1: A tremendous victory and a stellar performance against Liverpool, and three immeasurably vital points. Even with only a single goal chalked up, the game felt oddly at ease throughout, even allowing for the usual emotional panic that goes with any City victory-in-waiting. The final whistle made a heavenly sound, the reaction to it was composed by the gods.
2: Any suggestion that the back to back wins against Palace and Liverpool were enough to guarantee safety was shot to bits on Saturday with victories for Sunderland, Leicester and Aston Villa. We couldn’t afford to view the Arsenal game as a ‘free hit’ as we might have done had other relegation scrap contestants failed to register points at the weekend, and why should we? The Liverpool game (and West Brom’s Bo Myhill assisted vanquishing of Manchester United) illustrated quite handsomely that we needn’t be defensively minded and shouldn’t be timid against supposed betters.
3: Sadly, City did look timid against Arsenal. Gone was the belief that coursed through the side at Selhurst Park and against Liverpool, and in its place came a severe case of nerves. That was perhaps heightened by awful results at the weekend, and it’s understandable up to a point, however City looked dismayingly easy to beat by Arsenal. Apart from avoid a serious rout, there was very little to take from this game.
4: Individually, a few players who’d recently returned to form had howlers. Huddlestone coughing up possession cheaply was instrumental in bringing about Arsenal’s first goal, and the former Tottenham boy had a poor night all around – as did Jake Livermore, meaning that Stephen Quinn was almost alone in trying valiantly to stem the Arsenal tide.
5: Steve Bruce chose, inexplicably, to major on the anti-Allam protests when offering his post-match thoughts on Tuesday night. He again referred to the £70m the owner has ploughed into the club and questioned whether any other individual has invested quite so much into Hull, and asked the question about if the protests were necessary, worthy, wise, whatever. Again, it falls on the supporters to say, without malice aforethought: Steve, he didn’t give us the money. It was a loan, not a gift. He shoved four per cent interest on to that loan and took a six-figure fee consultancy fee. Whatever he has put in – and the figures vary from source to source – he is expecting to recoup, with interest, with profit, and with the added effect of making the people of East Yorkshire bow and scrape and throw rose petals in his path wherever he goes. We don’t blame the manager for talking up the owner who keeps him in work and transfer funds, but similarly, we’d rather he just didn’t speak on the subject at all, as what he says lends itself to obsequiousness, not to mention inaccuracy.
6: The sound of people (we won’t call them City fans, they aren’t) booing City fans singing a City song at a City game was disgusting.
7: Another thing: why do those who drag out that tired old “get behind the team” nonsense whenever something controversial is happening invariably turn out to be the ones who sit in complete silence all game long?
8: Newcastle have been properly dragged into this relegation scrap with three to go and that could be handy for City. Nobody is in worse form than them, no set of players gives less of a toss than them, it could be that everyone that isn’t QPR or Burnley is now looking at the hapless, useless, joyless Geordies and seeing them as their ticket back into the Premier League’s everywhere city. Newcastle are the favourites, in mind if not maths, for the third relegation spot, and that suits us.
9: There are many reasons to want to stay up, but we’ve just added a new one: we really, really want a weekend in Bournemouth next season. Though if we do stay up, knowing our luck, the Premier League will probably give us a Wednesday night there. Also, we don’t have any real affinity with Watford, but given that we did them in the 2008 play-offs, then did them again on the last day in 2013, we’re sort of glad they’ve made it back up to the Premier League at last. Good day out, Watford.
10: The ‘1966 and all that’ banner hanging in the South Stand has been understandably mocked on social media, as it credits Waggy’s contribution to the 1965/66 promotion campaign to the unfamiliar character ‘Wiggo’. Mistakes happen, only the unrealistic expect absolute perfection at all times, but when mistakes become legion (and social media types have had a lot to highlight in recent weeks) it paints a picture of carelessness about things people care a lot about. Wiggo FFS.