Monday night's home game with Southend was definitely two points dropped in my opinion. City had the lion's share of the play & deserved to win but not for the first time they failed to convert a penalty. They have now missed seven of the last eight penalties awarded, stretching back almost 18 months. Since 11 March 2014 when Callum Wilson & Carl Baker both scored penalties at Gillingham, the only successful penalty for Sky Blues has been Gary Madine at the same venue in January this year. The seven culprits to fail to convert are:
Callum Wilson (Stevenage home)
Carl Baker (MK Dons home)
Reda Johnson (Worcester FAC home)
Marcus Tudgay (Walsall away)
Gary Madine (Yeovil away)
Nick Proschwitz (Crawley away)
Jim O'Brien (Southend home)
It's a sad state of affairs when so many professional footballers cannot score from twelve yards, especially when you consider that City's penalty kings Ronnie Farmer & Gary McAllister had such good records from the spot. Farmer missed only one in 23 attempts & McAllister one out of 16.
After the game manager Tony Mowbray wondered why Adam Armstrong, as a man used to finding the net, didn't insist on taking penalties. He would have the added benefit of improving his goal tally, something all strikers, whatever they may say, desperately want to do. It set me thinking about some of City's successful strikers over the years & whether they were penalty takers. Some of the most prolific didn't go anywhere near a penalty including 25-goal Terry Bly in 1963 and George Hudson, another 20 goals -a -season man. Bobby Gould managed 24 goals in 1967 without being a spot-kick man and Ian Wallace, Mick Ferguson and Terry Gibson bagged lots of goals without penalties. Similarly only one of Mick Quinn's 17 goals in 1993 was a penalty.
In more recent times Dion Dublin had half a season in 1998 as penalty specialist when McAllister was injured. He managed six league penalties which when added to his twelve from open play made him the Premiership's joint leading scorer. Later Gary McSheffrey's goalscoring record was enhanced by his penalty goals. In fact, but for his spot kicks Gary would have struggled to reach double figures in any season and in 2004-05 six of his 12 league goals came from the spot. Mind you he did miss more than his fair share too.
Two seasons ago Callum Wilson became the first City player to score 20 league goals in a season since Wallace in 1978 but only two of them were spot-kicks & I remember his dreadful miss against Stevenage which would have meant he equalled Quinn's post-war record of scoring in six consecutive games.
The bottom line is that the manager must appoint a penalty taker and probably get Ronnie Farmer down to Ryton to give him some coaching on the perfect spot-kick.
Older fans will remember the visits of Southend to Highfield Road in the 1960s & City failed to break that hoodoo on Monday night. Between 1961-64 Southend visited the old ground three times, drawing 3-3 in 1961-62, and winning 4-3 in 1962-63 and 5-2 in 1963-64. The latter result stunned City fans as the Sky Blues were top of Division Three at the time & heading for promotion. Monday night's draw means that the Shrimpers have not lost in Coventry in five league visits going back to 1960.