Friday, 22 December 2017

Coventry City Advent Calendar - My 25 Favourite Players - Day 22 - John Fleck

The Scottish Rooney, the highly under appreciated John Fleck, for a large group of fans it was about not noticing and realising how good of a player we had until he'd already got his bags packed and was on his way. He was the glue that held our squad together in the 15/16 season, and it nearly guided us to promotion from League One, but as I've moaned about on many occasions, there are a large number of contributing factors to that bottle job. All of which were out of Fleck's control.

He was in and out of the first team in his first season here, due to the managerial change of Andy Thorn to Mark Robins, and he found it particularly hard to get in under Robins in his first spell. However when he left for Huddersfield and Steven Pressley came in, he was back in as one of the first names on the team sheet. Probably some sort of Scottish bond between them both, Either way this was pretty much the whole case for Pressley's 2 year reign as manager.

He was a big part in the side that got dragged out of a 10 point deduction to safety, playing a key role in the midfield, but understandably the plaudits were mainly given to Callum Wilson and Leon Clarke. Once again though, not many people, including myself, were there to see the majority of this form given it was played at Sixfields. On our return to the Ricoh he almost scored the best goal I've ever seen with the 45 yard 'hit and hope' versus Gillingham, Bywater was wrong footed and barely managed to flick it onto the bar.

Just before Pressley was sacked, he gave Flecky a new 18 month contract, which led to him striking up a great partnership with Romain Vincelot under Tony Mowbray. What a partnership it was. Fleck was the brains, Vince was the beauty. In this campaign he bagged four goals but it felt like so many more as they were all screamers, the pick of the bunch was probably against Millwall at home. This was easily his best spell with the Sky Blues, and he was rewarded with both the Fans' Player of the Season as well as the Players' Player of the Season. Unfortunately for us he saw more of an opportunity of Championship football with Sheffield United, where he now is, and is a fan favourite. It's painful as I hate that club with a passion, but I'm glad he's doing well.

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