1. A hugely important victory against QPR on Saturday. Suddenly, City have hit a little run of form, and just when time was beginning to run out for it arrive. It wasn’t wholly convincing, but City were the better side even before Joey Barton’s latest act of self-indulgent stupidity and deserved the points.
2. Credit to plenty, but firstly to the manager (and his evidently influential assistant). Rather than letting the game drift, City were proactive in trying to instil greater attacking potency and urgency with the substitutes, eventually having so many forwards on the pitch QPR had no choice but to completely retreat into their own half. That enabled City to attack with impunity, and they eventually wore QPR down. Well done Messrs Bruce and Phelan.
3. Well done to Jelavić and N’Doye too – a goal apiece, but much more to their games than that. They relentlessly harried QPR’s defence, and when your forwards work hard for the team, it can set a positive example that floods through the side. Recent criticism had focussed on a lack of energy and workrate among the side – that seems to have been largely repaired in recent weeks. Long may it continue.
4. A tip of the hat to Tom Huddlestone too. He’s frequently failed to convince us this season, with performances that’d veered more towards the indolent than merely languid; but there was a better pace to his display on Saturday, and a greater willingness to move forward into more threatening areas.
5. Steve Bruce generally comes across well when he’s interviewed by the media, his ‘we’ll dust worselves off’ catchphrase after a poor result can be both amusing and disarming. However, we confidently predict that during the rest of his tenure he’ll never again say anything as genuinely mirth-inducing as ’You can’t go punching people in the knackers, can you?’
5a. Charlie Austin’s knee-knack simulating goal celebration was quite amusing too, but it also suggests that the highest scoring English striker in the Premier League is genuinely narked that he didn’t get to join City. That’s oddly gratifying.
6. Stoke are next, and suddenly the pressure is relieved a little. A point would do quite nicely, though there’s no harm in going for all three. A defeat would represent an unfortunate end to this nice little burst of form but wouldn’t be a disaster; anything better than that and we can look to really attack the Sunderland home fixture aiming to take our points tally into the 30s. Funny how swiftly the mood has shifted following the Newcastle calamity, isn’t it?
7. That even Chelsea, who typify Premier League excess better than almost anyone, feel it necessary to subsidise their fans’ trip to Hull City next month tells us everything we need to know about City’s grotesque levying of £50 on tickets. It means that they’ll now “only” be paying £40 for the game, any City fan without a season ticket will be expected to hand over fifty pounds. There are a few more of these type of games coming up, for which the club is bracing itself for plenty of criticism (and empty seats). Quite right too.
8. There are too many people who lament that professional football clubs continue to become less representative of their communities and more the possessions and ostentatious bling of wealthy individuals, while doing absolutely nothing about it, figuring nothing can be done. Thankfully the Hull City Supporters Trust do not share that view, and continue to work to achieve the goal of all supporters trusts: a financial stake in the club and true representation of fans in the boardroom. The German model of 51% fan ownership of all but two Bundesliga clubs might be beyond us given the recently agreed broadcasting deal, but Swansea (a club of similar stature to City and one that like us, has risen from the bottom tier to the top) being over 20% fan owned, shows that it isn’t just a pipe dream. HCST held their first AGM on Saturday, they’ve achieved some impressive things during their brief existence and have impressive plans. There is no quicker way to lose power than to presume that you don’t have any. If you want the club you support to be more than just a business, a player trading exchange or TV content provider, then join fellow supporters in working towards making it so.
9. Nearly time for “Hull Tigers” to be put out of its misery. We can’t wait. Apropos of which…
If the idea being referred to in this picture is Hull Tigers, then it’s the most laughably inappropriate and delusion packed use of any famous quote ever. With apologies to Victor Hugo: There is nothing more feeble than one man’s idea, motivated solely by an egocentric squabble with a local council, unrelentingly pushed in the face of public opposition from supporters, the wider football community and its governing body, and backed up not by evidence of worth but by ‘my way or the highway’ threats from a supposed ‘community fan’.