It’s been a busy week for Coventry City Football Club for all of the wrong reasons.
First we allow a two goal lead to slip at home to Bury and then the club choose to sack Andy Thorn four matches into the new season.
No managerial departure is ever surprising as it is part and parcel of the job but what is surprising is the timing of it. This seems to be a knee jerk reaction from the Coventry board and one that I am not particularly happy about.
Thorn’s record at the club hasn’t been great, far from it in fact but there are factors out of Thorn’s control which have had a major impact on this. First off we have to remember that Andy Thorn was very much thrown in at the deep end but he was able to give the club a new lease of life.
We as Coventry fans started to see the team trying to pass the ball and express themselves and we were all a lot happier. There were teething problems that everyone could see but this was always going to be the case when having a man in charge that had no management or coaching experience
By the end of the season we were getting somewhere and then the inevitable happened and the owners let us down by allowing the likes of Marlon King to leave. We then started the new season with a threadbare squad full of youngsters and we all knew we were in for another relegation battle.
January came and we were struggling but we were still very much in the fight. Then the inevitable happened again the club allowed their top goal scorer Lukas Jutkiewicz to leave and failed to replace him. We then really began to struggle and Thorn somehow pulled off the loan signings of Oliver Norwood and Alex Nimley. These two kept the fight alive but unfortunately the squad just ran out of steam after fighting for their lives all season.
Relegation was confirmed and I personally don’t think any blame can be attributed to Thorn. Under the circumstances I think even the best managers would have struggled to have kept us in the fight to the very end.
After relegation I think we were all wondering what was going to happen to our club and soon after relegation was confirmed the club issued a statement. This statement suggested the club would not only have a ‘bounce back’ budget with Thorn continuing as manager but also that there would be no knee jerk reaction with management and player changes and that stability was essential.
Well it didn’t take long for this statement to be forgotten about as the exodus of players began. Players continued to leave and players only began to arrive about three to four weeks before the new season started. These new arrivals were all free transfers up until the arrival of Barton who has been rumoured to have cost in the region of £50,000.
So an almost complete overhaul of the squad despite the club previously stating there would be no major changes and all done on what can only be described as a shoestring budget rather than a ‘bounce back’ budget. I have heard a few Coventry fans suggesting that because we have brought in nine new players we should have improved as a team and I’m sorry but what planet are these individuals on.
We have lost good players worth in the millions and yet we have only spent in the region of £50,000 to replace them, in what way is this going to improve us as a team. There still seems to be this unrealistic notion amongst certain Coventry fans that we are a big club and we should be winning every game we play in League One. A huge reality check is needed as we are a club who doesn’t own their ground and doesn’t even own their training ground. We are in serious financial difficulty and are being run by people who have no idea about football. To top it all off it looks as if we are going to average around the 10,000 mark for attendances this season and all this does not suggest a big club it suggests a club that is struggling to survive.
Four games in and Thorn has been sacked despite the team remaining unbeaten. Yes we have surrendered leads in these games but what is Thorn supposed to do about individual errors by the players and officials. McDonald missing an almost open net against Yeovil as well as the referee not giving a penalty after McDonald was brought down in the box. Then Malaga’s header which crossed the line and wasn’t given against Sheffield United and finally the numerous chances wasted in the first half against Bury. We could have so easily had five, seven or even nine points from these opening three games but it just wasn’t to be.
Sacking Thorn after just four games is just ridiculous. By no means is he a brilliant manager but this is a new team and it is finally his team even inspite of the budgetary restraints that have been put upon him. But he has been given no time at all to show what his team could do and you cannot judge a new squad of players four games into the season.
This for me is just another example of how much of a joke our board and owners are. We now have a situation where a manger has got to come in with a squad of players that are not his and has no chance to add to it himself, that is of course if we can actually afford another manager. It is more likely we will appoint Shaw or Carsley which isn’t going to change anything as again it will be someone who has no managerial experience.
Sacking Thorn in my opinion was wrong and is another disruption that we as a club could of really done without.