It’s not very often that Coventry City fans have something to smile about, but it’s been a very positive week in terms of recruitment. I for one am delighted with the business so far, and if Mowbray continues the good work we may well be in for a good season – although I won’t get ahead of myself yet.
Following on from the news that Chris Stokes would join the club permanently and the release of the new home kit, the buzz around current happenings grew. Sam Ricketts and Romain Vincelot joined the club, the latter for a fee, which caused us fans to suffer from a state of shock (I certainly had to read the article twice).
It didn’t stop there…on Friday the club also announced that mammoth defender, Reda Johnson, would also remain at the club after he agreed a contract extension despite making the supporters wait intently. There’s no doubt that he is a massive part of what we are trying to build but let’s focus on the two new faces. Here is a lowdown on Sam Ricketts and Romain Vincelot…
The versatile defender signed on the dotted line on Monday to our delight and he was unveiled as the first ‘fresh face’ that would be added to a threadbare squad. With a shortage of imposing defenders in the side he was seen as a very welcome addition, and in my opinion he is a coup at this level.
As a Welsh international that has made over 50 appearances for his country, it’s obvious we’ve got a good player on our hands. He may be 33 years of age but he is still capable of performing at this level, and his formidable form in the 2013/14 season highlights this as he captained Wolves to the League One title as well as being selected in the League One team of the year.
After the promotion he failed to establish himself in the Championship but with a wealth of Premiership experience under his belt he looks to be a vital addition for us. Despite playing prominently as a right-back for Wolves, the mouthwatering prospect of him partnering Reda Johnson in the heart of the back four is exciting many supporters.
After signing, Ricketts said:
“I joined here for one big reason, promotion, that’s our aim. You need quality players, a good foundation and to be a side that controls games to get out of this league.”
“Cut and thrust teams can start well but only last half a season but teams that can control games survive the duration. I feel that the manager will help to promote that passing and controlled style of play.”
“The last time I played was in the play-off final for Swindon, so it will be nice to go to Nuneaton on Saturday and get going again.”
On Wednesday, combative midfielder Romain Vincelot also joined the Sky Blues as he arrived at the club from Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee. We’ve complained about not having that battling middle man for years now but hopefully we’ve got the right player in to fill that role. This will surely allow the likes of John Fleck more freedom too, and we know he can strike a ball!
I’ve seen the Frenchman play a few times against us over the past couple of seasons and he was one of the O’s standout performers. He has a rugged edge to his game but he possesses a lot of quality too, I’m just hoping he stays fit after an injury plagued season last term.
Orient fans were gutted to see one of their fan favourites leave as they flooded twitter with good luck messages for the ‘battler’. One supporter said we were ‘lucky to have him’ and I agree entirely, he’s certainly a proven player at this level as he was an integral part of Orient’s promotion charge in 2013/14. I just hope he cements a place in the side, and I’m sure he’ll rival Jim O’Brien’s beard too!
Upon switching from London to Coventry, the midfielder said:
“It’s great to be here, I can’t wait to start and to get going. Two days ago (speaking on Wednesday), I was speaking with the manager of Leyton Orient and he was really good to me. He listened to me and the fact I felt I needed something new.”
“Obviously, he didn’t want to let me go unless there was a little fee, so Tony Mowbray said he was really keen. When I heard that, I instantly said ‘I’m definitely going to Coventry City, I don’t want to speak to anyone else’.”
“There is a big fan base here with big history, I know about the club winning the FA Cup in the 80s, there is a great potential here. I’m really happy that I’m the first player for a while to arrive here for a fee, so now I’ve got to repay the faith. I’m delighted, it hasn’t happened for a while so I hope I will be worth it.”
“I’m looking forward to getting started and to Saturday, the first pre-season game is the first sign of a new chapter so I really can’t wait.”