Coventry's problems continue as Thorn is spiked
The first managerial casualty in the Football League has taken place, just nine days into the new season.
Coventry City have dispensed with the services of Andy Thorn (pictured), placing former Sky Blues players, Richard Shaw and Lee Carsley in temporary charge.
This comes despite the club remaining unbeaten in their first three league matches this season.
Trouble is they were three draws, all with leads being surrendered and they are languishing in the third tier of English football, for the first time since 1964.
The final straw
Despite last season’s crushing relegation from the Championship, Coventry had made some useful signings in the summer, including the likes of Kevin Kilbane, John Fleck and Kevin Malaga.
Things started well, with a late Kilbane penalty beating Dagenham & Redbridge in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
However, they drew 1-1 on the opening day with Yeovil, conceded a late goal to Sheffield United in their first home match of the season and on Saturday, the final straw came against Bury, who don’t have a permanent manager.
The Sky Blues controlled the first half, strolling into a 2-0 lead, courtesy of goals from Adam Barton and Carl Baker.
Despite this great start, they threw it away with a careless second half performance, allowing the visitors to pinch a 2-2 draw. After the game, Thorn called the performance as ‘unacceptable.’
Former boss, Iain Dowie told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s so soon in the season you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.
“Andy was at the helm when they got relegated last season. You think if they were going to make a decision, they would have done it in off-season but obviously, something has gone on.”
Patience has run out once again on another manager at the Ricoh Arena.
Thorn was a gamble
45-year-old Thorn was part of the Wimbledon side that won the FA Cup in 1988 and replaced Aidy Boothroyd in April 2011 as permanent manager.
Despite a previous spell in caretaker charge, the move by the board to put him in charge was a gamble and ultimately, another careless mistake made.
He hasn’t had much help, considering the financial constraints that the club has faced for many years now.
Budgets have been slashed again and the club is in trouble with paying the rent for using the Ricoh Arena.
They have become a selling club too, as despite the arrivals of many new faces this summer, star players have left again, with Richard Keogh joining Derby County, Martin Cranie heading for Barnsley and Gael Bigirimana moving to Newcastle United.
Consequently, Thorn has had to play a lot of youngsters from the academy, whose commitment for wearing the shirt can’t be faulted but have been thrown in the deep end far too often.
Loyal Coventry fan Farida Zeynalova was less than sympathetic towards the ex-manager.
She told me: “The supporters were more than patient but his tactics generally were clueless, confusing the players more than helping them.
“In terms of the atmosphere, everybody at the club had resigned themselves to the fact that we were doomed. It was clear from the beginning that we were going down last season.”
Over 70 per cent of Coventry supporters said it was the right decision to sack Thorn on the Coventry Telegraph website.
He was always a risk and Sam Elliott from the Non-League paper, tweeted that he doesn’t see a bright future for Thorn: “My mortgage goes on him never managing in the Football League again.”
Who’s next for the hotseat?
With Thorn gone, Shaw and Carsley will take charge for the League Cup match on Tuesday night, which pits the Sky Blues at home to fierce rivals, Birmingham City.
If they win that match, there could be a chance that they might be offered the job on a permanent basis.
However, a careful approach has to be taken and with League One getting incredibly tough to escape from, the passionate Sky Blues supporters will want promotion at the first time of asking.
Therefore, the best man for the job would have to be someone with experience and who has an excellent track record, of getting teams up within the Football League.
So after 16 unsuccessful months, Andy Thorn has gone and his managerial career looks to be in the scrapheap.
Since relegation from the Premier League in May 2001, Coventry has been through nine different permanent managers, none with any great or lengthy success.
The sad decline of this football club continues and there hasn’t been a great deal of joy for some time now, for the long-suffering fans.
While some will see this latest move as another sign of sheer panic, it has been acted on decisively and although I would question the timing of it, it was an inevitable move.
The next manager needs to be given time at the Ricoh Arena but time is a precious commodity in football.
Whoever does succeed Thorn, knows that they will be in for a tough battle at Coventry, hopefully a successful one for a club which has a great history, even if the past decade has been one of alarming decline.
By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88
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