What a hit Mollie - what a hit.

Published: Monday, 02 May 2022

There’s been some great escapes conjured up by Coventry down the years - but nothing - nothing like Coventry United’s.

Remember David Beckham’s iconic fk v Greece at Old Trafford? You probably haven’t heard of Mollie Green - but check out her goal for Coventry United at Watford. It was every bit as good as Beckham’s. Every bit as dramatic.

Here are the circumstances. She’s over the ball 35 yards from goal. The game is in the 7th minute of stoppage time. If she scores, Coventry stay in the Women’s Championship - and relegate their opponents. Hit the pause button on that.

Coventry’s season has been full of drama anyway. In January the club were eight minutes from being liquidated. Two days before Christmas everyone was told that they’d be losing their jobs and they there was no money to pay for the work they’d done in December.

The situation couldn’t been any bleaker. But then along came Lewis Taylor, chief executive of a Midlands-based energy company - Energy Angels. Talk about heaven-sent timing. He mounted a take-over bid.

Oh. Did I mention that the club were also docked ten points for going into administration? That left them on minus-four - 10 behind Watford.

Back to Watford, where Green is standing five/six paces behind the ball in the knowledge that her kick is likely to be the last time anyone on the pitch touches the ball. Just like Beckham at OT. But she didn’t bend it like Beckham - she crashed it into the top left hand corner - keepers right. To borrow a phrase from my mate - ‘what a hit Mollie. What a hit’. 😂😂. Check it out. It’s a stunning strike.

Brilliant. What a story. Very much in keeping with the traditions of my home City. Nobody in Coventry ever knows when they’re beaten.

I’m proud of the boys as well. Ok, so Mark Robins’ Super Sky Blues came up short - but what an effort. It’s been a great season. I’ll say again - Robins is one of the brightest and best coaches outside the PL. He’s done an extra-ordinary job cleaning up a wasted decade inflicted by SISU. He’s also correct to point out that just because we went so well this season there are no guarantees about the next. I believe there is hope now that we might make it back to the big time - something I never thought I’d see happen when we crashed into League Two. But we’ve got to keep hold of Robins. I hope he has ambition to complete the fairy-tale.

While we’re on the subject of comparisons - what about Jordan Pickford’s stop v Chelsea? For those of us old enough to remember - Gordon Banks v Pele at the 1970 Mexico WC? I can still hear the legendary David Coleman scream ‘Pele…..’ as the most famous player of all-time rose to head Jairzinho’s cross into the bottom corner. It was all the more dramatic because these were the days when overseas commentary sounded like it was being delivered into a tin can down a piece of string - and back to base. Wonderful. You always knew something special was happening when the commentary accompanying a match was like that.

Anyway - I’m sure you’ve seen it? Pele believes he’s scored. ‘No….’ as Coleman would say. ‘What a save….’ Somehow Banks had got back across his goal and clawed the ball away for a corner.  Legend has it that Bobby Moore, England’s skipper, told Banks he should’ve held it! 😂.

For me - Pickford’s save from Azpilicuta was every bit as good. As Coleman would’ve said ‘what a save…’. It looked impossible at first - but somehow - having missed the first shot - Pickford got back to his second post and blocked the follow-up. He didn’t just save vital points on the day - he might just have saved Everton’s season.

Regulars will know he’s not my favourite. He frightens me to death. He always looks a bag of nerves, but he worked that mania to his and Everton’s benefit on Sunday. Well played. Fantastic stop - and three massive points.

I hope the FA see sense and simply warn Richarlison about his future behaviour. I said on beINSPORTS that I thought he was a lucky boy. He should really have been sent-off for throwing that flare back into the crowd. It’s deemed a ‘violent act’ - but I don’t believe it was. It was a stupid act for sure and he should be warned. I know ignorance is no defence but he wouldn’t have been aware of the laws covering things like that. What he certainly wasn’t doing was ‘throwing the flare out of the stadium’ as Everton have claimed. Perhaps he was thinking about buying a tractor like our Tory friend Neil Parish? That’s right up their with his excuse!

It would be unfair if the FA enforce a 3-game ban and he missed crucial games now.

Norwich have gone then? Good. That’s six times now - and four straight after a PL season. They are the best argument I can think of for getting rid of parachute payments. I hope Watford go as well and that neither makes it back. It’s someone else’s turn.

David Moyes was correct. It was handball by Holding in the build-up to Arsenal’s winner. And it was a mistake to book Bowen. What was he supposed to do when he saw Ramsdale flying at him? If Ramsdale catches him with what was a ‘reckless’ challenge - he halves him in two.

Ok. Ramsdale didn’t connect with either Bowen or the ball - but he intended to. I know ‘intent’ has been taken out of the game - but Ramsdale was the guilty party here. If Bowen doesn’t take what they call ‘evasive action’ he gets badly injured. I can’t believe Mike Dean didn’t realise that.

That’s probably why he hasn’t got one of the ‘jobs for the boys’ that Mike Riley has been handing out recently.

The job that the former Shrewsbury and Tranmere manager, Michael Jackson is doing at Burnley got me thinking. Who are the real ‘super coaches’? Are they the guys at the top who can spend a billion or two chasing success - or are the real heroes people like Jackson, who keep it simple and produce miracles on diddly squat? All of a sudden Burnley fans are in for a ‘thriller’ between now and the end of the season. Good luck to them. I haven’t forgiven Mike Pace for turfing Dyche out - but it might be that he was right! Good luck to Jackson and the boys.