FOLLOWING Coventry City’s relegation we go into 2012/13 as the longest-serving Championship club, in our 11th consecutive campaign.
But I’m afraid at this moment in time I don’t expect that statistic to change come June, with a summer that has largely been one of frustration for Blues supporters.
The long-running chase to sign former Portsmouth pair Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) and Jason Pearce (Leeds United) proved fruitless, while Paul Jewell, who has added four players but seen more depart, admits countless other targets have fallen by the wayside.
We got off to a winning start on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup against Bristol Rovers, with our strongest available side beating the League Two outfit 3-1 at Portman Road, albeit having to come from behind. But a quick look to the bench told you all you need to know about the strength of the squad.
A gruelling Championship season with just three senior centre-backs, no experienced holding midfielder, a lack of options on the wing and no targetman for Michael Chopra to play off, doesn’t bode well. A few injuries and we could be in big trouble.
Jewell is acutely aware of the problem and the transfer window doesn’t shut until August 31, but this is not a situation he would have wanted to be in ahead of our first league game at home to Blackburn on Saturday.
The goalkeeper was the biggest void to be filled in the summer and in Ipswich-fan Scott Loach arriving for around £150k, I believe we have done a great bit of business. Luke Chambers is a much-needed leader at the back, while Tottenham loanne Massimo Luongo looks very handy with the ball at his feet. And after a summer of rehab, Michael Chopra looks a new player.
But the biggest signing must be bringing Bryan Klug back to head up the new academy set-up, meaning the future is in safe hands.
Learning from last season’s mistakes has seen Jewell do a U-turn on his transfer policy, switching from old timers with nothing to prove for young and hungry players with everything to prove (though there was irony in the first through the door being an 18-year-old who was sidelined having undergone two hip operations!)
It is the right policy, but I was disappointed to see Jimmy Bullard shown the door, as I never felt he was played in his proper position, as an attacking midfielder.
My league prediction? 10th.
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