Things We Think We Think #187


1: Is there anything our club can do that’s right at the moment? Everything on and off the pitch seems to stink to high heaven, and there is a sense that the rest of the Premier League can’t wait to see the back of us. Our owner is derided, our manager ridiculed, our players lambasted for not trying or patronised for not being good enough. It’s starting to feel almost like we should be embarrassed by association.

2: We’re not of course. We’re proud. Of ourselves, and our association with Hull City AFC. The club aren’t proud of us, of course, but that’s only as a result of some toxic individuals controlling the coffers and the flow of information who have no inkling of what we represent, and what importance we hold. We’ll always be here.

3: Jake Livermore, however, is unlikely to be here much longer, assuming he hasn’t already been privately told his City career is already over. What a grim business this is: a lad of peak fitness and considerable earning power, not to mention a decent future in the game, will now forever be tainted by an association with illegal, hard drugs. The circumstances may point to a troubled life for Livermore, of course, but taking cocaine has no place in professional, elite sport, irrespective of the circumstances, and if ultimately proven guilty he must be stoutly punished – and then helped, if help is required.

4: Meanwhile, the team-mates he has left behind went to Tottenham and, while the performance wasn’t lamentable, the basic lack of quality for a side that contains pushing £42m worth of signings since the summer was. Spurs barely broke sweat in beating us, and City had to rue poor final balls and poor finishing. The difference was stark throughout. For Tottenham, read also Swansea. And Southampton. And Stoke. And any number of games this season in which City have travelled to difficult but not unbeatable opposition, and slid to a cheap defeat against anyway. As much as being doubled by Burnley was crucial, it’s been the incessant inability to get anything on the road against mid-table opposition that’s killed us.

5: Relegation isn’t set in stone, but it feels like it’s inevitable, doesn’t it? Oddly, an awful lot of pundits think that we’ll somehow sneak a win against Manchester United – a team we’ve never beaten in the top tier, and whom Steve Bruce has never defeated in his managerial career – while Newcastle flop against West Ham and go down. We appreciate their faith in us, but it feels misplaced. And if Sunderland take themselves out of the relegation picture with something from their game at Arsenal in midweek, then our opponents will see a glimmer of hope for third place, and avoiding a European Cup preliminary tie. This scenario will make an already onerous task pretty much impossible. And even if we do beat them, it’s still reliant wholly on others. If we win and Newcastle do too, we will still go down, and we’ll damn well deserve it.

6: Are you ready to turn on Steve Bruce yet? It’s a tough one, as the City manager remains an affable fellow, and his first two seasons delivered a quadruple whammy – promotion, a highest ever finish, an FA Cup final and European football. Those achievements bought him time and goodwill when the cracks began to appear, but if we are relegated under him, and even if we are not, he now needs to be properly scrutinised. His decision-making, overspending on players, awful attitude to the cup competitions, tactical negativity, risible criticism of justified fan protests and general shoulder-shrugging, soundbite-riddled reactions to inept displays and awful results have all gone against him this season, and have intensified in recent weeks. His national image is that of a dinosaur manager – we don’t go that far, but he has questions to answer and, assuming he is big enough to return to Championship football with us (as the club won’t fire him), a spot of redemption to find.

7: In the event of relegation, it’s imperative that the real men of professional virtue – Chester, McShane, Bruce junior, Elmohamady, Brady, Quinn, Meyler, Rosenior – are kept on. These guys have our club in their hearts and will be hurting at returning to a division they strived so much to exit in 2013. One or two are out of contract this summer and, miracles this weekend notwithstanding, need to be retained urgently. In the second tier they’d be among the best in the division, again, and we can only imagine Elmohamady and Chester being courted by any of the clubs we leave behind. Also, the financial meltdown some predict for City in the Championship should not be pre-empted by any kind of massive fire sale, even though we’d expect the likes of Jelavić and Robertson to fetch some decent money, while others like Huddlestone, Davies and Hernández could be offloaded just for the sake of the wage bill. And that’s even after the pay cuts we all know about have kicked in – after all, none of us can imagine Huddlestone wanting to play in the Championship on half his current colossal salary, even though he hasn’t looked remotely like a Premier League player for months.

8: We were close to saying the club itself hasn’t done anything provocative or boneheaded this week, but then we got the spectacle of cheap scarves being doled out at Tottenham with that awful, nameless logo on it. Visual reminders of the Allams’ vandalism of our heritage aren’t terribly welcome at the moment.

9: David Conn is bloody good at his job. When he gets involved in your club’s travails, you know more than ever you are in the right.

10: On a lighter note, mercifully, we are thrilled to bits that Phil Brown is going to have another crack at leading a team to play-off victory at Wembley. This coming Sunday, the day we play Manchester United and likely exit the Premier League, is the seventh anniversary of the day we first reached the top division, and we still remain grateful for that mesmerising season, that wonderful day at the home of English football and the man who masterminded it. We wish our ex-gaffer and his Southend side the best of luck when they take to the Wembley field against Wycombe on Saturday.

26 replies
  1. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Contrast: Shane Long scores a screamer from 40 yards out giving him 7 goals this season, Abel Hernandez can’t hit a barn door with a banjo.

    Abel Hernandez cost: 10 million pounds

    Shane Long cost: 6.5 million pounds plus 60 million pounds lost due to relegation.

    Who said the Old Dictator Allam was a good businessman?

  2. Mike
    Mike says:

    we going down cause bruce sold a proven scorer in long.. and bought a dog turd in his place.. cannot believe that.. to many players not up for the fight either.. had no midfield for 6 months..42 mill we’ve spent and we’re going down… how the hell do stoke,swansea, palace manage to do ok.. serious questions need to be asked

  3. Johnny Yen
    Johnny Yen says:

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. There’s practically noone who didn’t think the Shane Long deal wasn’t a good idea at the time.
    And if that’s an error, it was entirely Steve Bruce’s error, not Allams. Let’s stick to the many things he is 100% culpbable for.

    I was intrigued by the specificity of this line: Manchester United – a team we’ve never beaten in the top tier

    I gather we’ve beaten them 4 times in the old division two. Anyone know when the last occasion was?

  4. DMG9785
    DMG9785 says:

    I feel sorry for Henandez, he came with a huge price tag and fans jump on him at every opportunity. Who was to say, when we sold Long, and bought Henandez that Abel would not get us 15+ goals? He has struggled, but in my oppinion has not been given a decent run in the side, plus decent sevice at times either. I must be one of the only fans that rates him, fans should get behind him. Playing the odd 10 – 20 mins every now and again does nothing for any player. We should start with Jela, N’Doye and Abel on sunday. Really go for it!

  5. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    Johnny, City beat Man U 2 – 0 23rd November 1974 league division two. Regards Livermore, who would want to buy him. One suggestion keep him and after his ban he would have a lot to prove, and prove it for City. Opinions please, clean if possible it’s just one idea to float.

  6. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    “There’s practically noone who didn’t think the Shane Long deal wasn’t a good idea at the time.”

    There were a handful of more astute voices who at the time pointed out that someone who can score you 12 or so goals over a Premier League season for a club like Hull City borders on the priceless and therefore should only be sold when it is absolutely necessary, as regardless of the money you’re getting, you have to replace them.

    More to the point with our transfer policy, our club had a heart last season. That’s been missing this time around. The fact that someone like Quinn has stood out so much in recent games just goes to show how rotten we’ve been. I like Quinn, but by him simply putting in a decent shift we’ve been wowed by him. That just puts into perspective what we’ve become accustomed to being served by some of our more illustrious squad members. I’m going to blame Ben Arfa. His attitude must have been contagious or something.

  7. Tony Pearson
    Tony Pearson says:

    Point 5 should also include that City stay up if we beat United and Sunderland fail to get a point at Arsenal or Chelsea, that seems more likely to me that Newcastle losing to West Ham. Although I really, really can’t see us beating United, if we do I think it will save us – I just don’t see Sunderland getting anything and West Ham must be good for a point. Either scenario keeps us up on goal difference.

  8. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    Thud has not looked remotely like a CHAMPIONSHIP player this season, never mind Premier League.

    I blame him, Ben Arfa, Livermore. McGregor and Steve Bruce.

    I had hoped Phelan would be able to help SB pull things round. Seems they were too far gone for that.

    If we stay up I cannot pretend I won’t be relieved but if the consequence of avoiding relegation is that nothing else changes where’s the fun and enjoyment in that?

  9. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    I agree with Officer Crabtree.
    Match report pretty much sums it up. I was there and although I cheered the lads on, the endeavour was there but quality was absent.
    Completely agree sbout the players we MUST retain next year if we go down.
    Jelavic has given 100% every game this season too.
    If we go down Bruce has to stick with us and redeem himself by gettjng us straight back up.
    Any news on what happened outside of Kings Cross? Cowardly Everton fans?

  10. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Bill Carson…Jela’s hit on the volley was “quality”, and unlucky to clip the outer post top! Could have put us in the lead. Should have gone 4-4-2 at half time to push Rose back, but SB can’t out think any PL manager! Was Chadli offside? MotD suspiciously didn’t re-show that goal.
    As to Long…Mrs Long wanted the move, so do you keep a player wanting away? Thought he looked off his game in the early games just before the move came up.
    Man U looked a difficult task for us in the game v Arsenal. Would go 4-4-2 to try to keep Young from getting forward. Don’t like him, but he looks on form. Stopping Fellaini and Smalling from set pieces will be hard. Really need to tap into Sunderland’s luck now…or C. Palace who got 2 lucky goals at Liverpool! Surely we’re due some…COYH!

  11. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Agree GJH.
    Sunderland are probably the worst team in the league but the luck they’ve had lately is unbelievable. That said if we are relegated we have literally thrown it away this season.
    Straight for the jugular on Sunday. If we could get a lead who knows?

  12. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Les / Andy – well done for getting behind Phil Brown. He should never have been sacked. Great bloke apart from his singing. Good luck Southend :-)

  13. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Johnny Yen: It’s not hindsight, it’s common sense. You don’t swap a proven Premier League scorer in Long for an unproven foreign (Proschwitz) type like Hernandez. Didn’t City learn from the Proschwitz failure?

    All these bollocks whispers about Long’s wife not happy with the shops in Hull: Long signed a three and a half year contract. As a professional he would perform under that contract, or he wouldn’t have signed it.

    A sale of Long’s magnitude had to be sanctioned by Allam: he’s the money at the club.

    The fact is if City go down, it’s because they haven’t scored enough goals. Long would have scored those goals and generated penalties with his direct running.

    In addition Bruce referring to his “big” (been around 10 minutes) players being injured (Snodgrass, Diame etc) is poor management. How does that make the existing squad feel: “small”.

  14. Les
    Les says:

    I disagree, Phil Brown should have been sacked after the Burnley away game, when we had a crack at getting a decent replacement, instead of waiting until Dowie was all that was available.

    My gratefulness to Brown for what he achieved earlier in his reign doesn’t blind me to his taking his eye off the ball later on when improving City became secondary to him self promoting.

  15. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Les – Fair enough but Bruce guilty of the same thing. Pearson (Ostrich) so boring I turned up at half time one week! Peter Taylor had his faults, although we are eternally grateful for his achievements.
    Brown is probably my favourite all time manager 1. For saving us from poss relegation to League 1 and in turn relegating L#$ds. 2. Our historic promotion. 3. Giving it a real go in the first season London 0v4 Hull.
    I have to go back to Brian Horton and Colin Appleton for previous successful and entertaining City managers. #UTT

  16. Les
    Les says:

    No arguments that Bruce is guilty of the same thing, his Ched Evans comments suggested as much, and there are similarities in that chairman and manager have become ‘mates’ rather than manager and senior manager, so objective assessment has gone. I’m not advocating Bruce be sacked by any stretch, but he’s had any fear of failure having consequences removed by his boss, and that strikes me as unwise. Allam has even made excuses regarding injuries for poor performance not matching the huge transfer outlay, but it has been heart that has lacked more than key players at key moments.

  17. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Les – agree.
    Who would you rather have in charge on Sunday out of Bruce, Brown, Taylor or Appleton? :-)
    I’d go Brown or Colin Appleton.

  18. Matt
    Matt says:

    I wouldn’t have Appleton in charge on Sunday, as he’s 79 and doesn’t know what day it is.

  19. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Dowie didn’t know what day it what was but it didn’t stop Pearson appointing him.
    Was that Dowie who stood against Nigel Farage in Thanet South? :-)

  20. Shuffle
    Shuffle says:

    A bit of class that TTWTWT regarding Phil Brown – something you won’t see from the current owners. He certainly had his faults – in particular the fame going to his head after the first 10 matches of 08-09, but the most bone-headed thing the Owners did was to fire him and appoint Dowie.

    I reckon he would have kept us up that season, and that he should have gone at the end of the season, whichever division we were in. The same applies to Bruce – match against United should be his swan song although the dim Allams cannot now fire him because of the crazy appointment a few weeks back.

  21. richard pearson
    richard pearson says:

    No one will read this but isn’t it odd that only a short while ago Steve Bruce was a saint around here. Now the backstabbers are out and I’m not one of them. For God’s sake, he’s done a wonderful job in the time he’s been here. Injuries have done for us as it would have done if the best manager in the world had been here. Back Bruce for next season – we’ll be a force for sure.. AND maybe one season in the Championship might kill the Hull Tigers nonsense once and for all. Come on you silent majority, BACK BRUCE!

  22. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Richard – I’m certainly backing Bruce. Les has backed him in his comments “In Bruce We Trust”.
    If there’s one thing the fans have done this season, it’s get behind the manager.
    If we are relegated I’d like Bruce to stay as manager and hopefully redeem this season with another promotion.

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