Another week of jumbled up nonsense on and off the pitch leaves me running the risk of posting exactly the same piece as I did twelve days ago. We’re still as desperate as we have been all summer for additional attacking options, and a resolution to the take-over/investment talk.
On the pitch, we continue to be the world’s most boring first-half team (0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0). Whilst this may appear a good platform to build on, it’s also starting to spell out ‘score some goals, lest this’ll be another loss‘ in binary, so that’s a worry.*
Last Tuesday’s defeat to Crystal Palace was ridiculous, for a variety of reasons. For those who couldn’t make it to the gloriously situated Selhurst Park, we were left with the usual choice of radio station to keep up with goings-on. BBC Cov and Warks, or the much jazzier Mercia. I tend to find myself listening to Clive and Geoff on the BBC version, due to familiarity more than anything else more sensible. Also, even though I’m keen on Benno’s passion on the Mercia alternative, it’s difficult to take him too seriously while he insists on pronouncing ‘little’ like a five year old.
So the Clive and Geoff show it was, minus Clive, who was replaced by similarly soppy Martin Winch. For years we’ve put up with the mistakes on the show. We’ve listened to relentless confusion of players names, from Robbie ‘Ben’ Simpson to Havon Zines, and chuckled at the coverage’s inherent uselessness.
“Good old Clive and Geoff messing up all the time. What wallies”.
Failing to spot that a goal had been disallowed and reporting for a good 10 minutes that City were losing? Now that’s beyond useless. Harmless mistakes we can sort of except, but it would appear that the only two people in the stadium to think the goal had stood was Geoff and Martin. Quite what they thought when play was restarted by a free kick and the scoreboard didn’t change, heaven only knows. The twonks.
Mercia for me from now on, I reckon.
If that wasn’t enough to send us all bandy, we then had the wonderfully predictable stoppage time collapse to contend with. Whether we deserved it or not, we should have found a way to win the game. In true sky blue fashion we saved our sloppiest defending to the final five minutes and literally handed them victory.
Of all the little mistakes and concerns this season, one thing that I’m starting to keep my eye on is Joe Murphy’s saves. He has an impossible task in following Keiren Westwood, but he’s starting to cause some issues. Palming saves back into the danger area is always a no-no, yet he’s doing it an awful lot. Of course I’m glad he’s making the saves, but the winning goal against Palace was all down to him and his brick-wall hands. And there have been other moments like that. Rumour has it that Oggy is concerned too.
Following the defeat, our attention turned to events behind the scenes and the meeting of the current board and Gary Hoffman’s lot. Within a few hours of it taking place, the mixed-messages, snipes and jibes between the two parties had returned. Hoffman and Joe Elliott appeared encouraged by the talks, whilst the clinically annoying Ken Dilieu posted a statement on the official site essentially claiming that the meeting had been a waste of time.
How useful. There’s lying going on somewhere, and as usual, fans are left none-the-wiser. Hoffman is seen as the saviour, but if he wants to be that, he’s got to start doing things properly. The whole headed-paper incident was ridiculed, but there are procedures for a reason. If he’s serious – follow procedures, make a bid, and get this done. We’re struggling here, and as reputable a business man he is, I really couldn’t give a monkeys until he puts in an official bid and starts to move things forward.
From the sounds of things I may have been the only person not to be entirely disgusted by the 0-0 draw against Watford. Sure, it confirmed once again what we already knew about our current attack, but it also provided us with some welcome good news with the return of Freddy Eastwood. Whatever you think of him, he’s an experienced striker at this level, and immediately gave us genuine options in attacking areas to get the ball on the ground and build from there. For all his energy, Royston just hasn’t got that in his locker.
Other positives from Saturday came in the form of Cyrus Christie and Richard Keogh. Christie was man of the match, no question. He’s so young, but you can see his confidence growing game by game. The way he drives past players is just what we want to see from someone with his pace. He’s still learning, and got a few earfuls from Sammy when he handed possession back to Watford too easily, but that will only benefit him.
I’ve been quite vocal about my views on Richard Keogh over the last few months. He had a decent first season, but played the majority of it at right back, and was prone to losses of concentration, sloppily relinquishing possession and general crazy behaviour. That’s not to say he didn’t have good games, but he was culpable for quite a few goals and it didn’t go unnoticed by me.
He’s showing himself to be far more reliable at centre-back this season. Whether it’s the removal of the attacking responsibility that is helping him flourish, I don’t know, but now he’s able to simply focus on the job of defending, he looks a far more accomplished and controlled player because of it. Watford was yet another solid performance, and I’ll happily acknowledge the improvement in his game if he can continue this form.
Carl Baker once again failed to perform, and appears to get weaker with every game. Chris Hussey is a willing runner down the left, but his delivery lacks any real direction or purpose. David Bell had an improved performance in the second half (not difficult) and showed in patches what he might be capable of if he applied himself.
One of those who clearly wasn’t too pleased with how things went on Saturday was manager Andy Thorn. Some daft so-n-so on the official site managed to publish a video of him being less than complimentary about our mis-firing strikeforce. Strangely, it’s good to hear a little of what he is really thinking at the moment. He strikes me as a perceptive man, but just lately his interviews have been very much about toeing the line and saying the right things (he wants to keep his job – it’s understandable I guess). He’s not whinged or moaned about lack of options – we’ve just got to “get on with it”.
There’s a bit of a transcript on Coventry Mad of what was actually said, but in short, he effed and jeffed about our strikers not being able to hit a cows arse with a dead badger. Nice.
The video was captured by a couple of people before it got taken down, but as yet, getting hold of it is proving tricky. I’d quite fancy a look to figure out whether this was tongue-in-cheek. Either way, could do with a laugh.
Speaking of the issues with our current strikeforce, the latest rumours are that we’ve put in a couple more bids for Adam Le Fondre. Worth noting that these bids also involved handing Clive Platt to Rotherham, which if true, could mean negotiations might take some time.
I mean, how the bloody hell are we going to convince them to take him?
*Of course, I was joking about the binary..
00100111 01110011 01100011 01101111 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01100001 01101100 01110011 00101100 00100000 01101100 01100101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100111 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100010 01100101 00100000 01100001 01101110 01101111 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 00100000 01101100 01101111 01110011 01110011