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CET 2004/5

By CovSid67
August 15 2005


CET Article 6

One relegation space taken, one "sold - subject to confirmation", and half-a-dozen teams fighting for the last place. They say it's better to give than to receive, so I'll gladly let somebody else take it....

I would say if Forest can win enough points to over-take us, they deserve to stay up, but I remember Norwich saying something similar in 1985, and a team in Sky Blue unbelievably did!

Brighton are possibly favourites for that third place, and last weekend, for once, most CCFC fans would have turned a blind eye to a positive result for Leicester against them - and Leicester let us down. What kind of plank gets sent off for kicking the ball away twice? Reports say Hughes' actions changed the game.

Defeat for Brighton would have left them needing a win and a draw at least, and for CCFC to lose their last four, for them to overtake us - their point versus Leicester makes things more interesting than I would like! One win would be enough....

Most sides have four games left, and know doubt there are plenty of twists and turns left too. How we could do with Rotherham doing what so many previously relegated sides do: playing for pride and giving their fans something to cheer - preferably against Brighton and Watford!

Ipswich and West Ham also have to play two of the relegation threatened sides each (Brighton and Crewe for the former, Brighton and Watford the latter), so good luck to them in their bids to reach the Premiership!

That most of this column is being wasted talking about other sides doing CCFC favours, rather than about CCFC having already clawed their own way out of trouble, shows once again what a poor season we have had to suffer.

It really does make you appreciate what fun the relegation fights were in the top flight, battling to stay with the elite, rather than this season, merely trying to stay with what most class as second class football.

Whether we are relegated or not, the summer will see another massive clear-out, and another influx of players. Ian Bennett and Richard Duffy are the calibre of player that we should be trying to sign, but I doubt either will end up here.

Bennett's decision to watch matches from the stands at St. Andrews rather than help CCFC's cause possibly means we've seen the last of him (Sadly), while Portsmouth would be mad to let Duffy leave! He is a real prospect.

Away from the more serious stuff - as well as announcing the safe arrival of another CCFC fan to the world (Lucy Angelica Wilson!) - next week finally sees the testimonial of Michael Gynn. Better late than never....

While the ground isn't capable of holding the 40,000+ that travelled to Wembley on that glorious day in 1987, it would be nice if every seat in the house was filled, especially by some of those that didn't bother with CCFC before we beat Spurs, and/or those that haven't bothered coming back since.

I look forward to seeing those `missing' CCFC fans again, especially the lads in front of me in the Cup Final ticket queue who asked: `Who's the manager these days?', and `Is Tommy Hutchinson still playing for Coventry?' How confused will he be if he makes his first journey to Highfield Road in 18 years, to see Tommy Hutchinson STILL wearing the Sky Blue of Coventry City!




CET Article 5

Mickey Adams, I am impressed! Whether the gamble of replacing half a side or more with just over a dozen games to go will work, who knows, but it certainly has a better chance than sticking with those responsible for getting us where we currently are in the table.

And if anybody doubted that Adams' comments that he will not put up with garbage displays were all talk, he is certainly proving them wrong!

Keeper Ian Bennett could be the best of all the signings Adams makes (Presuming the Michael Owen rumours are false!), and is a player CCFC should pull out all the stops to make sure he ends up signing for us permanently.

Reid's biggest failing was that he trusted such an important position to two inexperienced keepers, and that should have been reason enough to get rid of him sooner. Lunacy!

Maybe Steele and Shearer will one day play in opposing goals in an England-Scotland fixture, but I won't be wasting my shiney pound on that particular bet....

Rumours abound that another striker or two are on their way to Highfield Road, and, with Gary McSheffrey (Thankfully!) in talks about a new contract, it will be interesting to see which of our strikers will be packing their suitcase.

Stern John seems a likely candidate, and, while I understand why the crowd get onto him, it would be a shame to see him go as he could be a real asset to the club. "Could be"....

Another of Mickey Adams' signings, Trevor Benjamin, seems much maligned by those that have seem him play. But, if his physical presence can upset opposition defences, and improves our other strikers chance of scoring just a couple of percent more, the nominal fee paid for him will be money well spent.

Adams will hopefully make the last dozen plus games more enjoyable than the matches we suffered under Reid, and it would be an under-statement to say this season has been nothing like the one we were promised by the chairman - I believe the club massively owe the supporters for their loyalty.

I would suggest that the 352 price for a season ticket becomes the norm, not the Early Bird price, and that 52 of the price is a non-refundable deposit towards the following seasons frozen season ticket price - i.e. 600 for two seasons.

I would also suggest, instead of fans trying to set up the "Sky Blue Ultras" (Noise makers!), the club offer a discount to the fans that travel away, as long as they all sit together (In a block of their choosing) at the new Arena. They are superbly vocal away from Highfield Road. There's not much point in moving if the atmosphere doesn't improve!

The Plymouth-Sheffield United result on Tuesday was a slight dent in CCFC's hopes of staying up, while the more important Gillingham-West Ham result was a big help, but it's time for CCFC to stop relying on others, and to start climbing the table due to their own positive displays and results.

The Wigan result is a step in the wrong direction (Though not totally unxpected, with them at the right end of the table) - let's try again on Saturday....




CET Article 4

"Happy New Era", said the front of the matchday magazine versus Leeds. Same old same old, I thought, as I left Highfield Road on Monday, once again bitterly disappointed, following yet another defeat....

And, following that defeat, can people stop going on about "doing a Crystal Palace" please? Without massive surgery at the club (Not to mention a miracle), this is not going to happen! CCFC are more likely to do a "Sheffield Wednesday"....

It really has been a naff few months for CCFC fans, with poor results, poor displays, our "saviour" disappearing, and that car company withdrawing their sponsorship.

The casino people are interested in naming rights, but, with the amount of super casinos reduced from one on every street to about ten throughout the land, I expect Birmingham will get one, and Coventry won't - leaving us with a big space to fill (A new, very big Supporters Club building, perhaps?), and the need for somebody else to pay for naming rights. I wonder who?!

Back to matters on the pitch....

The old saying is: `You pay peanuts, you get monkeys'. CCFC, it is reported, are paying out a small fortune, and we got `Monkey Heed' (Sunderland spelling!) - I wonder if the monkeys are still available....

The decision to employ Reid is looking as logical as putting the JSB's next to the away fans at the new ground (Which rocket scientist came up with that one?). The chairman is backing him, but I think it's time to write him a `Thanks For All You've Done' note, and say `Adios'.

I'll buy a stamp and get on with it ASAP - not for postage, I hasten to add! A stamp should just about be big enough to list Reid's CCFC achievements on....

MM's defence of Reid after the Boxing Day defeat smacked of hypocrisy, as most of the things he said weren't Reid's fault were the same reasons he listed for getting rid of Eric Black. It's time for MM to bite the bullet (Then give it to Reid!), and admit he made a mistake....

For Reid to win people over, he's going to have to make one of the biggest turnarounds since Elton John married a woman! (Are we going to have to suffer his tunes throughout every half-time 'til the season ends? Note to self: take earplugs....).

Filling the Arena is going to be a lot more difficult if we're in League One, especially at 352 for a season ticket! Too expensive! Ground sharing with Coventry Rugby club at the Butts might be more suitable if CCFC carry on as they are....

And what was the statistic? New grounds see a rise of around 49% in attendances? What will we do with the other 10,000+ seats?! Drop the prices (Too late for the Christmas present buying market), and let's get the people of Coventry interested in "our' team" again.

And, as if CCFC fans needed making more miserable, along comes the F.A. Cup - time to re-live Sutton again! (Yawn!). How long before somebody takes our place as the cup clip to show, with the word `giantkillers' repeatedly uttered? Good luck to Yeading and Exeter - and Sheffield United!

We need a cup run like Victoria Beckham needs singing lessons, but unless CCFC upset the form book, Round 3 is as far as we're going. Crewe were unbeaten in nine games until defeat versus Preston. Good luck to anybody trying to sign Dean Ashton this week!

Six points off the bottom three (Ipswich away next in the league) is not where many CCFC fans would have expected to be at the start of 2005, and it is unacceptable. We might not be top six material, but we are certainly better than the bottom six....

And yes, there are far worse things going on in the world, but CCFC mean a great deal to a good few thousand people - it's time EVERYBODY at the club realised this, and gave us something to be proud of....




CET Article 3

Wahey! Two wins in four games, and `Dele' becomes `Pele' ... or is it, only two wins in 13, and Adebola builds us up, showing all the attributes of the rampaging target-man CCFC badly need, only to probably knock us down by reverting to his normal self when he's selected again?

If he could play like that for 90 minutes, we would be fighing off bids from the Premiership, not offering him to League One sides!

His cameo Saturday was impressive - surely his varied form isn't just down to confidence? If all he needs is for somebody to put their arm round him and offer words of encouragement, I suggest the club employ a full-time `Dele-cuddler'. Money well spent....

There would certainly be no need to bring Dublin back if he could! If reports he asked about a move, only to let us down when we offered it him, are true, I hope we've finished with that potential transfer for good. The story must be due a testimonial if it gets another back page....

Speaking of idiots letting us down, congratulations to the muppets (ir)responsible for not allowing the rail link to the new Arena to go ahead - a decision about as wise as asking Marilyn Manson to front `Songs Of Praise' (Though I might actually watch it if he did!).

The building of the new Arena, and re-generation of the entire site, should have been dependant on the area getting its own station - it needs it. Unless you get to the limited car parking spaces first on matchdays, you could be in for a long walk. If ever a decision deserved a protest....

Speaking of which, last Saturday's protest was disappointing. My attitude was: "let them do it, and if they fail to get unhappy CCFC fans onside, then they've misjudged the current mood". Even so, I was baffled by the total lack of backing. Fair play for trying lads! It was deserved....

The football is as bad as it's been for .... about a year! And our current board don't look capable of doing anything other than `treading water' rather than taking us forward. `D-Day' (Dhinsa Day!) hopefully draws closer....

The display versus Leicester was as one-sided as Mike Tyson arm-wrestling Wayne Sleep - they didn't even break sweat to win 3-0. Unacceptable in any match, but even more so against your rivals. If it happens again this weekend (v Wolves), those that didn't back the last protest might just back the next....

Many are questioning why Steele is selected ahead of Shearer, despite conceding as many goals. I would suggest it's because when he isn't conceding, he looks more confident! He does sometimes fly from his goalmouth like Superman, and forget to `repel' the evil ball from the our net, but he still does enough to justify selection.

The decision to let Ricketts return to Spurs is disappointing. I believe he was a decent pair of boots away from being half-decent! Slipping over seemed to be his speciality (And quite a few CCFC players recently - are we that badly off the players can only afford one pair of boots each?!), but he did look a class act when he stayed on his feet....

Finally, while the match itself is some way away, it's time Rotherham won! Their fixture versus CCFC, our first match of 2005, draws ever nearer, and we really don't want to be on the wrong end of their first victory of the season!




CET Article 2

Recent results have seen even the most optimistic, seemingly always positive, CCFC fans looking glum. The Rotherham game left fellow drinkers speechless while trying to enjoy the usual after match pint, with the display versus Sheffield Wednesday no better (Though I'll happily accept the win!).

The QPR result and display was just shocking, and was simply not good enough! So it's time to search for positives .... as well as some new players!

It might be to early to properly judge Luke Steele, but in his first few games he has looked the business (On the down side, we have no chance of signing him permanently!) - Scott Shearer could learn a thing or two from him. If he carries on at the current standard, he could end up back at Old Trafford, with Tim Howard coming here on loan! Time to sort out the full-back positions now....?

The arrival of Matthew Mills had softened the blow of Davenport leaving (Though he didn't enjoy the best of evenings against QPR), but he possibly needs a few more games before we decide if it's worthwhile extending the loan. His first few displays would suggest a call to whoever Southampton's manager might be is worthwhile. And the fact he is still able to play after last weeks disgraceful challenge on him in the League Cup match is also a bonus.

Stuart Giddings' full debut was a cause for optimism, looking equally as effective going forward as he did defending. If he can fit us in between England U19 appearances, he might just save CCFC the bother of signing another journeyman when Staunton steps down (Soon? Please?). Reid picked Shaw, Doyle, and Mills out for praise versus SW - harsh on Mr. Giddings, who was as good as anybody.

Up front(ish), Andy Morrell has scored six goals in eight matches (Plus 56 minutes in four appearances as a substitute) - some going! I wonder how many he would have scored if he were to be played in a position where he is comfortable?! He could end up with a Rooney-esque average of three goals a game!

The fact that CCFC actually spent money to sign a player has to be seen as a positive! (Though I would rather have kept Callum). Something to tell the grandchildren? I certainly didn't think it would happen 'til I become a grandparent with CCFC in such financial problems (If my daughters read this, later rather than sooner please!). Stern John hasn't exactly set Highfield Road alight with his displays so far, but, maybe he will prove his worth when the 4-5-1 system is finally dumped....

Mr. Dhinsa is still around (He's always welcome round my house for a cuppa and a chat about CCFC, without the lottery of being drawn from a list of texters), so this hopefully means the potential take-over is still on - Wayne Rooney could yet be partnering Andy Morrell up front! The future's bright, the future's Sky Blue....?

The reality is, I'm far from happy. Unbeaten in three League games becomes no wins in four thanks to an unnaceptable defeat against QPR, with Ipswich, currently averaging two goals a game, and rivals Leicester up next - cementing our place in the bottom third of the table is not where I expected CCFC to be, and is certainly not what the chairman promised us!

Yes, there's a long way still to go, but there is little evidence to suggest we set to take this division by storm....




CET Article 1

Well, the unbeaten run lasted for a whole game - slightly longer than some pessimists thought it would! Had CCFC opted for something slightly braver than a 4-5-1 system (Against the other CCFC!), it might have lasted for a few more days too....

Shaw and Davenport were absolutely superb against Sunderland, with Davenport's display making a mockery of the sum offered by Reading over the summer - I guess if you don't ask, you don't get! If he plays badly, we slip down the league, if he plays well, he will no doubt end up leaving the club. A lose-lose situation....

Peter Clarke is the obvious replacement, but with Everton's squad being slimmer than the chances of Wolves staying up last season (Or Neil Wood's hairline!), he won't be going anywhere.

I have vowed to keep my feet firmly superglued to the floor this season 'til we have something proper to celebrate, and defeat to Cardiff has stopped me getting carried away already. I had hoped unrealistic hopes of being promoted by Christmas might stay around for a bit longer though....

The old adage says `don't change a winning team', though its difficult to work out which team actually won the match for CCFC last Saturday! Despite CCFC playing well, it was 0-0 'til the three substitutions were made. Morrell won the penalty, Suffo scored it. Suffo's shot was parried by Poom, for Johnson to score. And Sherwood got booked!

Due to circumstances beyond my control (No babysitter!), I was unable to travel to Cardiff on Tuesday - and it seems I was right not to bother. New manager, plenty of new players, same old failings? Four days into the season, and that bitter taste of defeat, having played badly, is already leaving a bad taste in the mouth.

I don't agree with the 4-5-1 system used at Cardiff - it's like admitting the opposition is better than you, so you'll stop them playing rather than concentrating on playing to your own strengths. CCFC looked poor against Norwich 'til they changed to 4-4-2, then actually put them under pressure. Stifling tactics are for bottom of the table teams....

With Black having won against Cardiff last season (With only ten players), I'm interested to know, had Reid been in charge on Tuesday (Rather than ill), would he have been give the dreaded `vote of confidence' by MM? Brighton weren't in this division last season, so the results can't be compared - but anything less than a four goal win against Millwall, and we could be looking for a new boss!

While this column is supposed to be about all things Coventry City, I would like to congratulate Steven Warnock on making it difficult for his new boss to consider letting him go out on loan again. A former player to be proud of....

Having searched the internet for details on Eddie Johnson, he looks the best chance of being CCFC's next `Steven Warnock' - the player that performs so well for a season, leaving us desperate to sign him.

With Peter Reid brought in to raise CCFC's profile, I like to think I too have helped in a small way too! Having complained to Kerrang! FM that they never included CCFC on their sports bulletins, listeners were treated to a three hour history lesson on all things CCFC a day later!

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