Hull City are going back to the Championship. And it’s all Adam Pearson’s fault.
Which is not say that Pearson doesn’t remain a true Tiger hero. But his decision to be beguiled by Phil Brown’s presence when he first rejoined the City fold has cost us dear. A woeful defeat at Burnley saw Brown ready for the chop – indeed by any sensible modern standard he’d been on borrowed time since the summer, maybe even before then.
But a late Vennegoor of Hesselink winner the following week against Stoke City and subsequent decent performances at home to West Ham (with 10 men) and Everton (with twelve men, Bullard’s influence from the touchline supplementing the starting XI), then a fine second half effort at Eastlands drew our chairman into thinking a corner had been turned.
It hadn’t, as amply demonstrated when Bullard suffered knee-ouch the following week and all the good work was undone. Brown returned to his daft formations, imagining we are a side that can rely on defending and even hailing a feeble 0-0 against Blackburn Odious as a success. Sixteen games and one – admittedly impressive – win later and Pearson finally wielded the axe. But it was too late.
Of course the blame for City’s demise should be laid at Brown’s door, surely the Premier League manager to linger longest past his useful-by date in the history of the division. But Pearson’s indecision in October was also a crucial mistake – one that the club will pay for time and again in the coming years unless Dowie can perform major miracles – minor ones just won’t do any more.