After a really positive end to 2012 it’s not been such a great start to the new year for Coventry City. A disappointing defeat at home to Shrewsbury followed promptly by David McGoldrick’s inevitable exit, topped off with a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham in the FA Cup 3rd round.
The Shrewsbury defeat definitely sounds a lot worse than it was though. They raised their game and it was just one of those days in front of goal for us. If we continue to create that number of chances then we will carry on winning more games than we lose and that’s a fact.
The biggest worry I do have is whether or not we are going to be able to finish these chances that we are creating. Our main man in front of goal David McGoldrick has now completed his loan spell with the club and has decided against re-joining us.
I can’t hide my huge disappointment in this decision as he has been playing the best football of his career here at Coventry and it genuinely looked like he had found his home in football terms at least. He has been scoring goals for fun, terrorising defence’s and quickly became a firm fans favourite because of his quality and work rate. He finished his spell with the Skyblues with 17 goals from 25 games which is a sign of striker who knows where the back of the net is.
His decision however has surprised me. Not the fact he chose not to join back up with the skyblues but that he chose to join a club like Ipswich. Ipswich have been struggling this season and find themselves 19th only 5 points off of the bottom three with the worst goal difference in the league. They also are a club with a lot of good strikers on their books which include fellow new signing Aaron Mclean. He is therefore by no means guaranteed a first team place and he seemed in his time at Coventry like a player who wants to play.
I worry for him a little not only in the sense of the club he has chosen to play for who like Coventry have a reputation for ruining good players but the fact he is making the step up to the championship which he has so far failed to deliver in. He has spent a few seasons in the championship but has never been able to make a mark on it and has often been in and out of the team.
He is also going into a team where he is going to have to learn how they play. The way Coventry played suited his game perfectly and allowed him to be the main man of the team. If this changes which I’m sure it will at Ipswich I think he is going to struggle. We witnessed this in his last game for us when Mark Robin changed formation to 4-4-2. The team lost its balance a bit and McGoldrick seemed to lose his way and became unsure of where he should be with another striker up alongside him.
He has been a fantastic servant to the club in his short spell with us and for that I wish him all the best for the future and hope he makes a success of it at Ipswich. I don’t however believe that this will be the case and I’m worried his talents will once again be put into the background and become lost within the reserves and the subs bench.
McGoldrick is now the past for Coventry and Leon Clarke may be the future. Having seen him play both in these opening two fixtures for us and for his previous teams I am yet to be convinced of his talents. He is not the same sort of player as McGoldrick but I cannot stop myself from comparing them. My personal opinion is McGoldrick wins hands down on everything that a striker should offer. He is faster, has a better touch, holds the ball up better and from the goals I have seen clearly has a better finishing ability.
Another thing that worries me about Clarke is the number of clubs he has already been at despite only being 27 years old. Coventry will be his 15th club in his career with the majority of them being on loan. This worries me even more in that it seems almost as soon as a club signs Clarke they realise they have made a bad decision and loan him out. We are the 3rd club he has been loaned too since joining Charlton having only made 7 appearances for his parent club.
Whilst his overall goalscoring record is pretty appalling for a striker his goalscoring record in league one is something that could be promising for the rest of the season. He has scored 31 Goals in 40 appearances for four different League one clubs which is a prolific strike rate. If he continues this for us then we will have found a readymade replacement for McGoldrick and hopefully it will mean we won’t miss him too much.
Our first game without McGoldrick was the FA cup 3rd round tie against Tottenham Hotspur. We were all hoping for a repeat of the 1987 final but right from the start we could see this wasn’t going to be the case. Spurs came out 3-0 winners and it could of and probably should have been more. It was a disappointing day out for the club and the fans in the end which is a shame but it is time to get back to games which truly matter.
Thursday’s Johnstone’s paint trophy tie at home to Preston is a huge game for the club. It is effectively the quarter final of the competition and I really feel it is a chance to bring some good times back to the club and get that winning mentality which we so dearly crave.