November 17, 2014

Things We Think We Think #162


twtwt

1. How the international break has dragged – for fans and presumably players alike. Following the Burnley horror show, they’ll be as anxious as us to remedy things, but UEFA’s calendar unhappily intervened. At least they should all be anxious bursting with determination this time next week to put things right.

2. Perhaps, though, there’s less to put right then has been said. Including by us. The nature of the Burnley debacle made it feel like more than just a defeat but a serious deterioration in our prospects. That could be the case, but equally it could be a total freak. We’ll have a better idea by 6pm on Sunday.

3. It’ll be interesting, because Tottenham arrive in a glum mood too. Their home defeat to Stoke rather epitomised the sense of decay at White Hart Lane, a ground their own players are thought to dread playing at. It could be that being the visitors will suit them; though goodness knows our lads will relish being back in friendly surroundings. Games between two downcast outfits can be horribly fascinating as each side strives to be less scared than the other. We don’t expect goals or flowing football, but total application would be welcome.

4. It’ll have been a long weekend off for those not involved internationally whose places in the side are under the most immediate threat. Messrs Livermore and Huddlestone, so weak at Turf Moor and thought to have underperformed in 2014/15 anyway, may have had particularly anxieties.

5. From the international break, it did showcase, through some of our underperforming players, the old adage that class is permanent, unlike form. Andy Robertson played superbly for Scotland, James Chester was imperious in a big result for Wales, and Robbie Brady was dangerous when coming on as a sub for the Republic of Ireland.

6: In fact, Brady’s accuracy from dead balls was as infuriating as it was admirable, given how dreadful his set-piece delivery was at Turf Moor.

7. The substitution that introduced Brady to the fray in Glasgow induced a smidgeon of pride too; he and Stephen Quinn came on together, meaning the commentator had to refer to “two Hull City players” who had been chosen to try to change the game for their national side.

8: City have recalled Yannick Sagbo from Wolves due to our striking crisis. It’s hardly going to pull up trees.

9. Wolves have now signed Danny Graham on loan as a replacement. See point 8.

10. The club’s now had a month since it promised at the latest fans’ group meeting to reconsider its refusal to use the #hcafc hashtag on Twitter that the fans and media use. They haven’t done that and now presumably won’t. “So what’s the point of you going to these meetings then?”, we were asked. Exactly.

Filed under: Opinion — Amber Nectar @ 12:53 pm

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COMPETITION: Win a Savile Rogue cashmere football scarf in City colours


We have again teamed up with Savile Rogue to give you the chance to win one of the world’s finest cashmere football scarves in City colours

There’s no half-scarf inanity here, no  in-your-face logos and no cheap nylon, Savile Rogue favour a traditional bar design and the comfort, quality and warmth of top grade wool

It’s the sort of scarf you would be happy to wear even when you’re not at the match.

For the chance to get your hands on a rather fine black and amber scarf, just answer this question…

In 1982, a third colour was added to Hull City’s familiar black and amber scheme, and the tertiary trim tone featured on playing kits and supporter scarves up until 1990. What was that colour?

Email your answer (by 24th November) to roguescarf@tigernation.co.uk and we’ll announce the winner soon after.

You can follow Savile Rogue on Twitter or Facebook

 

Filed under: TatWatch — Amber Nectar @ 12:22 pm

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November 13, 2014

PODCAST: TWTWT Podcast 52


The latest Amber Nectar podcast is now available – just click the big embeddy thingy below and hear us bang on about the defeat to Burnley, our hopes for Jimmy Bullard in the jungle and choosing Serie A over the Premier League. We also recall two men who had much to do with the Tigers’ sink into near oblivion in the bad ol’ 90s…

Filed under: Podcasts — Amber Nectar @ 11:09 am

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November 10, 2014

Things We Think We Think #161


twtwt

1: We can throw away Saturday’s performance with a familiar shrug of ‘Typical City’ if you like, as there was always something inevitable about us being the first team to lose to Burnley in the Premier League this season. But we’re not going to.

2: This is because the display was worthless. As abject and as lousy as we’ve seen in either Premier League era, and certainly up there with Barnsley away in the Championship as our worst under Steve Bruce. We have a gifted squad but they gave due credence yesterday to the unsavoury view of football-bashers that top-tier players don’t give a toss about their job, their team or their supporters.

3: We’ll offer the benefit of the doubt to three: Steve Harper was helpless for the goal and had little else to do because Burnley were suitably unambitious once they scored; Paul McShane, aside from very nearly scoring an own goal which would’ve befitted his form and status three years ago, marshalled the defence as solidly as possible as the walls came tumbling down around him; and Ahmed Elmohamady kept delivering balls from the right and always made himself available, especially in the second half. The rest, however, will hopefully have spent their extra punitive training session on Sunday morning hanging their heads in shame.

4: We offer Steve Bruce credit for his apology and for calling the players in for extra work instead of allowing them to venture off on whatever highbrow or hedonistic social occasions around the continent they choose to pursue for the remainder of the weekend. We stop offering him credit there, however.

5: We gave up Europe so we could prosper in the Premier League. That was Steve Bruce’s decision, and it therefore obliges him to oversee City prospering in the League. We’re still not a third of the way through the season, so it’s still a bit early to judge – but right now, that decision feels every single bit as calamitously short-sighted as it did at the time.

6: We have two weeks to fester on the Burnley debacle, which is going to be an unhappy time. Then a tough series of fixtures. Of course, Tottenham at home could provide the sort of afternoon to put things back on track, and we know City are good enough to bloody anyone’s nose at home. It’d be lovely to think that a fortnight off before restarting again will do the trick.

7: It also gives Nikica Jelavić another two weeks to get fit. Please, get well soon Nikica. You are missed greatly.

8: Meanwhile, in the tiny world of eggchasing, all is not well with the franchise that shares the Circle with City, with the prospect of their gates shrinking well into four figures. We wonder whether anyone – City or Council – has done any serious thinking about what would happen if their decline becomes terminal?

9: Meanwhile, the council are the targets of yet more Allam ire. It’s deeply tiresome now. Just shut up and discharge your duties quietly and effectively, all of you.

10: It can’t be too long before the FA says “no” again.

Filed under: Opinion — Amber Nectar @ 7:00 am

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November 9, 2014

MATCH REPORT: Burnley 1-0 City


Bruce, Steve (v Bristol C 19-3-2013) 37

Where to start here?

Well, let’s kick off with the positives from City’s defeat at Burnley. Here they are:

Right, that’s the positives listed in their entirety. Let’s crack on with the rest, which is as gnawingly depressing as anything we’ve encountered in the League for some time – perhaps since the ghastly 2-0 reverse at Barnsley that looked set to cost us promotion over a year ago.

We’ll keep it relatively brief. We could forensically analyse this wretched loss, but you know, we have lives too. Seriously. There was boys’ Sunday League this morning. A nice bike ride. A trip to the shops. Sunday lunch. With rhubarb crumble. And, y’know, suddenly the angriness has subsided, with wistful sorrow its successor. It’s Sunday night. Work looms, leisure hours are fast diminishing and there’s Spanish football on. If the players couldn’t be arsed yesterday, why should we waste too much precious time and energy lengthily recording their indolence?

Because, sadly, we cannot avoid the charge that yesterday’s debacle was the consequence of a straightforward lack of commitment. That’s a grievous accusation to level, and we do so reluctantly. The clarion call of the phone-in dullard of “they weren’t bloody tryin’” is usually false – these are serious professional young men doing a staggeringly difficult job under great pressures. So it isn’t with enthusiasm that we advance the belief that our players did not try their utmost at Turf Moor. But the evidence is frankly unarguable.

(more…)

Filed under: Match Reports — Andy @ 10:30 pm

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November 4, 2014

PODCAST: TWTWT Podcast 51


Southampton, Burnley, Ebenezer Cobb Morley and drinking. What more could you possibly want from an Amber Nectar podcast?

Filed under: Podcasts — Amber Nectar @ 9:39 am

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November 3, 2014

Things We Think We Think #160


twtwt

1: City were acutely off-form against Southampton, and while the two previous games had seen City play with confidence and determination, these qualities were oddly lacking on Saturday.

2: It’s easy to blame Eldin Jakupović, and he carries no little blame. His afternoon was a useful reminder of why he’s City’s third keeper – he just does not inspire calmness in teammates or fans alike.

3: That said, he was far from alone in being below his best. No-one really excelled, with even customarily combative players a yard off the pace.

4: Sometimes a club really has a hex over you and at the moment Southampton feels like the club least likely to yield points in the whole division. That’s alarming in a way, though at least it’s only a bi-annual event. Unless the Cup intervenes…

5: Let’s not panic though. This wasn’t an unexpected reverse and the rigours of the previous fortnight were clearly on show as City’s weariness in the second half was unmistakeable. Let’s regroup for Burnley.

6: That game was always an obvious target for both sides. You’d like to think the TypicalCity of yesteryear that’d virtually guarantee a struggling side victory has been banished. Let’s see.

7: Curtis Davies, James Chester, Alex Bruce, Paul McShane, Harry Maguire and Michael Dawson represent real strength in depth in central defence, don’t they? But now two – Dawson and Bruce – are injured, while one – Maguire – has yet to experience Premier League football. Combine that with our exposure of three centre backs at once on the pitch, and suddenly we’re one strained ligament or yellow card away from changing the system back to 4-4-2 because of lack of numbers. That’s a little unnerving.

8: Roy Hodgson was at the Circle on Saturday, sitting with the Allam family. We don’t imagine that his next England squad will contain any City names after that display, mind. A chance to achieve another first in the club’s history has likely gone.

9: Tom Ince hopefully will find his feet again after moving to Nottingham Forest for the rest of 2014. His early season form was so disappointing that the manager felt an urgent need to take him out of the firing line to the extent of buying more attacking players. One hopes that this young man doesn’t prove to be more about hype, a surname and an assertive father than he is about his ability to play in the top division.

10: Still no sign of #hcafc being resurrected, despite the latest fans’ group meeting quite clearly desiring it. Disappointing.

Filed under: Opinion — Amber Nectar @ 12:03 pm

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October 28, 2014

PODCAST: TWTWT Podcast 50


Liverpool, fringe players, half and half shirts, academy issues and our memories of playing sides from the capital* all under discussion in the latest Amber Nectar podcast.

*We forgot Leyton Orient.

Filed under: Podcasts — Amber Nectar @ 8:02 pm

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October 27, 2014

Things We Think We Think #159


twtwt

1. Any draw is a good draw if you are an injury-hit City playing away at Liverpool, and there was something bordering on the heroic about the team’s determination to keep their hosts at bay on Saturday.

2. That’s two points from trips to Arsenal and Liverpool. Given the whinging by Arsenal last week and the emphasis on Liverpool’s profligacy this week, we do wonder if anyone else but us has noticed how well Steve Bruce’s side have played.

3. Let’s warm to Eldin Jakupović. He does have that kamikaze streak in him that stops some fine goalkeepers from being great ones, but he is a most capable stopper, organiser and clutcher of high-velocity, airborne footballs. He even splits the AN hierarchy – some want him to have the solar iron ball treatment, others think he’s probably better than Steve Harper – but in our hour and a half of need, he delivered.

4. It was also nice to see fringe players not only get their chance at Anfield, but take those chances well. Alex Bruce and Robbie Brady were excellent, and it was a decent late cameo from Sone Aluko too.

5. Bruce’s typically committed “defender’s defender” display makes us mourn Michael Dawson’s injury a little less than we do for that of Nikica Jelavić, of whom we simply hope that six weeks of enforced absence doesn’t make him grumpy or unfocussed. There’s no worse time to lose an ace goalscorer than just when they’re proving truly ace at scoring goals.

6. It’s easy to ridicule the person spotted wearing a half-City-half-Liverpool shirt in the away end on Saturday. We’re just sorry that person chose to disrespect Steve Bruce and the team by wearing Liverpool red in the part of the ground reserved for Hull City fans. And as for the half-and-half scarves…

6b. We’re quite alright with revising our views in the face of a well constructed and reasoned argument, but no argument can ever be made that will change our views on half-and-half scarves. We got a bit of slavver from someone for deriding them last year, but so be it. If you’re a City fan, wear City colours, not those of our opponents, and so what if you loved Liverpool as a kid and now deign to give City your money because you deem them good enough to suit you, club swapping isn’t something to brag about, it’s anathema to those of us who’ve supported our local team all our lives, regardless of how shit they were.

7. Southampton at home, then. Tough one for the usual reasons, as well as the additional curveball thrown by a brilliant start to the campaign from a Saints side people assumed would struggle after their massive summer selling festival. They are *always* good against us, and it’s a courageous soul who thinks City at home to Southampton equals obvious victory.

8: We attended the latest fans’ working group meeting last week, and one query we’ve heard a few times is whether they’re going to achieve anything or whether they’re worth giving up our time for. A fair question, particularly given that the club has pointedly refused to listen to the majority on the major issue of our time, though we remain hopeful and open-minded. The squabble over the club’s preference for using the Huddersfield Town “#UTT” and banishing the formerly used “#hcafc” strikes us as an interesting guage as to whether opinions will be listened to and acted upon. It’s an aggravating but essentially minor point, and one the club can easily act upon to demonstrate that it does care what people think. We’ll watch with interest, because it could tell us a lot about City’s willingness to work with fans.

9. For once, Ehab Allam’s ire with the footballing authorities seems justified. His irritation that Hull City AFC’s Academy cannot reach Category Two status until as late as 2016, despite only missing out recently by 2%, is a real pity. It’s a shame for City, whose youth system is still recovering from the hollowing-out it experienced way back in the 1990s, but also the Allams, whose investment in this essential component of a modern day football club is greatly underpraised. A rethink and a second chance for City to prove themselves would both welcome and consistent with the authorities’ assertions that they value long term sustainability and youth investment. On this, we are as one with Ehab Allam.

10. We’re pretty sure the club aren’t happy that it has taken until the end of October to get the third shirt on sale, but using ‘White Christmas’ as the marketing pitch caused the kit geek of our number to chortle.

Filed under: Opinion — Amber Nectar @ 8:31 am

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October 26, 2014

MATCH REPORT: Liverpool 0-0 City


alexbruce

Anfield. A nascent injury crisis. A home side seeking to roar back from midweek disappointment. If we fancied Arsenal, a bit, this was tougher to be optimistic about. But the Premier League is relentless, and so we also cannot relent.

City lined up: Jakupović; Bruce, Chester, Davies (c); Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Diamé, Huddlestone, Brady; Hernández, Ben Arfa.

On the bench for the Tigers were young keeper Rory Watson, accompanied by Rosenior, McShane, Meyler, Quinn, Ramírez, Aluko.

For Liverpool, cuffed 3-0 at home by Real Madrid, Mario Balotelli started, despite the heinous crime of swapping his shirt in midweek. Did no-one tell him the way to win scouse affection is biting and racial abuse?

On a largely overcast and breezy Merseyside afternoon, City kicked off attacking the home end, resplendent in white shirts and blue shorts, backed by close to 3,000 Yorkshire folk.

(more…)

Filed under: Match Reports — Amber Nectar @ 9:18 am

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