1. A quiet weekend, but things will grow hectic again before long. The visit of Cardiff is a self-evidently important game, and one from which we need more than just a good performance. It’s time for points.
2. After all, it begins a run of fixtures that will tell us a lot about City’s ability to stay up. Cardiff (h), Newcastle (a), West Ham (h), Aston Villa (h) – that’s as kindly a quarter as you’re likely to find at this level, and while it’s unrealistic to say “we need precisely x points or we’re DOOMED”, it’s an opportunity to notch up a win or two.
3. The news that Sone Aluko is likely to be fit is extremely positive. We remain convinced that he has the x-factor capable of unlocking the flintiest of defences and settling a tight game in an instant. But for a momentary loss of composure, he very well may have done that nine days ago.
4. What to make of City’s conduct in the ill-fated move for Shane Long? West Brom’s suggestion that their bid for Romelu Lukaku was somehow irrelevant to letting Long go doesn’t sound particularly plausible, but their claim that City attempted to shift the goalposts has an uncomfortable ring of truth it, and is bolstered by City’s own unwillingness to comment on the issue. There may be good reasons, but the club has made no effort to explain them, leaving us with the unhappy suspicion that the club’s owners and operators mucked up.
5. It rather overshadowed the return of Gedo, who’s back with the Tigers. At a presumably modest cost and having already shown an eye for goal in black and amber, it’s a good move. Save for Matty Fryatt, he’s perhaps the sharpest finisher at the club and well worth having in the squad.
6. All quiet on the Hull City Tigers front, isn’t it? But no apologies for going on about it again. The club’s latest newsletter came from “Hull City AFC”, ticket confirmations have used the correct name, it’s been a while since anyone at the club used the term in public…so have we won?
7. We have not. The history-desecrators at the club have beaten a tactical retreat, but that’s all it is. The idea hasn’t been dropped, it’s just been temporarily withdrawn from public view, presumably in the hope that we’ll all let the matter drop and concentrate on the football. But that won’t do. Not until a complete public recantation of the dismal notion of “Hull City Tigers” is issued, together with a promise to never repeat the term, can we breathe easy.
8. Meanwhile, we’ve asked the Premier League to clarify exactly what “consultation with fans” means, as that apparently is required for them to permit a name change. We await their response with interest, because we all know that the amount of consultation to date is precisely zero.
9. No more Neil Mann at City. There’s some excellent coverage of his impending departure in the Hull Daily Mail, and deservedly so. Twenty years is an uncommonly lengthy period for anyone to spend at one club, but he’s contributed an awful lot to City. From one of the few bright sparks in the unremittingly grim 1990s to a respected coach, he’s done a great deal for the Tigers. Good luck, Manny.
10. Five points to anyone who can remember the venue at which Neil Mann was memorably likened on the terraces to being like a Swiss watch.