Coventry: car manufacturing, heavy bombing, The Specials' 'Ghost Town', Rosario and big Cyril Regis. The place is a dump, the Ricoh stadium is a typical flat-pack, IKEA job lacking soul and a sense of tradition, and Stan can find it in himself to have few fond memories of trips past.
Sure, Stan can remember the odd win at Highfield Road; even a bonkers Christmas game circa 1978. But just as we usually do them at our place, they tend to hold us at theirs. Some things never change …
Stan certainly had high hopes. The 'blips' against Blackpool and Leicester had been interspersed with a good win over Barnsley and a good point at Watford. The suspended were back; the new lads beginning to settle in nicely. Even Jamie was beginning to find that old scoring touch: two goals in one game was beginning to look a possibility.
Unfortunately, 8 March 2008 was a shocker, recalling not just previous trips to Cov, but also aspects of the dark days post-Premier Worthy and the nadir of old PG. Let us count the ways.
First, no 4-4-2, but that weird 'fluid' line up St Glen seemed to have binned with everything else 'old' Norwich when he arrived. Was it 4-5-1, or 4-3-3. No, it was a dog's dinner and the players looked as lost as they always have done when playing it.
Second, a soft first goal scored via their man getting behind the defence to pull a cross back and bang! Watch repeats of goals against from the last three (maybe four) years and that move is rivalled only by the 'free header from a set-piece' as the principal means of our undoing.
Third, a loss of shape, confidence and purpose ensured two tactical changes and two substitutions in the first 30 minutes – enough to recall PG at his card-shuffling best. Even Cov looked like they wondered what on earth was going on. It had to be done mind, but oh, the embarrassment.
Fourth, the less said about Velasco the better. If he was fit, then he currently ranks just below Louis-Jean, Colin and Sutch in the right-back league table. Camara's switch was less to do with his actual performance, but even so…
Trouble was, this all meant Doc was now pushed out to right-back where he was set against a tricky wideman who had pulled a Spanish international to pieces. Stan does not need to spell out the result.
Fifth, David Marshall was superb, sparing our blushes just as he did at Wolves and QPR earlier in the season. This really could have been Leicester and beyond.
Sixth, finally, the discipline went. Stan lost count of the bookings, but two sendings off was the least of it. A Cov acquaintance of Stan's told him that City were the dirtiest team he had ever seen.
Now, while that is obviously nonsense, and the ref was predictably woeful, it still tells a tale. For a moment, Stan thought he saw the ghost of 'Le Juge' smiling down over the Ricoh.
All in all, then, this was the latest in a recent run of reality-checks. Four points from the last 15 is not a good return.
Stan knows, and even predicted, that mid-table was what we should hope for and expect given our awful start to the season. Stan also knows that St Glenn has done a remarkable job in getting us out of the mire. But games like this reveal just what a massive task the great man has ahead of him.
Thank God it is only Stoke at home on Tuesday…
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