Things We Think We Think #188

TWTWT

1. City are relegated. There were to be no final day heroics, and in truth it rarely felt as though there would be. The requirements were simply too great – beat a top-four side while hoping for help elsewhere. That sort of thing CAN happen, but it rarely does. The bookies’ prohibitively short odds on a City relegation were not unjustified.

2. That’s not to say that City didn’t acquit themselves tolerably well against Manchester United, because they did. Granted, the visitors were visibly half-arsed at best, however City played with determination and a little skill, and still felt short. In a way, it was almost a microcosm of the season as a whole: some good stuff, but ultimate underachievement.

3. This was not a relegation that should have happened. City absolutely did not have one of the three worst sides in the Premier League. But it has happened, and we’re going to spend an unhappy summer apportioning blame. It’s all very different to last summer, when we had the heroic FA Cup Final failure to look back on, European football to look forward to and the prospect of Premier League consolidation and improvement. The contrast is stark and depressing.

4. The blame can be widely spread. Steve Bruce brought disappointingly, motivated indifferently, selected erratically and ultimately failed to break the cycle that’s blighted his career: a bright beginning with a new club, big spending, underachievement. He can cite injuries, but that doesn’t really wash. Many millions were spent, all to go backwards. To not try to compete in the League Cup. To not even take our first and probably last adventure in Europe seriously. That is straightforward failure, most of it having no excuse other than poor judgement, and he’s extremely lucky that he has such understanding bosses and supporters at his back.

5. His players were also gravely culpable. The stars of last season almost without exception failed to reproduce the same form, while new signings did not perform to an acceptable standard. Most damningly, we have to question the application on too many occasions. Burnley away was particularly horrendous, when Bruce rightly labelled his “big time Charlies” – the relationship between fans and players fractured for the first time in its aftermath and the suspicion that too many players had an overinflated sense of self-worth never really left us after that match.

6. The owners’ unceasing determination to provoke the fans didn’t help, though it was not quite as considerable a factor in our eventual failure. A house divided always falls, and our house is certainly divided – needlessly so, for no reason other than to spite the people of Hull. It’s horrible and unforgiveable – but while they haven’t helped, with rancour in the stadium entirely their responsibility, they haven’t ambled around a football field or frittered millions on Abel Hernandez.

7. Where next? The Championship, and you don’t need to look far to see people relishing that. We’re certainly looking forward to less preposterous ticket prices, more 3pm Saturday kick-offs and a more honest XI, but we won’t celebrate the fact that the city of Hull has lost its representation in one of the best leagues in the world. It saddens us considerably – it took us a century to get there, and there’s no guarantee we’ll be back any time soon.

8. But we are where we are, and there plenty of virtues to the second tier. For one thing, the bookies’ installation of City as title favourites is nice, and suggests we’ll win more games than we lose, something extremely difficult to imagine in the Premier League. There’ll be plenty of enjoyable away games, some Yorkshire derbies, and hopefully a decent promotion push.

9. A brighter note: the City fans were absolutely outstanding on Sunday. With all hope of survival gone, the noise levels and pride in the club was magnificent. A club is nothing without its fans, and however much we’re all bickered over the stupid name change, who’s plastic and who isn’t, etc – we have some marvellous fans. Hopefully the club are noticing this and thinking how to work with us, and not against us. Just imagine if the name change was shelved, a discount on season tickets was implemented and more ways of working together established – the goodwill alone generated would sustain us through the summer and get our 2015/16 promotion campaign off to a flier.

10. We’ll naturally be more quiet during the summer, though Monday morning TWTWTs will continue. Thank you to everyone who’s read the reports, previews, opinion pieces, commented on the site, contributed to the forum or listened to the podcasts this season. Next season will be our 18th, and by August we’ll be looking forward to it as much as any.

17 replies
  1. SirCornflake
    SirCornflake says:

    Another great read and simple round up. Time to build bridges and get back to the football. Allam takes note or leaves.

    Can we get another 8000 to Wednesday next year? Looking forward to the Championship.

  2. Hutchy
    Hutchy says:

    4. “To not try to compete in the League Cup” – we were 2-1 up in the first round against PL opposition with 4 minutes to play, how was that Bruce’s fault?

  3. Paul
    Paul says:

    great read as always, slight typo in 4?

    Bruce very lucky IMHO, it was he who bought Hernandez for £10million then hardly played him. When I see how Phil Brown was slagged off with a fraction of what Bruce has made available I shake my head at the average fan. Steve Bruce is not the best manager we have had, as someone said in a great article I read yesterday he has been very lucky, the stats show that.

    As far as ticket prices go the way things stand we will have some of the highest prices in that league, not going to fill a stadium in the 2nd division very often which was rarely filled in the top flight, that saddens me.

    Also whilst I have not been “driven out” as some people are saying, I will not be renewing my season ticket, one held for the majority of my 37 years as a City fan, and will pick games accordingly, probably more away matches. For that I can say “thanks Allams, you……..”

    Rovrum here we come!

  4. Cumbria Tiger
    Cumbria Tiger says:

    Another great resume of the weekend and the season. Well done!
    Living in the far North West – City in the Championship has some advantages – games at Preston, Burnley, Blackburn, and Bolton – (Pity that Wigan and Blackpool went down) – as well as direct rail links to Wolverhampton, Birmingham and MK, oh and ‘Boro are just across the A66 so I should be at more games.
    Also 46 games instead of 38.
    And we’ll be nearer the top than th bottom and looking upwards is always better than looking down!
    We have been promoted to the Permier League twice – once through the play offs – I can still see the ball dropping to Deano and that volley! – once as runners up in the league – so we need to complete the set, promotion as Champions!

    Roll on 17th June – let’s find out where we are going on the first day of the new season.

    Up pecker and onwards!

  5. DJ
    DJ says:

    As a City fan living in the Socialist Republic of Scotland i managed to get along to only a few games this season. What i witnessed often disappointed, certainly from a team so thrilling on those distant Wembley days. A lack of skill is understandable. A lack of application is unforgiveable.

    However, we have the basis of a very strong Championship that needs to strive all it can to get us up time for the untold riches awaiting those in receipt of the new 16/17 premiership riches.

  6. Glenn Milner
    Glenn Milner says:

    After the half hearted attempt at Europe and the distinct lack of effort in the cup competitions
    ,and the shockingly poor attitude to throwing away points late in league games .
    I could see the writing on the wall in October I predicted a big capital R against our name at Tottenham away.the injuries did spoil the long term aims but Bruce should have had a contingency plan to cover all eventualities .I do feel snodgrass was a massive loss his enthusiasm to play was evident in the European games he rolled up his sleeves and looked as though he was really enjoying himself playing for city ,unfortunately he was one of few who we can say that about this season .i think some of the new signings attitude
    this season was summed up on sunday when the only thing unable Hernandez could hit in the box was a sly cowardly punch into phil Jones
    And that is certainly not what we pay our money to see.
    Give me a team of honest grafters over a team of over paid primma donnas any day

  7. Shuffle
    Shuffle says:

    18 and a coming of Age for Amber Nectar?

    All i can say is that you have sustained me whilst I am away from Hull and made not being to go to matches on a weekly basis bearable. The writing on TTWTWT has been excellent and match reports an avid Monday morning read. Thanks to all the leads on here and all the forum posters for making this site my living link to the club.

    Lets hope the Allam’s change track because with a united front and a striker who can score, this club will walk the championship next season. C’mon City!

  8. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    I thought I was a rarity in believing that Phil Brown was our greatest ever manager. I still believe in Bruce and like the guy but I really hope he stays and gets us straight back up next season. This season has been thrown away with too many lacklustre performances, poor finishing, injuries which punctuated any mini run of form we had. Too many individuals suffering a lack of form.and unnecessary off the field distractions.
    The silver lining, we hope, is an all conquering crusade through the Championship, thrashing our Yorkshire rivals on the way. No 1/2 & 1/2 scarves (surely no-one would stupid enough to produce or buy a Hull City / L#@ds scarf??
    Good old fashioned tribalism on the terraces again.
    We should also see who is willing to fight for the team. I’d like to see us start next sesson with: McGregor, Dawson, McShane, McGuire, Elmo, Brady, Diame, Meyler, Quinn, Jordan Rhodes, Jelavic.
    I expect Chester, Hernandez, N’Doye, Huddlestone, Robertson to be sold. As for Livermore??? Snodgrass?
    #UTT

  9. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    Steve Bruce won 18 out of 76 league matches over the last two seasons.

    What is it that you still believe about him Bill?

    He bought the players. He selected the team. He decided the tactics, or not, as the case may be. He decided who was dropped and who was subbed, and when.

    He cocked it up, royally. And he’s still doing so ( Liam Rosenior ).

    Nice bloke he may be, but over the last two seasons he’s not been good enough, as he admitted.

    If our manager doesn’t believe in himself, what makes anyone else do so?

    I’m all for looking on the bright side, but to do that you need to have some sunshine. And there ain’t any of that around HCAFC at the moment.

  10. Brian Hudson
    Brian Hudson says:

    I, too, live in the North West, and rarely get to see City live, relying on TV and radio coverage for live reporting etc. (although I have good friends with exec passes to the Etihad who kindly let me use them, I’ll miss that next season!). It is interesting to see different opinions about players and management, but the overall responsibility must rest with the players surely? If the level of performance and attitude on Sunday had been shown in any number of games, but especially the two against Burnley (an awful team from an awful club) then we would still be a premiership club. It also serves no purpose to blame bad luck, but, I will anyway! Last minute equalisers at Arsenal and Manchester City, Home to Stoke with 10 men for a lot of the game, 2 late goals at home to Spurs, and I’m sure there are other matches. Add that to the long term injuries to Diame, Jelavic, Snodgrass, Chester, McGregor, the slightly strange decision to sell Boyd and Long, and the unwanted distraction of Dr. Allam’s obstinate insistence on changing the Club’s name, and things may be easier to accept.
    So, if we assume that the underperforming, overpaid ‘stars’ will be on their way, could we hope that next season’s team can be built around most of our current defenders, who, in the main, did not let themselves down this season, a midfield with Ince, Snodgrass, Diame (perhaps), Quinn and Brady, and a new strike force,and make the next 12 months successful? Up the Tigers!!!

  11. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Andy / Les – spot on report.
    Rottenborough – Re: Bruce – Point 4 is exactly what I think. However citing 18/72 – what did you expect this to be 30/72? We averaged 36 points and reached the Cup Final. Not good enough this season by a long way but 1 more win and we’d be enjoying a 3rd season in the BPL.

  12. Peter Whitaker
    Peter Whitaker says:

    I have decided not to renew my season pass, a decision taken before the Burnley game but set in concrete after Man Utd. I will still follow Hull City and I expect to pick a few games out next season but I am feeling very disillusioned with the state of the club. The Allams could have been heroes for generations, instead they turned into pantomime villains. The Tigers had the best squad on paper that ever pulled on the football shirt and yet the proved incapable of delivering mid-table safety; a feat well within their combined capabilities. Steve Bruce made some confusing decisions concerning team selections, tactics and substitutions. I need a new car to get to work and the monthly costs will be less than what I was paying for the season passes for me and my son; what a ridiculous state of affairs! Good luck Hull City but I won’t be a regular attender at a place where I feel like I am not even wanted!

  13. Snaggletooth
    Snaggletooth says:

    To everyone who thinks that the Championship will be an easy ride after the Premier League: we thought that last time, but after winning a nervy first match we stunk right through until November. Ultimately we dropped too many points in those first 3 months to allow later decent form to get us into the play-offs. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened again, and the bookies’ early lead for us is based on us being the highest ranked side in a division in which anything can happen. If we really were nailed on for promotion then the Championship wouldn’t be half as exciting as it is.

  14. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    Bill,

    What I expected was, with the money spent and new signings combined with the base of the established team, a mid table finish. Instead, our overall performance was worse. Says it all really.

  15. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    For me the last home match against Man U was disappointing, it was obvious from where I was watching Man U were not bothered. N’Doye looked very bad at times, probably new it was his last match. The strikers we have are just not good enough so Jelavic ( don’t want to play championship ), N’Doye ( supposed gentleman so agreement with Bruce not to play if relegated ) and Hernandez ( just plain useless 90% of the time ) goodbye, Brucey you need to find us the one thing we need – goalscorers. The rest of the team will suffice, keep if poss Aluko,Elmo,Dawson,Robertson,Ince,Maguire,Lenihan,Brady,McGregor,Quinn,Meyler. I think McShane, Huddlestone,Chester,Livermore will go, Rosey gone already. Sorry if I have missed anyone but someone next to me is getting twitchy about me having the iPad for so long writing this crap as she calls it, some will agree with her. See you all in the championship August 2nd.

  16. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    The game that got us relegated was the win on Boxing Day at Sunderland! Although it shut my in-laws up, it made Bruce think that he could win with daft team selections, that Ramires was world class instead of very average…when fit…and probably saved Bruce’s job. This latter condemned us IMO. Our owners have been financially supportive, but their admitted lack of football knowledge may cost them by keeping Bruce…first installment about to be paid! Bruce is able to attract players by his name/reputation, and he has pushed forward the training/academy improvements, but first team matters have been rather shambolic in many aspects… IMO again.

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