1. October’s Hull City is not the same side that earlier in the season showed an adeptness for ball retention and moving the ball up-field with smart, quick, short passing. Now City seem content to let the opponent have the ball for large swathes of the game, now City seem allergic to keeping the ball.
2. Sam Clucas had a torrid time filling in as left back, run ragged by Watford’s Dutch-born Moroccan Noureddine Amrabat. No shame in that, he was playing out of position, the shame lies in Mike Phelan’s doing nothing about Watford exploiting our weak spot all afternoon. Mason helped out on that side a couple of times, but didn’t appear to have been instructed to by the head coach. When Clucas went in the referee’s notebook with half an hour to go it seemed like a dismissal waiting to happen, but the lad who’s been a revelation in midfield this season was made to flounder till the game’s end.
3. This suggests Phelan didn’t think Watford continuing to focus on that side of the pitch in search of a winner was an issue worth doing something about, which is troubling, and/or he didn’t trust Josh Tymon to play in his natural role as a replacement for Clucas late on, which is interesting.
3. Watford’s goal, when it came (despite them having no shots on target, though they did hit the woodwork) stemmed from a move on which side you reckon? Yes, yes indeed, from the right wing. Dawson was incredibly unlucky, as was Marshall, neither could react to the ball pinging off the former, but there was nothing unlucky about us failing to do something to shore up the left side of defence, we just chose not to.
4. Ok, it wasn’t as bad as Bournemouth, but you’re really struggling to pick positives out of a sixth consecutive Premier League loss.
5. Alas, poor cactus purple third kit, we never got to know it well. How abhorred in our collective imagination it is!*
6. Luckily, despite the loss at Watford the week wasn’t a total loss. Victory at Ashton Gate on Tuesday reminded us that City can still defend tenaciously and overcome opposition, and the win was very welcome indeed. We’ll never look down at anything that gets City into a cup quarter final, and we’re delighted to be there.
7. Newcastle at home is an interesting draw. The Magpies, flying high in the Championship, are the bookies’ favourites to win the tie, which must be quite a rarity – when did a lower league side last find themselves expected to win away to Premier League opposition? Yet, given the pedigree of the sides left in the competition, it was them, West Ham or Leeds for a way into the semi-finals. And how exciting would that be?
8. City’s response to the tie has been characteristically erratic. The pricing for adults is very good, with a maximum charge of £15 being authentically good value. The lack of child/senior discounts is a nauseating disgrace. The decision to knock back Newcastle’s request for extra tickets is a challenge, to us and to them, to fill the ground.
9. Another week begins with the club in the clutches of the repellent Allam family. What part of “you aren’t wanted, you’re killing this club, so just fuck off” do you suppose they’re having difficult comprehending?
10. Oh dear…
* Shakespearean kit jokes. Niche!