Recently by Garry Thompson
with the new manager starting to get "his team" together and especially with the re-signing of lee carsley, there is a genuine feel of optimism from most fans on the message boards, the results from the friendlies have been promising, with the clean sheets a hopeful marker for the season ahead.
The carsley signing makes a lot of sense and he adds a much needed old head to the youth policy we have been used to, his experience will be invaluable over the coming months, he is a natural winner and will give us a stability and tenacity in the middle of the park, often lacking last term.
its also nice to see macca back after all the previous speculation, i feel he is a home town boy, who will give his all for the cause.
1 area we are obviously lacking is up front, with only freddie tried and tested at this level and his recent return doesn't suggest he is the answer to our goalscoring problems, good strikers are a very expensive lot for any team on a budget, so it will be interesting to see who we draft in, but that apart, we have a very good keeper, excellent back four and ample quality in midfield, add a quality striker to the mix and there is every reason to be optimistic for the forthcoming season.
Mind you, we thought the same about england's world cup campaign............
With the current news of more and more premier league clubs (man utd £700m - west ham £100m - portsmouth players wages unpaid etc etc) joining the growing number of championship clubs in financial meltdown at the moment, it actualy makes me think that the sky blues are in pretty good health at the moment.
If the likes of liverpool and man utd, 2 of the perceived wealthiest clubs in the world, are finding thinks difficult, then our future looks pretty bright in comparison.
The fact that we don't own our own stadium is a major setback, which means the current transfer window is always going to make life a little more interesting, if a little less secure, but that is the price we as fans need to accept, in order to have a future for coventry city.
The likes of Dann, Fox, Gunnar, Westwood, Best etc etc have been very good purchases, and all will need to be sold at some stage, to enable the Football Club to continue to exist. The money from ticket sales does not pay the running cost of the club, so simple economics will suggest a higher than normal turnover of players.
It is clear that we have an excellent scouting system in place which has enabled us to unearth these gems, but they are only here to be polished, before moving on to fulfill there true potential, and market value, elsewhere.
I suppose you could sum it up, that we have become a feeder club for the big boys, and as long as they have the money to spend, we should be ok, it is when they all start to realise that spending more than you earn is unsustainable, that we may be in trouble.
There will for the foreseeable future, be teams looking to spend money to gamble on the premier league, the champions league etc etc, but the bubble is about to burst for at least one big club, we should all say a little thank you that, for the moment at least, it won't be us.
So the dream is all over
The euphoria has died down
Supposed champions of Europe
More like Circus Ring Clowns
For the first seven minutes
They looked up for the fight
They had a couple of chances
Was it to be their night?
Then Barca got the ball
And attacked down the flanks
Man Yoo's defence was too static
The looked akin to short planks
An Anderson mistake left an opening
Could they carry it through?
They're a team full of winners
1 - 0 it's Samuel Eto'o
The perfect gift,
or so it seemed
a home 3rd round draw
against a lower ranked team
The Vultures had gathered
Kidderminster would be a stern test
but they where dispatched
with goals from McKenzie & Best
Then a trip to the seaside
a tricky tie was assured
but we saw Torquay of too
with a late strike from Ward
It was going quiet well
seemed a bit like a dream
as we sat and watched the draw
for the last sixteen
A trip up to Blackburn
wasn't anyone's first choice
but the travelling fan's
where all in fine voice
A draw and some credit
against premiership class
bring them back to the Ricoh
then we'll kick some *ss!
The Stadium was rocking
it finally came alive
Leon Best's glancing header
the "Ricoh Roar" had arrived
to see the stadium full
should fill the players with glee
and may just give us an edge
over the fancied Chelsea
If we cheer every tackle,
and somehow manage to score
just one goal more than them
we'll be in the last four!
A time of change is taking place
and a fan needs to show some faith
for the comings look very good indeed
as our club begins to take shape
The Deadwood is slowly drifting away
and the chancer's time has passed
no more passengers in Sky Blue
thank heaven's, at long last
The likes of Birchall, Miffy & Kyle
have all been shown the door
The hopes and dreams of City Fans
have turned around once more
The new boys all show lots of hope
for a future clear and bright
they play with lots of confidence
Fear of failure, none in sight
The likes of Westwood, Wright, McPake
Gunnarson, Morrison & Bell
show that Cookie has an eye for class
for youth with style as well
With Dann, Turner, Fox & Ward
A defence and a sturdy spine
the midfield will definitely start to gel
The whole team just needs time
So stick with them all and keep the faith
keep abreast of what's in print
because as the old adage says:
"It's a marathon, not a sprint!"
There's no rubbish from this chairman's mouth
no empty promises or trash
just the building of a good young team
And he's spending lots of cash
So in these days of overnight success
Some might want a faster pace
just take a look whats going on
The building blocks are all in place
So exactly what may lay ahead
No - one can be really sure
But the way that things are shaping up
looks a lot better than it did before!
A Trip to Malaga (part 2)
Another day out in Sunny Malaga was penned in for the visit of Espanyol, on Sunday 18th January, with yet another 17h00 Kick - Off. The plan was to meet up in Harry's bar again, before heading into the City for a bite to eat at a "New Found" eatery, for some traditional Spanish food, before sending the Barcelona outfit back up the N340 with their tails between their legs.
On arrival at Harry's, it was noted that a couple of regulars were nowhere to be seen, this was explained by Jason, who confirmed that upon arrival at home around 03h00 this morning, Sean had bolted the door on his Fiance, who had taken the dog for a walk, before hitting the pit. On arrival back home, she couldn't waken the comatose Irishman, and spent 2 hours cuddled up to the dog on the front step, before he finally answered his mobile phone and let her in. But not before he had smashed the latch of the door, in his attempt to allow her, now freezing soul, into the flat. A bill of 280 euro's and the promise of years of undying devotion, plus a week off the drink, went some way to clearing the air.
And so we set off, arriving some 30 minutes later into deepest Malaga and our newly chosen Hostelry of choice. It was discovered by Pork Chop during the recent visit of Barcelona FC, when he went searching for a pre-game toilet break, and has since become a firm favorite, due to the quality and inexpensive food and drink on offer. The site of a "Lady of the Night" in pajama's and Slippers popping in for a "Tea Break" may give you some idea of the local area!
The drinks arrived, followed by a couple of plates of Squid, and we were in our element. Well most of us anyway, it was all a bit "Too Spanish" for Jason from Bedworth, who politely declined any more "Whelks in Batter". The main course arrived thereafter, which was a lovely dish of Paella for the 5 of us, swiftly accompanied by another round of drinks, plus a free drink from the owner, followed by another round. One more round of Mahou was followed by a Triple Brandy, before it was time to ask for the bill and head to the ground. The bill arrived to stunned silence, 2 plates of Squid, Bread, Paella for five, 25 bottles of Mahou between us, plus Brandy all round, not to mention the yellow looking liquor supplied by Jose the manager, for only 57 euro's?
We took up our seats in the ground and the eagerly awaited kick off, whilst Sean fell into a deep and somewhat noisy sleep and was awoken 90 minutes later, with the score at 4 - 0 to Malaga. And so back to the pub, it's a hard life in Spain, but someone has to do it!
Having been invited to accompany a couple of x-pat CCFC fans, to visit the home of Malaga CF, it was with a combination of fore-bearing and intrigue that I set off on Sunday 19th October. The arrangements were to meet in Harry's bar at 14h00, for a 17h00 Kick-off with time for a quick pint before heading into deepest, darkest Malaga. We arrived at just before 3 o'clock and headed for the club shop for a look around. Feeling a little left out, the other guys all had Malaga shirts on, I plumped for a light-weight jacket with the club crest on, at least I would be ok if it peed down.
It was then time for a beer in one of the local hostelries, which I was reliably informed was home to the "Ultra's" a group of Spanish skinhead's, who dress themselves up as football fans once a week. Perhaps more re-assuring was the presence of the English Malaga supporters club, from Benalmadena, who have attached themselves to what is purported to be the biggest British supported club outside of the UK. They arrived by coach and quickly unfurled a huge George Cross flag, with Malaga CF emblazoned across the middle, and calmed the mood somewhat.
After taking in much needed liquid refreshment, we made our way to the Estadio La Rosaleda, and were presented with our "Free Programmes", before taking our seats at the very top tier, behind the goal. It was a bit like the old "Crow's Nest" at Highfield Road, in the old Spion Kop. It afforded us a great view, but was a real test of endurance if you needed the boy's room!
One of our guys had purchased a packet of, what can only be described as bird seed. The trick was to crack open the shell, before devouring the nut from within, a trick which all the locals took great delight in achieving, before spitting the shell into the gangway, or Hood of the fan seated in front in my case. A challenge indeed lay ahead, and not a footballer in sight.
The players then arrived and the chanting started almost immediately, the atmosphere throughout the game was electric, with a group of fans to our right, which including the british contingent, singing their hearts out, from start to finish.
Against the run of play, Getafe, the visitors, took the lead. Malaga's keeper Arnau (who resembled Dimi in more ways than one) made a hash of a long shot, which somehow found its way into the net. Roared on by the home support (19,761 to be exact) Malaga scored a deserved equaliser, from top scorer Baha, Before Duda scored a cracking goal to take the lead. HT 2 - 1
Having fought my way through the thousands of nut shells, I breathlessly made my way back up the steep incline, calves burning with pain, to my seat. The second half mirrored the first, with Malaga controlling play, without looking like scoring and the fans having a real ball. FT 2 - 1
And so the time had come to leave, with ¾ of our nuts still untouched, we attempted to make our way out through the millions of discarded shells, some of which seemed to cut out the daylight, after a long and sometimes difficult descent, we made our way back to the bar, and managed a couple more bottles of San Miguel at €1.00 per bottle, before heading back to Sunny Cabopino for something proper to eat. It wasn't quite the Ricoh Arena, there was an atmosphere for a start, but a good day was had by all!
Next-up at home: Barcelona!
Having watched the Sky Blues almost fall into oblivion before a last minute take-over, it's a strange mix of emotions watching the farce which is currently being played out at Newcastle United.
The display of Anger from the Newcastle fans was a little misguided in my opinion, but the fans only want what they feel is best for the club. Whether that is as part of a sustainable business plan doesn't really enter their thoughts
There are quite a few similarities between the Kevin Keegan and Ian Dowie departures, both had their own ideas of how a club should be run, with the firm belief that the manager should have complete control of player recruitment, wages, bonuses etc, with both Chairmen having differing views on the way to take the club forward with financial management a key to their stability and long term viability.
Both Chairman have ploughed money into their respective clubs, but they both see the recruitment of players, i.e. Young players with potential, rather than old heads who are past, or very near to, their sell-by-date.
All fans are these days become accustomed to the thought of immediate success, with more money being made available. Which i suppose is the dream of all football fans whatever league they may find themselves in.
Most of those fans are going to find this dream is totally unobtainable in the short term and a programme of long term stability, as indicated by RR's 4 year plan, would surely be better for all parties.
The visit of preston north end should give us fans a firmer guide as to our hopes for a successful season. With a defeat against a workmanlike Bristol city team only showing that they will be there or there about's again come the season's end, it should prove a better indicator, this weekend against an unbeaten preston team.
If we are to have any play-off aspirations, a victory would seem imperative towards achieving that goal. Whilst a draw would probably be acceptable, a defeat would probably consign us to the also rans in the championship.
I know it is early days, and you souldn't really look at the league table until xmas, but it will prove to be a true test of our new signings and possible standing amongst the pretenders to the title.
One worry is still the lack of a recognised right back, with the de la cruz deal looking dead in the water, i would expect osbourne to be drafted in, at least the midfield will have more balance with gunnarson back!
With the Sky Blues enjoying a week off, how enjoyable it was to see an England team, put on such a spirited and committed performance, as they did against Croatia last night.
The sight of the croat's attempting to cajole the referee at every turn, and diving as if shot by a hidden sniper whenever an english player went near them, whilst attempting to stop young "theo Walcott" with any means open to them, showed a complete disregard for any thought of fair play, and proved that they could not handle an England team, clearly a match for them in every department.
Let's not forget, that was their first ever home defeat in a qualifier, adds to the kudos of a seemingly (if you believe the papers) at-odds england side. With some of the "red tops" already looking for a derogatory nickname for the manager, almost as if they were willing him to fail.
Well fail they did not, in fact so refreshing was the passing and movement; it almost made you forget about the stuttering performance against Andorra at the weekend.
And what was the key to this turnaround? In my opinion it had a lot to do with the recall of emile heskey. He will never score enough goals to allow himself to be compared with the likes of shearer or lineker, but he has the ability to hold the ball up and bring other players into the game. An ideal foil for wayne rooney and joe cole.
I know theo will get all the plaudits for his hat-trick, and deservedly so, but when was the last time an england manager decided to leave michael owen out of the squad and start heskey up front on his own, giving rooney the freedom to dictate the game from a deeper position, from where he found acre's of space to control proceedings.
I have a feeling that mr capello is very much his own man, with his own idea's, and he will not be persuaded by any pressure from the media, who to play when or where.
The King is dead, long live the King!