Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas Quiz answers


ANSWERS

Section 1

  1. Kevin Kilbane
  2. Callum Ball
  3. Leon Clarke
  4. Sheffield United
  5. Hearts
  6. Kevin Malaga
  7. Joe Murphy
  8. Scunthorpe United
  9. Billy Daniels
  10. Steve Taylor

Section 2

  1. Cyrus Christie
  2. John Fleck
  3. Stephen Jennings
  4. Roy O’Donovan
  5. Joe Murphy
  6. Adam Barton
  7. Reece Brown
  8. William Edjenguele
  9. Arron Phillips
  10. William Edjenguele


Section 3

  1. Jean-Guy Wallemme
  2. Michael O’Neill
  3. Aarjan De Zeeuw
  4. Adam Virgo
  5. Dimi Konstantopoulos
  6. Jon Stead (Bristol City)
  7. Gary Gardner
  8. Paul Cook
  9. Greg Abbott
  10. Stephen Pressley

Section 4

  1. Carlisle United
  2. Morecambe
  3. AFC Bournemouth
  4. QPR
  5. York City
  6. Burton Albion
  7. Barnet
  8. Fleetwood Town
  9. Exeter City
  10. Southend United

Section 5

  1. Stern John (2006)
  2. Clarrie Bourton
  3. To watch George Hudson make his debut for Northampton after moving from Coventry the previous week.
  4. Lee Hughes
  5. David McGoldrick
  6. Gordon Strachan
  7. Manchester City & Bradford City
  8. Gus Poyet and Les Ferdinand (2002)
  9. Tim Flowers
  10. Richard Gough

Section 6

  1. Florent Laville
  2. Howard Clark
  3. Bobby Graham
  4. Jim McInally
  5. Raddy Avramovic
  6. Tony Sheridan
  7. Alex Evtushok
  8. Kevan Smith
  9. Josh Ruffels
  10. Simon Haworth

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas Quiz 2012


CHRISTMAS QUIZ 2012

 1. THE SEASON SO FAR



1.      Who scored City’s only goal in the League Cup win at Dagenham & Redbridge?
2.      Which City player has scored in all three cup competitions?
3.      Who is the only opposing player to score two goals at the Ricoh?
4.      Which club has attracted the biggest crowd to the Ricoh?
5.      From which club did Stephen Elliott join Coventry in the summer?
6.      Which defender made his debut against Sheffield United in August?
7.      Who is the club’s only ever present in league games?
8.      In November which club won a game in Coventry for the first time?
9.      Which homegrown player made his debut in the League Cup win at Dagenham & Redbridge?
10.  Who is Mark Robins’ number two and first team coach?

 2. WHICH CURRENT COVENTRY CITY PLAYER….

1.      Is the nephew of a former British & European Amateur Boxing Champion?
2.      Was the youngest player to appear in a senior British Cup final in 2008?
3.      Was arrested in 2011 on suspicion of a betting fraud?
4.      Was in City’s Youth team squad in 2002-03?
5.      Appeared on the losing side in the 2000 League Cup final?
6.      Is the son of a former member of the Animals group?
7.      Has an elder brother playing for Sunderland?
8.      Was born the month that Coventry City won the FA Cup?
9.      Is the son of a former Welsh international player?
10.  Has the middle name Emery


 3. WHICH FORMER COVENTRY CITY PLAYER…..

  1. …was coach to the Congo National team until recently?
  2. is manager of the Northern Ireland national team?
  3. …is a forensic detective in Holland?
  4. plays in the back four for Bristol Rovers?
  5. …plays for AEK Athens in Greece?
  6. …was the last ex-City player to score against the Sky Blues?
  7. scored for City on his debut as a loanee from Aston Villa last season?
  8. …is manager of Chesterfield?
  9. …is the longest serving manager in League One (having been in charge for more than 4 years)
  10. …is manager of Falkirk?

4.      WHICH CLUB?

  1. …Won in Coventry for the first time since 1958 this season?
  2. …Play their home games at the Globe Arena?
  3. …Are nicknamed the Cherries?
  4. …Were the first opponents at the Ricoh Arena in 2005?
  5. …Are managed by former City coach Gary Mills?
  6. …Played their home games at Eton Park prior to 2005?
  7. …Other than Brentford are nicknamed the Bees?
  8. …Are managed by Cov Kid Graham Alexander?
  9. …Play their home games at St James Park?
  10. …Are nicknamed the Shrimpers?
 5.            MISCELLANY

  1. Who was the last Coventry City player to appear in the World Cup finals?
  2. Whose record for scoring in successive away games did David McGoldrick break this season?
  3. In 1966 why did several coachloads of City fans go to watch Northampton play Leeds in a First Division match?
  4. Who is the last player to score an away hattrick for the Sky Blues?
  5. Since relegation which City player holds the seasonal league goalscoring record?
  6. Who in 1995 became City’s oldest debutant, aged 38 years & 2 months?
  7. When the Sky Blues were relegated in 2001 which other two teams suffered the drop?
  8. Who scored Spurs’ goals against City in the last FA Cup meeting between the clubs?
  9. Who was Iain Dowie’s number two when he was appointed City boss in 2007?
  10. Who captained Spurs against the Sky Blues in the 1987 FA Cup final?
 
6. PICTURES

All of these players have made first team appearances for the club in the last 40 years.
                                                                  
1.
                                                             
2.
                                                               
3

4.

5.

6.
7.

8.

9.

10.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Jim's column 22.12.12


Coventry City's current away form is nothing short of staggering. After winning only one league game (and losing 16) on the road in the whole of last season, the Sky Blues have notched five this season and have won the last four on the bounce. That feat equals the club record set in 1963 and equalled in 1992 (under Bobby Gould) and again in 2004 (under Eric Black). City travel to Stevenage on Boxing Day looking to set an all-time club record of five.

In 1963 the run of four was the final game of the 1962-63, a 3-1 away win at the White City where QPR were playing that season, and the first three trips of the 1963-64 season, Notts County (3-0), Walsall (3-0) and Luton (3-1). The run came to an end at Hull (1-2) but City went on to win the Third Division championship that season.


In 1992 City won their first four away games in the newly created Premier League. A midweek win at Spurs (2-0) was followed by a (2-1) win at Wimbledon which took them to the top of the league. The next two wins came at Oldham (2-1) and Sheffield Wednesday (1-0). The run came to an end at Forest (1-1).


In 2004 Eric Black had taken over from Gary McAllister at Christmas and his recrafted side won four consecutive away games at Walsall (6-1), Nottingham Forest (1-0), Wimbledon (3-0) and Cardiff (1-0). The run came to an end at West Brom (0-3).

I mentioned the goals for tally last week and another four at Doncaster made it 37 for the season and seventeen in the last four league games - something they haven't done since 1952. Sixty years ago this month City had a great run up to Christmas winning three home games, Brighton (3-1), Crystal Palace (4-2) and Torquay (7-2) and Swindon away (3-2) for a tally of 17 goals. The best ever run of four games came in December 1933: on Christmas Day City won 4-1 at home to Cardiff and drew the return the following day 3-3 before winning 7-3 at Gillingham and defeating Crystal Palace 5-1 at home. 19 goals in four games and star scorer Clarrie Bourton was out injured! His deputy ‘Rasher’ Bacon netted 12 of the goals including a club record five at Gillingham.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Sky Blue Song. On this day in 1962 the song, words by Jimmy Hill and John Camkin, to the Eton Boating song tune, was launched at the Colchester home game. Unfortunately fog enveloped the pitch and the game had to be abandoned at half-time with the Sky Blues leading 2-0. The song took off immediately and was sung with great gusto during the 3-0 victory over the league leaders Peterborough four days later. The song has been an ever present ever since and has been sung on most league grounds around the country not to mention Wembley, Trakia Plovdiv and Bayern Munich. The words have changed subtley over the years to reflect the division the club was in. it started off as Proud Posh or Cobblers, Oysters or anyone but for the most part of its life it has been 'Tottenham or Chelsea, United or anyone'. At today's game it is hoped that the CCFPA's Billy Bell will lead a rendition of the famous song by some of the players from the 1960s.

The tragic news of Peter Ndlovu's car crash last weekend shocked every City fan and the death of his brother Adam and a friend also in the car has stunned his family. The Former Players Association (CCFPA) have set up an appeal fund to raise money for some of his family members in Coventry to fly out to Zimbabwe to be with Peter at this sad time. The CCFPA have kicked off the fund by donating £500 and all fans are encouraged to make a donation to help the family. Details of how to donate can be found at www.ccfpa.co.uk and the proceeds of today's Christmas Memorabilia Stall will be going towards the fund. It is hoped that there will be bucket collections at the game today and in the G-Casino.

A Merry Christmas to all the readers and lets hope the City’s good form continues into 2013 and us long suffering fans finally get something to celebrate.



Monday, 17 December 2012

Jim's column 15.12.2012


The goals are pouring in for the Sky Blues. Last Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Walsall made it 18 goals in the last six league games and 33 for the season, a total only bettered by Tranmere & Bournemouth in the division. The Sky Blues only need another eight goals to equal the total for the whole of last season and have already scored more goals away from home (18) than in the whole of last season (13). McGoldrick’s golden spell continues – he has scored 13 league and 2 cup goals. He has already scored more league goals than City’s top scorer in nine of the last ten seasons. In that period only Gary McSheffrey in 2005-06, with 15, has bettered McGoldrick’s haul this season. The Forest loanee is pushing some of City’s leading seasonal league goalscorers over the last 40 years:

Ian Wallace (21) in 1977-78
Dion Dublin (18) in 1997-98
Micky Quinn (17) in 1992-93
Terry Gibson (17) in 1983-84
Gary McSheffrey (15) in 2005-06
Ian Wallace (15) in 1978-79

The victory over the Saddlers was the biggest win at home since January 2006 when, on Dennis Wise’s debut, Derby were defeated 6-1. It was also the first time City have come from behind to win a home league game since January 2009 when goals from Guillaume Beuzelin and Michael Mifsud gave City a 2-1 win over Blackpool. It’s been a long time coming!

Walsall skipper Andy Butler received his marching orders ten minutes from time and became the first red card in a City game this season. City haven’t had any players sent off yet and the club’s disciplinary record has been marginally better this season – they had received two red cards by this stage last season – a factor which will hopefully avoid suspensions as the season progresses. And is it my imagination but there seems to be less injuries than in recent campaigns, although we still await the appearance this season of David Bell.

Lee Jones emailed with a couple of questions. The first was regarding the famous 2-2 draw with Bristol City that saw both sides avoiding relegation at the end of the 1976-77 season. He had noticed that this game (along with the Everton v Sunderland game) were both played on a Thursday night, and wondered if there was any particular reason why these two games were held back, as none of the teams were involved in any cup competitions, and the rest of the First division programme had already been completed. Lee, the original game had been postponed a couple of times (on 1st January and 1st March) because of the weather - it was one of the worst winters for many years. Many clubs had fixture backlogs and although the final day of the season had been scheduled for the previous Saturday there were 12 outstanding games after that date. In those days there was no requirement for clubs to play their final games on the same day. There was however only one outstanding issue and that was who would be relegated with Stoke City and Tottenham. Bristol, who had been favourites to go down a week earlier had given themselves a fighting chance by beating champions Liverpool 2-1 on the Monday night. Sunderland, who had been 16th of 22 clubs following the last Saturday’s results, were suddenly into play and had to travel to Goodison Park. The draw at Highfield Road meant that Sunderland were relegated and bitter Sunderland fans have never forgiven Coventry or their chairman Jimmy Hill who they accused of deliberately delaying the kick-off of the game to give City some advantage. The games that night were not the final games of the Division One season – there were two games the following Monday night.

Lee’s second query is regarding a programme for the last day escape against Everton, played at Highfield Road on Sunday 26th May 1985. He wondered if there was ever actually a programme printed for this game, as after much searching he has only been able to trace ones for the date that the game was originally due to be played - 9th February, 1985. Lee, there was a four-page insert, with updated stats and team line ups, printed and sold with the original programme on the Sunday morning.
 
Two updates to last week’s column. First, Geoff Moore pointed out that City haven’t scored every penalty in shoot-outs this season. Richard Wood actually missed the 10th penalty in the Burton shoot-out before Joe Murphy saved Burton’s 10th and scored City’s 11th to win the tie.

Secondly. Keith Ballantyne remembers the Bristol Rovers cup-tie in 1963 and recalls Rovers playing in red and white striped shirts (not blue and white stripes).

The Former Players Association Christmas stall was a great success last Saturday and £300 was raised for the Association. The stall will be repeated next Saturday at the Preston game in the foyer of the G-Casino. On sale to raise funds for the FPA will be books, shirts, signed images of Keith Houchen’s Wembley goal (only £10) and various other memorabilia ideal for Christmas presents for Sky Blue fans. Thanks to everyone who generously bought items.


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Jim's column 8.12.2012


The Sky Blues took another step on the road to a Wembley final by defeating Sheffield United in the Northern Quarter Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. A tense game ended 1-1 and the Sky Blues made it two penalty shoot out wins this season, winning 4-1 with all City’s takers successful. That makes it fourteen penalties in shootouts and no misses following the 10-9 victory over Burton Albion in round one.

It was only the third penalty shoot out involving the Sky Blues since the dramatic FA Cup defeat by penalties at Bramall Lane in 1998 – when City had looked strong bets to reach the semi final. The first was at Peterborough in a League Cup tie in 2001.

The result on Tuesday meant that the Sky Blues have now scored in 19 consecutive League & Cup games, the best run by a City side since the 1966-67 Second Division promotion season. That season Jimmy Hill’s side set the club record by scoring in 29 consecutive games between a 0-1 defeat at Millwall in early September 1966 and a 0-0 draw at Northampton in March 1967. The current run is the third best of all time – the second best was way back in 1927.

Arthur Warner had an interesting question last week.  He reminded me that the last time City played in the Second round of the FA Cup was season 1963-64, when they met Bristol Rovers at Highfield Road. City lost 2-1, but went on to win the Third Division that season. Arthur was at the game, and seemed to recall that City played in their change strip of all red and Bristol played in their famous blue and white quarters. He seemed to remember that in those days, if there was a clash of colours, the home side had to change. Arthur, you are half right. The FA rules at that time stated that if there was a colour clash both sides had to change unless the two teams reached an agreement. As a result there were lots of instances of both teams changing including several finals – 1956 Birmingham v Manchester City, 1957 Aston Villa v Manchester United and 1968 West Brom v Everton. City played at Everton in 1966 and both sides wore their change kit as they also did in cup ties against Leicester City and Huddersfield in the 1950s. The last instance of City appearing in their change kit in an FA Cup tie at home was in 1977 when Millwall visited for a Third Round tie and were beaten by a sole Bobby McDonald goal. Two years later West Brom visited Highfield Road in the third round and the Baggies changed into their away kit because of a clash. I can only assume that West Brom were happy to change because the rules still stated that both teams should change. The FA did amend the rules at some stage in recent years and now the rule is the same as league games – the away team has to change. As for the Bristol game in 1963 City definitely played in their Sky Blue kit and Bristol, who had temporarily abandoned their famous blue quartered shirts in the early 1960s, played in blue and white striped shirts which the referee obviously didn’t consider there was a clash of colours.

Arthur went on to tell me that his first City game was in April 1952, aged six, when he watched City lose 0-2 at home to Sheffield Wednesday – a result that virtually sealed City’s relegation to Division Three. And his Dad’s favourite player was….Clarrie Bourton.

If you are looking for a good football book to give as a Christmas present (assuming you have all of mine!) then I would recommend Chris Arnot’s Fields of Dreams. Chris is a locally-based freelance writer and has written an evocative story of 25 famous football grounds that are no longer with us. From Ayresome Park to the Vetch Field and from Highbury to Highfield Road, Chris combines expressive descriptions of the old grounds with fans memories of great moments at their old grounds. The photographs are excellent with pictures of a bygone era mixed with images of the final games at many grounds. This is a must for anybody interested in the history of the game and grounds and is published by Step Beach Press and costs £19.95.

Talking of Christmas gifts, today the Former Players Association are running a Christmas stall in the foyer of the G-Casino. On sale to raise funds for the FPA are books, shirts, signed images of Keith Houchen’s Wembley goal (only £10) and various other memorabilia ideal for Christmas presents for Sky Blue fans. If it is successful the stall will be repeated at the Preston home game in a fortnight.



Sunday, 2 December 2012

Dave Sexton 6.4.1930- 25.11.2012



Dave Sexton, who passed away last Sunday aged 82, will be remembered as one of the outstanding manager-coaches of his generation. Prior to coming to Coventry City as manager in 1981 he had built a first-class reputation as one of the country’s top managers with Chelsea, QPR and Manchester United. In his two-year stay at the club he helped the development of a golden generation of City players and left the club a fine legacy.

Born in Islington, North London, the son of Archie Sexton, a middleweight boxer of the 1930s, his playing career started at Newmarket Town and progressed via Chelmsford City, Luton Town, West Ham, Leyton Orient and Brighton to Crystal Palace where a knee injury ended his playing career. He was a good lower division player whose only honour was a Third Division championship medal with Brighton in 1958.

His best period as a player was probably at Upton Park where he was a member of a group who immersed themselves in football coaching and tactics. The group, fathered by Ron Greenwood, included Noel Cantwell, John Bond, Malcolm Allison and Frank O’Farrell, would spend hours analyzing the game at a cafĂ© opposite the Boleyn Ground. All were destined to become top managers.

In 1965 after a coaching job under Tommy Docherty  at Chelsea he landed his first manager’s job, at Leyton Orient but lasted less than a year. Successful coaching at Fulham and Arsenal (where he was promoted to assistant manager under Bertie Mee) enhanced his reputation in the capital and when Chelsea sacked Docherty in October 1967 he was handed the Stamford Bridge job.  

He inherited a strong but under-performing squad but with some shrewd signings (David Webb for £25,000 and Ian Hutchinson for £5,000) he built one of Chelsea’s finest teams. He won plaudits for his mixture of neat passing and attacking flair (with players like Peter Osgood, Charlie Cooke and Alan Hudson) backed up with steely ball-winners (like Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris and Webb). For a time Chelsea were the most attractive side in the country. In 1970 Chelsea finished third in the league and won an epic, engrossing and ill-tempered FA Cup final against Leeds United, after a replay which was watched by 28 million people on television. In February of that year they gave a dazzling display at Highfield Road, beating one of the best City teams of all-time, 3-0. A year later Sexton led the team to victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup final against Real Madrid, once more after a replay.

After losing the 1972 League Cup final to Stoke City, Chelsea went into decline, hampered by the cost of their ill-conceived ground developments and wranglings between Sexton and some players. He was sacked by Chelsea in 1974 but within weeks he was appointed manager at Queens Park Rangers. Espousing his football philosophy he developed a side that was unlucky not to win the League Championship in 1976 – they were pipped by a point by Liverpool on the final day.   He got the best out of talented players such as Gerry Francis, Don Masson and Stan Bowles with an exciting attacking brand of football. Dave was a keen fan of Dutch total-football and would often fly to Holland at his own expense to watch games and learn.

In 1977 he resigned from QPR and was on the verge of rejoining Arsenal as coach when Manchester United persuaded him to replace Docherty again. He lacked the charisma required for the Old Trafford job and despite an FA Cup final appearance in 1979 and League runners-up the following year he failed to end United’s long wait for the championship and was castigated for some questionable signings including Gary Birtles.

In 1981 he was sacked by United, despite the Reds winning their last seven games of the season. Jimmy Hill persuaded him to come to Coventry to take over from Gordon Milne who moved upstairs.

His first game in charge for the Sky Blues was against United and he tactically out-thought his successor, Ron Atkinson, to give City a 2-1 win. During his time at Highfield Road City’s style became more cultured but it rarely set the world alight, although in Sexton’s defence he was never given the freedom to spend like other City managers. His first season in charge went well until Christmas then City picked up just three points in twelve games including a 5-1 home defeat to Notts County. However, just as things were at their blackest, and fans wondered where the next league win was going to come from, City mounted a tremendous revival. Buoyed by Sexton’s inspired signing of his former QPR lieutenant Gerry Francis, the young team went on a run of thirteen games with only one defeat, including a never-to-be-forgotten 5-5 draw at the Dell, and a 6-1 win over Sunderland, that took them well clear of relegation. Players such as Steve Whitton, Mark Hateley, Danny Thomas, Steve Jacobs and Gary Gillespie blossomed under Dave’s mentoring. Garry Thompson describes Dave as being ahead of his time: ‘He had a massive influence on the team and individuals. He made me a much better player by concentrating on the smallest parts of my game as well as encouraging me to watch the best players in my position – he had us watching videos of the best players in the world in the early 80s. After I left City it was like going back into the dark ages.’

In his second season with gates falling under 10,000 he had to survive with a squad of 14-15 players. After Thompson was sold over his head in February 1983 the team’s form fell away disastrously and 13 games without a win took them to the brink of relegation. They survived by the skin of their teeth but Sexton was sacrificed for the return of Bobby Gould much to the disgust of his young players.

Whilst at Coventry he also managed the England Under-21 side to victory in the 1982 European Championship and continued in that role for several years, winning the trophy again in 1984, as well as being assistant manager of the England team under Bobby Robson. His depth of knowledge and the respect he was held in within the English game was such that he was utilized by a succession of England managers including Terry Venables, Glen Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and he was still heavily involved with Sven Goran Ericsson’s scouting network into his 70s. He played a leading role in the setting up of the FA’s School of Excellence but never managed at club level after leaving Coventry. Away from football he was a fascinating character, relishing other aspects of life, taking an Open University degree in philosophy during his fifties, appreciating modern poetry and art, and being receptive to new ideas. His love of sport even extended to American Football and I am told that he studied the sport's tactics and plays. He continued to live in Kenilworth where, in 2008, a building was named in his honour. Sadly in latter years dementia took its toll.

Dave Sexton was an unassuming and highly intelligent man, always placing the greatest emphasis on technique and progressive football rather than the long ball and a big boot. He never sacrificed those principles. 

His funeral takes place on Monday 10 December at 11 a.m. at Kenilworth.