More bad news came out of Coventry last Friday as Clive Platt decided to leave Coventry to join League Two side Northampton Town.
Northampton are currently being managed by ex Coventry manager Aidy Boothroyd, the man who brought Platt to the Ricoh two years ago.
Platt was also managed by Boothroyd at Colchester United and it is clear that the two have a good relationship. Platt undoubtedly suits the style of play that Boothroyd makes his teams play and this good relationship and style of play which plays to Platt’s strengths will have had some influence on his decision to drop down to League Two.
Coventry City’s development director Steve Waggot went on record saying however that it was due to a disparity on the length of the contract the player wanted and what the club was prepared to offer. This is unbelievably frustrating as it’s the same thing that happened with Marlon King a year ago.
He has taken a two year contract at Northampton which means we could have only offered him a one year deal. Personally I feel that is insulting to Platt and I completely back him in his decision to leave. Everyone knows we have a very small squad size and with a transfer embargo in place we cannot increase the size of it; for that reason we should be doing everything we can to keep the players that we actually are allowed to keep.
We are now down to the bare bones in terms of forward players. In the last 12 months we have lost the likes of King, Jutkiewicz and now Platt. Only McDonald was brought in as a permanent replacement with Nimley being a short term fix in the latter part of the season.
We now have McDonald, McSheffery if you class him as a striker which personally I don’t and O’Donovan who we can all agree is not even worth counting as a striker. Look passed them and then we are down to youngsters like Jeffers, Wilson and Daniels who are either not good enough or not ready to make the step up to the first team.
If this is the strike force that we are going to begin next season with then we are going to find goals hard to come by. McDonald has every potential to be a brilliant League One striker and I was actually quite excited to see him play. However now that he has no real strike partner I can’t see him flourishing in the way he could have if given someone to play alongside him.
Another player who is rumoured to possibly be on the way out is that of Gael Bigirimana. I have heard some fans saying that they wouldn’t be too bothered if he was to go because at least we should get a decent amount of money for him. This is irrelevant though as for one the transfer embargo stops us from reinvesting the money and plus SISU wouldn’t give us a penny of that money to spend on a new player anyway.
Bigirimana had a bright start to this season and showed a lot of promise, winning praises from everyone involved with Coventry City and many others from the footballing world. His form did tail off through the season though and at times became a bit of a liability in the middle of midfield. He is however very young and should never have had to be involved in what was a disastrous season for the club.
He has clear potential and is exuberant and unbelievably passionate. He won the Football League Apprentice of the Year this season which is not easy and really tells its own story of what a brilliant young lad he is. I personally would be gutted if he left as he is the type of player that could make himself a bit of a legend at the club.
If players continue to leave then I can only see one thing happening and that will be relegation to League Two. Andy Thorn has stuck at it through testing times but if he sees all of his best players leave and is not able to replace them for the second season in a row then he surely will walk away and then what? No-one is going to be stupid enough to take on what is clearly a sinking ship and having already appointed from within last time around who will be left to take over.
Everybody at the club including the players must be becoming disheartened and the longer it continues the more disheartened they are going to become. I would not blame any of the players for leaving and I am surprised that any of them actually want to stay. The continuation of bad news after bad news is becoming extremely difficult to take and everyone at the club is in need of a lift. Let’s just hope we get one soon and I am personally hoping it is the news that Keogh will be staying, although this is looking more and more unlikely.