On Saturday 18,814 people packed into the Ricoh Arena to watch the start of the 2010/2011 Championship season and to see how Aidy Boothroyd’s new look Sky Blues would perform against newly-relegated Portsmouth.
The first shock of the day came when the team sheets were read out, as not many of fans would have predicted a starting line up with Ben Turner and Nathan Cameron at the heart of the defence.
But Boothroyd’s selection was duly vindicated as the centre back duo put in a great performance, teaming up and covering each other’s positions like they had been playing years, something not seen in a Sky Blues team for a long time.
The statistics show that Coventry out performed Portsmouth in every area; with more possession, shots and tackles.
This is perhaps down to the fact that the team played as a more cohesive unit than in the Chris Coleman era.
Instead of putting 11 men behind the ball, the players stuck to their positions and created some dynamic and fluid attacking patterns, and sometimes switching to long ball play when put under pressure.
Freddy Eastwood thrived under these styles of play and duly knocked in two poacher's goals to give the home side a comfortable 2-0 victory. Could these new changes in play bring the best out of Eastwood?
At the moment the answer is a resounding 'yes'. Eastwood was never going to be an “out and out” striker - his best career spell was at Southend, scoring tap-ins and feeding of the scraps of play in and about the area, easily reflected in his two goals scored past Portsmouth.
And long may it continue.
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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