1. On the day of the Barnsley match last week, the Hull Daily Mail credulously carried an article with the usual scaremongering by Humberside Police, quoting Chief Inspector Andy Oliver as saying “The match will be an all-ticket game due to an anticipated increased demand – no supporters should travel to the game without a ticket.” Err, no Chief Inspector, it wasn’t all-ticket, as a two minute check on City’s official website would have told you. The newspaper carried a hasty retraction a few hours later stating that it was not in fact all-ticket. Ordinarily we’d have a little sympathy for Barnsley FC, the inaccuracy of these two organisations potentially cost them money through slightly diminished away support; however, with them charging £30 a ticket, they can get stuffed.
What is more concerning is that the Hull Daily Mail didn’t bother checking before publication (oh and they recently called the club’s colours “orange”, for crying out loud), and that the publicly-funded police seemed more concerned with scaremongering and yet again demonising one section of society than with checking their facts. Not good enough.
2. The Hull Daily Mail, without ostensibly favouring one side or the other, has ran more stories featuring criticism of the Council’s stance on the stadium sale issue than articles speaking in the local authority’s defence. It was then a surprise to see pretty much all of the letters from readers featured in a ‘Fire off at Fewey’ section last week express scepticism of the Allams’ plan to borrow heavily on the KC Stadium, should they acquire the freehold of our home.
3. So far, Nigel Pearson has carved out an excellent reputation as both manager and man since he came to Hull City. After the club sensibly and mercifully rejected Leicester City’s overtures towards him at the weekend, we’ll see once and for all whether our faith in the manager’s ability and character has been justified. The club has said its piece; now it’s up to Pearson himself.
4. While we wait for him to confirm that he’d rather stay with the club that has always wanted him, rather than go back to a former club that a) didn’t want him enough; and b) has just sacked an internationally acclaimed coach with typically boneheaded impetuosity, we can remind ourselves through this smart bit of action by Hull City of just how important, how crucial, how invaluable Adam Pearson is to the Tigers, even though his profile is lower and his general contribution to the day-to-day affairs of the club has apparently reduced. It seems inevitable that he has been the one who has told the Allams exactly how they should respond when Leicester made their call.
5. We shouldn’t panic nor worry about two defeats in a row. City played brightly in each match and could have easily got a point or more in both. Let’s just assume that this is the equivalent shocker period to the one we had in 2007-08, when we lost 3-0 at Preston and 4-0 at Southampton in the space of five days, and still finished the season with a Premier League spot.
6. It may sound obvious, but that pair of losses a few years ago were thoroughly deserved. City have deserved to lose neither game in the past six days.
7. Lose them they have, however. This is a young side hopefully learning lessons. One suspects this week’s footballing education will focus on the importance of capitalising when you’re on top in a game.
8. International breaks are a pain in the arse. Whether you go into one on a winning streak, or enter it a little out of form, that two-week chasm of inactivity does no club any favours at all. City need to play again quickly to get back on the winning trail, just as they would want another game to maintain the momentum had the break arrived when points were going on the board.
9. Yes, by the time the break is over, we could have Nick Barmby and Martin Pusic back in contention and Andy Dawson and Cameron Stewart back in full training, but that would have been the case even with a game next week. The only effect an international break has on an injury list comes via the risk of extending it through the activities of those players called up by their countries.
10. Robbie Brady needs to be told that football is a team game at all times, but never more so than when you are brought on in an effort to influence things because your side is trailing at home and needs something different. His performance as a sub against West Ham United was self-indulgent, immature and inept. He may be a good player technically but defenders at this level tend to be good too, and West Ham’s back four aren’t third-string airkickers who can be embarrassed by tricks and shimmies. Brady’s contribution to the cause amounted to nil, despite the edit on the Football League Show suggesting differently.