Tom Lockyer, from Luton, and Victor Gyökeres, from Coventry City, talk during their match last February; Now, they will meet again at Wembley, but for promotion to the Premier League – Credit: @Barrington Coombs – PA Images
“Saturday will be a game for romantics.” English media coach Mark Robbins does not agree coventry cityAs a very sensitive person, and that’s why he attracted so much attention that he broke the mold when it came to getting the meeting right This Saturday at 12:45 PM at Wembley Stadium in Argentina (TV Star+)will play against your team luton town To decide Third promotion of the season to the Premier League. Although no one disputes the opportunity or the certainty of its appreciation.
The final of the promotion play-off would cross two outsiders who did not appear in any bookmaker’s calculations at the start of the season. However, to attend more than 70,000 fans almost evenly distributed would fill British football’s largest shrine. A final between two institutions is as unexpected as it is emotional, which, beyond their differences, share many points in a very extensive history that began in the 1880s.
A view of the match between Coventry City and Luton last February – Credit: @Barrington Coombs – PA Images
Point 1. Too much time away from the big stages
1992 was a year of great change in the organization of English football. In that season, the final match of the First Division tournament was played to give way to the hyper-professionalized Premier League as we know it today. Luton came down on the closing date of that tournament, falling 2–1 against already relegated Notts County and losing the category. that experience, 31 years ago, was the last of the greats Cap (the haters), a representative team from a city located 50 km from LondonWhich was known for the production of hats in the 17th century and is currently known in Europe for having an airport with flights from the continent’s main low-cost airlines.
The defeat deprived Luton of being in the group recognized as the founders of the premiership that Coventry integrates., a town club located 30 km from Birmingham in the West Midlands. The Sky Blues, so called solely because of the sky-blue clothing that the club adopted in 1961, also lost the last match of the 1992 championship. It was a 2–0 defeat against Aston Villa, their classic rival. and if Luton had won their match, the blow would have been even more humiliating, as in that case Coventry would have been relegated and the subsequent story would not have been the same.
continue reading story
The miraculous salvation gave the sky-blue team almost another decade of stability in the First Division. It would go down “barely” 22 years ago in 2001, and it won’t go up again.
Coventry City Goal Celebration
Point 2. fall into hell
Neither Coventry City nor Luton Town have ever been title collectors. You have to dig deep into the lives of both of them to find the reasons for the great celebrations. The West Midlands team’s only major celebration came in 1987, when they won the FA Cup after beating Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 after extra time. It would be the turn of the people from the south of the country a year later, when they also beat Arsenal 3–2 in the League Cup, scoring a last-minute goal.
Outside of this, only minor victories in both promotion categories can teach. Instead, the two have a number of accidents and crashes, some remarkably close in time.
Although it’s hard to believe, In 2014 Luton Town played in the Conference League, a semi-professional tier equivalent to our 1st D. Its progressive decline began in 1996, with the club suffering from financial problems and a first relegation to League One (the third tier). He seemed to save the pits with a temporary return to the championship in 2005, but the downhill from 2007 was fraught. A torrid campaign in 2007 saw the team return to the Third Division; The following year a 10-point fine for non-payment of debts led to a drop into League Two (fourth); And in 2009 the federation imposed on the club the largest fine in the history of English football: 30 demerit points. The result was relegation to the Fifth National Division.
Tom Lockyer’s mad celebration, one of Luton’s figures
Returning to the starting point was a real test. Five seasons with three losing finals on the way to relegating League Two and another four years to climb to the next tier. Instead the move from League One to the Championship was immediate and in 2019 the Hatters returned to second place.
Coventry Crossing was similar. After several changes of ownership and a suffocating financial situation, the team fell to the Third Division in 2012 and, already with Mark Robins as coach, was relegated to the Fourth Division in 2017. Robbins himself was the architect of the comeback. The Sky Blues returned to third place in 2019, and while they led the table in 2020 the pandemic halted the tournament. On 9 June that year, the union suspended the competition with the positions fixed as they were and thus Coventry regained their place in the Championship.
Point 3. Stadium with history
Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet admitted this openly: “Our stadium was built in 1905 and it hasn’t really changed much in that time.” Kenilworth Road is undoubtedly one of the strangest pitches in English football. Even the entry for visitors should be made through the back gardens of the neighboring houses. With an existing capacity of 10,000 people, the club knows it will need to build a new stand in three months to meet the demands of the premiership if it is to be promoted. “It will cost us between £8 and 10 million ($10-12 million), a far more mammoth task than building a new stadium.” The Hatters’ future headquarters has already been approved. It will be in the city centre, have 23,000 seats, require an expenditure of $120 million and will probably be finished for the 2025/26 season.
Luton celebrating the goal
On the opposite footpath, Coventry has been going back and forth with its playground for almost 20 years. Their old stadium, Highfield Road, closed in 2005 to move to Foleshill, but the new home never belonged to the club. that they had to discuss their rent with their successive owners, which led to disagreements and disagreements. Thus, in the 2013/14 season they had to move to the smaller Sixfields stadium, 55 km from the city; They had to replicate the experience of playing at home at the Birmingham ground between 2018 and 2021; And in this championship they had to request the postponement of their first three home games until they could reach an agreement that would eventually allow them to move to what would be called CBS Arena.
Point 4. Some goals with different styles
With so much past in their backpacks, Luton Town and Coventry City arrive at Wembley via different routes. The Hatters, third in the Championship, are a team that somehow responds to an old tradition of English football. The tournament began with Nathan Jones, a historic home coach, who led the team until his departure for Southampton on the 19th, and it ended with Rob Edwards, who had started the league at Watford, but was unable to play There has hardly been any modification in the style of Luton are not interested in possession, but are voracious in applying pressure deep into the opponent’s area when they lose the ball. Their attacks are direct, almost always on the wings where full-backs Cody Drameh and Alfie Doughty launch crosses, looking for the powerful heads of Carlton Morris (1.85m) and Elijah Adebajo (1.93).
Coventry is something else. Much reworked and updated to the new paradigm, Mark Robins elevated the game with ball control to feed Gustavo Hammer—the Brazilian-born talent of the Dutch—and Ben Sheff to the scorer, Swedish Viktor Gykeres.
However, there is also a lack of factor uniting both teams in this section: on occasion, a lack of effectiveness. Luton have 60 goals this season and Coventry have one less, a far cry from Burnley’s 87 or Sheffield United’s 73, the teams that occupied the direct promotion places.
Records during the year show two draws in matches played against each other. This time, at no less than Wembley Temple and before more than 70,000 passionate fans, it will be certain. A duel between clubs from other eras with a romantic air and a certain end: next season, the Premier League will have an unexpected guest, a diner who has not sat down at the great table of English football for a long time.