Things We Think We Think #225


1. The win at Reading was terrific, but City’s subsequent failure to beat Leeds seems emblematic of our season as a whole: we showed flashes of excellence and superiority, but then lost our way when a lasting statement about that superiority was required. That’s why ‘the best squad in the division’ is fourth, ten points off the automatic promotion pace.

2. Thankfully, the Football League’s format will give us another chance to turn underachievement into success. Even though failing to exact revenge on Leeds for the Elland Road defeat was a disappointment, the wider form context of two wins and two draws means we have a good platform to enter the play-offs in buoyant mood.

3: Ah yes, the play-offs. With us unable now to catch any of the top three, we can now think actively about the mini-campaign that could yet salvage what has been a season of dislike, mistrust and standoffishness. The question to ask is: who do we want? Or, more pertinently, is it possible to avoid Derby?

4: Let’s face it, the only way we’re going to get Sheffield Wednesday, who although not assured of a play-off place are looking increasingly likely to secure one, would be for them to overhaul Derby and finish fifth (or us and Derby, and finish fourth). By this weekend, that could be impossible anyway. So unless we sink to sixth with three heavy defeats and get the odd one out of the three-strong 87-club (out of interest, two of the three scribes here think that’ll be Middlesbrough, with the other going for Brighton), it’s apparent that we’re going to play Derby twice more – and this is the only team to do the double over us this season. Still, prior to the final in 2008 we’d dropped points in both our ‘regulation’ games against Bristol City, so…

5. There were some positive displays from key individuals on Saturday. Chuba Akpom played with a dynamism and willingness that hasn’t been seen since late summer, and Tom Huddlestone is in a good run of form, playing crisp and effective football. That may be to get him a deal elsewhere, but it suits City’s purposes just fine.

6. Steve Bruce repeatedly lecturing supporters on what they should say at games is rather irritating. He is extremely well paid to manage City, a job he has until recently done very well. In return, he should leave the supporting to us, and not EVER imply that beseeching the club to see sense somehow constitutes a lack of support for the team. It may be difficult to speak out against his bosses – fine, we get that. That’s no excuse for transferring his frustration onto those who are being priced out of watching their local team next season.

7. As it happens, he could have little complaint about the crowd on Saturday. Though anger bubbles under the surface of a fanbase treated with utter contempt by the club’s hierarchy, the toxic atmosphere of recent games was absent and any ire was aimed at Leeds and their fans (well, aside from a half time announcement about the Membership Scheme that was roundly booed).

8. Outside the ground was a different matter, some fans of a certain vintage were burning their membership packs in West Park, and all week long we’ve seen photos on social media of defaced reply envelope. ‘Earn your stripes’ becoming ‘Another tripe idea’ was our favourite.

9. As we despair at the bovine intransigence of the club, we applaud the Hull City Supporters Trust. Their press release on Thursday was a terrific piece of work and their spokespeople have been eloquent and informed when commenting in the media. The contrast with those at Hull City AFC could not be more stark.

10. Sometimes a picture says more than many words, so…

Old Fan

19 replies
  1. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    After reading in Sunday’s paper that even Steve Bruce is unhappy here, if we get promotion and pass go he collects a £1 million bonus.
    The downside for him is in his contract,if he collects his bounty he must start next season here!!
    Seems that start next season may not be in his plans, so do we blame Bruce for some bad substitution timings, wrong players, so he could give up the bonus and move on.
    According to the press Mike Phelan is already preparing to put his name forward.
    Earn your stripes is another example of how to cock up what could have been a good idea, but our owners don’t seem able to grasp the idea fans could/should be consulted or run the idea before PROPER stadium consultants.

  2. Bond
    Bond says:

    Burnsy being banned from speaking to Bruce since before the Reading game and now Bruce not even doing post match interviews seems to confirm the exit door is inevitable.
    Couple that with the massive flaws in the membership scam and you just wonder……

  3. And yet....
    And yet.... says:

    Steve Bruce has done his job very well until recently? Oh, puh-leeease! Notwithstanding a number of fine individual and team performances City have been significantly underperforming on the whole for over two years now. That has to be down to the manager in the end.

  4. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    Quick, quick sign up for earn your stripes , then we can announce manager going like Barmby did,
    Can’t work with numb nut owners

  5. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Absolutely agree with “And yet…” comment above! Comment has been made about the poor set pieces, etc and what goes on on the training field by several posters including myself. Our loss of an auto promo place stems from conceding too many goals and not scoring enough. The ratios of 20 or so shots to 5/6 on target must improve for the playoffs! That needs work on the training field. Thudd showed that he can get more goals! My observation of highlights suggested that a number of sides know how to hit a shot, and we’re relatively poor! Brentford look good and are on a roll at the moment, so I expect dropped points against them. Got the Leeds result correct…hope I’m wrong this time as we need to finish above Derby.
    It’s also been commented on that players are getting plenty of space in our box. Dawson was also guilty IMO. This needs work for the playoffs as we also have two full backs who are poor defenders! Robertson was running around like a headless chicken for the second goal and midfielders need to drop back, work harder and help him out. Training ground boys!
    It does look like a few players are thinking positively wrt playoffs, but Bruce needs to up his game and shut his mouth. Wonder if he’s had Derby watched… He should for all their remaining games!

  6. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Thanks Bosco – it does work and pictures do paint a thousand words. The advert and the chap in point 10 sum it up brilliantly.
    A very fair TTWT.
    I’m thinking that Boro will miss out and if by some divine intervention we beat Derby, then I’d take Boro at Wembley.
    Such a strange feeling supporting City just now. The fans were superb on Saturday, great atmosphere and fantastic booing at half time.
    If only the Allams could see sense on the membership scheme.
    As for Mike Phelan next season??? He hasn’t added anything new thiz season. I’d rather have Warren Joyce.

  7. Dr Seuss
    Dr Seuss says:

    Thanks Bosco. I’ve resent the advert around so many people my keyboard’s getting tired.
    10. What a sad and sorry picture. One can’t help but be reminded of someone begging for spare change – and at a place he has gone to of his own free will for so long. Forgive me for this but perhaps a yellow star sewn on his jacket to make sure that he and the world knows he’s a bit lesser than the rest. Utter utter bastards.
    9. Yes, very,very good. I sent HCST an email complimenting them on it and they graciously replied back. I must have sent umpteen emails to Hull City and never had one reply. “what did you expect” I hear you all cry. Yeah, sorry about that. What was I thinking of?
    Yet another display from City of almost world beating, blistering pressure in the first 15 minutes where there is only one side in it and a goal(s) seems inevitable. Seen it many times all this and last season and the end result is we can’t score and then fade away. It’s as if we get to a point where the team collectively says, “oh this hopeless. let’s not bother.” Oh well only another couple of games and then I’m free.

  8. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Dr. Seuss – I’ve sent Hull City 2 emails outlining why this membership is wrong and how it could be (with relative ease) sold in a positive manner.
    I’ve supported the club for 40 years (scary thought) and on the theme of Earn Your Stripes, surely fans with 50 years loyalty should be welcomed with open arms? They should be offered a free upgrade to.VIP status as a thank you? Fans with 70 years loyalty, either a free season ticket or again be upgraded FOC ?
    Instead they are cast aside to the cold corners of the West Stand.
    BBC 606 took a real interest in this a few weeks ago.
    Please phone in and vent your disgust on air.

  9. Chris Stern
    Chris Stern says:

    They’ve done so many disgraceful things that this latest one just puts a very large dollop of icing on the cake. Then they continue to avoid using the name of the club in the entire pack! Then there was the crass insensitive announcement at half time. I really am beginning to hate the club that I have loved all my life. I attended my first match with my best friend in 1966 and it looks like I’ll attend my last match with the same friend in a week or two. How sad, I couldn’t transfer my allegiance and I think that this will mark the end of my love of football completely. It will be too painful not bring involved with the club I love. Worked out that I spend over £2000 a season. Maybe I’ll go round the world instead.

  10. Eastmidstiger
    Eastmidstiger says:

    Some great comments this week, Bond I was not aware of Burnsy being banned from speaking to Bruce, but as I listen to Burnsy most Sats via Tiger Player I was quite surprised that last Sat he was so not sat on the fence anymore, and really had dig after dig at the so called loyalty scheme, I thought something must have kicked off. Looks like it is all coming out in the wash, I reckon Bruce fancies a possible vacant Newcastle job. Better the devil you know and all that but for me my frustration with SB started early last season, and it is time for change in my opinion, problem is what experienced proven manager would come to a club apparently up for sale but with no interested buyers (if you believe the Adams Family) and imagine the prospect of being interviewed by a boss who knows nothing about football and how to run a football club? I would not leave my current job om my meagre salary for that gamble! All teams look at promotion to the promised land as the biggest game in history, but I fear that for us if we don’t go up this year we will probably be going down next season.

  11. South Stand optimist
    South Stand optimist says:

    The major flaw with the scheme is that youngsters (over 7) can not get cheaper access than an adult. In the South Stand seniors have to pay £48 more than 2015/16 (which most around me seem prepared to pay) but adults make a substantial saving. With the dates of birth and history of pass holders it should be possible to give some variation in pricing for juniors and police this and then the one price for all approach could be taken with match by match ticket sales where I would suspect the perceived concession abuse has been occurring. For example each adult might be prepared to pay, say, £5 per month more to give 7-18 year old members a concessionary price, say, £150.

    I wonder if the ownership would be prepared to listen to the suggestion!!

    Obviously the West Stand Upper closure is a backward step and points made by such as Amber Nectar about filling the stand with cheap children/club/school ticketing would be a far more positive approach.

    Bruce is a straight talker and if it is the end of his time we should be thankful for what he did achieve bearing in mind the thinking that summer he arrived.

  12. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    Re point 10. Shame on you for publishing this picture. The comparison with Adolf Hitler is without doubt deeply offensive to many people. The gentleman that the picture is of can choose in a society based on free speech to demonstrate how he wishes, however distasteful it might be but associations such as yours should not promote his message. Rightly or wrongly you have influence with many people and you should respect this position which should start with understanding the difference between right and wrong. I suggest that you publish an apology forthwith.

  13. Rich
    Rich says:

    That picture is all over social media. You’re the first person I have heard commenting negatively on it, make of that what you will.

  14. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    JohnnyK: get a life and grow a spine. Amber Nectar offends no one by displaying one man’s protest. It demonstrates the degree of unrest Allam has created.

  15. City Tiger
    City Tiger says:

    @JohnK: So now it’s not OK to draw a tiny moustache on a picture of an old man? Next you’ll be telling me we can’t

  16. Les
    Les says:

    You know JohnK, had you simply said ‘the chaps decision to give Allam a Hitler moustache was ill advised and offensive to many’.
    I would be in full agreement.

    However, when you imply moral superiority on your part and state we should ‘start … understanding the difference between right and wrong’ and claiming we have somehow acted shamefully by showing a picture that had already been spread far and wide via Twitter, it just makes me thinks ‘boy what a sanctimonious cunt’. Given some of the views you yourself have espoused on social media JohnK, I will not be taking lectures about right and wrong from you.

    Posting that picture does not ‘promote his message’, it gives people the opportunity to form their own opinion.

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