Sat. May 15th, 2021

One day you’re going to have to face
A deep dark truthful mirror
And it’s going to tell you things that I still love you too much to say…

The same eyes, the same lips, the same lie
From your tongue trips
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror

CostelloI’ve been an Elvis Costello fan ever since I saw him play at Bradford University in 1980 under the pseudonym of Horace Barlow. He did a short 5 song set supporting The Climax Blues Band in front of an appreciative, energetic 500 or so students for whom Costello was something quite new, given most had gone to the gig to see the band whose single ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ had reached No 3 in the charts several years back and who at the time played what I can only describe as soft rock.

Although Costello had recorded a string of hits by then with The Attractions, he was trialling material for the ‘Can’t Stand Up’ Tour, so wanted some anonymity. We got wind of it and legged it across from Leeds where we were going to see another band – I can’t recall who it was. I’d bought the singles and albums of course, but seeing him on stage was something else. Something of a musical epiphany. I’m ploughing my way through his 660 odd page tour de force ‘Unfaithful Music and disappearing Ink’ at the moment, all self-penned (no ghost writer needed for Costello) – well worth a read if you were ever into the new wave/post punk era.

Anyway, I digress. There’s is an accompanying album released to go with the book, sharing as it does the same title, that includes a lot of his most popular songs together with some newly release tracks. ‘Deep, Dark Truthful Mirror’, for those of you interested in the detail, is from the ‘Spike’ album released in ’99.

The opening two verses seem somewhat relevant to Coventry’s present situation at the moment.

All those involved, players and coaches, need to take a good, hard look at themselves and what it is they want from the rest of the season, or indeed from being at Coventry RFC. Introspection; time for some good old-fashioned soul-searching wouldn’t go amiss this week. They need to hold that deep, dark truthful mirror up to their faces and look long and hard at what they see, and if they don’t like what is staring back at them, it’s time to change things or move on. That self-reflection, if done honestly either individually or as a team, might lead to some difficult conversations, but conversations that could enable the club to move forward in a way that it doesn’t seem able to do at the moment.

I have a lot of sympathy for Scott Morgan having to face the press at the end of another game in which Coventry failed to live up to their billing, underperforming in all areas. It was the third such ‘interview’ he had to endure in just 5 weekends and he was in no mood to even try to defend the indefensible. The blame, he seems to infer, lay with the ‘decision-makers’ and they need to be asked why the ‘clear game-plan’, simplified as it was to ‘add some intensity’, just didn’t happen. Seems a very fair point to make.

In ‘Deep Dark Truthful Mirror’, Costello personifies the mirror, giving it the ability to show the truth to those prepared to look. And that truth is dark. In the changing-rooms of Coventry, Scott Morgan becomes that deep, dark mirror. Like the mirror he, too, has the ability to tell those involved in the club a few hometruths. And some of those also will be ‘deep’ and ‘dark’. Morgan has done a fantastic job since he took over the Head Coach’s role and will make sort things out. I have no doubt of that. We are lucky to have him at Coventry.

The Fylde game, so disappointing to watch, might yet prove an important result; a potential turning point in the club’s season. Used in a cathartic way, maybe this could be exactly the shock to the system that is needed to bring about a change in Cov’s present approach to their rugby and to their selection of players…’no more the same eyes, the same lips, the same lie’. I’m taking ‘lie’  here to mean the false dawns that come and go all too often, not ‘lie’ in any dishonest sense! Honest!

Just how a change in the club’s fortunes is achieved in just a week, or more realistically a couple of training sessions, must be a real concern for the coaches. But I strongly believe that there is an abundance of talent within the club but as yet Scott Morgan and the rest of the coaching staff haven’t been able to find the right combination of players to bring out the best in the team. Injuries can’t be used as an excuse as it’s well documented that the club have ensured through judicious recruitment two quality players for each position. If confidence is a problem then bring others in the squad who have yet to appear in the Cov side this season, if it’s a lack of commitment, well the same applies. Either way, Cov need to do something to halt this alarming decline and bring back the pride in the famous Cov colours.

Jacques Le Roux summed up what I’m alluding to in a tweet prior to Saturday’s game (see below). After months of injuries and setbacks he earned his starting place against Fylde and he was proud enough to share a photo of his shirt on his peg.

Wearing the Cov shirt should be a privilege, not an entitlement. He was one of the few players who had an impact on the game.  I hope he retains his place.

A read of the Messageboard today gives a feel for just how upset Cov supporters are this weekend. It’s not personal and posts are often made in the heat of the moment (or in my case the weekend!). Once I’ve got this post off my chest I’m sure I’ll be back to my normal optimistic self, but this is where we are right now. Just seven games into a season that was heralded as being our best opportunity so far to climb out of this division and there is a general belief that even a mid-table position come April is the most likely scenario. Anything less than third and we’ve gone backwards.  And I can’t see that going down well with the fans.


By Tim

2 thought on “The deep, dark truthful mirror…”
  1. Something’s got to change – too much in terms of time and resources have been invested in the club to allow it to continue. I remain optimistic that Morgan can turn it round

  2. “a potential turning point in the club’s season”.

    I’ve said this after Hartpury, Richmond, Plymouth and Hull so far! I hope it’s right this time. Please.

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