Life as a Coventry fan is never easy but two weeks ago things were on the up. We were dreaming of a cup final at Wembley, a playoff place with the hope of promotion and had a manager who was the best we have had in years.
Two weeks on and 3-0 down in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy means a Wembley final looks unlikely, a defeat to Yeovil with other results going against us has left us 7 points adrift of the playoffs having played a game more than everyone else. Then to top it all off rumours broke this week of Huddersfield’s interest in manager Mark Robins. These rumours turned out to be true and the club failed to keep hold of Robins leaving the club in search of a new manager again only months after Robins appointment.
Then there has even been time to rub salt in the wounds as after weeks of silence on the Ricoh rent issue it was revealed that talks have now completely broken down with the club deciding to reject ACL’s latest offer. The club seem to be holding out for some deal that just isn’t going to happen and with talk of SISU planning on building their own ground for the club to play in then who knows what is going to happen, I would suggest anything could. With the clubs accounts suspended and ACL effectively now having control of City’s money we as fans have to question where does the club go from here.
The season was showing so much promise but with all of this, disappointment and heartache look like the only things for City fans to look forward too. We have had everything required to be successful this season and SISU have to be praised for putting that in place. We had a manager who was clearly more than capable and a squad of players which many would suggest were the best in the league. However this has all clearly been a smokescreen to cover up the continued off the field problems.
There has been many points of view on the situation as a whole and I am finding it difficult to decide who to believe if anyone at all. The club and SISU have lied so often in the past and with their work earlier in the season in terms of squad improvement and management choice I was beginning to change my mind on them however I still find myself questioning them when anything remotely controversial happens at the club.
Another player in it is of course is ACL who have also made stories up in the past. They have slated SISU for being unprofessional and yet they seem all too willing to put their business out into the public and playing on SISU’s negative public image. They have also previously stated that they don’t need the club to survive as a business running the Ricoh Arena. This was proven to be a complete lie as everyone expected as they had to be bailed out by Coventry City council after getting into financial difficulties.
The council is clearly also important and their stance has been a mixed one. They seem to not want to take a position and have often tip toed around the topic. There have been a couple of outbursts at SISU but all in all they have offered very little in information and in terms of help for the club. The club is a massive part of the city and for me the council should be doing a lot more to try to help.
Another man who agrees with this is ex manager Mark Robins. He has given his reasons for leaving the club in the way he did and the blame lay at the feet of city owners SISU who in his words were unable to give him the assurances he required to stay on in the job.
Out of everyone I feel like I believe Robins. Yes he has walked out on us and yes there is every chance he could be another to jump on the SISU hating band wagon but in his brief spell with the Skyblues I have felt that one of his biggest assets has been how brutally honest he has been. He has never been afraid to say what he was thinking especially with his players. It ranged from his subtle dig at Cody McDonald suggesting he wanted intelligent players within his squad all the way too his very honest appraisal of Leon Clarke’s recent performances and lack of goals.
With all the issues I still find myself being the most disappointed about the departure of Mark Robins. He is in my opinion the best manager we have had in my time as a city fan. Ambition, tactical nous, multiple game plans, eye for talent, great motivator are just a few of his seemingly never ending list of qualities.
The one that stood out for me though was his passion and desire to win and how his teams never give up and do everything in the power to win the game. This is a trait which stands out in the so called ‘special one’ and in many ways Robins reminds me of Mourinho. I have no doubt that he has bright future in the game and if given time and the right backing he could take any club to the next level. I do however feel he will use Huddersfield as another stepping stone to greater things and it won’t be too long before we see him managing in the premier league.
He is a massive loss to the club and in terms of other candidates I am not very hopeful of finding a good replacement. The only one which really stands out for me is Nigel Adkins, he did wonders at Southampton but I feel I am being far too ambitious in hoping that we could get him. Thinking more realistically and the name that I personally think will get it is Phil Brown, not sure if it would be a good appointment but we have to give whoever gets it a chance and back him all the way.