Hallelujah. After weeks of grunting and events conspiring against me, my first match of the season is finally upon me. My keenness knows no bounds. This is going to be great.
For fans like me who tend to make between 5 and 10 away games a season, they’re always exciting occasions, regardless of the circumstances. I can’t think of any instance when the anticipation hasn’t been there beforehand, or I’d rather have not gone. Obviously that can all go to shit post-game, but it’s the anticipation which makes the day. And the confectionary.
So first up for me is newly-promoted Port Vale. If we win, we oust them. It’s not even October and we’re already looking up towards mid-table and heaven forbid, that top half.
How are they getting on?
It’s a bit of a mixture. They’ve lost three out of four, or four out of six. Either way, that clearly ain’t much use.
However that sort of form still sees them in 14th place in the league with 7 points – as I say, just 3 ahead of us. So while it’s not been the most flying of starts for the league’s new boys, they’ve certainly not disgraced themselves either. Forget the immediate form, this will be a tough one to navigate.
Who could cause us trouble?
Their top scorer is 28 year old Tom Pope who’s only gone and nabbed himself 4 goals so far this season. But scoring isn’t a foreign feeling for this man. He’s actually got a very impressive record for Vale, with something like 38 goals in just over 90 appearances for the Staffordshire club.
Mind you, 31 of those came last season alone which goes a long way to indicating where he is at the moment.
League Two player of the Year last season, therefore making the League’s team of the season as well, and by extension, resulted in him picking up Port Vale’s player of the season for dessert. He’s is riding the crest of a lengthy wave and must be respected.
Other players of note who we are not obliged to extend the same privilege include former Sky Blue Lee Hughes, who can expect boos aplenty, whether it’s actually him or not. Gavin Mahon will explain.
They’ve also got tough-nut Carl Dickinson who they signed on a free this summer
from Stoke, which was convenient. We should know to expect a hard-working and passionate performance from baldy Carl, seeing how much he cared about us during his 30 days earlier this year.
You can also expect some cultured work with that left foot of his….. NAAAAT.
He’s going to whack it really, really hard.
Sky Blues team news
As per the established ground rules, when you’re Coventry City, if the team wins and there are no injuries – things will stay exactly the same for the next game. Obviously this makes absolute sense.
I really can’t think of any change to the starting line up that I’d feel can improve upon the current dynamic. Although Baker’s not been himself since his return, so is leaving his position vulnerable.
But anyway, that’s unnecessary picking. This unit is moulding like nobody’s business, and it picks itself right now. Here’s the team:
Don’t agree with this? Well, you’re barmy, but why not choose your team at skybluesblog.co.uk/selector
Vale Park is a ITV Central News circa 1995 kind of ground. It’s a gritty place, and a tough old stadium for teams to navigate. But I keep forgetting, we’re fantastic nowadays, and with 4000 coming to cheer us on, this is what everyone claims the team needs – our support in numbers.
With all this confidence bagged up alongside my stash of Wispas and Toffee Crisps, I’m feeling in boisterous mood. Do forgive the brashness of this prediction, but I think we might probably/possibly take the three points. Maybe.
As you can imagine, the Lamptey boys are feeling just as emphatic:
Joey: Port Vale 1 – 2 Coventry
Paul: Port Vale 1 – 2 Coventry
Neil: Port Vale 0 – 1 Coventry