I’ve a few points following this week’s 1-1 draw away at Leicester. They don’t all sit neatly together, but I thought I’d cram them in anyway.
Rather strangely, Sky Blues fans have become used to this being the point in our season when optimism is at its highest. February tends to be pretty decent, resulting in a flurry of football-related happiness by early March.
But not even my ridiculous BBC predictor attempts can save us now I’m afraid. We haven’t had our normal February, and it looks very much like our friend Mike Low-to-mid-table will be joining our end of season party.
The following was tweeted on Saturday morning which was quite brutal in its clarity:
Seeing a team today that haven’t finished in any division’s top 6 since 1970. No surprise then that they’re currently bottom half. Guess who.
Yes, that’s us. You won’t find another club in the Football League with a worse record than that.
Needless to say, that left me in a smashing mood before the big game.
Anyway, a point away at Leicester, given the run they’ve enjoyed, is a handy one. Of course, I use the term ‘handy’ loosely. We’re in such a beige predicament where we could win the next 5 and still be a mile off 10th place.
On the other hand, there are plenty of teams beneath us making an absolute arse of their own seasons, that we’re probably going to struggle to fall into trouble too. That’s no cloak of invincibility – it’s just how things seem to be going down at the bottom.
In typical Sky Blues style, we took the lead through Marlene, and even more predictably, managed to give up that lead right on the stroke of half-time. You can’t really blame anyone; it was a special goal by Naughton. Still bloody typical, though.
Comments during and after this game intrigued me, and one thing that I can’t quite work out is how we were banded as such a black-and-white long ball unit, even when at 65ish minutes, I checked my phone and the BBC had the stats as the following:
I’m not saying we play the prettiest of games. God no, often our players go long because the simple passes scare them. But I’m getting nearer the conclusion that if you develop a reputation, you’re bound by that, regardless. The focus is so heavily on us being a long-ball team all the time, that none of our play on the ground is acknowledged.
We often get it forward quickly, but that really isn’t all we do anymore. Maybe earlier in the season with Clive up top, yes – it was very focused and we all got very cross with it. But we’re no Wimbledon, surely?
Anyway, just a gripe of mine. I get a tad protective..
We worked hard on Saturday and tried to impose ourselves on the game, but we’re lacking a spark at the moment. The draw will do us, but we’ll need more than that if we’re looking for a catalyst to help us finish the season with some vigour.
Even though we’re all aware that success has gone for another year, it’s still so important we don’t allow ourselves a finish to the season like the the last two. We’ve got an endless list of players who are free to bugger off at the end of the season. King, Gunnarsson, McSheffrey, Westwood all have decisions to make. Now, I’m not saying that we’ve a hope in hells chance of keeping Westwood, or that we need to give many monkeys about McSheffrey staying, particularly. The point is, how we finish this season defines in many players’ minds just how attractive a proposition we are for the following year.
This doesn’t only affect whether we get to keep any of those, it’ll also have a massive bearing on the players we can actually attract here in the summer. Yes, I know we’re not Man City so won’t be able to throw a load of money at it anyway, but even with our limited funds, we’re going to be competing against a handful of other teams for any half-decent players available.
So scrapping to save ourselves from relegation, or saving ourselves early, only to lose the final 10 games, ain’t going to wash with the proper good’uns. Not anymore.
Aidy now has a 13 games to prove to us that he’s different to the others. That he can motivate a team to do more than go through the motions – and that he’s the man to finally change the view (including our own) that we’re the nothing men of football, and what’s worse, that it’s okay to be them.