At around 2.25pm, as the scoreboard showed that 19 minutes and 04 seconds of the game had been played, a chant of “City till we die” was sung with gusto and reverberated around the KC Stadium, as Tiger Nationals who value the history and heritage of their club voiced their opinion that 109 years of the club being Hull City AFC should not be thrown away just because the owner has had a spat with the Council, that tradition should not be cheaply traded away for hoped for, yet unguaranteed non-domestic revenue.
Twenty seconds later, after Ahmed Elmohamady tenaciously won the ball from Victor Moses on the East Stand touchline, Jake Livermore played a one-two with David Meyler before thrashing a shot at goal that struck the trailing leg of Martin Skrtel, looping the ball over a stranded Simon Mignolet, who couldn’t adjust his dive in time to stop it nestling in the netting.
That goal did more than just give City the lead, it proved that a statement from the club’s owner, published earlier in the day, was a shameful and opportunistic lie: Speaking about the unfurling of a “We are Hull City” banner and the singing of “City till we die” on 19 minutes and 04 seconds into the Crystal Palace game a week ago, Assem Allam said…”We lost that match. And we still talk about these people as ‘fans’? Again, how can you be supporting a club when you distract attention during a game?”
City fans, singing the club’s name and displaying a banner bearing the club’s name early in the game, are effectively responsible for a goal conceded near the end of the game and the resulting defeat, was the point being made. Yet today, oddly, the players weren’t distracted by the chant, in fact they seemed uplifted and inspired to score almost immediately. By Assem Allam’s kneejerk rationale then, City fans were directly responsible for the first goal and a superb victory against Liverpool.
Dr. Allam, untroubled it seems by logic, probably didn’t see it that way, he was likely waiting for these “hooligans” to “die as soon as they like”, judging by the disgusting and offensive comments he made to the Independent on Sunday.
In the run up to this game, the latest in a series of intemperate outbursts from the owner threatened to overshadow a fixture that many Hull City fans, certainly those who remember the dark days of bottom division football in dilapidated stadia, used to dream about. City, playing an illustrious club, as equals.
Thankfully, it did not, and fans of Hull City AFC left the stadium in wondrous disbelief, later to be buoyed further still by the words of Steve Bruce, who said something a manager could only say after masterminding one of the greatest home victories in club history, but more on that later.
First though, a recollection of the second of two games that have amply illustrated that nothing is certain in football, that a team who record a miserable defeat to the bottom side can themselves upset the form book a few days later and topple a side nurturing title aspirations and lying second in the Premier League. (more…)