Well 2012 has been an eventful year for Coventry City Football Club both on and off the field.
On the field the Skyblues have been relegated from the Championship, have changed their manager and had a high number of players both depart and arrive at the club.
Off the field the delicate relationship between Coventry’s owners Sisu and the fans hit melting point with weeks of protests taking place against Sisu’s running of the club. Sisu’s other relationships fared no better with discussions over the Ricoh breaking down resulting in unpaid rent and a row which is going to stretch into the new year.
Looking at the facts and 2012 looks like a very bad year in Coventry City’s history. I however am beginning to think that it could in fact be the year that started the revival of the club.
The clubs form on the field over the last couple of months has been second to none and we have been steadily climbing the table to finish the year in 9th a mere 2 points off of the playoff positions. In my eyes it is the beginning of a new era at Coventry City. Now I never thought I would say that with Sisu still having ownership of the club but they look like they are genuinely beginning to turn things around.
Yes people can point to the Ricoh row as a sign that this isn’t the case and Sisu are in fact as inept as they have ever been. I believe they are turning the corner and have genuinely learnt from previous mistakes. I also still firmly believe a deal will be struck which will allow Coventry to continue playing at the Ricoh Arena and doing so for a drastically reduced price which everyone must agree is in the clear interests of the club going forward.
The pivotal moment now is January. For me January will be what defines our season as a whole. Bailey’s initial loan spell has come to an end but thankfully the club have wasted no time in snapping him back up on loan until the end of the season along with Moussa. This is a big step towards a successful end to the season and the next step is to keep players like McGoldrick and Adams. These players have brought so much to this team and the club needs to do everything in its power to keep them here for as long as possible be it on loan or permanently.
We are perfectly poised to mount a serious promotion challenge and Saturday’s victory over the Mk Dons showed we are ready for it. Mk Dons are one of the outstanding sides in League One and are certain of a top six finish. They have quality throughout their side which is complemented by a manager who clearly knows what he is doing. Everything is in place for that club to be a huge success and I can only see good things in their future.
We however went to their place full of confidence with five away wins on the bounce and nine games unbeaten. These were records that you could clearly see the players wanted to extend. It was a game blessed by two of the best sides in League One and this was clear for everyone to see with some real quality football on show.
Coventry fell behind relatively early on and for the first time ever since I have been a Coventry City fan I actually wasn’t worried. I had complete belief that we would get back into it and even go on to win it. My new found confidence was rightly placed as the Skyblues fought back and ended up winning the game 3-2 thanks to 2 goals from Stephen Elliot along with a brilliant goal from Frank Moussa. There were plenty of nervy moments but to go to a team like Mk Dons and come away with the 3 points is a fantastic achievement and I think truly showed how far Mark Robins has brought us in such a short space of time.
We now look like a side who is hungry for success and is no longer content to under achieve. Long may this continue and it was clear on Saturday that the fans are responding. 4,988 was the official figure for away fans and that is a truly incredible following. I would just like to say a huge thanks to everyone who travelled down and made it a match to remember. That sort of support could carry us all the way, the fans being a 12th man is a disputed notion but it is one that I have full belief in. If we can get a few more down at the Ricoh for the home games and make it a noisier and more intimidating place to come then we are definitely onto a winning combination.
I for one cannot wait for 2013 and what it might bring for Coventry City fc. The prospect of going to Wembley not once but twice is enough to make any football fans mouth water. It is now a distinct possibility and the time is now to start believing. We are good enough to do it that I am sure of but what I am not sure of is whether Coventry’s usual bad luck has gone or if it is lurking just round the corner waiting to pounce and destroy our dreams once more.
Bad luck was the story on new year day as we fell to a 1-0 defeat to Shrewsbury. It wasn’t a bad performance by any means but it wasn’t at the level we have been at. This is going to happen from time to time but the positive was that we still created a lot of chances which we should have at least taken one of. It was just one of those days and one which we should be able to move on from quite quickly. Bring on Spurs!
Happy New Year everyone!