It’s been a busy week for Coventry City Football Club as they continue to prepare for the new season.
Richard Keogh’s departure was confirmed as two new faces arrive on loan, with two more starting a trial and another close to being signed.
All of this whilst the squad we already had completed a pre season tour of Scotland which resulted in mixed results but more importantly will have given the squad a good base fitness to build upon in the remaining weeks leading up to the new season.
With Keogh gone it means the captaincy is an issue which needs to be decided. This is going to be a difficult decision to get right as we don’t really have any natural leaders left in the squad.
There are a few contenders which have already been mentioned by Andy Thorn including Gary McSheffery, Kevin Kilbane, and even young Conor Thomas.
Looking at Gary McSheffery, it’s obvious why he would be in the manager’s thoughts for the captaincy. He has had long spells with the club and being a Coventry lad himself should have the passion and desire required to be a good captain. There is however the issue of last season where I felt at times he lacked commitment and often let the team down despite being one of the more senior players in the squad.
Looking back is a negative way to do things though and I’m sure Thorn and the players will be starting this new campaign with a clean slate and I hope that McSheffery can once again become one of the stars of the squad.
Another contender is that of Kevin Kilbane who arrived at the club this summer. He clearly has bags of experience and knows the game inside out at multiple levels of English football as well as internationally with the Republic of Ireland. This clearly stands him in good stead and makes him one of the clear favourites to be given the captaincy.
A third name that has been mentioned by Thorn and used on a couple of occasions in pre season is that of young midfielder Conor Thomas. There is clear talent within him but watching him play in the past I have always thought that he plays within himself and isn’t quite confident enough to show what he can really do. I think it is this lack of confidence that meant his loan spell at Liverpool ended with him returning to Coventry. For this reason I don’t think he will make a good captain at least until he has the upmost confidence in his own abilities.
This does bring into question whether youth or experience makes a better captain. Personally I do think experience is the better option but young captains have been shown to work in the past and maybe Thorn will take a gamble on Thomas and who knows, it could end up being the making of him.
Other contenders which I personally think would be worth considering include Richard Wood and Goalkeeper Joe Murphy.
Richard Wood has had the captaincy in the past and would be an obvious choice to be captain again. However there are rumours circulating that Wood could be chopped and so he may not even be an option for Thorn.
Another issue with him if he is to stay is his injury problems which have continued to plague him over his time at Coventry and picking someone that could be in and out of the team may not be the best option.
The idea of a captain being a constant in the first team is the first reason why Joe Murphy should be considered because being the number one he is the first name on the team sheet every week. He also seems to be passionate and very vocal on the pitch as on numerous occasions in the season just gone I have heard him from in the stands getting frustrated at what he is seeing in front of him and shouting out orders to his teammates.
There are many differing opinions out there as to whether goalkeepers make good captains but many top teams around the world have their goalkeepers as captains and based on the evidence of Euro 2012 it does seem to work with both the finalists Italy and Spain choosing their goalkeepers as their captains. For these reasons Murphy should not only be considered but should be thought of as one of the strongest options.
The captaincy is often a no brainer with clubs often having clear leaders within the squad but with the current squad it looks like Thorn has got a really difficult decision to make. I think Thorn has chosen wrongly in the past when he gave the captaincy to Sammy Clingan but I think he will have learnt from that and I trust him to make the right decision and I hope whoever he does choose can lead us on a journey back to where we belong.
Who do you think should lead Cov next season?