The pre-game ramble: Crewe Alexandra

Victory over Exeter and Swindon has put City at great risk of being good. Back that up with a win against Crewe, and keenness levels will go through the fucking roof.

I’m getting that feeling in my front bum again, you guys. I can’t be the only one. You can’t tell me that you’re watching us swiftly climb to within a point of the automatics and not feel something akin to excitement?

Not to say I wasn’t nervous watching the game on Tuesday. It made for far trickier viewing than Exeter. This was nervousness about something not quite falling for us though, or the ref giving an inexplicable penalty, rather than our ability or comparative quality.

Reining in my tendency to prematurely assert world domination, I should note that we’re yet to win more than two in a row this season so there are still reasons to temper our Sky Blue-tinted exaggeration. But with a strong keeper, miserly defence, ruthless midfield, dynamic wingers and a bustling strike-force all contributing to the wins – we’re all on high alert for some good times. The ingredients are there.

Until you play Crewe and they smash you at home in the JPT area final and break your sodding heart, of course.

Yes, I still think about that night. The absolute rotters.

How are they getting on?

It’s gone a little bit awry for the boys from Gresty Road this month. After an unbeaten August in the league which saw them take eight points from four games, they’ve only managed one further league win since. It was a proper thumping 5-1 win against Chesterfield, admittedly, but that’s been followed by four straight defeats. Confidence is low.

It’s worth noting that they’ve conceded 11 in their last 3 games, which is absolutely appalling however you try to spin it.

All that said, the days of me using form as some sort of definitive measure are long gone. Teams seem to be able to increase their performance levels at any point, and as mentioned, we have recent experience of being overly confident after a couple of wins. Crewe’s form isn’t going to be the determining factor. We simply don’t know what version will turn up.

Who could cause us trouble?

Keep your eye on George Cooper who is capable of giving us grief if we allow him to. If we see our central defensive partnership as one of our strengths, by equal measure our full-backs have looked occasionally shaky. It’ll be another test for Grimmer, who is likely to his direct opponent. It’s worth noting that Cooper was only on the bench in the week as boss David Artell has been looking to conjure up a winning formula, but after another defeat, there will be changes.

You’ll remember Chris Dagnall for his brief spell with City during our early League One years, in particular a looping deflected equaliser away at MK Dons. He’s aged since (as is the convention) but he’s still around, doing his thing, and has the nous to make a nuisance of himself.

Sky Blues team news

McNulty is back and will make the bench, while Vincenti could make the squad even though he hobbled off last week with an intriguing sounding hole above his knee.

Beavon is also likely to make a return. This will probably mean Ponticelli drops out of the matchday squad for the time-being, which I know will upset a lot of you. But it’ll be OK, honest.

None of that lot will start though. I mean, how could you mess with our current accidentally-functioning attack?

Nazon in particular will be looking to leave his mark before he buggers off on international duty after the game.

Probable lineup vs Crewe (H) – 30/09/17


As much as I hate it, it turns out I’m pretty good at this. By “good” I mean I predict that we’re going to win every single week and so far we’re doing that more often than not. Full disclosure – I’m never going to predict a City defeat.

We’re going to win again today. See, I’ve written the score below and everything. That’s binding.

Coventry 3 – 1 Crewe



  1. Nice work, Neil. I also live in perpetual fear that this next one is the game it’ll all go wrong. Swindon could really have gone either way but it went to us – could it be that this is finally our time, etc etc?

    Better off practising Buddhist meditation, living a life of moderation and supporting Man Utd though, I guess.

  2. I’m going for 3 -0. Shame I really think Ponticelli is the answer – He reminds me of a young Wayne Rooney. I think he should of be given a chance Midweek. Still we shall wait and see. PUSB

    1. Yeah, I’ve really not seen enough of him to judge – I’m guessing you’ve seen him in the youth set up? The 20 minutes in the Blackburn game showed an enthusiastic player that’s for sure, but whether he’s ready to assert himself in League football above what Nazon, Biamou, McNulty or Beavon can offer is such an unknown. I’m sure he’ll get some game time season to make his case either way. He’s still so young though, with plenty of time to develop.

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