Things We Think We Think #96


1: Did you ever expect Steve Bruce to be as loveable as he has been? Sunderland fans labelled him an excuse maker, while the media said he was tactically inflexible, but that hasn’t been our experience at all. If City have underperformed this season he has said we have underperformed, rather than making out we’ve played well when we haven’t, he’s also admitted to getting team selections and tactics wrong with refreshing honesty. His switching City to 3-5-2 is hardly the work of an old dog resolutely opposed to trying new tricks either. Achieving promotion on its own isn’t enough to inspire love and affection, as the prickly Peter Taylor showed, he was a man that was easy to respect and praise, but difficult to truly love, but Bruce has been taken to the hearts of City fans for his honesty, joviality and for getting us up.

2: Bruce has praised the whole squad, quite rightly, for their achievement this season. However, we feel at liberty to single out a couple of individuals. Firstly, the transformation of Robbie Brady this season has been quite remarkable. Remember that petulant boy who seemed to be playing just for himself last year? All flicks and tricks, no substance and no discipline? Well, a permanent move and a switch to wing back has not just made him a team player, but it’s made him a man. He has been prepared to take on more responsibility and as a consequence, has flourished as a footballer. Bruce’s decision to shift him into an attacking midfield role on Saturday was akin to him saying “go and get us in the Premier League, son”, and Brady’s influence on the team was plain for all to see. He was out on his feet when he was substituted late on (pity he wasn’t around for that penalty) and his eye-bulging, potty reaction to the final whistle at Vicarage Road was stupendous. There’s a Premier League team next season to be built around this young man. And when he misplaced a pass against Cardiff and let his head momentarily drop, the City crowd only briefly expressed frustration and cheered him to the rafters; they all know what a fine player we have.

3: Then there’s Paul McShane. He was, let’s think about this for a moment, about a minute and a half away from being the player to score the goal to take us to the Premier League. Fate intervened, but then again it often does with Paul McShane. His goal was only his third ever for us and constituted a variation of the “perfect” hat-trick – one with his head, one with his foot and one with his, er, torso. Yes, his torso. That’ll be it. But we have a player who has been involved with us for more than four years now and has gone through every available high and low on a personal level; he’s been a coveted loan player, makeweight, error-prone liability, unwanted reserve, perennial loanee, cult hero and now it’s genuinely hard to imagine City without McShane around. He is out of contract and, despite the riches coming into the Circle, would need to take a pay cut to stay, but well, you know what the song says about not selling him. He embodies a spirit and professionalism that all clubs need, and he’ll never have known popularity like that which he enjoys at the moment. He could probably do ten years with us if he wanted to.

4: There are 12 players out of contract this summer. Five are from the youthful periphery – Cullen, Devitt, East, Emerton, Oxley – and it seems obvious that some will go without a whimper and the odd one will stay. Andy Dawson will be allowed to leave after a testimonial that will make him deservedly flush, while Paul McKenna and Seyi Olofinjana’s exits are well telegraphed. You’d expect McShane to stay, so the truly interesting decisions will be made over Liam Rosenior, Jay Simpson and Abdoulaye Faye. What do you reckon?

5: Which is most irritating? Fraizer Campbell scoring against us or City fans still having a pop at him? Twice now Campbell has responded to City fans – the sticky-out tongue at Sunderland and now his inevitable (and sublimely taken) goal on Saturday. He showed remarkable reserve by switching the run of his celebratory direction from east to north and laughing at us through the Cardiff fans. The stick he was getting meant he’d have been close to justified if he’d tried to do what Dean Marney so artlessly managed earlier this season.

6: A summer with no international tournament to fill the City void is usually intolerable, but this time round we could do with a break to repair frazzled nerves.

7: Running onto the pitch when a penalty has been awarded aside, the crowd was fantastic on Saturday. It set aside nerves, curmudgeonliness and the usual apathy to get behind the team. Why does promotion have to be on the line before that happens? Why can’t we do more of that every home game?

8: Don’t you dare say it was the Cash Converters Cacky Clappers that inspired it. Just don’t.

9: MD Nick Thompson said on Saturday that the Hull City Tigers change (and that wording is now above the club offices at the KC Stadium) is just for the business side of the club and not the playing side. We really hope so, and if so, that’s not really a problem, though the change could have been communicated better.

10: The Harlem Shake is so over, it’s all about Jiggle Me Elmo now.

23 replies
  1. Bartontiger
    Bartontiger says:

    Many thanks for these comments on a Monday morning, always something to look forward to.

    Re: Comment 4.. going to be quite a difficult summer for ins and outs. Pace is a killer in the premier league so how many ‘slow’ defenders can we have. Neither McShane or Faye blessed with pace, Rosenior is no slouch though. Could we give them all new contracts? Simpson I am afraid is a no no. The leagues are full of players that can run around a lot. We really do need a couple of ‘proper’ goalscorers.

  2. TartanTiger
    TartanTiger says:

    How come there are two videos of the “yahoo” moment? Did they re-record it for sky or something as they don’t seem to match??

    Not that it matters… Things We Think We Are….. We Are Premier League!

  3. Dean
    Dean says:

    Thanks guys for your superb journalism this season, especially you Matt, you’ve added a rich depth to my appreciation for the beautiful game that is not always about winning.
    The sweetness of our success though, is bound to last all summer and I’ll probably replay the post-match interview with Brady, Macca and Quinn a few times too, wonderful stuff!

  4. adamhull
    adamhull says:

    TartanTiger: 2 versions of the video? One clip is when Leeds scored their 2nd goal on 90 mins, the 2nd clip is when the full-time whistle went at that game.

  5. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    #2 You’ve hit the nail on the head about Brady, he’s great now and has the potential to be much more. Good spot too, about the crowd deliberately lifting him when his head dropped. That was a good moment.
    #4 Liam Rosenior, Jay Simpson and Abdoulaye Faye? Rosenior has been so unlucky not to play most of this season, and yet when called on, particularly on Saturday, he’s been great. He’s also a thoughtful, intelligent guy. Definitely one for the Premier League. Simpson can go, with thanks and appreciation. Faye depends on his age and fitness, if he reckons he can take it, then definitely keep on a one year extension.

  6. TartanTiger
    TartanTiger says:

    #5 – sorry – it was obvious as soon as you said it. I caught up in the dancing :-)

  7. HullChef
    HullChef says:

    Always a pleasure to read this column. Easily the best and (not to mention) most honest review of the weeks footy. Can’t you make it into 20 points next season, it’s always over too quick. That said, there’ll probably be nowt to talk about next season, we’ll have to wait till the year after when we’re in the champions league. Keep up the good work lads. UTT. Literally.

  8. Bosco
    Bosco says:

    Love these pieces, great comments. Still feel buzzing.

    Check out the great picture in the Guardian (- not the online version) today of the crowd.

    Hope the KC rocks more regularly going forward, thought the South stand matched the East on Saturday and even the West Stand contributed.

    I can’t see all the players with contract expiries getting new ones. Maybe Simpson can be turned into an attacking midfielder…. Clearly Bruce can get the most out of his players, the mutual affection was there for all to see, but he is aware of their limitations.

    As someone commented on the forum, City have decent players who are decent human beings, I hope Steve B continues with that, we don’t need the likes of Ruiz, Suarez, Bullard, etc besmirching City. Hungry youngsters plus a few old pros…. like Pirlo!

  9. Cumbrian Tiger
    Cumbrian Tiger says:

    Thanks for making Monday mornings throughout the season – always read TWTWT first.

    Interesting to read in the Independent newspaper the police restrictions on Palace v Brighton for the playoffs. Only one ticket each for season ticket holders and they must carry other ID to prove they are who they say they are. Bans for those who use someone else’s ticket and for the ticket holder.
    Time for football fans to stand up against this pre-criminalisation attitude.
    Time for law abiding citizens to be able to go where they want when they want.
    Met Police and Sussex Police just as bad as WY and SY.
    Just glad that we are celebrating – I always knew we would be – well, nearly always!
    Another season of top flight football – just what the club and the city deserve!
    Well done Steve and the lads.

  10. Shuffle
    Shuffle says:

    Despite only being present for 2 games this season, from what I have read and seen, we should sign Simpson, Faye and Rosenior. With Aluko back ( we hope), Simpson just worked with him and I think they deserve a run in the PL. Same for Proschwitz and Fryatt. There’s a Phil Neville rumour that is very interesting, but I’m getting tangential.

    Hats off to AN, especially Andy for his insightful match reports and forum posts. My life Down Under is just about bearable because of AN. At least, I’ll be able to see all City’s games next year! Thanks for everything guys.

  11. clint naysmith
    clint naysmith says:

    re 8. I think the clappers helped. They created a low hum of noise in the early stages that encourage the supporters to keep singing in the (admittedly rare) moments when City were not on the front foot.

    I never want to see them again, having said that.

  12. ShropshireTiger
    ShropshireTiger says:

    Sincere thanks for your well constructed and honest opinions which always raise discussion points or thoughts which may have not necessary been obvious to everyone. You always hit the nail on the head. Without doubt, whilst reading your assessments, observations, ideas or just general comments I invariably say to myself ‘absolutely correct, etc.’ Your reports of each match are both factual and amusing and definitely a joy to read. Please keep up the good work and thank you. Oh, and by the way congratulations to everyone connected with Hull City AFC and to their dedicated supporters.

  13. Bucks Tiger
    Bucks Tiger says:

    At this time of great joy, it behaves us to think of others less fortunate than members of the Tiger nation. Please join me in a few moments’ worth of sympathy for Dudley “DJ” Campbell who, by his own greed and duplicity, is unable to celebrate with us this sunny Bank Holiday Monday. His mendacity has found it’s own reward.

    As for “the other Campbell”, he showed a lack of class with his camp “Oops” hand to mouth gesture. Shame, but a lack of class runs in the family.

  14. Matt
    Matt says:

    Fraizer Campbell wouldn’t have done that if the City fans hadn’t been calling him – again – a “greedy bastard.” Remember when he was on loan at Spurs? We were singing his name at White Hart Lane.

    It’s only because he had the temerity to join Sunderland and then Cardiff that he became a villain. At worst he was badly advised, but all he has done wrong is choose to join better placed clubs and then answer City fans back when they have a charmless pop at him about it.

    Campbell’s goal celebration was extremely restrained, all things considered.

  15. breadvan
    breadvan says:

    Sorry Matt, I agree with Bucks Tiger. He was taking the piss and clearly thought it funny. Up until that moment I had absolutely no problem with the guy.

  16. Tigertim
    Tigertim says:

    Did i dream saturday???? Truly amazing. Fair play to Bruce the way he has conducted himself has been impeccable. The table doesnt lie and we deserve to be in the Prem. i am glad we didnt do it at Barnsley. Saturday was memory making. Special mention to the crowd on saturday. The best atmosphere i have seen at the KC, ever. The clappers did actually work!!!!!! Finally Mr Allam you are a Hull hero. Who on earth would spend £50M on City?? It is an unbelievable gesture. I hope the city recognises his efforts. Hull City Council take note! Up the Tigers. What an amazing season

  17. Riochatemyhouse
    Riochatemyhouse says:

    I couldn’t care less about Fraizer Campbell any more. The fans who gave him grief are the ones who hold on to the romantic notion that football is about more than money these days.

  18. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Agree with Bosco …comment 10….re Simpson. He’s done some good set ups, worried and bullied some right backs, is young with time to improve and so may yet hit a rich seam of goal scoring. A useful squad player IMO. Then there’s the Gedo and Fathi conundrum…and what about Chester?

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