1. Something of a bolt from the blue was Nikica Jelavić’s surprising decision to retire from international football over the weekend. With Croatia likely to qualify for Euro 2016 and the player still in his 20s (and perhaps the form of his life), he’s effectively giving up playing in a major tournament, and perhaps two. It wouldn’t be a total shock if this decision is reversed in the coming months.
2. Quite a few City fans seem pleased about Jelavić putting club before country. Yet don’t we all want Curtis Davies and Tom Huddlestone to play for England?
3. Meanwhile, Andy Robertson’s stellar rise continued with a sparkling performance for Scotland against Georgia. We’d better enjoy him while we can.
4. Arsenal this weekend. Expect to hear southern dullards intoning “two niw, and you facked it ap”, as though that’ll somehow distress us. At least they’re charging a vaguely sensible amount for the game. It’d be nice to put one over them too. The Cup Final aside, memories of Arsenal are inevitably centred upon that afternoon in 2008 when City pulled off perhaps the biggest shock in the Premier League’s history; but we’ve since lost seven in a row to Arsenal. Some close, some controversial, and of course they have resources far beyond ours so there’s no real shame in that record – but it’d be good to see Arsène Wenger fumbling around for scapegoats next Saturday night.
5. Six months ago, we’d probably have been furious at Assem Allam blaming the fans for his unhappy situation – facing a second defeat on the name change and likely to sell a club he’d rather keep. Now we’re just thoroughly bored of his increasingly desperate cries for attention.
6. About that sale, then. Assem Allam’s relationship with the fans is worsening, and already significant numbers are irreparably alienated from the owner. Those numbers are only going to increase unless Mr Allam stops talking and starts keeping promises. Past form suggests that’s unlikely. Which makes us think, reluctantly and for the first time, that perhaps him selling the club and us all moving on may be the best thing for all concerned.
7. Stephen Parnaby, eh? He and his fellow political pygmy Steve Brady’s recent border spat doesn’t trouble us; AN doesn’t do politics. Whether the leader of East Riding Council should be using council time and public money to fawn over Assem Allam is a matter for his electorate to judge; it’s plainly not illegal and doesn’t require banning. Nor is an East Riding politician somehow less qualified to comment upon City than a Hull-based politician, because City’s support being drawn from the East Riding as well as Hull has long been evident.
8. What trouble us are his opinions. If he wants to gush about Assem Allam, well, fine. But his clarification to Radio Humberside that he would support Assem Allam in changing City’s name is something else. Again, it’s a view he’s entitled to have. Whether it’s wise for a politician to side against the majority of City fans is anyone’s guess. But it places him firmly in the minority, and firmly opposed to all known facts and figures.
9. We don’t need to wonder why so many politicians seek embarrassingly anxious to genuflect towards Mr Allam. The linguistically disadvantaged John Prescott is another, while Cllr Mike Whitehead – a PPC in Hull next year – also joins in…though the second does at least support the club. No, it’s fairly straightforward. Politicians crave the approval of the rich and the powerful. And sod the ordinary fan.
10. An interesting notion popped up on Twitter during the week – an account campaigning for a monument to Ebenezer Cobb Morley, the Hull-born father of association football. We wish him/her well. Campaigns of this nature aren’t easy, as we well remember from both City Till We Die and the attempts to make West Yorkshire Police see sense last year, but with enough application and organisation they can certainly yield results, as both of these squabbles illustrate.