Things We Think We Think #233


1. The last few months of being a City fan have been awful (and if you care about more than just games and results, there has been a slow, drip feed of awfulness for the last few years) but Saturday was a huge tonic, an infusion of spirit and hope, and a reward for those fans who have wearily endured the machinations of owners driven only by ego and self regard, and maintained love for Hull City AFC.

2. There have been more important games in terms of on-pitch achievement than the season opener against the champions at the weekend, but emotionally and spiritually, that win over Leicester feels like the biggest win in many a year, akin to the day we secured our league status under Warren Joyce a moon or two ago. The much misunderstood or doubted connection between team and supporters was self-evident; the fans gave full throat to the players, themselves victimised and entirely blameless, and in response they grafted, sweated and performed to the very maximum of their ability. When the two most important groups in professional football join forces like that, it is very special indeed. We heartily thank and congratulate every one of the eleven players involved.

3. We also offer our thanks and congratulations to Mike Phelan. Working for a misanthropic regime hell bent on destroying the club, he has sturdily taken the few resources available to him and found a team, a gameplan and a sense of optimism, however momentary it all may prove to be. He may not be the right man long term, even though he has voiced his desire for the job full-time, but he is the right man right now, because right now it is a crisis that needs someone wise, experienced and composed. He has proved to be all three in the last week, and more.

4. Tactically, Phelan excelled. Sam Clucas guarded the defence with a maturity and composure befitting a man with several years of Premier League experience, rarely letting Leicester target the out-of-position Jake Livermore. It was an unexpected but inspired move, and an honest player such as Clucas clearly revelled in both the responsibility and the opportunity for an afternoon of unremitting graft.

5. Also noticeable was City’s preference for transferring the ball into advanced positions at the earliest opportunity – or “long ball”, if you fancy. Without the giant presence of Robert Huth and struggling to cope with the tenacious Adama Diomande, plus City eagerly scooping up loose balls, Leicester consistently struggled throughout.

6. It was mostly about attitude, though. We wondered last Monday whether City would at least have a sense of togetherness, brought about by a turbulent summer. That was firmly answered on Saturday. That was a team that fought fanatically for each other, typified by Livermore’s thunderous block to deny a certain Leicester goal shortly before we took the lead. It galvanised the fans, and the way in which supporters and team were feeding off each other in the those frantic final minutes was beautiful. The odds remain hugely stacked against us; but maybe, after a season of high expectations and demands, a spell as battling underdogs may suit us.

7. What next? Saturday will have been draining, with a full ninety minutes required of every starter. We’ve a week until Swansea, when an identical XI will doubtless be chosen. We’ll need that attitude again, because Swansea are no dopes and they may exploit our weaknesses and improvised formation better than a weirdly tepid Leicester.

8. Exeter in the League Cup, eh? Regionalising a competition jars with the purists, and we don’t much care for it – but that’s a fair old trip isn’t it? Still, there’s a terrace and a chance to revisit a familiar venue of yesteryear, it’ll be a tick ground for some and it should see us into the next round – right?

9. Who knows what is in store with the next owners? With our track record of governance it’s hard not to be a little cynical, but with such an overt appearance by the Chinese/Hong Kong group at the game on Saturday, it seems the end of the Allam era is in sight and that generates a tidal wave of hope. We hope the new owners will not only inspire success on the pitch, but also be sensitive to fan feeling, and make sure that they, club staff, the fans and the wider local community can together proudly feel that Hull City AFC is OUR club.

10. Only when the Allams are truly gone will they no longer be able be able to insert flies into the ointment. The pitchside electronic boards mention of the non existent entity of ‘Hull Tigers’ is a wilful act of spite and a feeble attempt at showing who is in control, by exposed dictators who haven’t even got the nerve to show up to see a reminder of their twice failing to impose their will on us. Let’s hope they take a few with them too, there’s a rotten culture at the club and the whole thing needs a clear out.

13 replies
  1. BazzaBeverley
    BazzaBeverley says:

    Good report. Personally, even before Staturday I believe Mike Phelan is the man for the job. I would have liked to have seen mention of the morons who defaced the stadium. They are a disgrace.

  2. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    Another well written report, so the Chinese consortium want to purchase the stadium. Fair enough if the price suits both parties. At least they don’t seem to want it for nothing like the Allam regime.
    The team morale seemed to stand out on Saturday, I’ve not made my mind up about Phelan yet.
    We need more fans back to protest for the next home match, but i know alot stay away solely due to the Allams.
    The Manchester fans are going to be noisy, we need to not only match them but beat them. Let’s hope by then we might see some movement with the takeover.
    Keep up your good work

  3. Paul
    Paul says:

    Good report guys, got to question if the Allams are going to actually sell though. Who were these people at the game, where they genuine? And what businesses man leaves his guests who are planning to give him £100m (or whatever it is) for his business clears off to ride a horse while trying to hit a ball with a stick? Surely you give the Polo a miss? Hope I’m wrong but until they’re gone I won’t believe it, nor will I pay to watch at the KC again.

  4. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    I haven’t been to a game at the KC in ages. It was the Fulham 6-0 in December 2013. I attended a meeting earlier that day that made it clear to me the depths to which the Allams were willing to sink and from thereon in I realised that I couldn’t give them another penny and would do away games only. Subsequent events only served to embolden this stance. My feeling has been that the fans alone might not be able to beat the Allams, but very low crowds would be a big embarrassment for them. Others haven’t gone with that stance, and that’s fair enough. Hull City fans should support Hull City. I know that. Each to their own.

    On the whole, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out. The Allams have continued to act in a vile manner. Steve Bruce was wheeled out on a semi-regular basis to defend their indefensible behaviour, meaning I was struggling to warm to him; it was them and us and during the name change battle he nailed his colours firmly to the ‘them’ mast. The players did a bit of it too. They also led us to a needless relegation and then only redeemed themselves with a largely underwhelming promotion that didn’t reflect the talent in the squad or the money spent assembling it. I struggled to identity with them. They didn’t represent me and didn’t reflect the things I loved about my club.

    So I’d not regretted my decision to stay away from home games. I hated the owners, and the manager and the players weren’t necessarily a group I felt any great affinity with. Then Saturday happened.

    We were ace. The players – for the first time in a long time – matched the passion of the fans. I haven’t felt such pride in my team since 2009. Some were played out of position, some supposedly weren’t ‘Premier League class’ (whatever that is), some looked knackered after 70 minutes but continued to run their blood to water. But they won. And deservedly so. I don’t think I’ve seen a Hull City team – emphasis on the world team – play so well as a unit. I haven’t celebrated a goal as much as I did Snodgrass’s for some time either.

    I needed that. I think we all did. It reminds us of why we keep going when so many people want to make the job of supporting our team as miserable and soul-destroying as possible.

  5. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    Mike Phelan only gets 7/10? That feels a bit harsh, I’m finding it hard to think that he isn’t deserving of 10/10. Anyway, whatever rating is given I must say that I loved his calm, composed and realistic pre and post match interviews, including the joke about his dodgy knees and Stephen Clemence’s big backside when he was asked whether he thought he might have to start on Saturday.
    Of course we can read a lot into Saturday’s result, which is not realistic and actually not important. What is important is that our professional players showed that they were just that, professionals, and a pretty close knit group to boot and this galvanized approach will bode well for not just the players we have now but also the ones that will be joining us over the next 2 weeks.
    So why shouldn’t Mike Phelan get the job on a full time basis? Is there anybody out there that thinks there is a better option given the circumstances?

  6. Simon & Garfunkel
    Simon & Garfunkel says:

    I would have thought you’d use ‘Phelan Groovy’ for ratingometer thingy-me-bob?
    Trips off the tongue easier, or maybe you’re too young to remember the song?

  7. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    I agree with Les re: 7/10.
    Fantastic yes but it is only 1 game.
    Interesting reading about our prospective new owners.
    On the plus side the Chinese tend to be consultative.
    On the down side
    “They are most likely to be prudent and considered. Don’t expect huge funds to be available for buying players,”
    “Nowhere have we seen massive spending following the acquisition of a club by new Chinese owners. Chinese business people don’t want to lose money on these ventures. They are here to try and make a commercial return, as well as to learn more about.
    Raises the bigger question, are they here to mine our knowledge and plow that into the Chinese league at our expense?

  8. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    As the season started, I was thinking that a number of sides I’ve seen in friendlies looked a bit disorganised. This gave hope that we could get some points if the makeshift defence did it’s job. Leicester missed their chances…we didn’t, and the team played as…a team! Job done …3points and onto Swansea. Watching MotD supported my thoughts on early season and I hope we can kick on and shock out some more points before teams settle…including the so called big boys! Swansea like to play down the flanks so I see no reason why a similar performance can’t get a result on Sat. Like all PL teams there are some dangerous players, but with a bit of luck there’s more points to be had!
    Well played boys…well done the temporary manager! Great spirit…onward and upward! COYH! Same again please!

  9. Eastmidstiger
    Eastmidstiger says:

    Great report and great posts. I have to agree with Paul, wondering are the Saddams serious in selling at this stage or are they intent on running the club down to its knees to teach us hooligans a lesson on daring to question the almighty power of the man of his word? I do hope those guys were not just a bunch of flown in tourists or from the local takeaways. I saw the comment from the analysis that Bill quotes, and yes if they are a Chinese consortium they will not just bank roll and splash the cash, but they do tend to work with the fans, that is what they are here to learn, anyone fancy owners working the fans? Wow imagine that…

  10. Aggie
    Aggie says:

    Not convinced Allams will sell until they have completely destroyed club but there’s a glimmer of hope with the prospective owners seeing such a great game, great team and great support. (pity I am in exile and left after the protest to watch on Sky). The new Chinese owners of West Brom certainly know how to make supporters feel appreciated – free scarves and drinks! It sounds like a fairy tale – but sometimes dreams do come true. Heres hoping!

  11. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Aggie we had free scarves away at Spurs.
    What we want are owners who will invest in the squad wisely. We don’t want 4 mercenary superstars who will give up and clear off when the chips are down.
    We need at least 6 ideally British players who know this league and who will fit in with our current squad.
    We want fair ticket pricing for all, to fill the ground.
    I’d like to see the ground sold but on condition that the stadium and whole area around West Park is regenerated.
    A consultative board, who liaise with the fans and media.
    Steady progress.

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