Chris Coleman's Midfield Dilemma at Coventry City

Nick HowsonCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2008

Coventry City's 2-1 win at Charlton Athletic on Tuesday evening propelled them to 14th in the Championship, leapfrogging Bristol City in the process.

For the squad that Manager Chris Coleman has at his disposal, however, he should really be looking towards the top eight more than the bottom eight, a position the Sky Blues have occupied for most of the season.

Coleman was backed significantly in the transfer market, spending nearly 2 million on both Freddy Eastwood from Wolves and Keiron Westwood from Carlisle.

Clinton Morrison and the Stephen Wright were acquired to strengthen those same areas as Coleman built a squad intent on promotion to the Premiership.

Maybe even more importantly, they kept hold of Michael Mifsud, who seemed destined for Bristol City. Having convinced him to start playing for the club again, Coleman looked set to have a superb squad at his fingertips.

However, it hasn't turned out like many fans at the Ricoh Arena would have liked, and the home fans have almost nothing to shout about with just three wins at home all season.

In fact, City's away record is the best outside the playoffs after wins at Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City.

However, I'm not sure it's the home form that is the sole reason for this underachievement.

During the summer Coleman strengthened the defensive and attacking areas, but he missed a crucial area in the midfield.

Yes, Jay Tabb is a super player on his day, but he can't carry his side, as he's shown a few times already this season.

Players like Julian Gray and Scott Dann just aren't the sort of players to get you into the Premiership, and it looks as if Coleman needs to make another investment to take the step up.

Now I'm not here to suggest players for Coleman to purchase. I'm pretty sure the Welshman knows for himself who can make his side tick. It's whether the club have the means to make the changes.

Even three years down the line, they are still struggling to come anywhere close to filling the new Ricoh Arena—so much so that the club are still paying off the stadium they built in 2005.

Consistent spending on players' transfer fees and wages on the likes of Morrison are sure to have hit the club hard.

Whether another investment on the final piece of the puzzle can be made is down to Chairman Ray Ranson, of course, but would he really keep the money flowing out of the club at this difficult financial period?

Unlikely in my book, especially as success has been limited since Coleman's tenure started with the Sky Blues.

Just escaping from relegation last season was an embarrassment for a club the size of Coventry, and Coleman has to start delivering soon.

So it looks as though this talented squad might have wait there for their time in the limelight, as financial difficulties continue to hit Britain's biggest clubs.