May 26, 2014

Things We Think We Think #146


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1: We commit ourselves to ten bits of opinionated posturing each week with these articles and yet now, as we finally allow ourselves to take stock of everything, we have to try to review the season and express our hopes for the future in ten bite-size chunks. Perhaps saying “what a bloody amazing season” over and over again will suffice?

2: After all, it was just that. Amazing. We stayed up, comfortably. We attained our highest ever league position. We reached the FA Cup final. We qualified for Europe. Come on, we are still Hull City, right?

3: And that’s only half-joking, of course, as the manager and players have had to achieve all this while verbal warfare went on throughout the campaign between the supporters and club owner. That the whole Hull Tigers farce didn’t derail the season completely is a massive tribute to the playing and coaching staff and yet still bordering on miraculous. Even though the battle was won by the exceptional City Till We Die campaign in April, we worry that the war is still to be fought, judging by Assem Allam’s typically ill-timed comments just before the FA Cup final.

4: If he does try it again next season, we will never forgive him. We’re already heading that way after he shifted our biggest singing section at the KC to another area of the ground without asking them, then whacked up the season ticket prices for the ordinary supporter (but not the corporate lickspittles) by 30 per cent. The man is a shameless bully.

5: By quite a contrast, Steve Bruce has been simply magnificent for City, hasn’t he? A clearly gifted manager, motivational, astute, daring when required and conservative at other times, it seems he has really, really taken to our club and we’re very happy for him to do so. The stuff he has delivered in two seasons and the quality of player he has convinced to don the black and amber (after a season of seeing Tom Huddlestone treat a football with the kind of love, respect and sensitivity of which Barry White would have been proud, we still can’t quite believe he does it in Hull City’s name) makes him quite easily the best manager we’ve had. The achievements of Cliff Britton, Colin Appleton, Brian Horton, Peter Taylor and Phil Brown will always remain gratifying and obvious, but this is very, very different.

6: Huddlestone’s impact only partially explains our success though, as the purchase of Curtis Davies has been nothing short of a revelation. He wasn’t necessarily welcomed with a ticker-tape parade – we bought him from Birmingham, after all – but his displays of maturity, calm, timing, leadership and courage at the back have had City fans purring like docile pussycats all season. He is, very simply, a phenomenon. And a word for Allan McGregor, whose arrival meant that we actually had a goalkeeper for the first time in aeons who was ours, actually ours. And a fine one to boot.

7: Kudos also to the players who have stepped up from the Championship and not looked remotely out of place. Liam Rosenior, James Chester, Ahmed Elmohamady, Robbie Brady, Paul McShane and especially David Meyler have all played major roles this season and have responded superbly to Bruce’s faith in them.

8: Imagine what a full season of Nikica Jelavić and Shane Long playing up front will be like. And if we can get to an FA Cup final without them, well…

9: This week’s housework has seen Robert Koren and Abdoulaye Faye leave the club, and both depart with our warmest regards. It’s something Nigel Pearson should be thanked for again and again that he managed to persuade Koren, who will have had plenty of suitors after he was surprisingly released by West Bromwich Albion in 2010, to come to a club that was on its arsebones, skint and scarred by the egos and cliques of the previous regime. Koren was convinced, then for four years he was convincing. He scored a mixture of brilliant long range goals in the Championship and was a steady, professional and wise presence in the dressing room this season even as his powers on the pitch began to wane. As for Faye, well the man was just a monster, wasn’t he? Jolly off the pitch and petrifying on it; when we needed personality and out-and-out aggression at the back, especially as we looked towards promotion last season, he supplied it. He was never going to be involved much this season but it always felt a better squad for having him in it.

Talking of this week’s events: we very simply would like to say one word to Matty Fryatt: Stay.

10: Off-diary stuff notwithstanding, the next date to look forward to on City business is in the middle of July, when the identity of our opponent in our first ever European game will be narrowed down to one of two, and then on July 31st we take to the field against whichever one of them comes through their qualifier. Just like signing Huddlestone, just like reaching the FA Cup final, just like going 2-0 up in said game, can you believe this kind of thing is really happening to us?

As a footnote, thanks for your continued support for Amber Nectar, your comments here and on the forums, your social media input and your enthusiasm for the podcasts (the last one of those is coming in the next 24 hours). We never go a day without being incredibly grateful. Enjoy the World Cup and have a great summer. Reh.

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Filed under: Opinion — Amber Nectar @ 10:14 am

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11 Comments

  1. Thanks AN for another season of outstanding reporting through the Eyes of a Tiger. Born and bred in the city, my first match was in 1966 at the 1-3 defeat in the FA Cup replay against Chelsea at Boothferry Park. I was 11. Fate, fortune and femmes fatales have since led me in to a life of exile, but every Saturday afternoon I was there, ear pressed against a shortwave radio, or latterly plugged in to a broadcast on the internet, urging the boys on, often crying in to my Safari or Red Stripe or Tsing Tao, occassionally frightening the locals with unexpected screams of euphoria when we pulled off an unexpected win. Once City is in your blood, it’s there for life and no matter where you are, what you’re doing or who you’re doing, you are always part of the great diaspora of City supporters. For me, the Match Reports on AN fill in the flavours, smells and emotion of every match that newspapers or even radio broadcast fail to capture, For that I am eternally grateful. A great season, well done to all at the club, all at AN (especially for contributions to the name game farce), and here’s to a wonderful 2014-15 campaign.

    Comment by HanoiTiger — May 26, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

  2. Re comment 1….well,…yes!
    Livermore next please SB…bit concerned about the quoted prices, but this young lad will give years of service so hope a deal is struck soon!! Onward & Upward!

    Comment by gjhdurham — May 26, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

  3. I was going to thank Amber Nectar and City for an amazing season, but HanoiTiger used all the best words up!

    Comment by Ambertigerfan — May 26, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

  4. What he said.

    Comment by Rich — May 26, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

  5. I wasnt born in Hull (me Mum and Grandad where though) I’ve only been there a couple of times and ive never been to Hull City game in person but by reading AN website over the last 7 odd years it truly feel like Im there, every week. The passion and commitment from you lads just jumps out the screen and draws me in even deeper. Thank you from the bottom of my (black and amber) heart for sharing your love of Hull City and spreading the ‘word’ far and wide….

    Comment by kyle - melb AU tiger — May 27, 2014 @ 4:37 am

  6. I often look forward to the TWTWT thread each week, but c’mon guys give it a rest with your constant Allam bashing. You got you’re wish to keep the name. Mdo you think you can go one week without some kind of derisory comment?

    Comment by Andy — May 27, 2014 @ 5:08 am

  7. Always enjoy reading ‘Things We Think’ and unusually for me, I rarely disagree with any of the points. It has indeed been a great season and it’s good to see you focus on the positives whilst still making a clear point of the off field negative. Onwards and upwards – can’t wait!

    Comment by Kevin Young — May 27, 2014 @ 6:57 am

  8. thanks for all the Things You Think We Think this season. I agree with most, but not all and even when I don’t they are food for thought. After nearly 50 years of supporting The Tigers (and yes, I will use that name as it was that many did in the mid-60s) this is our best ever season. Perhaps not as fun as some of the promotions, or The Great Escape but certainly the best football and the highest achievements I have witnessed in the amber and black.

    hopefully we can sign Livermore, and a couple of other strategic signings to strengthen what could be one our most grueling seasons. whatever, “silverware? we don’t care, we’re going to Europe on Ryanair”.

    Comment by Oregon Tiger — May 27, 2014 @ 8:05 am

  9. Andy (comment number 6) – he deserves it.

    Comment by Matt — May 27, 2014 @ 9:42 am

  10. All ticket prices were frozen last season, so effectively, it is only a 15% rise per year over the past 2 seasons.
    This is on par with most of the Premier League clubs and we are the 10th cheapest Premier League team for season pass prices.
    Top flight status, FA Cup Finalists and European football… We really don’t have it bad.

    Comment by Cos Were Greaaat — May 27, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

  11. Re 8.

    Second half of the season P19 W3 D2 L14 Pts 14 that was with the super strike force of Long & Jelly

    Comment by cb23 — June 3, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

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