May 14 2006
So, eighth place it is then - now the hard work starts! A summer of trying to find undiscovered or cheap talent to push us that extra couple of places - or more! - up the table. There will be at least two more local derbies next season, with WBA and Brum coming down, as the Championship threatens to become The Midlands League! Shame the Villa survived. Wonder if MA will still be in charge come August?
Blimey! Another season almost over! And just as I was beginning to enjoy this one too .... Most seem happy with a top half of the table finish, but it could have been better. And it would have been had we found our away form sooner. Good luck to Stern John this summer. I'd like him to stay a Coventry player, but, if he has to go, a good World Cup will push his price up.
It's not hard to see how Leicester pulled away from the relegation battle - by kicking their way to safety! Three or four of them could have gone for an early bath on Monday. As for the one that did, Kisnorbo's challenge on Whing was as bad as I've witnessed all season. A shocker! Off the pitch, good luck to Peugeot's workers, who have been told their jobs are to go. They deserved better.
If we'd shown the same fight we did against Wolves in the matches against Crewe and Preston, maybe the final few games might not seem so pointless. We didn't, so we now have four games against mid-table sides to decide who finishes closest to missing the Top 6. I missed Richard Shaw's testimonial due to work commitments, but don't think he should have been given the chance to stay for 10 years anyway.
We failed to beat rock-bottom Crewe, and Preston reserves - we really didn't want to finish Top 6, did we? If the players really have gone on their summer holidays already, could they please tell the supporters so we can stop going to games until August? And £27 to get in versus Wolves? Sadly, there are loyal Coventry fans willing to pay this to watch their team. Wolves, you're no longer in the top flight.
Well don't I feel silly? Just for a few moments I really did believe we might have something to do with the Top Six come the end of April. The Crewe display proved we don't want it. Either that or some players knew they would be looking for a new club in the summer, as they're not good enough for the top flight. Saturday's match against Preston now has far less importance attached to it.
Thanks to a dodgy refereeing decision against Leeds, hopes of reaching the play-offs have all but disappeared. We still have to play Preston, Wolves and Cardiff, so it's not impossible, but winning them all to stay in contention is a tall order. First we have the matter of beating rock-bottom Crewe to attend to. A repeat of the 6-1 scoreline from 2002 might just help our cause!
Leeds are unbeaten in ten, CCFC have six straight wins at home - on paper this looks a cracking match, but a dull 1-0 home win would do me! McSheffrey's after his 50th CCFC goal, though I'd settle for Shaw notching only his second, or an own goal, if it mean we keep up our play-off hopes alive! It won't happen, but if that feint hope helps keep the crowds coming....
This week we'll be looking to do Leeds a favour by beating Sheffield United. Next weekend we'll be looking to do SU a favour by beating Leeds! SU come to the Arena in a poor spell of form, though Warnock's ability to see things nobody else in the world can, usually results in a different second 45 minutes - usually after seeming to put the match officials right on a few things with a chat from the tunnel to the touchline....
We won't make the play-offs, but an away win or two might make the rest of the season interesting. Away at Southampton is a good place to start. They've managed four blanks in the last five home matches, and won only twice in thirteen league games. Both against relegation fodder. If we play as we did against Watford and Plymouth, it's not worth wasting money putting petrol in the team bus.
Defensive musical chairs continues. One suspended player out, somebody ending a ban comes in. But MA, don't let he who seems to be a jinx start! Burnley's only win in 2006 was against Plymouth. It's 10 games since they won away. Our recent home record is great. Away win it is then? I concede, we won't catch Reading, but SU are only 30 points away - and we still have 11 games to play!
How nice it is to be back in the top half of the table after our midweek win - if for no other reason, the page comes round quicker on Teletext! Saturday was instantly forgettable, thanks to Adams opting for a 5-3-2 system, virtually handing the points to Watford before a ball was kicked. After recent away-days at Hull and Middlesboro, this week it's Plymouth -we're clocking up some Air Miles!
The Watford clash could be a classic. Five league wins in a row for them, three for us. And the low ticket price should make this a sell-out. If we're to get anything out of this match, Wise might need to continue his impressive recent scoring record, as they've scored 11 in three games! The Middlesboro result was a blow, though we didn't disgrace ourselves. Maybe next season...
Who'd have thought it? Dennis Wise, a CCFC hero! As many yellow cards as goals, but a definite asset for us. And thanks to those that decide such matters for NOT voting Micky Adams Manager Of The Month - not cursed! Let's hope we can dispel the myth that you only get one chance in the F.A. Cup at beating teams from the Premiership. Not that the draw for Round Five was kind to us anyway.
A 6-1 win, and people queueing for ages to get tickets for Boro? Are the good times returning? Probably not, but let's enjoy it while it's fun! Watching the Derby fans was almost as entertaining as watching Coventry score six! Blood vessels were popping! Stern, if you're miffed at being denied a hat-trick versus Derby, why not make up for it by scoring one this weekend instead?!
Mr. Adams, why so negative all the time? Your attempt to hold on for 0-0 from the kick-off against Reading, by sticking all our players around our penalty area, was doomed to failure. Then, a goal down, the team decides to attack, and gives runaway leaders Reading a real game. We are a better side going forwards than defending! Rumour has it Carlisle are after Andy Morrell. I doubt we would miss him.
The transfer window is open, but as of yet, no more ex-Leicester players have joined us. Keep it that way, MA! This weekend we play Reading, and if any team can beat them, it's us! If we don't, we can say goodbye to our hopes of catching them up this season. Good luck to the non-league teams in their F.A. Cup replays. It's time there was a new giant killing for commentators to mention every January.
On Monday I witnessed three miracles! At 2-0 up, we resorted to our normal "backs to the wall" tactic, and invited pressure on ourselves for 45 minutes - and didn't concede a goal! Reports say Wolves had 28 chances - I guess that includes hitting the corner flag from 15 yards out then? Miracle No. 2 was Stern John being applauded from the pitch (Deservedly so!), and No. 3 was Adie Williams finally getting a game!
I doubt Sky will have gained many new subscribers off Monday's match, but that matters little to Coventry fans! We've now won three on the trot - without playing that well too. Up until recently some doubted we would win three more games all season! Shame on the QPR "fans" that attacked the coaches taking Coventry fans home. Does terrifying children make you feel brave?
The birthday drinking sesh is off thanks to the decision to move the QPR game to Monday, but the present list is the same: three more points! If we dare to take anything from QPR, it would be hard not to think we might be turning the corner - or at least peeping round to have a look! Can people lay off McSheffrey just because he doesn't score with every shot? Without his goals we'd be down already.
At 3.25pm last Saturday, with Plymouth 1-0 up, and Coventry City looking clueless (Again!), Micky Adams was surely on his way out? A triple injury blow(?) saw Impey and Hutchinson come on, and they helped the first part of my pre-Christmas wish list come true - we won three of the nine points I wanted! Basement club Millwall next - is back-to-back wins to much to ask for?
Enough of the "they have players that cost money" excuse! And every other excuse repeatedly spewed by CCFC too! If what you have to work with isn't good enough, step aside and we'll see if there is a management team that can make it happen with our squad. The players are good enough - it's the tactics that aren't. Against Norwich we simply surrendered when a hammering looked on the cards.
It seems quite clear to me that the masterplan is to make sure there is no interest in the Arena hosting football, and to use the space the pitch takes up for something else. What other reason can there be for yet more pathetic, inept, useless offerings, only likely to see more of our ever dwindling crowd opt to do something else on matchdays? The board, management, and most of the current team are killing this club.
Look out Ipswich, the Coventry City revival starts here! I wish .... I really would like to believe this, but it seems even our manager isn't convinced we had a side capable of winning a match. Maybe if he tried playing to our strengths we might? Of the last eleven matches played against Ipswich, we've lost eight and drawn three. Maybe the revival will start against Crystal Palace instead?
So Nalis has gone "home" to sit on the Sheffield United bench rather than play for us? Maybe he just couldn't cope with our all attacking style? That 8-1-1 system must have scared the hell out of Cardiff. A week without Championship football gives us time to re-group, and work out where it's going wrong. A defence that can't defend, an invisible midfield, and a strike force without supply would be my main worries.
Add Stoke to the list of dismal teams to take points off us. We were just shocking from the 20th minute onwards against their reserves - where's a power-cut or a water-logged pitch when you need one? We are spineless and clueless, and matches are becoming more and more painful to watch. If we were an animal, we would have been put down by now. Sunday probably can't come fast enough for Cardiff....
It's becoming increasingly difficult to raise any enthusiasm each time a CCFC match comes along. And finding original ways to write "we lost again" for Teletext is as tricky! It was once again total surrender when we played last weekend - the players can't even raise their game for a local derby. Not good enough. Third placed Luton versus third bottom us next. Happy days....
Babyshambles failed to show at the weekend (After I'd won tickets to too), but Coventry Shambles did - the display against Palace was a disgrace. Things looked bad against Ipswich too, until the side proved they have a backbone. Same again Sunday please. Only three players have been worthy of their place in the side this season, and one of them has just had his loan with us cut short. Nuts!
Back to Championship action this weekend, with the admission price dropped to £15 - the price the club should have been charging from day one of the Arena opening. Rumour has it we're bringing in Andy Johnson - WBA's though, rather than Palace's! Shame, as we could do with winning a few more penalties. Seven of our next eleven games are at home - make or break time me thinks!
I've realised I'm falling out of love with football - and both Coventry City and England are the reason. I can take defeat if the team I support gives their all, but more often than not we don't seem to - either that or we are just useless. Coventry have a board that are merely waiting to get their money back, a team lacking in anything, and the entertainment rating is around nil.
Finally, we got the hang of playing badly and winning! Not that Watford were any better. Losing to Hull was a bitter pill to swallow though .... And can somebody explain to me why running 70 yards to join in with a fight isn't a red card offence? The power failure on Wednesday caused chaos at the turnstiles, with the operators taking most of the flak. What did people expect them to do?
McGinnity out, Robinson in, Coventry out, Palace through, and awful rock dinosaurs Bon Jovi are playing at the Arena. As weeks go, I've had better. Any chance of a band playing there that didn't peak 10 years ago? The entire Arena is open for business this weekend, though the chances of filling it are the same as a Morrell hat-trick. One more than Hull manage would be a start....
I hope 46 points is enough to see us stay in the Championship! We're hard to beat, but don't look capable of scoring twice in a game. How ironic we allow Williams to leave on loan, which coincides with winn for Millwall, and a defensive crisis for Micky Adams! And Stern John is off to become a world-beater at Derby. It's Brighton away on Saturday, with our record against them being abysmal!
Usually it's England having to pick me up after watching poor Coventry displays - this weekend it's the other way round, with SGE's England making our Peter Reid months seem entertaining. Depressingly poor. Problems with the ticket office looks as if it will cost Coventry City a few potential supporters this weekend - it really is time the problems associated with the move were sorted. A decently run organisation wouldn't let this happen.
What a difference a few months make! Last season we couldn't give Dele Adebola away - this week somebody wanted to pay money for him! We lost the plot Monday when he went off injured, with supposed Premier League class Stern John replacing him - and looking awful by comparison. SJ could learn from DA on how to win over fans who don't rate you. Sadly, I'm not sure he's that bothered.
The Arena finally opened (Most of it!), we beat QPR with ease, and progressed to the next round of the Carling Cup too - not the worst week to be a Coventry City fan! And our two 3-0 victories were achieved without our captain and supposed best player, Stephen Hughes. Interested to see if he walks back into the side on Saturday - it would be harsh on a few others if he does.
Last Saturday was an embarrassing shambles! If the last two displays are the best we can manage, we night as well give up and go home now. A moment of stupidity by Hughes means he's missing the "grand opening" - Safety Certificate permitting! - as the Arena finally opens for business. I can't help thinking a lot of things that should have been left behind are coming with us though....
Chuffed with an away point at Norwich but gutted at only taking a point at Millwall - football is back! The reality is it could and possibly should have been six points, but we lack a cutting edge - we desparately need to bring in somebody with pace! And it didn't take long for our fans to start arguing amongst themselves over the contributions (Or lack of!) from one or two players!
If pre-season results are anything to go by, HELP! Not impressive at all! The signings made will hardly have boosted season tickets sales, but you have to cut your cloth accordingly. The late addition of Bywater to the squad is a big plus though. As for where we will finish, this is CCFC, so anywhere between 1st and 24th!! It depends on how we adapt to our new surroundings - eventually.
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