With the decision on a new manager still yet to be made along with the continued poor results in the league, Coventry’s season is already in danger of becoming another hugely disappointing one.
Another league defeat against Stevenage means that after five games we have a measly three points and lie in 20th in the table. This is not what we as Coventry fans were dreaming of when the season began but is something we have become accustomed to over the years.
There is still much debate over who is at fault for this poor form this season. There seems to be a lot of blame being put at the feet of the players and management staff. This, in my opinion is only partly justified and I am going to defend both the players and the management staff.
We began the season with three draws and the only one we should have been disappointed about was the Bury game. The blame for not winning this game has to be on the players and management because the players became complacent and the management i.e. Thorn didn’t react to the game changing in Bury’s favour. That is however the only real blame I attribute to the players and management.
Now a lot of Coventry fans will slate me for saying this but I do lay some of the blame for our poor start on certain sections of the fans. From the very first game there were grumbles coming from the fans about players and the manager. This continued and quickly turned into boo’s and chants for Thorn to be sacked. I still personally cannot get my head around this for so many different reasons.
First off fans should be getting behind the team and I’m not saying we as fans shouldn’t be able to let our criticism and frustrations be heard but there are times and places for this. Doing this at the end of a game where we have been beaten and we have played poorly is justified. My biggest hate though is fans that boo and hurl abuse at our own players during the match itself.
The football world always talks about the fans being the 12th man and I fully believe that fans can have a hugely positive impact on the players. I also believe this works the other way round, so when fans hurl abuse at the players it is going to have a hugely negative impact on them.
This links to a psychological theory called the labelling theory. This theory is all about if you constantly label someone as something then they will become that thing that they are being labelled as. Applying this to football and if fans are constantly abusing players and telling them how bad they are then they are going to start believing it themselves and in turn lose all confidence in their own ability.
We all know how much of a huge role confidence plays in football and we have to remember that football players are like all of us, they need support and reassurance. This to some extent is the job of the management team but the majority if not all football players will go out onto the pitch to please the fans. The fans are the life blood of football and most footballers were and are football fans and know exactly what it is like to be in the stands. This is where the passion comes from and if all they are hearing from the fans is negativity then this passion begins to dwindle and the players will lose belief. This negativity is not good for the players, the management, the club or the fans.
We are a new team with ten new players and when you bring in that sort of number into the first team squad it is always going to take time. Look at Man City for example they weren’t good when they brought in loads of new players into their first team squad, it took time and they spent a lot of money, we spent basically nothing.
We also have to remember that these players were brought to the club by Thorn. I can’t imagine the new squad of players took very kindly to his sacking so soon into the new season. To see him gone after just four games must have left the players wondering whether they had made the right decision in joining the club.
Now many will say players don’t care about who there manager is, as long as they are getting paid they are happy and that may be the case but one thing I am sure of is that managers play a huge role in leading a team. I still think we started the season reasonably well considering the newness of the squad and I think these players were willing to play for Thorn. I still believe he should never have been sacked when he was and I think results since his sacking have proved that.
In terms of new managers there have been plenty of names banded about. I personally don’t think Shaw is the right choice and I am really hoping that rumours of Steve Staunton are untrue. A manager from the lower leagues may be the way to go but at this moment I am leaning towards Dennis Wise. He was brilliant as a player for us and was part of our most successful season in the Championship. His name has been dragged through the dirt over the past few years and his reputation in football is at an all time low. I know this sounds a stupid reason to want him but he has a lot to prove to a lot of people. He has had success as a manager before all be it brief but I think Coventry could be the opportunity that he has been looking for and he could be the exact type of character we need at this club.