Things We Think We Think #232

TWTWT1. 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! 

7 replies
  1. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    What a pity Mike Phelan won’t read your summing up!
    So Phelan seems to be in my opinion like Steve Bruce, he can’t react quick enough to make on the spot changes.
    Let’s hope our newest assistant to Phelan might spot this problem when he’s observed a couple of matches.
    I noted bbcburnsy quoted another Chinese consortium interested in buying Hull City, well I just hope the Allams sell sometime soon because the way we are slipping down the table surely there is a big chance all the buyers will have a rethink!
    On players I think at the moment Keane is a lightweight striker, easily bundled off the ball, big Harry is better in a more forward position, keen,
    harder to get the ball off.

  2. Jonty
    Jonty says:

    Phelan should go now. He is clearly out of his depth. Everyone in City’s end could see what the problem was on Sat within 5 minutes of the game starting, yet we didn’t do anything about it at all. Embarrassingly poor. And whilst it might not suit everyone surely an Allardyce-led City would have a chance of surviving. Dull football I hear you cry, but the last 2 Saturdays were about as dull as you could get anyway. Not that this will happen of course because the Allams are no marks when it comes to football intelligence.

  3. Keith
    Keith says:

    Totally agree about the point on Clucas having a torrid time. reminds me of the Brighton away game last season. I would have thought by now the management realise he is not a full back. At every opportunity Watford played ball out to the right hand side so why didn’t Phelan do something about it?

    I have been to the Bournemouth, Stoke and Watford games. I can’t remember Keane making any real contribution in any of the games. In the Watford game when the ball was played long he came short and vice versa. Finally in the second half when the ball was played long and he got it and controlled it he fired the cross into the stands. Just not good enough and looks like he never will be..

    On the positive side at lease the performance against Watford was an improvement overall.l

  4. Murray
    Murray says:

    I agree re Phelan. Out of his depth, whilst agreeing it was a better doesn’t really matter does it we lost. In re Allan’s nothing else to say. Chinese buyers? Yes right They only want the publicity. There are no buyers haven’t been for over two years and none now. Yet the price is going up! I think it’s time to move Phelan out I would take Big Sam boring but survival chance most certainly
    Murray in Miami

  5. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Dream on if you think that the Allams will pay out the kind of money that Big Sam would want, it took them long enough to give Phelan a contract until the end of the season. Phelan has shown why he remained as Sir Alex’s number 2 at Old Trafford, he is tactically inept and is like a rabbit in the headlights when things obviously need changing mid-game. Tymon should have slotted in at full back, Clucas has neither the pace nor the nous to make a good defender and Bowen should have been given a start up front with Hernandez. Keane runs around like a headless chicken and will never be a Premier League player in a million years. A sale looks increasingly unlikely this side of Christmas and our wonderful owners won’t spend a penny in the January window if they are still in charge. No one in their right mind will buy a Championship club with no ground for 130 million and if the Allams have their way we will be competing with North Ferriby in the not too distant future. Steve Bruce saw the writing on the wall and walked with his reputation intact, I foresee gates of 12,000 next season if we are relegated and a fire sale of players, all thanks to the odious and disgraceful boy wonder!

  6. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    After the first 4 games when we were riding high, there was a clamour to appoint Phelan as manager. Ehab Allam was ridiculed for not doing this. I spoke out and said (expecting the takeover to have happened by then ) that I wanted Bruce back. No people cried, Phelans style is more attack minded, more entertaining than Bruces.
    1 month on and it’s a very different story. I sat at the KC in total disbelief at the team selection vs Stoke. I feel that we’ll be lucky to get to 25 points this season. This is of course down to the shambolic preseason with Bruce walking out, the on/off takeover and with signings left to the 11th hour. We desperately needed another top striker, in addition to the signings made. We needed cover at left back and right back. Yet we focused on signing another keeper???
    Dropping the Jak who had performed admirally for Marshall was the start of the rot. Marshall looks slower to react and clearly hasn’t organised his defence as well as the Jak had.
    Josh Tymon has never let us down and did us proud at Bury and Arsenal so why not put faith in him, rather than play people out of position.
    My glass is always half full, I still believe Phil Brown would have kept us up and I despise Ian Downe.
    Yet I just cannot see how we are getting out of this rut without stability at the club.
    I’d take a point now against a very good Southampton side.
    Ps. Great piece on Phil Brown on this website.

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