also very impressed with the way he's out on the pitch before every games running the warm-up session and he's also gets very passionate about what's happening on the pitch from the technical area during the game. These are things that we didn't see from Adams.
I've been told that apparently Dowie has a tendency to do well for the 1st few months, but the 'honeymoon period' wears off after a while. Only time will tell, but I'm happy with what I've seen of him and Tim Flowers so far.
1st February 2007
I'm surprised that we've brought in defenders and ignored the desperate need for a goalscorer and reliable goalkeeper!
In fact we've actually got rid of a goalscorer by selling Stern John to Sunderland. He was one of our (the?) top goalscorers for the season, even though he did have a tendency to be lazy. He played well when it was in his interest to do so (e.g. when a Trinidad international was coming up or his contract was coming to an end), but apart from that he certainly lacked effort.
It was a real shame as when he was on form he was extremely skilful on the ball, but never fufilled his potential. I've heard the same said of him from friends who support his former clubs (namely Notts.Forest).
Actually, on balance I think selling him was the best thing to do, although I wish we'd got a reliable goalscorer to take his place in the side. My reasons for thinking this are....
As I've mentioned many times, the Sky Blues have always been most successful in the past with a small guy playing off a big guy up front. Hopefully we'll see this happen with Kyle and Mifsud. Kyle currently puts in a lot of effort and wins the ball in the air more often than not, but he does seem to lack skill in what he does with the ball once he's won it.
30th January 2007
City have FINALLY got their first victory since 9th December with a 1-0 win against Luton Town!! HOORAH!!!!!! Not a hugely impressive one, but hopefully it'll mean the end of the rot we've been witnessing recently!
I thought Kyle got himself about very well tonight and did a good job helping out in defence where his height was a big advantage. It reminded me of when Dion Dublin played in that role towards the end of his time with the club. Maybe this is more the role for him, as he's hardly set the goal-scoring statistics alight since he joined City in the summer.
I'm rather worried about our goal-keeping situation. I'm afraid I have no faith in Luke Steele! My heart's in my mouth whenever the ball goes near our penalty area. He just doesn't seem to inspire confidence in the defence or command his penalty area as I'd like to seem him do.
Can we bring in a new goalie before the end of the transfer window please? (i.e. today or tomorrow!)
17th January 2007
Following last night's disappointing exit from this year's F.A.Cup Competition to lower division opposition, Micky Adams has not surprisingly been sacked.
The rumour was that last night's game would be Adams' final match in charge of the Sky Blues if they failed to go through to the 4th round by beating Bristol City and that's turned out to be the case.
I have to say I'm not surprised after the recent run of bad form following the 5-0 thrashing from WBA on 16th December. Before then, it looked like a play-off place was a distinct possibility but I think that's now gone.
I've been concerned for a while about our lack of confidence in front of goal. We've been lacking a reliable goalscorer in the team ever since Gary McSheffrey was sold to Birmingham (I suspect this decision was made above Adams' head) and our defence in recent games has been a joke.
I think Adams lacked the agressive manner that's required to get the best out of players. I think he's been too much of a nice guy and a bit of fear was what was required to get the players to deliver.
I've noticed that towards the end of matches when City are a single goal behind or drawing, Adams has tended to stand in his technical area with his arms folded and his mouth shut when I'd have liked to have seen a bit more passion, shouting instructions to the players and trying to motivate them to give one more push.
I've also noticed that he spends the entire game in the dugout. Many years ago at Highfield Road I used to sit at pitch level and it's impossible to 'read the game' from there. A lot of Managers (I noticed Dennis Wise at Leeds on New Years Day for example) spend a good part of the game sitting in a seat half way up the stand. This must give a much better view of the game.
Out of his many signings over the summer, only Leon McKenzie, Elliott Ward, possibly Chris Birchall and more recently Michael Mifsud have impressed me. The rest seem to have been a waste of money which we can't afford. Our defence is still a mess and we're hopeless in front of goal!
In judging whether it was the right decision to get rid of Adams, you have to ask whether they have a better option in mind to replace him. We obviously don't have the finance to get in a big name manager but there are plenty of experienced Managers currently out of work. Ian Dowie springs to mind and I'd be very happy to see him put in charge. I've heard David O'Leary's name mentioned, but I'm not sure the Sky Blue Army would be happy with a Manager with Villa connections! Other names mentioned have been Richard Money (currently manager at Walsall who has connections with Coventry City), Gary Megson and Kevin Keegan.
2nd January 2007
It's been an extremely disappointing Xmas period with City only getting a draw from the 4 games since 23rd December (Luton away, Ipswich home, Southend home, Leeds away).
The Ipswich match was a particular negative performance in my opinion, with City's defence less than useless! We've played the 2 bottom clubs in the division, being lucky to scrape a draw with one and losing to the other! Is this Operation Premiership???? It's fast becoming Operation Avoid Division One!!
I've never seen a crowd walkout like the one at the Crystal Palace game after City went 0-4 down within 40 minutes.
Something's got to be done quick to stop this decline in performance before it's too late. It all seemed to go wrong after the 5-0 thrashing we got from WBA on 16th December.
We don't seem to have any confidence and don't even look like scoring a goal.
9th November 2006
Does Micky Adams read this website and use it for advice????? No sooner had I suggested on this page (no pun intended) that Robert Page ought to replace Stephen Hughes as Club Captain than it actually happens!!!
I think this is a great decision! Robert Page leads by example, has loads of experience both at club level and internationally for Wales and seems to me to be a natural leader.
By the way, if Micky Adams DOES read this website can he please get in touch by clicking here. I'd be interested to know if he does and I'd be happy to give him more of my opinions.
If he'd like me to be his No.2 I'd be very pleased to discuss it and would be very happy to do it for a relatively low wage compared to what I imagine the first team are getting paid.
5th November 2006
It was good to see a near capacity crowd at The Ricoh Arena to watch the Sky Blues play local rivals Birmingham City on 31st Oct. Pity we couldn't beat them or scrape a point from the game, although I was glad Gary McSheffrey didn't score as I suspected he would do.
Actually, it wasn't McSheffrey's first visit to the Ricoh since he left as I spotted him sitting a couple of rows in front of me and Mike at the Colchester game the week before. I'm pretty sure Michael Doyle's goal celebration was directed at him.
I thought McSheff was very physical during the Birmingham game right from the start and the Ref took a long time to finally give him a yellow card. Right at the start of the game he went in hard against Stephen Hughes just in front of where I sit. I thought quite a few of the Birmingham team were very physical throught the match.
I've been very very impressed with what I've seen of Leon McKenzie so far. He seems to have a very positive, attacking style and in the games I've seen him play in so far he's seemed the most likely to find the back of the net.
I've also been impressed with Elliott Ward and Robert Page in defence, both being very decisive and clearing the ball quickly.
On a less postive note, I've not been too impressed with what I've seen of Colin Cameron. He runs around a lot and makes a lot of effort, but he seems to give the ball away far to often with poor passing and doesn't go forward enough to create chances. I'm also not sure about Stephen Hughes and why he's Captain? In the Birmingham match we looked a much better side once Hutchison came on to replace Hughes. I think Robert Page would be a better choice as Captain.
I was very surprised to see that Isaac Osbourne and Liam Davis have been sent out on loan to Crewe and Peterborough respectively. On the few times I've seen them play I've been very impressed with them both. I also can't see why Kevin Thornton isn't even in the squad at the moment. At the last couple of games he's been sat a few rows in front of me and I heard that he's been playing in the reserves so I don't think he's injured. As I've mentioned before, I think a creative, midfielder like Thornton with an eye for goal is exactly what we need in the first team squad right now.
2nd October 2006
Well, our record of being unbeat at the Ricoh this season has gone! I thought Plymouth put on a good performance but we showed weaknesses in defence and allowed them to get at us when we shouldn't have.
We seemed to continually back off as Argyle came forward when what was needed was a strong tackle. Once they'd reached our Penalty Area we obviously had to be a bit more cautious so as not to give a away a penalty and we gave them the time and space to have a shot.
Fortunately for us most of their 'shots on goal' were a bit wild but we finally succumbed to the pressure towards the end of the match, at which point our heads dropped and we seemed to accept that we were going to inevitably lose the game.
With McNamee out, Whingy had his chance to claim his place in the regular starting 11, but I don't think he looked good enough. He looked nervous and as if the pressure was getting to him. His tackles were badly timed and his distribution was mostly inaccurate.
I also noticed that our defenders seemed to stop playing and raise their arms to claim offside as soon as a potential offside situation occured. Stopping playing is the LAST thing they should be doing - until the ref blows the whistle! All they're doing when they stop is giving the opposition time to line up a shot! If the ref doesn't blow, then it's a goal!
On a more positive note, Kevin Kyle won ALL of the headers he went for, but sadly there was no-one there to get on the end of it.
I was very surprised by Adams' subsitutions in the 2nd half. Birchall is one of our more creative players and although he wasn't having the best game he's had for us all season I didn't think taking him off and bringing Adebola on achieved anything! I would have taken Cameron off and brought on Thornton - another creative player with pace and the eye for going forward!
Both Cameron and Hughes didn't appear to be doing much for the side and as I've mentioned before Adebola lacks pace and his 1st touch could be better. We'd already got height up front with Kyle so bring on another big player seemed very odd to me.
I see McSheffrey scored for Birmingham on Saturday!
It's pretty clear that the sale of Gary McSheffrey was done over Micky Adams' head and I'm not convinced that McSheffrey himself wanted to go.
In my opinion he was certainly our best player in recent seasons (17 goals from the left wing is a pretty impressive return, although admittedly some of those did come from the Penalty Spot).
We're certainly going to miss him, but £4.5M is a lot of money for a club in the Championship with a large debt such as Coventry. I'm sure not all the money is going to be given to build the team, but some of it has been used to buy a LOT of new players over the summer and I've been very impressed with several of them, notably Birchall, Ward and Kyle. Hopefully before too long the new squad will gel together and take the club forward and UPWARDS!
After 8 games we're sitting in 11th place with 17 points and only two games ago we were sitting in 6th place (a playoff position! If only we could stop the season then!!!). It seems that the Ricoh Arena has continued to be the fortress it was last season, but sadly it looks like we've also kept our poor form away from home!
16th August 2006
I was pleased with the performance our first game of the season at home to Sunderland. With 4 new players on the pitch (out of 10 new signings last time I counted) I wasn't sure what to expect but to come from behind and win was very satisfying, particularly against a team that had only just come down from the Premiership.
Out of the new signings I was most impressed with Elliott Ward who looked very solid in the heart of the defence.
I was also very pleased to see the width we used with good crosses coming in well particularly from Birchall on the right wing.
We didn't get a chance to see Jay Tabb in the Sunderland game as he was on the bench and wasn't brough on. I've heard good things about him and was hoping to see what he could do. Hopefully we'll get to see him soon.
We lost both of the next 2 games which were both away, first to Southampton and then to Cardiff. I didn't get to either of those games, but from what I've heard we put up a good performance in both cases and didn't really deserve to lose, we just failed to take our chances when they came (sound familiar?). I hope we're not going to have such a bad season away from home as we did last year as that was the reason we narrowly missed the playoffs last season. Although we've lost our 1st 2 away matches I do think that Southampton and Cardiff away are 2 of the most tricky games of the season so I'm not worrying about it (just yet!).
On a personal note, my cousin Mike and I were rather miffed about a few things that the club have failed to do or have made a mess of on the Admin side over the summer. These are:
a) Car Parks
As you may have noticed whilst viewing this site, I am a wheelchair user and as such last year I had a Disabled parking space in Car Park A which is right outside the entrance we use to go into the Coventry Evening Telegraph Stand. I renewed my Car Park Pass when I renewed my Season Ticket, but for some reason the Club sent me a pass for Car Park B which is right on the opposite side of the Stadium! After several phonecalls this has finally been resolved this week. I know some other disabled supporters that have had exactly the same problem.
We subscribed to the True Sky Blue Initiative, but Mike still hasn't got a padded striped seat and I haven't got a plaque with my name on it as promised! They were very swift to take our money, but still haven't delivered their side of the deal!
c) Wall of Fame
For my birthday in July, my Mum bought me a brick on the the Wall of Fame - Bill Glazier section - see if you can spot it! Well actually you won't spot it because it's not there yet! Even though I was sent a certificate stating that 'a brick has been placed on the Wall of Fame....'. Again, the club took my money very efficiently, but didn't deliver their part of the bargain. When I rang up to enquire where it was, the lady I spoke to on the phone said it was on the list for the next batch to be installed and was surprised that it said on the certificate that it was already there. She's promised to send me a letter once it's been done - I've not heard from her yet. I'll go and take a look to see if it's there at the next home match
Well, he's finally gone! After all the speculation and assurances from Paul Fletcher that Gary was vital to the club's plans to reach the Premiership in the next 3 seasons, they've accepted £4M for our top goalscorer and Mr Fletcher's telling us to look to the future and that £4 Million was good business.
I suppose it was inevitable that he was going to be off and I have to admit that £4M is a lot of cash in this division, which if spent wisely could be extremely good for the club, but I feel a bit cheated that Mr Fletcher is saying the exact opposite of what he was saying to us only a couple of weeks ago.
It also leaves us in desperate need of a proven goalscorer soon (as well as a goalkeeper seeing as Spurs won't let us have Marten Fulop). I can't see a reliable source of goals in our current squad now. Dele Adebola tries hard, but he's not the most skillful of players and his 1st touch could be better. He needs someone to play off, someone like Gary McSheffrey!! I just hope Mr Adams has got someone lined up to replace Sheffers and he brings them in SOON bearing in mind we're playing Leicester City at the Ricoh in 72 hours!!
9th July 2006
I was very surprised to see that Coventry have signed 7 new players over the Summer. I don't know a lot about them yet, but I'm pleased to see that Micky's made moves to sort out the defence with the signings of Mikkel Bischoff, David McNamee and Elliott Ward (our 1st £1 Million signing for 5 years!).
We've also signed Goalkeeper Andy Marshall, Midfielders Colin Cameron and Jay Tabb and Striker Wayne Andrews.
3rd May 2006
I'm delighted to say that Kevin Thornton has signed for next year. I really think he's going to be a key player for us.
I've also heard that we're trying to sign Marten Fulop on a full contract and he's keen to come here and be the regular 1st choice goalie rather than sit on the bench at White Hart Lane. Apparently we've made an offer to Spurs for him already which was rejected and we're planning to come back with a better offer. He's been one of our best players this year in my opinon and has really improved since he's been with us.
Sadly, the end of the season has marked the end of Richard Shaw's playing career after 10 years with the Sky Blues. I heard a while ago that he's planning on joining Coventry's coaching staff next year.
Another player who is apparently finishing his career after a great season with City is Dennis Wise. He has made a great contribution to our team and I think we could possibly squeeze another season out of him.
I heard recently that Stern John won't be playing for the Sky Blues next year. He's off to the World Cup with Trinidad and Tobago in the Summer and I suspect his desire to play in the World Cup 2006 is the reason he's done better for us in recent months. He's a very skilful player and he's shown he's capable of finding the net, but if the ball isn't delivered to him perfectly he's not going to be bothered to go running after it. In other words, very talented, but lazy!
16th March 2006
I've heard that Everton, Aston Villa and WBA have got their eyes on Kevin Thornton. Seeing as his contract expires at the end of this season I hope he doesn't decide he's better off joining one of these clubs rather than sitting on the bench at Coventry!
I've also heard that Marten Fulop wants to sign for the Sky Blues rather than go back to Spurs when his loan period expires at the end of the season. When he first joined us I was a bit worried about his tendency to punch balls away rather than trying to catch them, but as the season has progressed he's put in some excellent performances for us and I'd really like to see us sign him on a permanent contract.
I've heard various rumours that Gary McSheffrey may be off over the summer. He's been our main goalscorer this season and he'll be a big loss if he does go, but taking the chance to play in the Premiership next season rather than having to wait at least another season to do it with the Sky Blues may be to tempting to turn down.
Now we know we're definitely not going to get relegated and can't get promoted, I'd like to see us using the rest of the season to try out players who are on the fringe of the 1st team that we're probably going to be using next season. I can't see the point in us using loan players who really aren't bothered about Coventry City and have only come here to get fit after long-term injuries or to try and find their form again.
What we need are permanent players who really want to do well for the club and want to help get us back into the Premiership. We've got a lot of home-grown talent in the Coventry City youth team, let's use it!!
As I've mentioned before, I'm very impressed with what I've seen of Kevin Thornton and I can't understand why he's always on the bench and rarely gets to play. Whenever I've seen him, his pace and energy have turned games round.
This was very apparent at the recent Richard Shaw Testimonial where he scored minutes after coming on to the pitch. Another player who really impressed me at that match was Liam Davis who also scored a great goal. I really hope we'll hang on to these 2 players over the summer and bring them in as 1st team regulars next season.
City recently acheived there best ever home record for 26 years with a run of 13 home games undefeated. Unfortunately our away record hasn't been anywhere near as impressive with only 3 away victories all season! If only we'd done a bit better away from home I believe we could easily have been pushing for a place in the playoffs this season.
I think Mickey Adams has made a great move in bringing Dennis Wise to the Ricoh Arena.
When I saw him play against us in the past I'd always disliked him due to his continual fouling and aggressive manner, however when it's a different matter when he's doing it for your side!
When I first heard about this signing I thought it was going to be a recipe for disaster, particularly after the notorious 'fire-extinguisher' incident whilst training with Leicester City where a team-mate ended up with a broken jaw, but whenever he's playing he really motivates the rest of the players and they seem to play with a lot more passion and desire. This is what we were lacking last year.
I just hope he doesn't get suspended too much!
23rd November 2005
Our current position in the league is not good, although it's quite tight in terms of points so a good run could make things look a lot better for us. At the time of writing we're currently lying 4th from bottom with only 3 wins all season!
They reckon that the league at Christmas is a good indicator of how things will turn out at the end of the season. If so, it looks like we've got a relegation battle on our hands.... and this is The Coca-cola Championship!
Stephen Hughes certainly isn't on top of his game at the moment and I've heard he's picked up an Achilles problem.
I've been impressed with what I've seen of Kevin Thornton. He's got pace and seems to put a lot of effort in. We could do with a few more of the regulars putting a bit more passion into their game.
What's the odds that Darren Huckerby will score against us for Norwich next Saturday? I've a nasty feeling he will. Pity he's not wearing a Coventry shirt as we could do with a player like that up front at the moment!
29th October 2005
3 points at last! The 1st half was pretty ordinary (McSheffrey missed an absolute sitter early on, but not such a howler as the one that Luton missed later on!).
We looked a lot better in the 2nd half and got a nicely taken goal after some good work by Scowcroft.
I don't know how Luton got to be in 3rd position in the league based on performances like that! They seemed to give us lots of time and space and rarely threatened our goal.
Our new goalie looked pretty confident between the sticks, although he did tend to try and punch the ball away when I felt he could have caught it cleanly.
28th October 2005
I'm obviously not the only one who wasn't impressed with Clayton Ince's performance in goal on Sunday against Leicester as we have a new goalie! It's Hungarian International Marton Fulop, who we've signed on loan from Spurs.
He's 6' 6"" so hopefully he should be able to control the box better than other goalies we've had playing for us in recent months.
24th October 2005
I was very disappointed with the way we played during the match against Leicester City. Our main tactic seemed to be to send the ball down the middle of the pitch and see what happened.
Leicester in comparison used 2 wingers and looked a lot more threatening and able to score particular for the 1st 15 minutes of the 2nd half when we hardly touched the ball!
Again we failed to keep concentration for the full 45 minutes of the half and gave away an equaliser with literally seconds to go before the ref blew for half-time! How many times are we going to give away last minute goals or concede seconds after scoring ourselves???
What on earth was Dele Adebola doing over by the corner flag at such regular intervals???? Surely as our main target man he ought to be up in front of the goal ready to get on the end of a few crosses coming in from the wings!
I wasn't too confident about us having Clayton Ince in goal. He didn't seem to be able to catch the ball cleanly. He either fumbled it and controlled in at the 2nd attempt or threw it to the ground and jumped on it. Apparently Clayton is the 3 times Caribbean Goalkeeper of the Year, but I can't think of any others off the top of my head (Shaka Hislop?). Maybe someone could email me and let me know of one other than Clayton?
3rd September 2005
Stern John has gone out on loan to Derby County. About time!
When he first came to City I felt quite pleased that we'd got a striker with experience who could possibly become a target man for us.
The more I've seen him play, the more disappointed I've become. He admittedly has a good 1st touch, but when he has the ball he doesn't do anything with it and if the ball doesn't land at his feet he's not going to go chasing after it! ....LAZY!
I think I read somewhere that after his loan period, Derby have the option to sign him permanently. Knowing our luck he'll probably do what Dele Adebola did and finish his loan period a vastly improved player, but I can't see it somehow!
I live in the East Midlands and from what I've been hearing on the local radio and from chatting to Derby fans I know, they're not very impressed with him either!
11th September 2005
I'm very impressed with our new stadium, however there are a few areas of it which need finishing off.
When I entered the stadium for the 1st home match against QPR on the 20th August with my cousin Mike, we couldn't find Block 36. We asked several stewards and eventually found where we needed to be. Unfortunately the signs stopped at Block 34!
Once we'd found our seats I was very impressed with the view and the pitch looked immacculate. However, it could do with a scoreboard and maybe a clock? Hopefully these will be added in the not too distant future, although 2 home games later there's still no sign of either a scoreboard or a clock.
Also, I and the others sitting in Block 36 have noticed that the seats aren't numbers and there are no wheelchair position numbers painted on the concrete as was the case at Highfield Road. We've also noticed that Block 36 seems to be set out differently to the other wheelchair blocks, with the chairs for the escorts all at one end rather than spread out between the wheelchair spaces. We have mentioned this to the stewards, but nothing has been done about this as of yet, although the escorts don't really mind sitting on the comfy cushioned seats that are fetched for them from the Executive Box area!
The atmosphere inside the ground once the game gets underway is very impressive and quite imposing, certainly more so than at Highfield Road. Presumably the shape of the stadium and having a roof all the way round makes the noise of the crowd carry better than it did at Highfield Road.
The only MAJOR disappointment the really needs sorting is the arrangements for emptying the car parks after the match. At every game so far we have been kept in the car parks for about half an hour by stewards with wheelie-bins blocking the car-park entrances. Once the stewards get the signal to let everybody out there is NOBODY given the task of controlling the traffic and this inevitably leads to stationary queues for an EXTREMELY long time!!
I can only imagine that everybody is kept in the car parks because of the crowds walking around the stadium and in the middle of the roads. Why can't the stewards be given the task of keeping the crowds on the pavement, thereby leaving the roads free for the cars to use. Also, why on earth aren't some stewards given the job of directing the traffic and keeping it flowing???
After the 1st home match, the traffic was solid right onto the A444 roundabout with cars jumping the lights and blocking the roads in all directions!
I've heard complaints about all this from every fan I've spoken to, so surely something has to be done about it SOON!! I'm amazed the club was allowed to open the Arena with traffic management arrangements as bad as this.
14th August 2005
Well, we've now played 3 matches and we're still looking for our 1st victory of the 2005-06 season and at the time of writing we're sitting in the relegation zone (admittedly it's very early in the season and all 3 games were played away from home due to the Ricoh Arena not being completed).
I was happy with the result of the 1st match (away to Norwich) seeing as Norwich are one of the 3 teams to be relegated from the Premiership last season and are therefore one of the favourites to go back up.
I was also satisfied with the draw away to Millwall, although seeing as Millwall were down to 10 men for most of the 2nd half we maybe should have been chasing all 3 points.
However, I was very disappointed with the 4-0 loss away to Burnley. I was particularly disappointed that we had team captain Stephen Hughes sent off early on in the game. He's one of the key players in our team and to lose him for 3 matches due to suspension this early in the season will be a major blow to the team.
I'm not to sure what his red card was for but from what I heard on the match commentary it sounds like it was for something he said to the referee. If that's the case he should have known better than to mouth-off to the referee about an incident that he wasn't even directly involved in.
From what I've heard so far it sounds like Bywaters, our 1st choice goalkeeper, was a good aquisition. Several people have said he was our Man of the Match for all 3 games so far.
I'm very excited about our 1st home match of the season next Saturday (20th August) against QPR. I really hope the 1st goal to be scored in the Ricoh is a Coventry goal and the game ends in a victory for us! I'll be sitting in the Evening Telegraph Stand Block 36, Row WC, Seat 22 (which hopefully will have as good a view as my old seat at Highfield Road). If you happen to be nearby come and say hello!
10th May 2005
Congratulations to Micky Adams for getting the Championship Manager of the Month Award for April. He's certainly got the team playing a lot better than they were under Peter Reid.
As Micky said at the end of the season, narrowly avoiding relegation is not really something to be proud of and we could and should have done much better.
I'm looking forward to seeing what changes Micky makes over the summer - what players he decides to let go and which ones he keeps. It'll be interesting to see how the team fair next season with Micky in charge from the start and not doing the best he can with the team he's inherited.
Living in Leicestershire, I know several Leicester City fans and they've warned me that Micky tends to be very inconsistent. With a good performance from him since he took over at Coventry mid-season, they reckon we're due a bad season from him - we'll see!
I'm very pleased to see that Gary McSheffrey, Dele Adebola and Stephen Hughes have all signed new contracts to stay at Coventry. All these players put in good performances last season and I heard that McSheffrey in particular attracted interest from other clubs so the fact that he's shown loyalty to the Sky Blues can only be a good thing.
Micky Adams has also signed a new contract which I'm very pleased to see. We look at lot better under his management in my opinion than we ever did under Peter Reid.
Coventry have announced that the Ricoh Stadium, the brand new home for the Sky Blues will not be ready for the start of the new season. It might be the 4th match of the season before it's ready.
I've heard there's 3 options that Coventry are thinking of :
I've heard that apparently a penalty clause wasn't brought into the contract with the builders in the case of them failing to complete the Stadium in time. If so, someone wants sacking! They're saying that a fire at the building site some months ago has put the project behind schedule and I've also heard that the builders aren't prepared to pay the workmen overtime to get it completed on time.
I also heard from somewhere else that there's still a good chance that the Stadium will be ready and the announcement that it wouldn't be was made by the Club to cover their backs in the unlikely case that it isn't.
Time will tell!
2nd May 2005
It was sad at the final home match against Derby on Saturday to think that we won't be playing at Highfield Road any more with all the history and memories that stadium holds for the Sky Blues, but we certainly left the ground in style with a cracking 6-2 victory against a Derby team pushing for a play-off place.
There was a fabulous atmosphere in the ground from before kick-off with a full-house, the team certainly up for it and the Sky Blue Army in good voice.
Although it's a relief to know that we've now definitely avoided the drop, we should never have allowed ourselves to have got ourselves into a relegation battle in the first place. Micky Adams has done a great job of getting the team motivated which Peter Reid never managed to do and hopefully we'll see better things next season.
I'd rather see us have a team made up of our own home-grown players or players taken from the lower divisions who've got something to prove and will play for the team rather than knowing that they're going back to another club at the end of season and aren't that bothered what happens to Coventry City Football Club.
Looking forward, I'm very excited about our move into the Ricoh Arena for next season. I will be in Block 36 Row WC Seat 122 so if you're in that part of the Stadium do come and say hello.
I was sorry to see Nottingham Forest go down to Division 1. Living in the East Midlands I know a lot of Forest supporters and it's clear they all put the blame firmly with Joe Kinnear although from what I've heard the attitude of the players hasn't exactly helped. From a personal point of view I'm sorry to see them go down as the game against Forest has been one of the easiest away matches for me to get to.
15th March 2005
I have to say City are looking a lot more motivated under Adams than they ever did under Reid.
I've heard that Adams thought they weren't fit when he first arrived and some of the players were quite shocked by the change in training methods with the arrival of the new Manager.
I still think we need to work on match tactics. We just seem to hoof the ball towards the opposition's penalty area with no real plan of how to break down their defence. I also wish we'd shoot more often and quicker. Whenever we get into a shooting position we seem hesitant to 'have a go' and therefore give the opposition's defence time to get organised and stop us shooting.
Why do we play Morrell down the wing? While at Wrexham he had an awesome goal-scoring rate and goals are what we need right now. His workrate is very impressive and along with McSheffrey I'd say he is the player in our team that puts the most effort in throughout the match. Let's play him up front!
Stern John shows good skill at getting hold of the ball but then lets himself down with poor distribution and shooting.
Micky Adams has started to make a few changes at Highfield Road.
I was very surprised to see Patrick Suffo and Bjarni Gudjohnsson have their contracts terminated 'by mutual consent'.
I often noticed how the pace of a game would change whenever Suffo was brought off the bench towards the end of a match and he's also scored for us on more than one occasion.
Gudjohnsson showed good skill down the wing and often took the ball all the way to the byline and crossed it over which is something I rarely see the other players in our squad manage to do. He also showed good skill from deadball situations.
Although I agree Suffo and Gudjohnsson weren't necessarily brilliant players, I can think of other players in our squad who are of less use to us that I would have expected to see go before Suffo and Gudjohnsson.
I'm very pleased to see Micky Adams has been named as Peter Reid's successor as Coventry City Manager.
I would have been happy with either Adams or Gary Megson as they have both managed teams that been promoted from this league (Leicester and WBA respectively).
I also think that having an ex-City player as Manager is a good thing as the fans will relate to them and also I suspect they feel an extra motivation to do well for the club.
I'm hopeful we'll see a vast improvement in City's play now Micky Adams has replaced Reid. Things can't be any worse!
12th January 2005
Coventry City have announced that they are changing the club badge to mark the move to the new stadium and the start of a new era for the club.
Although I agree it's a nice idea to update the badge to coincide with a major event in the club's history I have to say that I'm not too happy with this particular design for several reasons:
Why didn't the Club have several designs done and allow the fans to vote on one via the website? This is what they've done with new shirt designs in recent years so why not the badge? After all, they only keep a shirt design for a season or 2 at the most and presumably they intend to keep this badge for somewhat longer.
5th January 2005
Peter Reid today parted company with Coventry City by "mutual consent". I can't say I'm overly surprised, particularly with the reaction of the crowd after Saturday's loss against Leeds Utd. I'd heard several chants for him to go at matches prior to Saturday and from what I read on various fan's forums and from chatting to other City fans I got the definite impression he wasn't a very popular manager.
As you may know, I was very sorry to see previous Manager Eric Black go and haven't been at all happy with the team's style of play under Peter Reid. It seems quite ironic that from reading what I wrote here when he was first appointed in May, Reid intially said he noticed we needed a stronger physical presence - something he came out with last week after we lost to Leeds in his last game in charge.
Reid was in charge for 31 matches. His record was Won 10, Drew 8, Lost 13 - not good enough! He seemed short of ideas and unable to motivate the team. The opposition recently have regularly looked more hungry for victory.
So what now?
Personally I'd like to see Mickey Adams (an ex-City player) or Gary Megson (if we could afford them) given a go at managing City. Both are currently out of a job and have experience of managing and motivating a team in this Division.
It would take almost a miracle (although not mathematically impossible) for us to get promoted to the Premiership for our 1st season in our magnificent new stadium, which was Mike McGinnity's reason for removing Eric Black as Manager and bringing in Peter Reid in the 1st place. I wonder if Mr McGinnity's will still be Chairman for the start of next season? He did say he would be quitting if Reid failed to get us into the Premiership.
Until it's decided who will be the next Coventry City Manager, I hope we'll all get behind Adrian Heath (who has been put in temporary charge) 100%, starting with the F.A. 3rd Round game against Crewe at Highfield Road this coming Saturday.
PLAY UP SKY BLUES!!!
14th October 2004
I see we've got Leicester City at Highfield Road on Saturday. What's the betting our old mate Dion Dublin scores for them?
Also, with the recent departure of another of our old boys Mickey Adams as Manager, I can see the Foxes being really fired up to give a good display to the new temporary management. I think we're in for a tough match.
14th October 2004
I don't like Coventry's current system of playing one striker up front. Stern John is clearly a very talented player and is excellent at holding the ball up, but he can't do it all on his own and clearly needs a partner up front with him to give support.
As I've mentioned on this page several times, I'd like to see us play with a big guy and a little guy up front playing off each other which has worked for us many times in the past (Ferguson/Wallace in the 70's springs to mind immediately). I'd have thought Stern John playing alongside Gary McSheffrey would have been an excellent combination, but as soon as we finally get a strong target man in the squad we send McSheffrey out on loan to Luton! McSheffrey is a great player and he's got good pace, but he's not a very big guy and needs to get the right sort of service from the midfield for that pace to be used. This wasn't happening last season.
We're playing far too much in our own half in my opinion with all 11 men behind the ball far too often. The best means of defence is attack, so I think we should always be looking to move towards the opposition's goal rather than passing from the forwards to the midfielders then to the defence and finally back to the goalie (which ended with disasterous consquences during Ipswich!).
Why are we playing Andy Morrell on the wing? He's our most gifted, natural goalscorer so he should be in front of goal not down the side.
We have clearly struggled to get results since the depature of Calum Davenport to Spurs (via West Ham!). Richard Shaw is doing a good job in using his experience to keep the defence organised but something is still not quite right. We're giving away goals too easily by not marking opposing strikers close enough.
We also need to learn to play games right to the whistle, not just up to the 80th minute. We're still throwing victories (and a valuable 3 points) away in the final few minutes of games with a lack of concentration.
I've not been very impressed with Tim Sherwood's performances in recent weeks although I thought it was awful to hear the City fans booing him when he was substituted in the game against Ipswich. We need to get 100% behind the team, not demotivating them. I would NEVER boo any City player, even if I thought they'd had a bad game. I might make a comment to the people sitting around me, but booing our own players will have nothing but a negative effect on them.
21st September 2004
I normally like to wait 10 games before deciding how city are doing to allow for freak results and getting a run of difficult fixtures. 9 games have now been completed so I think I can comment fairly on what I've seen so far.
As expected, Peter Reid has made quite a lot of changes to the Sky Blue team and at the time of writing City are currently sitting in 11th place with 12 points and a goal difference of +1. Not bad, but if we'd played right up to the whistle in a few cases it could have been better!
I was very frustrated that We lost the Brighton game by not concentrating on the game right up to end and throwing it in the last few seconds, something Peter Reid said he had noticed Coventry had a tendency to do and was going to be working on stopping it happening.
I've noticed that we tend to back off too much when the opposition is attacking. I'm a firm believer that attack is the best means of defence and when we give the ball away I'd like to see us get on to getting it back straight away.
Another thing I've noticed is that we tend to play with a lone striker up front with very little support from his team mates. One guy up front on his own isn't very likely to get past 2 or more defenders without help. I'd like to see at least 2 guys working together to create chances for each other.
Now we have Stern John onboard we finally have a target man to aim for, something we've been lacking for a very long time! Stern looks to have good ball control and is great at holding.
I was very disappointed to see that we've let McSheffrey go back to Luton on loan for a month just after we've signed Stern. As I've said before, Coventry have always been most successful with a big guy playing alongside small pacey guy and Now we've finally found a big guy for McSheffrey to play off we sent the small pacey guy out on loan!
30th May 2004
It's been announced that discussions have taken place between City and Dion Dublin who has been released by Aston Villa.
I didn't like the way that Dublin left Coventry, but that was a long time ago and as he is the kind of player we are lacking I would be happy to see him back at Coventry. I think he'd be the perfect player for McSheffrey or Joachim (if he's still here next season) to play off.
I've heard that several other teams are also showing an interest in him and if any of them are Premiership teams I'm sure they'd be offering him a higher wage than City would be able to afford. Apparently Dublin has gone away on holiday and will make a decision when he gets back so we'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully Reid has also got his eye on other players too in case this deal fall through..
Mo Konjic has left Coventry to join Derby County after his contract expired. Mo was one of my favourite players, although I have to admit he's not played as well this season as in previous seasons.
Mo always gave 100% and was prepared to play through injury for the Sky Blues - who remembers that face mask he wore during the 2002/03 season after fracturing his cheekbone? I also remember him being stretchered off against Cardiff in the FA cup and being carried down the tunnel to the dressing room only to re-appear a couple of minutes later and get back on the pitch!
Mo, a Bosnian international player, joined City from Monaco for £2 million in 1999 and until recently was Team Captain. He was a great favourite with the Sky Blue Army who regularly sang the 'Mo Konjic Song', which was often acknowledged by Mo from the pitch. I met Mo on a couple of occasions and found him very friendly and pleasant to chat to.
I'd like to wish Mo all the best with his new club (apart from in 2 matches/season whilst Derby are in the same league as Coventry!) and thank him for all he's done for us during his time at Highfield Road. I certainly won't be booing him whenever City are playing the Rams.
Although I was very sorry to see Eric Black leave City I have to say that I think the choice of Peter Reid as his replacement is a good one.
He brings a lot of experience with him (both playing and managing) and knows what's required to take a club up from the 1st Division into the Premiership having already done it with Sunderland.
With the introduction of a new manager (also with the end of a season and contracts expiring) there will obviously be some changes in the playing staff. with the good play we were seeing towards the end of last season, I hope all the good work isn't going to be for nothing.
I've been very pleased to hear that Reid feels we need more of a phyisical presence (something I've been saying for a long time).
3rd May 2004
I was really shocked to hear the news that Eric Black had left Coventry City along with Archie Knox and Alan Hodgkinson. I really thought things had started to come together at Highfield Road. We'd started to score regularly with 4 goals being scored on several occasions recently and City winning 2-5 on Saturday at Gillingham. There seemed to be more morale in the team than before and Black had got the team better motivated with until recently the possibility of reaching the playoffs.
I was really thinking that next season we could make a serious push for a play-off place with a squad and managerial team that had worked together for a while and had some stability in it. With a different managerial set up there's bound to be some changes in playing staff and also tactics on the pitch and that's only going to cause instability again.
Considering the financial constraints put on him and what he had to work with I thought Black was doing a pretty good job. Only a short while ago we were only 2 points off a play off place. Unfortunately a couple of disappointing performances ended our hopes of the playoffs, but if you compare where we are now to where we were at the end of last season (worryingly close to relegation) I think Eric was doing fine.
My only real criticism of him would be that he changed the team round too much which I found particularly strange after a convincing victory. Why change a winning formula if you haven't any injury or suspension problems? I also thought we needed to learn to finish off games that we'd dominated. Far too often we controlled most of the match but failed to score meaning that we had to make do with a draw or a loss from a game that we should have won.
I've been hearing various rumours via the emails I've received today about what's going to happen now. Some are saying that Peter Reid has already been lined up to take over (some say Glenn Hoddle) and some say that it's happened because of the Dhinsa takeover that's rumoured to be about to happen. The timing of Eric's departure seems a bit odd to me (1 game left this season) so if it is due to a takeover it would suggest that something is going to happen imminently (i.e. before Sunday's home match against Crystal Palace). We'll see!
18th April 2004
We appear to have acquired a bundle of problems with Onandi Lowe! First of all he misses the 1st match due to paperwork not being completed (probably not his fault), then he goes back to Jamaica to play in an international match and fails to attend the British Consulate for a visa and is unable to get back into the UK meaning he misses the next match. He eventually gets back to the UK and finally plays for the Sky Blues in their 3-1 defeat at Crewe, scoring the City goal in the dying moments of the match (1 goal in 1 - not a bad ratio!).
NOW we hear that he was arrested in Wellingborough on the evening of Wednesday 15th April for "possession of a package containing an illegal substance."
City have "sent him home until further notice" as Eric Black says "it's important we have people for the team who are 100% focussed and I believe Onandi has other issues to contend with at present."
I know he's got to be considered innocent until proven guilty. but it looks to me like we might be back to square one in our search for a big striker to play up front alongside Joachim and McSheffrey. Weren't City aware of what he was like before they signed him? I was really pleased that we'd finally got a big striker to play up front for us alongside Joachim and McSheffrey, but it looks to me like we're now going to have to do without one for the rest of this season!
25th March 2004
With the recent good run (won 6, lost 2 since the beginning of February. Has this run of good form got anything to do with the arrival of Archie Knox on the coaching team I wonder?) there is a small possibility that we could end up in the top 6 and therefore get place in the playoffs, but it's going to be VERY tough with not much room for error! We're also going to need some luck and hope that results in other matches go our way.
At the time of writing, we are currently in 10th place on 55 points having played 38 matches with Wigan in 6th place on 61 points.
It seems pretty clear that Norwich and West Brom are going to take the 2 automatic promotion places and from the other 4 teams in the top 6, 2 of them have a game in hand over us (Wigan & Millwall) and 1 (Sunderland) have 2 games in hand.
We still have to play Reading (who are in 9th place) at home this Saturday (27th March), Millwall (currently in 5th place) at home on 10th April and West Ham (currently in 7th place) away on 17th April. These 3 teams are all above us in the league so these matches are going to be '6 pointers' and therefore it's crucial we get something from each of them if we're going to progress to the playoffs.
Being a Sky Blues fan through-and-through I'll believe that we CAN do it until it becomes mathematically impossible, but achieiving it is going to be VERY tough. We all need to get behind the team 100% at every single match and do our bit to get Coventry City F.C. back in the Premiership where we belong.
Seeing the likes of Owen, Henry and Van Nistelroy at Highfield Road week-in/week-out again next season IS a possibility!
23rd February 2004
Well, we've won our last 3 away games in the league which I reckon is pretty good. It must have been quite a while since that happened (according to my records it was October 2002) - notice I said 'league' in order to miss out the very disappointing and rather embarrassing F.A.Cup exit against Colchester Utd!
I still feel we're lacking a big guy to play up front as a ball-winner. We have Adebola (at the moment) but from what I've seen of him (and read in various places) he's lacking confidence in his ability at the moment and will probably be moving on before too long.
I know we don't have the money to buy a big striker to play up front, but has anyone else thought of us trying big Mo Konjic up front in the role of a ball-winner? We played Dion Dublin in both an attacking role and defensive role during his time with us with quite a bit of success and I think it's worth trying it with Mo.
He's big, strong and not afraid to risk injury by putting his body in the way of flying boots (who remembers the 'Phantom of the Opera' mask after he broke his cheekbone last year?). In my opinion he's just what we need up front to win the ball from corners, free kicks and crosses against big centre halves and supply it to our smaller strikers such as Joachim and McSheffrey to put in the back of the net.
Another thing I've noticed is that we seem happy to play the game in our own half whereas surely it's much more advantageous (and less of a risk) if you're passing the ball around in the opponents half.
At the time of writing we're sitting 14th in the 1st Division. I don't think we're in danger of getting dragged into the relegation battle if we keep playing the way we are, but I wish we could be a bit more consistent. I think we could have got more consistency from our results recently if Eric Black had kept more continuity in the side. I was amazed that he chose to change the side round un-neccessarily after the 1-6 trouncing of Walsall!
It's looking unlikely that we'll make the playoffs this year, but until it's mathematically impossible I'll live in hope. Since Eric Black took charge we've won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1 in the league (he says, skilfully avoiding including the Colchester debacle in the equation again), which isn't a bad record. As I said previously I'm going to wait until after another 4 league games before totally making my mind up about Black, but so far I'd say he's doing ok bearing in mind the financial limitations he's got to within.
20th January 2004
FANTASTIC!!! What a start to Eric Black's reign as manager!! Our goal drought in the league is finally over!! (our last goal goal in the league was on 20th December 2003 v WBA)
This emphatic victory was exactly what we needed give confidence back to the strikers who've struggled to find the net as often as they should have done this season. I've heard that in several recent matches we've deserved to win, but because of our inability to score we've had to settle for a draw.
Hopefully this is the start of a trend and not just a flash in the pan to impress the new manager. We need to keep focussed now we know that we CAN do it and try and do the same thing again next weekend in the F.A.Cup 4th Round against Colchester.
Against Walsall we played with 3 strikers up front - McSheffrey, Morrell and Joachim and all of them scored (McSheffrey and Morrell nearly got hat-tricks!).
I think all the players were bound to give a good performance in this match to try to get themselves in Eric Black's plans for the future. I'm sure Walsall having a player sent off in the 1st half helped us, but nevertheless the City players did the biz and we've got 3 more points taking us to 14th place in the 1st Division.
I'm going to wait until 10 games have passed before deciding how good a manager I think Eric Black is, but this is an excellent start and if we can keep this up and get a run of good results I believe a play-off place is still within our grasp.
Surprise, surprise! Eric Black has been named as Coventry's new manager, at least until the end of next season.
I suppose it was the obvious choice as he's already familiar with the squad and the club. A different manager would probably want to have a clear out of players and bring in new ones to match their own playing style and with our current financial situation bringing in a big name manager probably wouldn't have been feasible.
As I've already said on the page recently, I think we could ideally have done with bringing in someone who's got more experience and more aggressive and demanding, but Eric's not done badly since he took over as caretaker manager so I think he should be given a chance to show what he can do.
I'd like wish Eric all the best in his role and I hope all the Sky Blue fans will get behind him and the rest of the team 100% and hopefully see the club move onwards and upwards.
15th January 2004
As predicted, Gary McAllister has left Coventry City. In view of his family problems I think he's made the right decision, although it does mean City are looking for a new manager again.
I've heard rumours that he was earning £11,000/week so by severing ties with City he's saving us a lot of money. Macca was already on compassionate leave and I think Eric Black has done a reasonably good job since taking over as Caretaker Manager.
So, who's going to be next Manager?
I strongly suspect that Black and new coach Archie Knox will be asked to continue until at least the end of the season.
I've heard a rumour that Chairman Mike McGinnity has been seen having lunch locally with Peter Reid who's currently out of a job since leaving Leeds Utd. I have no idea how true that rumour is, but I can imagine a big profile name like Reid would probably want bigger wages than we can afford.
From various emails I've been reading, quite a few fans would like a manager with a more aggressive attitude and maybe not so much of a 'nice guy'. Also it's been mentioned that we ought to go for someone who's got loads of experience rather than someone who's not been a Manager before.
I think a more aggressive and demanding person with loads of experience in the job would be ideal, but I'm sure someone like that would want more wages than we can afford with our current financial situation so I very much doubt that will happen. Because of our lack of cash we need someone who can get the best out of what we've got and have a good eye for players to bring in on free-transfers or loans.
One thing we'll miss from Gary leaving (as well as losing one of our best players) is his ability to attract players who maybe wouldn't otherwise have considered joining us to come to Coventry purely by his name and reputation. This was also the case when Gordon Strachan was in charge.
Among the names I've heard mentioned as potential new managers have been Nigel Clough (currently Manager of Burton Albion) and ex-Coventry player Ray Graydon (currently Manager of Bristol Rovers).
Yazid Mansouri has had his season-long loan deal with the Sky Blues terminated. He was brought in as a replacement for Youssef Safri whilst Safri plays for Morocco in the African Nations Cup.
Yazid has been asked to play in the same event by Algeria and has decided that he'd rather do that the stay with Coventry. Because of this City have used a clause in his contract saying that they can terminate his contract if he decides to put playing for his country before playing for Coventry.
I agree with Eric Black when he says that he wants nothing less than 100% commitment from the players. If we're going to get out of this division and back into the Premiership we need a squad that's totally focussed on the cause.
From Yazid's point of view I can see how representing your country in a big tournment would be a more attractive proposition than playing for a 1st Division team in a different country, but if he felt that way he should never have come to us in the 1st place.
Archie Knox has joined the Sky Blues as coach, replacing Gary Mills who has become the Manager of Notts County (I notice David Pipe and Avun Jephcott have already gone on loan to Notts County for a month. I suppose it was inevitable that Mills would have his eye on a few City players he could use in his new job. At least having them out on loan will presumably lower our wage bill).
Having done a bit of research it seems to me that Archie has a very impressive career and hopefully can improve things at Coventry (particularly in getting balls in nets which we seem to have been struggling to do recently!). I think his appointment is a good move for City and I'm looking forward to seeing how his influence changes things on the pitch.
Archie began his managerial career as Player-Manager of Forfar before moving on to become Alex Ferguson's #2 at Aberdeen. During his time there Aberdeen won the Eurpopean Cup Winner's Cup.
After leaving Aberdeen, he became manager of Dundee before joining up with Alex Ferguson again as his assistant at Manchester Utd. He then moved to Rangers as Walter Smith's #2.
After 7 seasons at Rangers, Smith and Knox moved to Everton and during this time Archie was Assistant Manager for the Scottish national team.
His most recent job was as assistant manager at Millwall. He left that job when Mark McGhee left in October 2003.
31st December 2003
I'd like to wish every visitor to the Coventry City F.C. section of my website a very happy and prosperous 2004.
2003 wasn't a particular impressive year for Coventry to say the least! Out of 46 league games played we won just 8, drew 18 and lost 20.
I've not been able to get to as many matches as I'd hope to this year due to a health problem, meaning I've been unable to drive, but out of the games I did get to the highlights were the away victory against Derby (nice stadium!) and the recent 1-0 victory at Highfield Road against league leaders WBA. I still think we could reach the playoffs, but it's going to require a lot more goals, consistency and not so many soft goals given away for the rest of the season.
Many thanks to Mike, Graham, Phillip T. and Chris for providing transport for me to get the games I did go to.
30th December 2003
I've seen a definite improvement in the performances this season to last season, but we seem to lack some strength in the final 3rd of the field. We don't seem to have a consistent goalscorer and we don't shoot anywhere near as often as we should in my opinion.
For a while, Andy Morrell was scoring in virtually every match but he's gone quiet. I don't know whether that's because the other teams have sussed him out and close him down or whether he's just lost form. In recent matches Julian Joachim has seemed the most likely to hit the back of the net, but for some reason it hasn't happened.
I know I've said this before, but I really believe we need a big guy to play up front and in the past this has worked for us with the big guy linking up with a smaller guy.
I'd like to see us giving Gary McSheffrey another chance up front. During his loan spell at Luton he was scoring on a very regular basis. I realise Luton are in the 2nd Division and not the 1st but if we could have a big guy up front with him I'm sure we'd start to see the goal coming again.
We've got Dele Adebola who's a big guy (with a lot of pace for a bloke that size) but whenever I've seen him he's tended to get stuck in the corner and I think we'd have been better playing him up front to get on the end of crosses or corners.
I was very pleased with the performance against WBA who were the league leaders.
We looked much 'more up for it' although we still lacked something in the last 3rd of the field. The atmosphere in the stands When Jackson scored the winner and in Strikers Bar after the match was fantastic.
I hope this result will motivate the team to play like that all season. If we can beat them then surely we have the ability to beat anyone in this league - we just need to find a regular goalscorer and a bit of consistency!
Macca has temporarily stood down from the position of Manager due to family reasons.
Reading between the lines it would appear that this is due to the health of his wife and obviously things like that have to take priority over football. I would like to wish him and his family all the best during this difficult time.
As a Coventry City fan, I'm very sorry to see one of our best players unavailable and the team will certainly miss him on and off the field. He did say at the start of the season that he would be cutting down on the number of games he played this season having reached the age of 39 and to be honest I suspect we may not see him back again. If that's the case I'd like thank him for all he's done for the Club both on and off the field.
12th September 2003
I have to say I'm not happy about the thought of Fabrizio Ravanelli coming coming to Highfield Road. The recently rebuilt squad now has players who have a lot to prove having come from lower divisions/lesser teams and will play for the sky blue shirt and give 100%. To bring in a 'big name' player is only going to be demoralising to them and push them further down the queue to get in the starting 11.
Ravanelli has a bad track record for injury in the recent past and is coming towards the end of his career with nothing to prove to anyone. He was on a massive £40K/week at Derby and I was glad to see Macca making perfectly clear that Coventry won't be altering their wage structure to accommodate him.
I'd rather we used this season as a year of building a team for the future and went for it big time next season, when all the newcomers have gelled together and formed an excellent team spirit.
4 league games into the season and we're still looking for our first win! I went to the Forest match and thought we played some good football with the players certainly fired up and putting in a lot more effortd than last year, but we just aren't delivering the goods in front of goal.
I was surprised to see Adebola continually being pushed out towards the corner flag. With his size and strength he I think he really should be a target man waiting in the penalty area for a cross like Regis and Dublin, 2 other big City centre forwards from the past, used to do.
I also thought that we needed to play with more width rather than going straight down the middle every time. Playing down the wing will draw out defenders leaving space in the centre for the forwards.
Having said all this (and being the eternal Sky Blue optimist) I think it's only a matter of time before we start to find the back of the net and confidence within the team rises. Just don't leave it too long guys because I don't like seeing us sitting at the wrong end of the league!
12th July 2003
Jay Bothroyd has signed for Perugia in Italy. He was a player who I thought had a lot of potential and was very skilful on the ball but had a tendency for laziness and to not give 100% effort for the full 90 minutes.
His goal tally of 11 last season made his City's top scorer (a poor reflection on the state of our team last year) although to be fair to him there wasn't a lot of quality service to the strikers last season in my opinion.
I wish him well in his future career. I'm sure City will be pleased to have his wage bill off the books and invest in someone who plays for the shirt and will give us a bigger return in terms of goals for our investment - So, 1 free transfer-listed player down, 8 to go!
16th August 2003
The season has now begun although the intended first match against Watford was called off due to extremely sad and tragic circumstances with the death of Jimmy Davis in a car accident. In my opinion postponing the match was the only thing to do as no-one would want to play after something like that had happened although I feel sorry for the Coventry fans who went all the way to Watford before hearing the game had been called off.
I'm really looking forward to seeing how the new-look Coventry City perform. I can see that McAllister has put experienced players in with players from the lower divisions who aren't very well known. With the financial state at Coventry at the moment I think he's done very well in juggling the team round and bringing in so many new faces. Having a highly respected name like his in charge certainly attracts players to the club and gives us an advantage over many of our rival teams in this Division.
I managed to get down to Oxford to see the Pre-Season friendly. I was pleased with the effort being shown from players who had something to prove and finally seeing us having some presence in the opposing penalty area which is something we definitely lacked last season! Having said that we didn't actually manage to put the ball in the net during normal play which I would have liked to have seen. With the players not having numbers on the backs of their shirts I couldn't work out who some of the new players were, but I'm sure we'll all get to recognise them as the season draws on. I was impressed with Patrick Suffo.
Because of the postponment of the Watford match, City's first game of the season was against Peterborough Utd in the Carling Cup and I'm pleased to say we got off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory! Unfortunately I wasn't able to get there in person but I heard that we weren't too good in the 1st half but came to life in the 2nd half when Andy Morrell came on as substitute and transformed the flow of the game. Apparently he was partnering Adebola up front with Suffo positioned just behind them. Hopefully we'll work out what is our most successful formation early on in the season and settle down to acheive some good results. We'll see!
Due to health problem I'm unable to drive at the moment so I won't be getting to many games this season, but I'm hoping to get to a few where I can get a lift with friends.
12th July 2003
Jay Bothroyd has signed for Perugia in Italy. He was a player who I thought had a lot of potential and was very skilful on the ball but had a tendency for laziness and to not give 100% effort for the full 90 minutes.
His goal tally of 11 last season made his City's top scorer (a poor reflection on the state of our team last year) although to be fair to him there wasn't a lot of quality service to the strikers last season in my opinion.
I wish him well in his future career. I'm sure City will be pleased to have his wage bill off the books and invest in someone who plays for the shirt and will give us a bigger return in terms of goals for our investment - So, 1 free transfer-listed player down, 8 to go!
12th July 2003
I'm glad to see that Gary McAllister has realised that our priority over the summer has to be to get a strike force that has presence in the opposing penalty area and the ability to put the ball in the net.
We seriously lacked a target man last season and the addition of Ade Adebola to the squad is certainly a move in the right direction.
With 2 other strikers, Andy Morrell and Graham Barrett joining Coventry recently I hope this season we will look like a side that is capable of scoring regularly and reaching a play-off place - or even better an automatic promotion place maybe?
As you can see I'm full of optimism for the forthcoming season (I always am at this time of year!). I hope I don't end up being as disappointed as I was last season.
25th May 2003
Well, that has to be the most dire season I've ever watched!
I'm not surprised that 9 first team squad members have been released for free transfers. A serious shake-up is definitely required after the poor performances this season and we're going to have to be very clever in spotting players with potential from the lower divisions on free transfers or available on loan with our financial situation as it is.
I hope Scott Shearer proves to be as good as the City management believe he is. He's come from a team from the lower divisions in Scotland and the position he plays is a very important role in the team. The scouts/coaching staff at City also led us to believe that Debec was a great keeper, so I just hope they've got it right this time!
I'm glad to see that City have done something about our lack of goal-scoring this season with the recent addition to the squad of Andy Morrell from Wrexham. To be honest, I don't know much about him so I'll wait and see whether he comes up the goods before criticising, but his goalscoring record shows potential (although you have to bear in mind that it was with a team in the 3rd Division). Let's just hope he's not another Lee Hughes!
22nd April 2003
I cannot believe that City are currently 20th in the 1st division and have had to rely on Brighton not winning a match to guarantee avoiding relegation into the 2nd division!!
The performance in recent matches has been absolutely dire with City not even looking like scoring - let alone winning! The thing that really worries me is that we don't seem to be learning from our mistakes and with the inevitable selling of players over the summer I'm really worried about what we're going to be watching next year!
I believe there are several things stopping us from getting anywhere that MUST to be addressed over the summer if we are to have any hope of acheiving anything other than a relegation battle next year. These are :
Having said all this I still think McAllister should be kept on as the last thing we want at this club is even more instability at a very difficult time. I just hope he'll learn from this season's mistakes and move the club forward.
It seems to me that the Chairman is giving him his full support and Macca is fully aware of the lack of funds available to him and the limitations of what he has to work with to rebuild the team, so now is the time to get behind him and support the City more than ever!
I will be following the Sky Blues whatever happens over the Summer and into the future, but I have to say that what we've seen this season just hasn't been good enough!!
3rd March 2003
YIPPPEEE!!!! Coventry have finally won a game having beaten Grimsby 0-2 on Saturday! What a relief!
It's a pity that neither of the 2 goals came from City players in open play (the 1st was an own goal and the 2nd was a penalty) but it's 3 points in the bag and back to winning ways!
Apparently McAllister didn't play but Eustace did and from what I heard he played a blinder! Jansen had quite a few chances but didn't score.
Hopefully they can turn this victory into a run of good form against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Wednesday night and then against Wimbledon at home on Saturday.
26th February 2003
We've now lost the last 5 matches in a row and failed to score in all 5 of those matches! Up until the Bradford match we'd not scored in 453 minutes of football!!
We've not won a league match this year and we've now slipped to 13th position in Division 1 - which means we're in the bottom half!
It's still mathematically possible for us to reach a play-off place, but in reality it's extremely unlikely. The mass walk-out when the 2nd goal went in at the Bradford match and the booing said everything.
At that last home match I have to say we looked like we wanted to win the game more than we did at the Watford and Burnley matches, which were diabolical performances! We seem to get 85% of the play and then throw it away by giving the opposition an easy goal (or 2) in the other 5%!
McAllister has played something like 38 different players in various line-ups so far this season and to me this is a big part of the problem. In my opinion Macca needs to decide on his preferred starting 11 and give them a decent run of matches playing together as a team, whatever happens! The team need to build up an understanding of each other's playing styles and tactics and I'm sure that chopping and changing who's in the side every week isn't helping at all!
I also think we ought to take a leaf out of Nottingham Forest's book. When they hit financial trouble they started playing their home-grown players who had come through the youth team. A few seasons later those young players have built up their experience and started playing as a well-organised side with a lot of team spirit and they look like strong contenders for a play-off place.
We ought to follow this example. Cross-off this season and use the remaining games to get the young players to start playing as a team and go for a promotion place either next season or the season after. On-loan players might be ok for a quick fix and maybe to add some experience into a youthful side, but they aren't the future of the club as most of them will be going back to their original clubs after a short stint at Coventry. We ought to be playing the likes of Pead, Fowler, Davenport, Whing, Bothroyd & McSheffrey - our homegrown players (apart from Bothroyd) - week-in/week-out and developing that into a force for the future.
One thing we are seriously lacking at the moment is a big target man. Joachim has pace, as does McSheffrey, but they're never going to get on the end of high balls, which is only kind of ball we seem to be providing them with at the moment. If we HAVE to have another loan player, PLEASE can it be a big target man, Mr. McAllister!.... not ANOTHER midfielder! Also, PLEASE can we teach the midfielders we have to provide decent service to the forwards, which is something they seem incapable of doing at the moment!
On a more positive note, Julian Joachim looked to be back in good shape at the Bradford match. He was the best City player on the pitch, full of energy and pace and hopefully with a few games under his belt he'll become the consistent goalscorer we've been lacking this season.
Richard Shaw has continued to be one of our best players this season. He's really found good form this year and has saved the day on several occasions.
17th January November 2003
At the time of writing City are 6th in the First Division although they have played a game more than a few of the teams around them.
I'm glad to see that we are consistently within striking distance of the play-off places although I would be happier if we were consistantly within the top 6. We are looking very solid defensively with Shaw finding really good form and Konjic continuing to put in solid performances. Hyldgaard in goal is looking a lot more confident than he was at the start of the season and I hope this will continue with experience. The fact that the management are putting their faith in him rather than chopping and changing goalkeeper is obviously having a positive affect.
The area where I think we do need to improve in in attack. We don't seem agressive enough up front and need to score more goals. The recent loan signing of Juan Sara from Dundee could be a good move as he looks like a big target man which is something we've lacked. Bothroyd shows good skill but as I've commented on before, he doesn't sustain it for the full 90mins and is often substituted.
I'm surprised that McSheffrey hasn't been in the starting 11 for quite a while and seems to be a regular on the bench. He seems to me to be one of our most effective strikers and has proven in the past that he certainly knows where the net it.
On the transfer front I've heard that John Eustace may well be going to Middlesborough on loan and it's been announced that Lee Mills is off to Stoke on loan with a view to a permanent move.
John Eustace was a great player for us a few years ago, but has failed to get back to his best after a long-term injury. I suspect he's on Premiership type wages and with our current financial situation I think we are best to offload him if we're not going to be using him.
Lee Mills had an extremely impressive loan period with us but once he got himself a full contract he seemed to sit back and put his feet up. He's scored goals for us fairly regularly, but I don't think he's given us the performances that he promised at the start of his time here. Again I think we're better to offload him as I suspect he's on pretty high wages.
I was pleased to see Dean Holdsworth score his first goal for the Sky Blues in the FA Cup 3rd round replay against Cardiff. I was starting to think that signing him was a bad move as we'd not seen much action from him in front of goal. Hopefully now he's got his first goal under his belt, others will come. I could not believe that Holdsworth was going straight into the starting line-up in front of McSheffrey. Although his goal scoring record with us is a bit disappoining he does have the ability to hold the ball up nicely during an attack.
It was a shame to see Craig Hignett go back to Blackburn after he'd picked up an injury just as he was just starting to be a regular goalscorer.
23rd November 2002
At the time of writing the Sky Blues have lost 3 games on the trot and have drifted down to 10th in the First Division and it seems clear to me that We desperately need a striker who knows where the net is! We're passing the ball around midfield very nicely but unfortunately you don't get points for 'artistic interpretation' and what we need right now is 'balls in nets'. We lack agression in front of goal and often go for one pass too many around the penalty area when an earlier shot on goal might have been more productive.
I'm not too keen on the single striker system we seem to be playing at the moment. Mills isn't strong enough to be a single target man and he needs someone to play off. I think Gary McSheffrey would best choice to fill this role from the players we currently have at the club. In the past we have had more success with a big striker partnering a small striker (Ferguson/Wallace, Hartson/Bellamy, Thompson/English) and I think is what we need to do again.
I'm not too impressed with what I've seen of Craig Hignett. He doesn't seem to add anything to our attack and to get himself suspended for 2 matches for dissent in his 2nd game when he's only on a month's loan is a very poor show!
31st August 2002
With the current financial situation at the club and the new transfer window rule coming in to force, City have this week had to sell it's two most sellable players, David Thompson and Lee Hughes, for what in my opinion are very low prices. Thommo has moved on to Blackburn and Hughesy has returned to WBA.
Out of the two I think the Sky Blues will particularly miss Thompson with has attacking style and goal scoring ability from midfield. He was voted Player of the Year and also the Players' Player of the Year last year and was a firm favourite with the Sky Blue Army.
To be honest, I was rather disappointed with Hughes after his prolific goalscoring reputation whilst in his first spell at WBA. He was City's top scorer last year, although a few of those goals came from the penalty spot. To be fair to him I don't think we played the right sort of balls to him. He's not a particularly tall guy, but he has pace, so we should have fed balls along the ground in front of him for him to run on to rather than send high balls over the top. I'm sure this would have been more effective, but if we hadn't realised that by now we never would so I suppose we might as well move him on.
Thompson and Hughes leaving the club has opened the door for other players to take their places in the starting eleven and I would like to see Gary McSheffrey and Jay Bothroyd given the chance to show what they can do. McSheffrey in particular looks very lively in front of goal and reminds me of Robbie Keane when he was at Highfield Road.
Bothroyd shows lots of ability with some very skilful moves, but in my opinion he tends to give up before the end of the game. Maybe this is why he is often on the subs bench and brought on for the last twenty minutes or so?
I'm rather worried about our disciplinary record so far this season. After 5 games we have ALREADY had 2 players sent off and I think it's something like 14 yellow cards! This is going to hurt us later on in the season when suspensions start to kick in. We already have a serious problem in central defence with Calum Davenport about to serve a 3 match ban and Mo Konjic being out for six weeks with a fractured cheekbone sustained whilst playing for Bosnia. Mo played in the home match against Crystal Palace wearing a mask to protect the injury (what a hero!) but has since had surgery on it and will be out for quite a while.
I was very disappointed that we lost our unbeaten record with a 5-2 thrashing at Watford. From what I heard, the defence was in a real mess without Mo Konjic and also Watford played extremely well. Hopefully we can put it behind us and get back to winning ways.
I would like to wish David Thompson and Lee Hughes all the best at their new clubs (as long as they never score against us) and we look forward to seeing you both back at Highfield Road when we play against you in the Premiership NEXT year!
10th August 2002
Well the new season has finally arrived and City got off to a good start with a hard-earned 3 points against Sheffield United.
Not a great performance, but it's early days and there's some new faces, so the team needs to settle down and get used to each other's playing style, so I'm not too worried at the moment.
It was great to see City come back from behind, something that has seemed almost impossible in the last few seasons. Hopefully Gary McAllister has instilled into the team the importance of not letting your head drop or concentration wane during the full 90 minutes of a match. I really feel that Macca is someone that all the players respect as a highly regarded professional and I think he is the perfect person to get the best out of the squad. He showed really quality in his taking of set-pieces (corners, free-kicks) and also in the way he picked up the loose balls in midfield and passed it around the pitch picking out his team-mates with precision.
I was a little concerned about Morten Hyldgaard's performance in goal. He seemed very nervous and too often for my liking he tried to punch the ball away rather than get hold of it causing the Sky Blue Army a few scary moments! I think a stronger team than Sheffield Utd could have exploited this weakness and found the net more often, so it's something which needs to be sorted out quickly!
I've heard rumours that we're trying to get a new goalkeeper (Mr Flowers please!!) and I've also noticed that the squad numbers 1 and 13 haven't been assigned to any of the players which would indicate that a new signing is on the way.
Thompson and Safri were both suspended for the Sheffield Utd match and I'm sure their addition to the starting line-up will vastly improve the perfomance of the team. I've heard rumours that Thompson is being chased by Blackburn and with the current financial situation at Coventry I wouldn't be surprised to see him leave which would be very sad. He's a very influential player on the pitch (despite him wandering out of position) and whenever he has the ball you're expecting something exciting to happen. If at all possible I would like to see us keep him.
There's also been rumours about Lee Hughes going back to WBA. To be honest I've was a bit disappointed with the lack of goals from Hughes last season and quite a few of the goals he did get came from penalties. To be fair to the guy, I don't think we played the right kind of balls to him. We should have rolled the ball along the ground in front of him more often and allowed him to use his pace to get past defenders, rather than send high balls over the top to him which invariably went straight to the opposing defence.
Against Sheffield I thought Julian Joachim showed some of his old self, although when he did have a shot on goal his finishing looked a little weak. It's still early days so I'll see how things develop before casting judgement but I have to say I was very impressed with his work rate.
I was also pleased with Bothroyd's performance. He showed quite a few nice touches and as long as he avoids his tendency past seasons to be lazy I think this could be the season when he really makes his mark on the team.
If Joachim and Bothroyd perform to expectations, form a good partnership and find the net regularly, I don't think that losing Hughes to WBA would be too much of a worry..... but please, please, please can we hang on to Mr Thompson!!
4th June 2002
Last season it was noticeable that some of the players had lost interest in playing for City and were just playing out their contracts before moving on somewhere else. New Chairman Mike McGinnity said recently that he didn't see much sweat on the shirts of the players last season and he is absolutely right. In order to get promotion next season we need to be playing players that REALLY want to play for Coventry and be willing to give 150% effort for every minute of every game.
When Tim Flowers was on loan to us last season it was clear that he was really happy to be there. This was due to him being born in nearby Kenilworth and being a Sky Blues fan as a boy. It was a lifetime ambition for him to play for City and you could tell he was loving it by his reaction after the games City won and also his reaction to the fans (who really warmed to him). It seems pretty clear that Magnus Hedman will be off after the World Cup and I'd be delighted if Macca replaced him with Tim Flowers. Despite his age, he gave wonderful performances for City last season and the effort and enthusiasm he showed would surely rub off on the rest of the squad and be good for team morale and motivation.
I think due to the financial situation at the club we're going to have to rely more on the younger players and I think this would be a good thing as they have something to prove and would give their all for the team given the chance.
I don't think we ought to rely totally on young players as we also need to have experience in the team. I think this role will be perfect for Gary McAllister and I'm so pleased that he's going to be a PLAYER-Manager at least for a season. The last time he played for us he was very influential towards the rest of the team and his role as a provider to the forwards created many goals. Admittedly we had players of the calibre of Darren Huckerby and later on Robbie Keane in the team at the time, but Macca's delivery of the ball from dead ball situations and his ability to hold the ball up in the centre of the pitch and give accurate passes was invaluable. Let's see more of that please Macca!
Sadly, due to the financial situation it seems inevitable that we're going to have to lose some of the first team players. I wouldn't be surprised to see Magnus Hedman go and one or two others - however, I think we really need to hold on to David Thompson if we possibly can. I realise he's one of our most sell-able players and if the right offer came in it would be very difficult to refuse it, but he is also our main play-maker not to mention one of our top goalscorers and would be VERY badly missed on the pitch.
One thing I did notice last year was that we continually played long high balls to Lee Hughes. I think he's better suited to balls played to him along the ground where his pace can be used to good effect. Hughes isn't particularly tall, so the long high balls were more often than not totally wasted.
Hopefully with Eustace, Joachim and Mills back to full fitness we will see more goals and a real promotion push next season.
I was very pleased to see Gary McAllister announced as the new Coventry City manager. He was a firm favourite with the Sky Blue Army and I'm delighted that he's going to be playing for us for a season at least, as well as being Manager.
Although it had been rumoured for a while that Macca was going to be the new Manager, I was quite surprised to see City go for someone without previous managerial experience (although he is a highly experienced and respected player) as the last 2 managers also had no previous managerial experience - Gordon Strachan was understudy to Ron Atkinson before taking over and Roland Nilsson had no previous experience.
Coventry haven't yet named anyone as Assistant Manager to work alongside Gary, but I've heard that the Motherwell Manager Eric Black resigned on the same day that Gary was named Coventry manager and I wouldn't be surprised if he's on his way to Highfield Road too.
With the current financial problems at the club, McAllister has been told he has no money available to buy in new players and it's obvious that there's going to have to be a big clear-out of players before the new season.
Because of this, I'm sure we'll see some of the younger players from the youth team being brought into the regular first team squad.
It will be a very interesting and busy summer at Highfield Road and I'm already looking forward to seeing what Macca will do to win us promotion back into the Premiership for the start of the 2003-04 season!
Good Luck Macca!
I was sorry to see Roland Nilsson go before he'd had the chance to play his choice of players in his style of play for a whole season. Like McAllister, he was also a highly experienced and respected player, but Roland didn't manage to motivate the team to play with passion, confidence, enthusiasm and the belief that they would succeed, which was something that both WBA and Man City had - the 2 teams who got the automatic promotion places.
After an excellent start to Nilsson's reign as Coventry manager, things started to go wrong and towards the end of the season, City started to slip away from the promotion play-off places. Too often players were played out of their natural position and this caused problems in the team's performance.
I was sorry to see Tim Flowers return to Leicester following the end of his loan spell with the Sky Blues. He was a City Fan during his youth and it was obvious by his reaction to the fans before and after the match how happy he was to be playing for Coventry. It was a joy to watch and he was clearly giving 110% in every match.
This is the kind of player we need at Coventry. Players who really care about what happens to the club, not players who are only interested in inflating their already enormous bank accounts and would be happy to move on to any other club for more money.
Well, we've finally gone! After 34 years of top-flight football at Highfield Road we're now playing outside the Premiership. For the 1st time in my lifetime (born 1968) I'm having to watch my beloved Coventry City FC playing outside the top division which makes me feel gutted!
We'll no doubt have to sell some of our best players in order to reduce the wage bill and we won't attract big name players to the club any more, so it's not certain that we'll bounce straight back by any means... although...
It's a shame that the final nail in the coffin came at Villa Park, our nearest rivals, but at least the goals that sealed our fate weren't scored by ex-Sky Blues Dion Dublin or George Boateng.
I think relegation has been on the cards for quite a while, although I've been keeping everything crossed having sat through many relegation battles in the past and seen us survive.
I think our problems leading up to the relegation had been caused by...
On a more positive note, it's nice to watch a Championship battle, rather than the annual struggle to survive at the wrong end of the Premiership. I'm looking forward to biting my nails at the end of the season for a different reason.
I think Gordon Strachan should have begun his management career with a smaller club from the lower divisions and worked his way up to a Premiership team. I'd like to think that during our time in Division 1 we'll get ourselves reorganised and come back as a new re-energised and focused team ready to take on the Premiership successfully.
I have Sky Blue blood and will be supporting City next year - and beyond, whatever the outcome of next season. Keep the faith!!