With the transfer window slamming shut yesterday, there were many deals going through involving Championship clubs. One of the highest profile players to be arriving to play in England’s second tier is former Manchester City player Antoine Sibierski who has signed on loan for Glenn Roeder’s Norwich City.
The Canaries have been in desperate need for a striker with a physical presence. Darrel Russell – who normally operates in midfield – has been forced to move up front in recent weeks to partner either Jamie Cureton or Arturo Lupoli. Now that Antoine Sibierski has arrived, the Norwich fans will be hoping they can pick up their first win of the season against Plymouth Argyle in their next game.
So what type of player are Norwich getting? Well, as with any 34-year-old moving down a division, he will bring experience to what is a relatively young Norwich squad. He will also provide Glenn Roeder with the ‘target man’ he has been craving since the departure of Dion Dublin at the end of last season. It is the second time Glenn Roeder has signed the Frenchman, he brought him to Newcastle United on transfer deadline day in August 2006.
In terms of some other moves involving Championship clubs yesterday, there were two others that stood out to me. Blackpool have made a good loan signing by securing Rangers midfielder Alan Gow until January. The 25-year-old – who could sign permanently in January – is an attacking midfielder and should excel in the Championship.
Then there is departure of Coventry midfielder Julian Gray to Premier League side Fulham. This is a strange transfer really and I’m not sure why a loan deal was agreed as opposed to a permanent transfer. Regardless though, it will be a huge loss for Chris Coleman at Coventry. He is one of their better players and considering they have lost their last two games, it isn’t ideal that he is leaving. They will be searching for a replacement in the loan market I’m sure.
One of the most significant factors of the whole transfer window though, in my view, is that fact that Reading have managed to hold onto prize assets Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt. With reference to Championship football odds, they remain one of the promotion favourites having kept these two players.
As ever, it will be interesting to see how the players that have moved to the Championship – such as Antoine Sibierski – will adapt to playing in what is a very physical and competitive league.
Coventry City chairman Ray Ranson has revealed that the club are closing in on the signing of right back Stephen Wright in the next couple of days. The man who started his career at Premier League side Liverpool is without a club following his release from Sunderland and is set to be handed a Championship lifeline by Chris Coleman.
Suggesting that the move is near completion, Stephen Wright is set to make an appearance for the Sky Blues when they take on Livingston tomorrow night. Should he impress in this game and the one against Kilmarnock on Saturday, he should complete his move to the Ricoh arena before the opening game of the season against Norwich City.
If Stephen Wright does sign on the dotted line, he will join Freddy Eastwood as a new arrival at the club. Speaking of the former Southend striker, I hope he does well this year. I don’t think he was given enough chances at Wolves to impress and at Coventry if he is given enough games – he will deliver. I am confident about that.
So what about Coventry’s hopes for the season? Well, according to the Championship football odds, they are more likely to get relegated than promoted. Considering they only avoided dropping to League One on the final day of last season – this is hardly surprising.
However, Chris Coleman is a good manager and he will be expecting a lot more from his team during his first full season in charge. The former Fulham boss will be expecting lots from the likes of Leon Best, Julian Gray, Elliot Ward and of course Freddy Eastwood. If these players perform to their maximum and a good team spirit is developed, then relegation shouldn’t be an issue.
Promotion talk is premature though and if I was to consider the outcome of Coventry’s season right now I would predict a mid-table finish. It will be an improvement on last year and considering how competitive the Championship is, that would be a good achievement for Chris Coleman’s men. In my opinion anyway. Whether Stephen Wright is part of this should become clear in the next few days.
Coventry City have named Chris Coleman as their new manager. Coleman replaces Iain Dowie who was sacked on 11 February.
The former Real Sociedad and Fulham manager has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Coventry City.
Coleman said he was impressed with the chairman’s ambitions:
“The most important thing for me is where the club wanted to be in a few years’ time, and that is the Premier League.”
Coventry City are currently in 20th position in the Championship table, four points above the relegation zone.