1. Quite a festive season. Heroism and heartache against Manchester United and some record-busting against Fulham. We’ve learned to score goals, cope with the best teams and kill off the worst of them, all in the space of three days.
2. At 2-0 up against Manchester United it never felt safe, did it? When they got it back to 2-1, it’s doubtful anyone in the ground or watching on telly would have confidently declared City would still win the game. But the performance was immense and it was just a bit of genius and a tragic own goal that proved the difference.
3. The reigning Premier League champions are, however, awash with the dishonest and the petulant. It’s perhaps a deliberate tactic to try to make up the lost ground from the early stages of the season, but even though gamesmanship is prevalent in the highest echelons, it still feels unbecoming of a club of such distinction and players of obvious talent. Aside from Ashley Young, that is – he’s as overrated as he is amoral.
4. Before 28th December 2013, the last time we scored six was against Tranmere Rovers in 2004/5. Before 28th December 2013, the last time we won a game by six goals was against Crewe Alexandra in 1994/5. Before 28th December 2013, the last time we scored six without conceding a goal was against Stockport County in 1982/3. The nature of the win against Fulham wasn’t just notable for its rampancy but also its rarity. We should revel in it as much as we possibly can.
5. We actually feel a bit for David Stockdale, who seemed to enjoy playing for us last season. He managed to blamelessly (maybe save for the last one) concede six after single-handedly preventing the scoreline being such at half time. A weird experience for him as probably Fulham’s star performer, despite the multiple concessions. And he managed to applaud us after the game as well as before it.
6. Suddenly, the prospect of City having an England player at a World Cup is a real one. Tom Huddlestone’s performance on Saturday and the subsequent outbreak of media adoration have elevated his chances hugely and it’d be a surprise and a mistake were Roy Hodgson not to take a closer look at him in person. Technically he’s the best English midfielder there is and Steve Bruce’s point that Brazilian heat will suit the gifted over the frenetic is a fine one.
7. Of course, not only Roy Hodgson will be watching. Huddlestone’s ability to regally oversee a game is a priceless skill, and one that many managers will covet…
8. George Boyd now has a Premier League goal to go with a truly Premier League performance. He was a thrill to observe. And seeing Matt Fryatt come on and instantly get a goal was truly heartwarming, too. There is a player whose natural instinct for goal could, hopefully, come to the fore for the rest of the season, especially as Danny Graham has failed in that role so abjectly.
9. Liverpool away, then. We’ve just done a sixer, they’ve lost both of their Christmas games. We’ve got the confidence, they’ve got the need. The game at Anfield to commence 2014 could be quite the occasion.
10. Needless to say, playing well and gaining friends through performances and likeability is the key to upping our international profile, not fiddling with the club’s identity. We expect the FA to agree with us in 2014, and we wish you a very prosperous New Year as a supporter of Hull City AFC and not some tacky imitation founded on whim and malice. And thanks for the continued support and feedback from all at Amber Nectar.