The club least prepared for a Premier League campaign in its history versus its unlikeliest champions. Stories abound, and journalists peering into the season’s opener may be spoiled for choice.
However, the Leicester story has already sunk in, while the barely believable slow-motion collapse of City has been piquing national interest throughout the week. Not until Mike Phelan’s bravely defiant press conference yesterday did the true scale of the horror became absolutely clear even to those in East Yorkshire who’ve lived through this surreal summer.
13 fit players, two of which are keepers. One fit central defender. A bench full of youth team players with virtually no senior experience. No manager. No new signings. Rightly reviled owners set upon revenge. It’s a calamity, and it’s rightly provoked widespread protests at the ruinous antics of the increasingly loathed Allam family.
More of them at the end. There’s a football match going on. City’s travails are well known, barely able to assemble a side and hoping that a makeshift XI can rely upon team spirit and gallows humour to at least make themselves competitive. Jake Livermore is likely to play in defence. The formation is dictated by who’s available. If we’re 1-0 down with twenty minutes left (“if only”, you may say), there’ll be only children on the bench to call up.
Leicester, meanwhile, have a fully fit and properly assembled squad to choose from.
It’s no surprise they are odds-on to take all three points, with 19/20 the best price you’ll find on the Foxes. 18/5 is on offer for City, 13/5 for a draw – both results we’d greedily snatch right now. City were actually one of the few sides to best Leicester last season, knocking them out of the League Cup on penalties –
But today is necessarily about more than just this one game. A Premier League record low attendance at The Circle is guaranteed, with thousands of empty seats inevitable. The Hull City Supporters’ Trust is co-ordinating a protest that we wholeheartedly endorse. The Allam family may be close to the exit, but it’s absolutely essential we remind them it’s our preferred destination for them, and show the whole world our dissatisfaction with their deliberate sabotage of this season.
See you at 12pm outside the West Stand. And as for the team, they’re victims of Ehab as much as we are too. They, along with Mike Phelan, are all we have left. Cheer them. Support them, and appreciate the impossible position that family has placed them too. And leave Assem and Ehab Allam in no doubt as to what the people of Hull think of them.
Come on City.