Thoughts On The Crawley Match

It’s hard to really envisage a worse start to a season than what we’re currently undergoing. At around 4pm on Saturday afternoon the difficulty and despair of the coming season had finally sunk in. Before a ball was kicked on Saturday we could reassure ourselves that despite off-field problems and the points deduction that the team itself was promising and that we could form a siege mentality. Then at around 3:15 the team conceded the first of two soft goals and the depth of our situation really sank home. It was similar to that sinking feeling we had on the first game of the season 2 years ago against Leicester when their goal went in. There’s something about the sight of seeing the ball roll into your team’s net that is almost indescribable and has no parallels elsewhere in life, perhaps it can be described as a softer version of that feeling you have when you realised you’ve been dumped by your now former partner. To put yourself through those kind of emotions 9 months every year says a lot about football fans, so much pain, so little reward.

But then those moments of desolation make triumph feel all the better. First Callum Wilson’s tap-in after Moussa’s run into the Crawley box and then Franck himself levelling it all up. I wasn’t at this game as I was at a friend’s party but even surrounded by half a dozen people who couldn’t care less about football I felt course to pump my fist in celebration and tell my disinterested friends of Coventry’s come-back.

And then once you come to terms with and accept the triumph, that feeling of coming back down to earth happens. That joy of a few moments ago is forgotten and the misery of defeat consumes you. It seems so Coventry to capitulate so often, so predictably but still so painfully, but from talking to and reading how other fans think of their clubs every football fan feels this kind of pain is particular to their own club.

Judging from the reaction of other fans though it seems that the regularity of disappointment, particularly over these past few seasons, never really seems to hit home, at least the regularity of it. You’d imagine that the feeling of defeat would just dullen over time, but it clearly hasn’t. I knew that any bad result for basically the rest of SISU’s ownership would be blamed on them somehow but the logic behind many of these fans’ reasoning was frankly baffling. What’s worse has been those who seem now to actively want the team to lose, firstly to prove themselves right vis-a-vis SISU and also apparantly to speed up the aforementioned hedge-fund’s departure. Lacking a understanding of their admittedly murky motives for owning the club.

Aside from that I think a lot of the footballing side of the last match was encouraging, from accounts that I’ve heard. After faced with a 15 point deduction and only getting 10, the chances of achieving something this season, including survival, seem emanantly more achievable. We’ll see what level this performance actually means in regards to the rest of the league but being so competitive with a team that nearly made the play-offs last year is very encouraging after all the doom-mongering from fans of the club as well as the outside media. Perhaps the sense that this is a team in crisis will encourage opposition sides to underestimate us, 5 Live definitely did in their pre-match summary of a team ‘containing mostly youth-team players’.

From the sounds of things if we had defended with greater solidity then we would have deserved to win the match. However given that 11/12 season still lurking in the background it’s difficult to fully compliment performances when they lack results. As a starting point it’s a good performance but there’s clearly grounds for improvement. Staying with the positives though I thought it was good to see Moussa involved with both goals, indicating that he’s adding the cutting edge that his game lacked at times last year. Callum Wilson scoring was also important, showing that we can depend on players aside from Leon Clarke and Baker to score goals. His finish, a tap-in, was well taken and he perhaps showed how he could have added to our team last season, we never really had an out-and-out goal-poacher. Also it’s good to see another academy player show that he’s building after an encouraging start to his career.

Next week it’s Leyton Orient away and then our first game at Sixfields against Bristol City. I’ll personally be attending the game in Northampton to show my support to the team in such a troubled time, those who aren’t I can understand why but wish it wasn’t the case. I’ve heard that apparantly liquidation over a CVA will speed up the process of leaving our transfer embargo and we might just see the first few of the 7 players that Pressley wants to sign.

Play Up Sky Blues.

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