OPINION – October indecision puts us in the Brown stuff

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.

22 replies
  1. Cayman Tiger
    Cayman Tiger says:

    Minor point, Bullard didn’t play against Everton at home. Mike not right on something shock horror.

  2. eidur
    eidur says:

    I think that’s a little tough on Pearson. It’s easy in hindsight to see what might have been better: much more difficult to make the correct decision at the time. We all thought that with Jimmy back and a couple of better results under our belts we had maybe turned a corner. Now we realise it was a false dawn. What we do know, though, is that Peo considers all things carefully and makes decisions based on his best judgment of what is right. He’s not omnipotent, but at least he’s someone most of us would trust. That’s not something you could say for all chairmen.

  3. Rickster
    Rickster says:

    Another doom merchant on the Nectar scale! Moan moan moan moan………………… just like someone following me out of the stadium at the last home match. All I could hear was why did he bring on Garcia and so and so……moan moan moan moan…………… moan moan moan………………….. Everybody is always putting the boot in, instead of trying to be positive. I do not like Iain Dowie personally but I will not comment until the final whistle has blown at the end of the season. You must have faith in whoever is chosen to play, whether you like them or not. The manager or the ‘whatever he is called now’ person chooses his team, that is what he thinks that they will do the job. Caleb Folan will have got a few moans before kick off, did they moan about him afterwards? I know Garcia boobed but everyone makes mistakes, it is no good having a go, that does not help anybody. If you want to moan go and stand outside John Prescott’s house, there is someone worth moaning at! Maybe you moaners would have liked him to be the next ‘so-called manager’. Cheers

  4. Sean
    Sean says:

    What is the point of this article? You’re talking about things that have been and gone over five months ago (and, as eidur mentions, with the benefit of hindsight); there is nothing that can be done about them now. It seems to me the only reason for the article is to unnecessarily stick the boot in on Brown. Well, he’s gone now, (another thing about which nothing can now be done, as it’s in the PAST) and believe it or not some of us were sad to see him go. Can’t we just remember him for his achievements as the most, or at least one of the most, successful managers we ever had (or at if you can’t do this just forget about him), and look to the FUTURE, at things we can control?

    Also, minor point of pedantry: you say in the first paragraph that it’s ‘all Adam Pearson’s fault’ we’re going down, then in the last say the blame ‘should be laid at Brown’s door’. This is a contradiction.

  5. Tyneside Tiger
    Tyneside Tiger says:

    I had a Hull, Hell And Happiness T- Shirt with a very similar logo on back in the 90’s.

    Personally I’m not convinced that a change of manager earlier would have guaranteed us being in any better a situation. The brutal truth is that our players (particularly defensively) have continued to make mistakes which cost us points.

  6. babytiger
    babytiger says:

    “A woeful defeat at Burnley”? If you were actually there and watching rather than trying to feather your journalistic nest with the next ‘big story’, you would remember that we were very unlucky not to get something from that game courtesy of Mr M Jones.

    But Amber Nectar never was afraid to spin the truth in a desperate attempt to grab the headlines from its more credible fanzine rivals.

  7. wee bull
    wee bull says:

    Utter hindsight. I’m struggling to find ANY posts in the forum around that period that call for Brown’s head, never mind ones by you, Mike.

  8. Les
    Les says:

    Sean says … “Can’t we just remember him for his achievements as the most, or at least one of the most, successful managers we ever had”.

    I take it Sean, you missed the ‘Definitive Phil Brown’ article further down the page that lists, in detail, Brown’s successes and says we have much to be thankful to him for. There is a pluraility of opinion amongst the support about Phil Brown’s demise, some are glad, some are sad, we aren’t saying one is right and one is wrong, we’re just showcasing a singular opinion in this article.

    Rickster’s comment makes me laugh… “Everybody is always putting the boot in, instead of trying to be positive. I do not like Iain Dowie personally”. Very positive Rickster, keep the faith, uff uff uff. A doom merchant on the Nectar scale? That doesn’t even make sense, if you’re suggesting all the contributors to the AN site or forum all share one opinion, then you obviously read it with one eye. I refer you to the comment about plurality of opinions above.

  9. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    All those “be grateful, look where we were 10 years ago, uff, uff etc.” should remember that the majority of fans don’t want to go back to where we were 10 years ago, it was shit.
    For all it’s bad points the Premier league is where it’s at & I damn well don’t want to go back to the lower leagues thankyou very much.
    Yes, Brown was our most successful manager for a while, but that’s history, we have to look to the future to survive.
    Of course only fans who never moan are “true supporters” aren’t they ?
    If that’s moaning then you happy clapper, rose-tinted spectacle wearing cunts can fuck off

  10. Midfield General
    Midfield General says:

    Well it makes a change from Spurs and Arsenal meffs complaining.

    Opinion was split about Brown back in October. Mike clearly felt a change should have been made then whereas I, among others, was less certain. As it turns out I was wrong and Mike was right. It’s fair for Mike to then point that out and add that the decision has ended up becoming a crucial turning point in the season.

    Anybody who thinks that is overly gloomy doesn’t know how a form guide or a league table works. And as for the slating of AN, have you ever read any ‘rival’ City fanzines or websites? I will take articulate disagreement over mindless City meffery. If people don’t like AN, there’s the door*

    *metaphorically speaking, I know AN is not a room and you enter and exit via address bars and html

  11. Dan
    Dan says:

    I don’t have a problem with the articles opinions, just not sure what it’s trying to say or achieve.

    Is there a lesson to be learnt, Mike?

  12. Rickster
    Rickster says:

    To Bill Baxter……..

    My rose tinted glasses are not going anywhere and my happy clapping days are over. I will moan at you though and you could do with washing your mouth out with soap and water. I am a supporter of football and enjoy the game in any form. I believe that the Youth team would make a good account of themselves if picked by whoever is in charge. They would be playing for their careers and not the money!

    So come on and get behind the team on Saturday against Fulham with as much noise as possible and we can start moaning at the end of the season, if that is what you want? Either in the Premiership or the Championship!
    I remember 10 and 11 years ago when a certain Mark Hateley only came for the money. He was about as interested as the pigeons sat on the South Stand. After the final whistle he was in the pub at Swanland 10minutes later, that’s how commited he was to the cause. We don’t want his mentality in everybody. My son was in the youth team then and he was only interested in playing football. He was touted by other bigger clubs than Hull City at the time but chose to stay with his home town club. He was in the same squad as Adam Bolder, who was in the Great Escape team of the time with Warren Joyce and Gary Brabin. Adam was picked up by Premiership Derby County after. My son was picked to train with the first team by Mark Hateley when in the youth team, he saw his certain qualities. Unfortunately he died from Meningitis not long after so I’ve more to moan about than you Mister Baxter…………

    Thanks or reading my comment and I am also a life long Burnley supporter so I will have not much to smile about with that as well! Come on you Tigers!

  13. Matt
    Matt says:

    Great response. Mike, consider yourself hired as a weekly opinion writer. We’ll have more followers than the Guardian blogs before long.

  14. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    Rickster – without getting into a daft argument or slanging match, I’ve been following City for over 40 years and I don’t need anyone to tell me how to support them – thankyou.
    If you’re happy with them being at the bottom of the league and looking like getting relegated then that’s fine, it’s your perogative just like it’s mine to moan if I’m not happy with something.
    It doesn’t make me less of a supporter then anyone else, if I didn’t want them to win or to get behind them I wouldn’t go would I ?

  15. TigerPhil
    TigerPhil says:

    I did expect Brown to go in October when AP cme back- I just thought it wold be a matter of time. Burnely we were unfortunate- 2 penalty decisions went the wrong way for us and Geo being shockingly sent off by the very poor Mr “Beach Ball” Jones.
    We then went on a run of 1/2 decent form. At that time Horton was doing all the media work. With Brown staying in the background. The Ego had been checked.
    Slowly over the next 4 months the Ego has expanded to even bigger proportions…
    That, for me, is why Brown went. You may argue about the timing. I dont, personally, think it was the right time. At the end of the season-Yes. Before Christmas- Yes. 9 games left- NO.
    However it has now been done. Lets get on with it. Lets hope Dowie realises that the “naughty step” needs to have disapeared completely and the best team needs to play. Fulham are poor away from home. Potentially there for the taking. Not scored away (in the PL) for 5 games. Hopefully this weekend will spark us into a bit of life. Frankenstein’s moster is alive!!!

  16. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    I get the impression that we couldn’t afford to sack Brown in October. I know that looking back you could say “well we couldn’t afford not to sack him” but for a brief while it looked like we were going to turn things around. After the Portsmouth 0-0 draw I wanted him out; after the 1-1 draw at Eastlands I wanted him in. It’s right he’s gone, and it’s right that it should have been earlier, but I get the impression that there’s more to AP’s reluctance to sack Brown in October than his abilities as a football manager.

    Oh, and… “But Amber Nectar never was afraid to spin the truth in a desperate attempt to grab the headlines from its more credible fanzine rivals.”

    Good comment. I know from personal experience that Andy and Les are all about the, er… headlines.

  17. Les
    Les says:

    “But Amber Nectar never was afraid to spin the truth in a desperate attempt to grab the headlines from its more credible fanzine rivals.”

    Hahaha, that’s some funny shit.

  18. Rickster
    Rickster says:

    To Bill Baxter…

    Not arguing just supporting the team OK! I don’t want them to go down as much as you don’t. To be quite honest I would rather Burnley go down than City. OK hope to see you in the Premiership at the KC next season. I want Portsmouth Wigan and West Ham to be the unlucky ones or maybe Bolton to see Owen Coyle see that he has made the wrong move. We’ll leave it like that shall we and we can both have a moan or cheer at the end of the season. Ciao!

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