Very difficult to believe our manager actually set out at home to achieve a draw against the mighty Barcepool. He bloody well did though.
Following on from praising Swansea to the rafters and dismissing ourselves as a bunch of talentless prats (not in so many words), Coleman’s build up to this game again focused on how the team that he’s spent 2 years creating is actually no bleeding good at playing football, so we’re just going to try well hard at kicking things and hope we get a clean sheet from the match. (Again, reading between the lines).
That’s really going to install confidence in the team isn’t it? He seems to forget that we’d won 3 league games in a row at the Ricoh, and were playing a Blackpool side who’d only won once in their last 5 so were hardly setting the league on fire.
Quite obviously, this never came into his thinking. This was best demonstrated by him deciding to persist with a formation from the Playing-away-at-Old-Trafford Handbook.
Leon Best got the nod to play up front. On occasions, you hope that a 4-5-1 formation will turn itself more into a 4-3-3. Listening to our manager prior to the match, the focus was very much on our one and only striker doing “a lot of unselfish running with no reward”.
What this means in real terms is that our lone striker, in a home fixture (i.e. the one person who you’d really want to be selfish and being on the end of all the chances we would create) was being told that his job was not to bang them in the net – but to perform Coleman’s favourite move; run around like a lunatic leaving no-one in the box.
Annoyingly, Best chose Saturday to have one of his most ineffective games of the season, so we didn’t even get the lunatic side of things.
The first half was bad. None of the attacking players (and I use the term loosely) seemed to have a clue about where they were supposed to be playing. All except Bell that is, who impersonated a life-size table football man for the first 20 minutes of the match. This was essentially him patrolling an area no bigger than a pair of Jay Tabb’s pants.
A slight ray of light was Carl Baker, who was at least trying to link up the midfield and attack in a hoof-less way. Chances fell to McIndoe and Best early on, but neither could finish. Even Baker was far too tentative though. Throwing him into the middle of the park and asking him to dictate the play of a Championship match seemed to be a bit too much.
For a team that has supposedly been working on making it hard for the opposition to create, we didn’t do a very good job of hassling Blackpool. They looked confident, and stroked the ball around us with ease. While they were doing what all footballers are taught at the first day of football school (passing), our boys were playing as if they’d had that side of the game trained out of them. Every pass seems to be an effort to us this season. There’s no eagerness to get onto the ball, and when we do get it, we soon run out options and end up giving it a way. I’d suggest this is a by-product of spending all our time focusing on how the opposition might hurt us, rather than looking at how we might attack them.
The second half should have been a different story. Again, Blackpool were the more attacking, with young Villa prat Barry Bannan looking like an absolute world beater for them. Then again, you could put Paul Trollope against Stephen Wright and I think he’d come out of it looking good. Unfortunately, while I’m making a joke of it, Bannan really was brilliant.
But things should have all changed when Ormerod got his marching orders for supposedly belting Gunny. Now, I didn’t see it, but if our own player has to go off because of it, and our own fans around that bit say that he’s been whacked – I for one believe them. I hear Blackpool have concocted about 4 different versions of what happened, but a bit of solidarity wouldn’t go amiss from certain quarters (Clive).
Anyway, here’s the “equation”.
Coventry (11) v Blackpool (10) @ Ricoh Arena + more attacking formation + motivation = 4th home win in a row.
Here’s what happened instead
Coventry (11) v Blackpool (10… but still playing like 11) @ bewildered Ricoh Arena – home ambition – positive tactics + negative manager = EXACTLY THE SAME TEAM, TACTICS AND PERFORMANCE UNTIL WE CONCEDE AND HE’S FORCED TO ALTER HIS STANCE.
Seems to be a recurring theme of games just lately. No really drive to go and win.
Freddy, Morrison and Deegan all came on to try and salvage the game for us. I’m still trying to work out what Leon Best has done in the last 2 weeks that suddenly warrants him now being booed off the pitch though. He may have had a less than effective game, but booing him? Very odd behaviour. Maybe I misread it and it was actually a booing of Coleman’s tactics – I’d guess it’s a bit of a mix.
Having moved Baker over the wing, we immediately looked threatening, and the goal came from him getting to the byline and pulling the ball back. Something that all good wingers should do. Neither of our current first choice wingers possess any sort of pace to be able to do this, so in normal circumstances, you’d be entitled to expect a change. Under the current regime, I can’t see them looking beyond McIndoe and his new yellow boots with go faster stripes (which don’t work).
All in all – unbelievable that we didn’t look to take the game to them until we went a goal down. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but I’m gobsmacked by our management and ambition at the moment.
We’ve gone from having decent momentum over Christmas, gearing us towards a push up the table – to the immediate brakes and reins from our manager.
Needless to say he thought that the result against 10 men Blackpool team at home was “a point gained”.
It beggars belief.
It’s getting embarrassing writing much the same after every game. So for this, I apologise (sort of). I’m well aware that some fans enjoy optimism and the “keep the faith” attitude towards the club and its current progress, and I respect that. While I like to think I’m quite a rational person, I can’t bring myself to congratulate consistently below-par performance and hold blind faith, as I genuinely think it does more harm than good. This is my angle when I write things in this blog – some will agree, some won’t.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is, even though it might seem it, I’m not the negative git.