, The season so far for Coventry City: Standout players? Areas to improve? January agenda?

The season so far for Coventry City: Standout players? Areas to improve? January agenda?

Coventry City have had an impressive start to the 2020/21 Championship season. After finishing 16th in the last campaign, Mark Robins would have been happy with any improvement on that, given the club’s relatively small budget.

However, the Sky Blues went on a barnstorming run at the start of the season, maintaining a 100% home record until a 1-1 draw at the CBS Arena on 23rd November.

Marc Atkins/Getty Images Sport

Despite this, City have struggled to keep on winning at the rate they have been and are currently without a win in five games – drawing four of them.

Overall though, it has been a good season so far for Sky Blues fans, in their return to Coventry. Here, we look at their 2021/22 season so far…

Standout players?

Coventry have had a transfer policy under Mark Robins which is built upon taking unfancied, perhaps unfashionable players, and allowing them to realise their potential.

The standout this season in this regard has been Viktor Gyokeres. The permanent signing of the Swedish international came with its fair share of doubters following his relatively uneventful loan spell in the second half of last season.

 

However, Gyokeres would soon silence any doubters, scoring the equalising goal on the opening day win over Nottingham Forest and netting eight more times and setting up two since.

Callum O’Hare has also come into his own this season, on the back of his impressive – if inconsistent – breakthrough Championship season last campaign, netting once and assisting three.

And finally, fan favourite Gustavo Hamer has been on fire again at times this season. Although, inconsistency has started to creep into his game and with transfer links emerging this season, a move could well be on the cards for the Brazilian midfielder in January.

 

Areas to improve and the January agenda for Coventry City

It might sound odd, considering Gyokeres and Matty Godden have already scored a combined total of 17 goals this season, but the Sky Blues could do with another forward.

Whilst the two aforementioned strikers have done a very impressive job this season, past trends suggest that neither of them will keep it up for the whole season, nor should they be expected to.

However, Gyokeres himself hasn’t scored since his brace against Fulham in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the CBS Arena back on 2nd October.

And as impressive as Godden has been for the Sky Blues since he joined in the club’s League One title-winning 2019/20 campaign, he isn’t exactly someone Robins should be hanging his hat on as the main source of goals in the Championship.

Alex Morton/Getty Images Sport

Elsewhere, there has been a problem with wing-backs brewing all season, and it seems to be coming to a head.

Now-QPR defender Sam McCallum and Fankaty Dabo marshalled the left and right sides, respectively, for Coventry until this summer, when McCallum’s loan spell from Norwich ended, left-back Brandon Mason’s contract was also allowed to expire last summer too.

The Sky Blues signed Scottish wing-back Josh Reid from Ross County in January last season, as well as signing Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen for this campaign.

 

However, when Maatsen has been suspended or unavailable, Reid hasn’t been called upon to fill in. Robins has instead opted to move Dabo out to the left side and called upon summer signing Todd Kane to play on the right side.

Dabo, though, has looked out of sorts when asked to play anywhere other than down the right flank and has even begun to put in some questionable performances when playing on his preferred side. So, wing-back may be an area the Sky Blues look to strengthen in January.

 

Despite all of this though, even if these problems aren’t solved, Sky Blues fans can be very happy with the start their team has made this season and should expect to see their side finish in the top half at least.

The key of course is to hang on to their key, in-form players, such as the likes of O’Hare and Hamer in January, and then Robins’ side should be set for the second half of the season.

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