1: Thanks to the club for providing the most varied and interesting pre-season we can ever remember. Beijing arguably tops it, but that wasn’t of the club’s choosing – we qualified for that. The trips to Portugal and Germany had been wonderfully enjoyable. same again next year?
2: Short of qualifying for Europe (which is only a matter of time, right?), watching the Tigers play friendlies abroad is almost as much fun as you can have as a City fan. This latest trip also brought home something we’d all suspected – the vast superiority of German football over that of the nation that gave the world the game. On Saturday we paid €6 to stand on a terrace where we could drink beer. How many of those things will the domestic 2013/14 season provide? Exactly. Our national sport is desperately unwell by comparison – but unending credit to Germany for getting it so very right and putting the supporter first.
3: It’s only a friendly, so the usual caveats apply – but this was a friendly in which a high tempo manifested itself (despite it being 35c), proper tackles flew in and it felt not wholly dissimilar to a proper game. That being so, we can take genuine heart from the performance of Yannick Sagbo. His goal was expertly taken, while his general play was excellent and he linked up promisingly with Sone Aluko throughout.
4: City in general looked quite polished. You’d expect them to a bit better than a second tier German team, but their season is already underway and yet we looked comfortably superior throughout.
5: James Chester is a footballing Rolls Royce and looked serenely untroubled throughout – interestingly, Curtis Davies looked the part too, despite some misgivings about his signing.
6: Two departures this week, as Tom Cairney (on loan) and Corry Evans head for Blackburn Rovers. Cairney is probably the best natural footballer produced by Hull City’s system since Brian Marwood, and yet he still hasn’t lived up to his early promise. His performances in the Premier League as an unfazed youngster were, at times, the only thing to look forward to at a toxic and bruising time for the club, and his lack of progress since is both unfortunate and baffling. That he has only gone on loan to Blackburn suggests his time with the Tigers may not be over yet though, and we may well be able to welcome him back. He is, after all, one of only two players in the City set-up who were in the first team squad when we were last one of the elite.
7: Corry Evans, meanwhile, seemed to suffer simply through not being any of the other midfielders available to Steve Bruce last season. However, he was a player of great endeavour and a capacity to do simple things well and keep the base of the midfield steady and safe. He divided opinion – not least among the people who run and frequent this website – but he was a very handy player during our first two post-Premier League seasons and we have much to thank him for – not least the manic goal celebration after his equaliser at Swansea in April 2011, which some of us won’t forget in a long time, and his well-taken opener against Leeds United last season, his only goal of the campaign and his only goal at the KC. His permanent move to Blackburn will do him much good.
8: People are always trying to read between the lines when analysing such moves; far be it from us to enhance groundless speculation, but we really do like the idea that we’ve given Cairney and Evans to Blackburn in order to make the path towards a bid for Jordan Rhodes a whole lot smoother.
9. Nick Thompson said he doesn’t foresee a change to the team’s name. Good. So why does the club’s own website carry an advert for a position to coach at the “Hull City Tigers Academy”? That is explicitly a footballing role and is nothing to do with the business. We asked Nick Thompson for a meeting about the rebranding issue, and various other comments. It’s obviously a very busy time at the club, so hopefully he’ll reply when things quieten a little.
10. The continental fun continues when Real Betis turn up for Andy Dawson’s testimonial. They’re fitting opposition for a genuine legend and we hope he gets the turnout he deserves.