1. A bewildering, frustrating and infuriating week in this life of following Hull City. One of the worst defeats of our era, both in scoreline and performance, followed by a bitty, odd non-display against a vastly limited team when the toxicity enveloping everyone involved with the club became as visible as ever.
2. Derby had a hold on us after winning at the Circle earlier in the season, and it was always the toughest of prospects after witnessing our form fall off a cliff of late, but to be cuffed 4-0 with amateurish mistakes, half-arsed turns from big names and retribution afterwards, really did feel like a dagger through the heart of our season.
3. Steve Bruce dropped Curtis Davies for the game at Huddersfield and whatever was said or inferred about this, it seems clear to us that Davies, who made that stunningly bad error for Derby’s opening goal, was being scapegoated, surreptitiously, for what occurred in the East Midlands. The manager is also entitled to change his mind, of course, but it didn’t look good when Davies was stripped and ready to replace the injured Michael Dawson at Huddersfield, only to then be told to retake his seat as a formation change was preferred.
4. What a weird occasion at Huddersfield that was. Four goals and City coming from behind twice. Should be a sign of character that, but it was merely a symptom of being shorn of conviction in who they are and what they are capable of. Given how good and expensive – and proven – our squad, to be so shapeless and idealess is bordering unforgivable. The only reason we came back is because our opponents were incredibly limited.
5. The mood in the away ends this week has been interesting. Fatalism abounds, but no little irritation as well. There was a splendidly well-observed “City Till I Die” on 19’04” on Saturday, marking two years since the FA torpedoed preposterous idea of City changing their name. But anti-Allam chants were also in evidence. Were they prompted by the anniversary of the fans’ victory? Frustration at the season’s disintegration? Either will, ill-feeling towards the Allam family remains.
6. The Bruce Out school of thought seems to be gaining new pupils week on week, but what is to be gained by making a managerial change now? What managers are available that could revitalise our season at this point? Perhaps our view is coloured by the appointment of one time ‘temporary football management consultant’ Iain Dowie, but there doesn’t seem an obvious choice of candidate, and without one would you trust Ehab Allam getting such a massive call right? Automatic promotion is seemingly gone, but dropping out of the play-off race seems unlikely. Steve Bruce still seems the best man to get us in form come play-off time, even if next season is a different story entirely.
7. Ahmed Elmohamady has had three excellent seasons with City, but this year’s performances suggest that he isn’t even remotely interested in a fifth, or even in impressing another club so they’ll take him. Sad. Really sad.
8. Wolves next up. We’re playing for nothing more than the opportunity to have the second leg of the play-offs at home. That doesn’t exactly quicken the pulse and we can’t imagine it’ll shift too many over-priced tickets, but somehow the manager and his players have got to regain some semblence of form before we enter those play-offs. Remember Watford in 2008? That could be us if we enter them still stricken by the current malaise. Steve Bruce could do a lot worse than simply pick his hardest-working XI and see if they can recover the situation.
9. A Fans’ Working Group meeting to discuss proposed alterations to the membership scheme was cancelled midweek, ostensibly because of the horror show at Derby. Some fans on fixed incomes or with children have suggested this may be their last season as passholders (or whatever they are to be called) if they are priced out by a lack of concessions, this needs to be resolved soon, and not put off because of an individual game.
10. Since then, we’ve heard nothing whatsoever about the scheme or the club’s plans to reconvene a meeting of fans’ groups to iron out the problems. With that apparently not happening and the membership scheme nowhere near ready to be launched, we hope the club postpone their plans for its implementation. Proceeding with a system that is fine in principle but has significant flaws that the club apparently don’t want to discuss, and at a time when many fans are increasingly disillusioned, has the potential to cause damage both short and long term.