A Rocky Start To Life Without Thorn For Coventry City

There was a need for calm after the storm last week at Coventry City however this hasn’t really been the case.

Fans have remained divided over the sacking of Andy Thorn, have experienced renewed optimism after a derby cup win, seen the club bring in another new arrival, witness the first defeat of the season, all that along with a not so friendly exchange between fans and players. All in all it’s been a pretty eventful week for Coventry City.

Richard Shaw has been the man tasked with the job of calming the ship and his first challenge was a Capital One second round match against local rivals Birmingham City. Every Coventry fan went into this game worried about what they were about to witness and when Birmingham took the lead early on we all feared the worse. The crossbar then came to our rescue moments later as Birmingham continued to press. Then all of sudden Coventry began to get themselves into the game and two quick goals from McDonald and Kilbane turned the tie on its head and gave Coventry a 2-1 lead.

The lead didn’t last long though as an enthralling match continued to deliver with Birmingham leveling just before half time. Sadly the second half didn’t quite live up to the first and the score remained 2-2 and extra time was needed to settle the match. Whilst there was a lack of goals and chances in the second half , the hard work and endeavor from the Coventry players was second to none. Extra time began with the same high work rate it paid off as Baker who was easily man of the match for his performance gave the Skyblues the lead for the second time in the match.

This is the way the score line stayed as Coventry managed to keep Birmingham at bay to set up a third round tie away at Arsenal. There was a real feeling of elation around Coventry following what was not only a great result but a fantastic wholehearted performance. The players showed passion, they showed they cared and as fans that is exactly what we all want to see.

That performance led me to believe that just maybe we could have serious promotion ambitions and that the sacking of Andy Thorn may have been justified. I did however then remember that this is Coventry City and how often do we put in that sort of performance on a consistent basis and everyone knows the answer to that is never.

The weekend came and Coventry returned to League One action away at newly promoted Crewe. Fans and players alike went there full of confidence, buoyed by the performance against Birmingham a few days before. This confidence and excitement amongst fans and players quickly disappeared though and was replaced with frustration. A flat lacklustre performance is the only way to describe what we all witnessed and it resulted in our first defeat of the season.

We as fans were left bemused and frustrated with what we were seeing and that we were unable once again to build on a good performance and instead allowed our standards to drop dramatically. The frustration eventually boiled over as harsh words were exchanged between fans and club captain Kilbane.

Kilbane has been slated for this and has since apoligised. Some fans have called for the captaincy to be taken from him and I understand that, as a player of his experience should know better. I do however believe that players should be allowed to respond to the abuse and criticism that is often thrown at them by certain members of the crowd. I personally saw the situation as Kilbane defending himself and his teammates which if it was the case is something we surely want from our captain. It’s a sign that he cares and that he was frustrated with what was happening and a lot of the time players don’t show that at all whilst out on the pitch.

I hope that any individuals that have been left unimpressed and annoyed by Kilbane’s actions can forgive and forget. The club is still very much in a transitional phase as it tries to get itself out of the turmoil it finds itself in. Relationship between the fans and the club are at an all time low but we can’t let the relationship between the fans and the players break down. If this happens then we are in real trouble.

For Coventry City to move forward the club, the council, ACL, the players and the fans need to come together. I know it’s an old cliché but it is true that united we will rise and divided we will fall. It is hard to imagine at this moment that all these will come together and push in the same direction but something has to change.

We have changed the manager or are in the process of, but for me at our club the manger is only a very small part of a puzzle that needs to be put back together. If things remain as they are off the field then no matter who is brought in to manage the club, things will not change for the better and in another twelve to eighteen months we will be looking for the next manager willing to gamble their career on what I can only guess is empty promises that they must be being told when they join the club.

We have now changed the squad and changed the management so on the football side of things the club has played its cards, now it is time for change off the field and until that happens it is going to be extremely difficult for the club to progress and get back to where it belongs.