Sunday, 3 December 2017

Coventry City Advent Calendar - My 25 Favourite Players - Day 3 - Chris Stokes

If you're reading this before the Boreham Wood game, then we're one game from Villa away. If you're reading this after the Boreham Wood game and the inevitable bottle happened, then don't worry too much about it, we were only focusing on the league anyway. For day three of my favourite City players I've gone a lot more modern and recent with my choice, and some may turn their nose up, but ultimately you can't change what's done, so Stokesy it is. He's my Twitter pic, of course he was going to make it in here somewhere, as well as being included in my lock screen. Both photos came from the same day, and I think we all known which one I'm on about.

In the 15/16 season, one which we nearly went up and had so many amazing players, the one which I attached myself to, (not in a weird way) was our left back. The story of how he made it to us is odd to say the least, out of favour at National League Forest Green Rovers, Steven Pressley poaches him on loan for the remainder of the season, and when he impresses, his successor Tony Mowbray gets him in on a permanent deal. Up until his injury at Blackpool away towards the end of the season, he was the only member of the squad to play in every game.

He was solid as a rock in that full back spot, meaning that Ryan Haynes didn't get a look in and had to be loaned out to Cambridge United, through no fault of his own. This season was also the first which this blog was on the internet, under a different name, but I do recall giving him player of the season that year. I was so big a fan (again, not in a weird way) that he managed to get into an elite club of players I got on the back of my shirt. He's possibly the last as well, as unless we announce the signing of Jay Tabb, I'm likely too old for the players name on the back of the shirt thing. More members of the special club to come.

The injury was a real shame, as it just kept going, originally it was meant to be a month or two but then he had to have surgery on it so all in all it dragged on for about a year. During his absence Haynes should have got a go but we spent four months messing around with Lewis Page, someone I hated with an absolute passion, but that's a whole new list. Maybe next Christmas, eh? One of his first full 90 minutes back was under the arch at Wembley, playing as a centre back, displaying another of his characteristics, versatility.

It was one of his best games in a City shirt, out of position might I add. Then again, everyone was incredible that day, from Burge, right through the defence and midfield, to the man with all the plaudits George Thomas. Heck, even Beavon had a class game, bagging a sort of assist and an assist to the assist for the second goal. However Beavon isn't the main focus of this post, for many a reason. I'm not sure if you can count this towards his footballing ability but he's got some solid banter on him, I managed to get a roast in about his injury troubles when I had a chat with him on the Spanish tour in June.

This season with Stokes back to full fitness and Ryan Haynes out for three months it was an obvious choice for who to play at that side of the back four. Since the return of the ginger warrior though, he's found himself on the bench, through no real fault of his own. I can't see why we don't keep him there, and play Haynes on the wing, it's a question as old as time yet still hasn't come to light. Especially now Jodi Jones is injured and our attacking creativity is as low as it is, what is there to lose? A solid full back and a penetrative winger who'll get back to help the defence out if needs be. Only time will tell if this ends up becoming a reality, as both players have the potential to be big figures in our promotion push this season.

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