Chris Coleman takes over the Sky Blues

His new post with Ray Ranson’s Coventry is Coleman’s 2nd in as many years. The former Fulham manager, and co-creator of ‘Fulhamerica’, was with Spanish Second Division squad Real Sociedad from June 2007 to January 2008 when he resigned citing ‘differences in vision’ with new club ownership. Coventry has also welcomed new ownership after Ray Ranson took over several months ago. Previous manager Iain Dowie was fired as the ownership cited very similar ‘differences in vision’.

A fan favorite in his playing and early managerial days at Craven Cottage, Coleman inherits yet another troublesome club. The Sky Blues sit in 20th place, just above the relegation zone with the season winding down quickly. Coventry City, however, has the infrastructure to potentially build a future with the new ownership of Ray Ranson, a relatively new Ricoh Arena built in 2005 (also recently renovated in ’07 to be suitable for UEFA Champions League and international matches), players to build around – Michael Mifsud, Leon Best, and some cash to work with.

If all goes well – Coleman’s new 3.5 year contract will extend to meet Ray Ranson’s “5-year Premiership plan”. Or he could wait around for the job to open up yet again at Craven Cottage if they end up not avoiding the drop. No word on whether or not Chris Coleman will lace up his boots again to keep Coventry from League One hell – and I might say this in jest, but Coventry has a history of young player-managers – Roland Nilsson (37 yo), Gary McAllister (38 yo).

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EPL Daily 12.14: All things Capello; Derby/Coventry takeover?, etc.

Coventry and Derby are the latest English clubs to be pegged for an imminent takeover – Derby’s has an American feel however (an “American sports company”) and is still in critical stages. Whereas, Coventry has gone the Ray Ranson-led SISU Capital route (Ranson was responsible for a bid to takeover Man City early last year). With the takeover, which is now just subject to a 90% approval from all Coventry City shareholders, the Championship club saves themselves from administrative and competitive penalties. Also, West Ham is gearing up for yet another injection of capital as baldy Icelandic chairman Eggert Magnusson has relinquished his 5% stake in the Hammers to his Icelandic chum ‘BG’ – Bjorgolfur Gudmondsson – who plans to put another $60 million or so into the club (not player purchases persay).

Now – with the final verdict subject to contract negotiations (6.25 mill pounds/yr) – ALL of the controversy arises around the inevitable appointment of Italian Fabio Capello to the English manager’s position. Paul Parker at Eurosport says this confirms that England is now a ‘second-rate football nation’. Reading’s main man Steve Coppell, M’bro’s Gareth Southgate, former Arsenal defender Tony Adams don’t agree with the decision as well. Former English midfielder and MK Dons boss Paul Ince is pissed too. Got me thinking, were they this pissed when Sven Goran Eriksson took over? SoccerLens put together a list of 10 reasons why Fabio Capello IS a good choice.

If the head coach is Italian, does it balance it out if the majority of the coaching staff is British? Both Alan Shearer and current English U-21 gaffer Stuart Pearce have been tagged as potential number twos. Shearer to England seems a bit improbable as the former Newcastle striker turned down a chance to be assistant when McLaren took over.

Amidst all that, Chelsea’s new boss Avram Grant has just signed on for 4 more years. Pretty well done considering the Mourinho mess.

Nery Castillo – Mexico’s pride and joy at this past summer’s Copa America  and long-time Mexican Guiseppe Rossi – is already sick of Shakhtar (Ukraine) and is being linked to a loan deal with Sven Goran Eriksson’s Manchester City

One hell of a Sunday this weekend – Manchester United vs. Liverpool and Chelsea vs. Arsenal in the EPL. Ajax vs. PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie. Valencia vs. Barcelona in La Liga. Juventus vs. Lazio in the Serie A. Who prevails??

Who is Michael Mifsud? The Maltese Man Yoo Killer?

There is a history behind the guy who single-handedly acted as executioner in Manchester United’s 2-0 loss to Championship side Coventry City in the Carling Cup.

Mifsud scored an early goal and a clincher in the 70th minute to put the Red Devils on edge in front of over 70,000 at Old Trafford. Man Utd’s Anderson and Nani as well as seasoned defenders John O’Shea, Wes Brown, and Phil Bardsley could do nothing to stop the veteran.

First surprise: Mifsud is from Malta. You don’t see that many from Malta making an impact in international soccer (remember the guy fantastically named Chucks Nwokwo? Nigerian heritage, Maltese wife). Secondly: he has been nicknamed ‘Mosquito’ by former goalkeeper Tim Flowers for his peskiness and determination despite a small frame. The 26-year old actually should have had three as he missed an open sitter – or could it have been he was toying with Man U’s piecemeail back-line. Nah – there is, after all, a reason why the guy has been looked at but never snapped up by real ‘high-tier’ clubs. Mifsud did light up the Norwegian Tippeligean with Lillestrom as early as last season, as he struck for 17 goals in less than 50 appearances. His time with Coventry City, however, has actually been a bit up and down finding only 4 goals in 19 Championship appearances so far. Most of his goals have come in the Cup competitions, but his recent partnership with Dele Adebola has supporters’ optimistic of heightened production. Key word being ‘height’ as Mifsud, 5’5″, acts as the little in the big/little combination that the Blues have going.