Hi. Well a new football season is just a couple of weeks away and clubs from all the divisions are currently involved in their pre-season friendlies, where their managers get to have a look at their squads, and watch as their newly signed players try to impress their new team-mates.
My team Coventry City have just returned back from Italy but their schedule was hit by bad weather so they played hardly any games, and those that did go ahead were bad tempered affairs with players from both sides getting sent off, not the ideal preparation for the Sky Blues boss Steven Pressley who always has more to contend with than most managers.
With talks still going on in the boardroom about a return to the Ricoh Arena which look like breaking down yet again, us loyal fans are steeling ourselves for another miserable season having to play all our "home" games at Sixfields the home of Northampton Town instead of the ultra-modern Ricoh which we all long to return back to.
We went on yet another march recently to show our anger and disgust at the owners who caused all this mess through their poor business dealings and lack of empathy towards us fans, but as usual all we ever get to hear about is these men in suits arguing between themselves like kids in a playground and passing the blame around which leaves us more in the dark and we never really know what's going on behind closed doors.
But when you're a fan of Coventry City Football Club you get used to taking the knocks and just take deep breaths and just get on with it even though deep down you're fuming and want to get these so called owners in a room and bang their thick heads together!
But at the end of the day I'm just a fan so hope we get back home so I can watch my beloved Sky Blues play in Coventry and not 35 miles away in Northampton. As for the football side of things while the World Cup was in full swing we lost our leading striker in Callum Wilson who has gone to Bournemouth, our keeper Joe Murphy who went to Huddersfield Town, our best midfielder in Franck Moussa who will now be turning out for Charlton Athletic, and Cyrus Christie a young defender who has been closely watched by Spurs signed for Derby County.
That to put it bluntly is the guts of the team ripped apart and Carl Baker our captain will also be moving on as he hasn't been offered a new contract and at the time of writing is looking for a new club. See what I mean about being a City fan you have to watch as your best players leave and all we get from the board is "We tried to keep them but we wish them well."
So poor old Pressley has to replace these as best as he can as he hasn't been given hardly any funds to buy players so instead of shopping in Harrods he has to browse the charity shops hoping to pick up a bargain here and there.
He somehow though has come away from his shopping spree with eight items in his bags, not with designer labels but nonetheless in his own words: “I’ve added quality to what we've got."
You just have to admire the way Pressley handles things as this tough Scot never stays down for long and always looks for the positive and he reckons the eight new players will see his squad made up of experience and youth and be a match for all teams in League One this campaign.
He has brought in Marcus Tudgay who at 31 has experience and if stays away from injuries could be a good signing and he was well liked by fans at Forest and Wednesday for his work rate and goals. Tudgay is the latest signing following the likes of Danny Pugh-Leeds United-Reda Johnson-Sheffield Wednesday-Jim O'Brien-Barnsley-Shaun Miller-Sheffield United-Danny Swanson-Peterborough. All of these have arrived on free transfers with two loans coming in from Bournemouth, Keeper Ryan Allsop and forward Mohamed Coulibaly.
So as with all new signings there's the risk factor and no matter if a player costs millions or just a few bob you never know how it's going to work out. Hopefully for us Sky Blue fans all of the above will get us excited with their performances and make us forget about those they've replaced.
But I have to be realistic and predict a mid-table- finish which wouldn't be a bad return seeing we lost so many valuable players during the close season. But whatever happens I'll never have a bad word said against Steven Pressley who has remained dignified throughout all the turmoil off the pitch, and it amazes me how on earth he hasn't said I've had enough here as he is a young manager who in my opinion will one day be a manager at a club where he'll be treated better.
But while he's our manager I'll get behind him and his mixed bunch of players as I'm a Coventry City fan for life and so good luck you Sky Blues!
Article by Kevin Halls: 30.07.2014.
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