Perhaps We’re Not One Of The Best Sides In The Division
We started this month as one of the form sides in League 1. In addition to that we also were breaking records on a game-by-game basis. First it was getting into a positive points tally, second it was getting off bottom of the table and then we (briefly) escaped the bottom 4. Prior to the Port Vale game many fans were wondering whether this team was not only one of the best sides in the division but one of the best sides we’ve had since relegation from the Premiership. It seemed that we were even starting to keep clean sheets and control games with possession, as opposed to the mad goal rushes of August. However after finishing September with back-to-back defeats, sinking back into the bottom 4, questions about how brilliant we actually were are starting to be asked. Our wins this season came at Bristol City (currently without a win this season), Carlisle (who were had conceded around 10 goals at that moment in time), Colchester (who barely had 11 fit players to choose from) and Gillingham (who were also winless when we played them). Up against sides not undergoing serious confidence issues are record was much poorer, losing to Crawley, Port Vale and Brentford as well as drawing in that mad-cap Preston match. The truth probably lies somewhere in between us being awesome or terrible, at the moment though we’re yet to prove ourselves against a genuinely good side (except perhaps Preston) and any outside hopes of promotion are going to need the side to improve on what they already are.
Squad Depth Is Our Achilles Heel
It was apparant on the opening day of the season and after releasing every member of the ‘bomb squad’ we were told there was room to sign players and improve the squad depth. So far for the 12 first-team players who left in the summer only 3 players have been signed, that includes Stuart Urquhart clearly signed as a reserve not to be seen in first-team action any time soon. A deal for Blackburn winger Fabio Nunes fell through and the squad remains very light. Sunday’s problems against Brentford were perhaps caused by a lack of a genuine option on the right-flank, Baker and Daniels were both out injured and Barton, lacking confidence after one or two hefty early challenges, did not provide an adequate level of performance being asked for by Pressley. Looking deeper and the only option that Pressley really has on the bench to change a game is Manset, the rest are either untried youngsters or more defensive options. Manset is also someone who doesn’t appear to be able to play a full 90 minutes should Leon Clarke or Callum Wilson pick up an injury, by the way Leon has clearly being playing through some sort of injury anyway. In an ideal world Pressley would be able to add 2 or 3 players to the squad and it sounds like he’s trying to add at least one but our prospects this season depend heavily on not sustaining injuries or selling key players.
Our Best Form Of Attack Is Defence
Adding on to the opening point the best performances so far this season have came when we’ve been able to dominate the opposition. This may sound logical but whenever opponents have been able to sustain spells of pressure (even for 10 or 15 minutes) they have been able to score goals, usually from sloppy mistakes from our defenders. With a young side sometimes you have to accept they make mistakes and move on hoping they improve. When it’s been happening with such regularity you have to ask questions of the management and organisation of the team on the pitch. We’ve been trying to attack with both full-backs even when the opposition have been dominating us. At times this has worked in a ‘fortune favours the brave’ fashion and the approach is genuinely commendable over some of the more pragmatic approaches we’ve seen in the past. It does leave us exposed at the back with major gaps for opposing strikers to run into. It’s hard though to truly recommend that this approach be tailored as thus far when we’ve been bold we’ve usually been scoring and when we’ve tried to hold onto leads by being defensive we’ve conceded. Perhaps a change to a back 3 or slightly more cautious or possesion based approach to defending may be needed in future.
Joy Has A Corporeal Form
Last week saw a landmark in SISU’s tenure at the club, the previously invisible owner Joy Seppala showed her face, well at least to a select number of fans and journalists. What this shows to me is that SISU care about the club, at least making a success of it rather than casting it off like a pair of old jeans. However it’s become clear that other people don’t see it that way and for the most part will not change their mind. It’s hard to convince this people what I believe, partially because I still remain cautious and take what’s being said with a pinch of salt but also because people are now very entrenched in their views. The scenes that some saw around Sixfields on Sunday are endemic of what’s happening more broadly with our fanbase. There is a clear division in the fanbase and it’s going to be tough imagining that there’ll be many in either faction willing to forgive what some people have been saying any time soon. The longer the situation goes in its current murky grey phase where there appears to be absolutely no movement on either side this only seems to get worse. For Coventry fans on the whole we can’t let this become personal otherwise there won’t be a club to support whenever it comes to a solution, we need to grow up, understand other people’s views and decisions and get on with supporting Coventry in whatever way we see fit.
Franck Scores Another Wonder Goal
Finishing on a more positive note let’s see that wonderful Franck Moussa goal against Port Vale again. For the most part it’s been very difficult treading the minefield that supporting Coventry City has become. There is nothing complicated though about enjoying an absolutely brilliant goal from Franck Moussa which saw us retake a deserved lead in the first half against Port Vale. He sometimes frustrates but he definately has a wonderful goal in his tank whenever the moment takes him, and it usually appears to be in front of large numbers of City away fans (remember that goal against Franchise FC last December).