1: With only Middlesbrough matching the Tigers for victory among the top six at the weekend, and with the two teams at the top both undergoing a little pre-festive wobble, it’s not unrealistic to believe that City could be in an automatic promotion place sooner rather than later if our own form, verve and confidence holds up.
2: However, just for now it’s great to have a cushion of four points between ourselves and 7th. It means City are certain to be in the play-off places at Christmas, and it’d take a real dip for us not to start 2012 in them.
3: One thing Nick Barmby needs to work on is his timing and decision-making as far as substitutions are concerned. After the ultra-fatal confusion against Burnley that followed Andy Dawson’s introduction, the Tigers fell to bits completely in midfield at the weekend when Corry Evans got the shepherd’s crook and Joe Dudgeon, not a central midfielder in a thousand years, came on. Only Coventry’s brazen incompetence prevented them from exploiting a needless chasm of weakness which more adept sides in this division would have managed straightaway. It was all the more baffling because Tom Cairney, a like-for-like replacement for Evans, stayed on the bench.
4: An additional concern is that City looked just a bit leggy on Saturday. That’s to be expected given that we played in midweek and a week off ahead of the busy festive period will help – as will the youth and enthusiasm of the side – but it’s definitely something the manager needs to keep an eye on.
5: With Richard Garcia back, one wonders if he is now, for the short-term at least, pencilled in as the replacement striker for Matt Fryatt or Aaron Mclean, given his selfless displays of workaholism up front last season, some of which were on his lonesome. Whatever the plan is for the Australian, the fact that Barmby found immediate room for him in the 16 after a very long period out with a serious injury shows the mark of player and man.
6: The decision to bring Garcia in for Dele Adebola left City without a proper forward on the bench, however. The need to bolster our forward line is surely the January transfer window’s greatest priority.
7: Congratulations to the E4-E7 section of the KC, which collectively and rapidly on Wednesday night booed down the hideous “how shit must you be, we’re winning at home” chant that has been an embarrassment for some weeks now, and is indicative of numbskulls whose priority on a match day is to antagonise opposing supporters rather than indulge in activity that benefits and inspires the team. One expects now never to hear that execrable song again, even if our next home win doesn’t occur until April.
8: Whisper it quietly, but Péter Gulácsi hasn’t done anything to alarm us lately. It may be considered that that’s somewhat essential in any goalkeeper at this level, and that’d be correct – however, it suggests he’s finally finding his feet after an, ahem, suboptimal beginning to life at City.
9: We’re not naturally inclined towards sympathy towards other teams’ fans, but Coventry’s come close. A team as awful as that playing in front of four-figure gates (12,652, give over) in a empty, echoey, soulless stadium – that really cannot be any fun at all. Given that they haven’t finished in the top six in 40 years, we’re tempted to think a relegation may be needed for them to have a bit of enjoyment. Then again, they probably thought that when they were relegated from the Premier League…
10: Strange old world, isn’t it? On the bench for Norwich City at the weekend, though not eventually called from it to play a part against Newcastle United, was a 32 year old centre forward who is clearly now very close to making the first top-flight appearance of his football career. His name? Aaron Wilbraham.