Coventry City are in a dark state both on and off the field, unless something drastic changes we will be relegated to the fourth tier of English football. Even saying those words makes me feel sick, either way, the incoming manager, whoever he may be, has a MASSIVE job on his hands which requires immediate work. The first thing he will do will try to stop SISU getting their grubby paws on Ben Stevenson which will be a hard task that I'm not sure he'll manage.
The second thing will be to look at our current loans and decide in the week or two between him arriving and the loans expiring, who gets a deal until the end of the season and who should be sent back to their parent club with the hope that we get someone better in. This post is purely my opinion on who deserves to stay and who doesn't. I was going to do something similar last season but what would have been the point? Tony Mowbray acquired so well that I would have kept every single one of them.
West Ham fans were angry that they had let Page go out on loan which is always a positive sign, we needed left back cover as Stokes had been ruled out for a few months with a knee injury. He looked like the right man to fill his shoes, but he just hasn't lived up to those expectations. I was never Ryan Haynes' biggest fan as he was more of a winger than a full back, he could attack very well but not defend too well. Page on the other hand can do neither.
Just every time you see him go on a run down the left flank you know what the outcome will be, and it's the same every time, he gets tackled and then caught out with Turnbull having to cover for him. I still astounds me that we play a loanee over someone who is a Coventry fan, has come through the youth academy and is a lets face it, better player.
We've played him 4 times this season, once in the league, once in the Capital One Cup, once in the Checkatrade Trophy and once in the FA Cup. In that time he's scored 3 goals, how amazing is that? A left back, has scored 3 goals in 4 appearances. Yet we STILL play Page over him, this is my final comparison, Page sarcastically cheered Coventry fans at Gillingham. Haynes wouldn't do that because he plays for the shirt, just look at the delight on his face from scoring his second at Wycombe. In fact we haven't lost a game when he's been on the field. (Won 3 Drawn 1)
In summary, with Haynes playing well whenever he gets a chance and Stokes being back to full fitness in the new year, there really is no need to keep Page until the end of the season when the funds could be spent on a new centre back for example. I may sound like a hate campaign towards the West Ham man but he really doesn't look like he cares about Coventry City Football Club.
When he was brought in as our number 9 and scored in the first 20 minutes of his debut people were treating him like a god, comparing him to Adam Armstrong already. They were suggesting he could single handedly get us the goals to keep us up and I'll admit, at Valley Parade he did look like a handful. But it looks to me that it has all gotten to his head. He never goes for the simple pass, he always looks for the spectacular, which is probably why he's only got 4 goals for the season.
Like I said, there is potential for a very good player there but he's not what we need at this current point in time. Plus only 1 of those 4 goals have come in a win, he has a lot less of an effect than if we played Sordell in his natural position of striker. He really hasn't reached the "Armstrong" heights that we so desperately need, I'm not saying he's a bad player, I'm just saying we need a lot more given our current situation. Potentially go back in for Hepburn-Murphy that we tried for on Deadline Day, or even poach a high end Premier League u21 striker. Something has to change at the very least.
We seem to have a good relationship with Newcastle, they've loaned us Armstrong, Bigirimana, given us Bigirimana on a free and now have loaned us Sterry. Sterry is a decent right back, I still don't think we should have let go of Aaron Phillips in the summer but he seems to have been replaced well. Unlike Page he can defend and is a decent weapon to have in the locker on the attack, as we saw with his goal at Morecambe in the cup.
Funnily enough his goal came when playing left back which in the couple of matches he's been drafted in there he's been poor. To be fair to him it's not his fault when he's forced to play out of position. He cares, he tries, and to give a spoiler on the remaining couple of loans, is the only one I would keep until the end of the season. He isn't perfect, but our problems don't lie at right back. Keep him here until the end of the season would be my advice.
I've already mentioned our failed attempt to get Rushian Hepburn-Murphy in on Deadline Day, and it would appear that when that deal fell through the general thinking was "Oh no, there's only 2 hours until the deadline shuts. What teams are close?" "West Brom boss?" "That'll do." That's how we ended up with Andre Wright, he literally was the definition of panic signing.
This has been displayed in his performances, but in fairness Venus plays him on the wing. Either way, he also isn't what we need at this point in time so I would suggest letting him go and having a punt on someone else.
If we're contributing to his wages then he can go back to LA, if we're not then we might as well keep him for the u23s. He's doing well there but can't cut it in the first team, but if he's enjoying football here in England then we might as well let him stay here in England. As long as we don't keep him to play in the first team then anything is fine by me.
I'm not going to include Chris McCann, he is going to America whatever happens so we have no chance to keep him either way, whatever my opinion may be. It's horrible that we're even in this position but we have to make the best out of a bad situation, which in our case happens to be with the loan market. Sometimes you get lucky and hit the jackpot with Armstrong, Murphy, Kent, Cole and Turner. Other times you get Agyei, Wright, Page, Sterry and McBean.
I'm not attending Bristol Rovers away on Boxing Day as much as it pains me to say, but I "should" be going to my next match on the 27th of December and reporting on it. Derby County vs Birmingham City, I'm also getting very close to 50 grounds out of the 92, Derby will take it to 48. Then I'm scheduled to go to Watford vs Burton in the FA Cup on January 7th. My 50th is to be decided as of yet.