Retain or release? – my view on the current playing squad…

It was a very long season that was thoroughly disappointing for the supporters of Coventry City Football Club. There’s no doubt that we underachieved and a lot of players didn’t quite look the part, but here is my view on who we should retain/release in the squad…

I am aware that some of them are loan players/players out of contract, but I’m giving my opinion on the basis that we’d be able to retain them if we wanted to do so. Only the players that have been named in the squad for a competitive fixture will be listed…

Lee Burge – RETAIN

The young goalkeeper had a rough start to the season as Steven Pressley called on loan players Ryan Alsopp and Jamie Jones to occupy the number one position. Since Jones’ return to Preston, Burge has really made the position his own and he’s put in some excellent displays that looked beyond his years.

Riece Charles-Cook – RETAIN

We haven’t seen the former Arsenal keeper at all this season but he came to the club with a good reputation. He’s put in a few top performances for the Under 21’s and he has plenty of room to develop. During his loan spell at Nuneaton he was “excellent” according to a few ‘Boro fans I know…

Jordan Willis – RETAIN

The academy graduate has really pushed on this season and he’s established himself in the side. He has huge amounts of potential and he is very versatile along the back line, he would be a useful member of the squad next season.

Danny Pugh – RELEASE

When we signed Danny Pugh it looked as if we’d made a great signing, but a long period of injury has stopped us from judging him fully. I do feel that he could be a useful squad player, but I think there are better players available in his role.

Andy Webster – RELEASE

Despite the heaps of criticism the Scottish defender gets I believe he has been a decent defender for us. I think his legs have given up on him now though and it’s maybe time to hang up the boots. I’d be tempted to offer him a coaching role, but in terms of playing…no.

Reda Johnson – RETAIN

It’s been an injury plagued campaign and the big man has got to find a way to stay fit. If Mowbray stays, he has said he could be the manager to get 40+ games a season out of the Benin international. When he has played he’s had an undoubted influence, and if we can keep him fit he could be massive for us.

Aaron Phillips – RETAIN

I’m an admirer of Aaron Phillips and I think he has a very bright future at this football club. He has picked up a few niggling injuries this season but if he can have an extended run in the side next season he could develop in to a very good right back.

Aaron Martin – RELEASE

The central defender has perhaps under performed since joining from Yeovil Town and he’s played a part in handing the opposition simple goals. I do believe he is a good defender though, but I think we have other players at this club who could fill his role if he was disposed of.

Matthew Pennington – RETAIN

It will be highly unlikely that the Everton defender will rejoin the Sky Blues in the summer, but if we could possibly get him on loan again I’d jump at the chance. He put in some very mature performances despite being only 20 years old, and his young player of the year award highlights this.

Ryan Haynes – RETAIN

He enjoyed a superb start to the season as he looked a permanent fixture in Steven Pressley’s side, with his most notable performance coming in the Ricoh return versus Gillingham. The second half of the season was a different story though as he couldn’t break his way in to the team. I’d keep him on though, he’s another academy graduate with masses of potential.

Chris Stokes – RETAIN

Stokes’ loan spell from Forest Green was greeted with surprise from Sky Blues fans as they questioned whether he’d be good enough for League One, but some excellent displays showed he can cut the mustard at this level. He’s now available on a free transfer and I’d love him to sign permanently.

Dion Kelly-Evans – RETAIN

We were unable to see the academy product feature this season but he was named on the bench on a few occasions. He possesses undoubted quality, along with his twin Devon, and I’d like to see him stay on and develop as a player.

Conor Thomas – RELEASE

Conor Thomas is a player that has really disappointed me. He was tipped to be a great and his loan move to Liverpool suggested we had a player on our hands, but he’s hardly featured this campaign. I have no doubt that he has a lot of quality but I think it’s time he moved on.

John Fleck – RETAIN

The Scottish midfielder certainly has a lot to add to his game but he is one of the most talented players at the club. He’s not ripped the league apart as some fans expected but he’s been a key figure in the side over the past two seasons. If Mowbray stays I believe he’ll get the best out of Fleck.

Grant Ward – RETAIN

Now I know that it will be a miracle if we can keep hold of the Tottenham midfielder. Ward was brilliant during his loan spell and he helped sure up a fairly frail midfield. With big clubs sniffing around Tottenham will probably be inclined to loan him out somewhere higher in the leagues, or they may wish to keep him for themselves to develop.

Danny Swanson – RELEASE

Another player that has very much under performed, which is why he was shipped out on loan to St.Johnstone. He looked lively a few times off the bench but he’s too lightweight and he just didn’t do it for me.

Jim O’Brien – RETAIN

The skipper certainly won a lot of hearts this season with his endeavour and relentless work rate. He’s one of few authoritive figures in our squad and his experience is vital. He also possesses a huge amount of quality and I’d certainly keep him here. He provides real energy in the centre of the field.

Adam Barton – RETAIN

A lot of people seem to dislike Adam Barton due to his ‘safe’ way of playing football. His passing ability is good though and his ability to retain the ball is very useful in certain situations. I probably wouldn’t start him every week but I’d want him in my squad to bring on when we need to see out a game.

Sanmi Odelusi – RELEASE

I wasn’t too impressed with the Bolton man to tell the truth, and despite showing glimpses of talent he just wasn’t consistent enough for me. I believe there is a lot of better quality players out there that would come at lesser cost.

Blair Turgott – RETAIN

We didn’t see too much of Blair but he is another player that I believe has a bright future. West Ham fans were gutted to see him  leave and I think he is a potential gem – he just needs a bit of polishing. If we can get him to realise his potential then he could be a special player, he certainly gets bums off seats.

Jack Finch – RETAIN

He is a fairly versatile player that can slot in to midfield and defence. I would give him one or two more seasons to develop and if he doesn’t at a significant rate then that could be it for him. I do believe there’s a player in there though but I just don’t think he’s ready yet, I’d consider loaning him out to further his development.

Ivor Lawton – RETAIN

We are yet to see Lawton play in the first team but he is captain of the Under 21’s side where he has impressed me. His undoubted passion for the club stands him in good stead and his attitude is second to none.

James Maddison – RETAIN

Every fan would agree that ‘Madderz’ is our hottest prospect from the academy. Keeping hold of him will be tough as TEN Premier League clubs are rumoured to be sniffing around him. His technical ability is sensational  though and if we manage to keep hold of him he could be a huge player.

Nick Proschwitz – RELEASE

The German striker had a hard time during his loan spell from Brentford and I wasn’t too impressed with him. He wasn’t as bad as some people make out but I don’t see him having a future here. He does have talent and his record shows that, but I’m not sure I’d take a punt on him.

Simeon Jackson – RETAIN

The Canadian found it tough this season as he was in and out of the squad all year. I do however believe that with the right strike partner and a run in the side, he could get goals.

Dominic Samuel – RETAIN

He was a breath of fresh air when he joined on loan from Reading and his goals scoring record was very respectable. An enormous amount of pace and talent is visible and he looked too good for this league. Hopefully the Royals will send him back on loan to us, but I think they’ll keep him or send him on loan to a Championship club.

Shaun Miller – RELEASE

He’s another player that hasn’t featured as much as he would’ve liked, and I found it miraculous that Pressley hailed him as ‘one of the best finishers’ he’d seen, before shoving him in the Under 21’s. I do like him as a player but I do think we have better options here.

Frank Nouble – RETAIN

Keeping him would be a risk in my view as he fails to fulfil his potential most of the time. He does have skill in abundance though and on his day he can be a real game changer- it’s just getting him to project this on a more consistent basis. I’d give him until January to earn his place.

Marcus Tudgay – RETAIN

I’m a big fan of Marcus and I think he could be a potent goal scorer in this division with the correct service. His heading ability has been shown on a few occasions and if we could supply better quality crosses next season i would back him to score 15 goals or more. His link up play is good also, and his attitude is exemplary.

George Thomas – RETAIN

The young Welsh striker has impressed me from the bench this season and he could have a bright future at this club. His non-stop work rate coupled with his ability on the ball stand him on good ground.

Kyle Spence – RETAIN

He is another player we’ve not seen much of, but for the Under 21’s he’s looked a handful. Bags of tricks are also held and he looked lively when he came on versus Wycombe.



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One Comment Add yours

  1. hinckley skyblue says:

    i agree with most of your remarks about the players but i would keep conor thomas and i would send barton body building as he gets pushed off the ball too easily and i still think conor thomas has something to offer us as i think a couple of the boo boys got to him last season.
    ryan haynes game seemed to suffer when he was told to stay back and not attack as much and it really has affected his game.hopefully get pennington back and he can show ryan the way forward.
    i would like to see leon clarke back as he is the only proven goal scorer up for grabs at the minute

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