1. Losing 3-0 at Sunderland is a calamity with no positives to be derived. None. Forget the talk of playing well for much of the game, and just look at the state of that scoreline. It’s absolutely terrible, and it’s difficult to stomach any hard luck stories.
2. City did look neat and tidy outside of the two penalty areas, and looked wretched inside them. From practically ushering Jermain Defoe to our goal to ineptly passing up every chance that came our way near their goal, we looked feeble, weak-minded and afraid when it came to the crunch.
3. Let’s throw some blame about, because again, just look at the state of that scoreline. It’s becoming tougher to support David Marshall, for at least one of the efforts that flew past him was eminently saveable. Ahmed Elmohamady is frankly not bothered and a waste of a shirt (we miss Moses Odubajo terribly, if only for his impeccable attitude). Ryan Mason looks frighteningly lightweight for a £13m investment, while Markus Henriksen appeared troubling distant from being Premier League.
4. What of Mike Phelan? There’s no doubt he’s been dealt an appalling hand thanks to the wilful damage that Ehab Allam and his dismal father are inflicting upon the club (of which more shortly). However, we’re in freefall and near-certain to be relegated, and he cannot be entirely exonerated.
5. It’s clear that City need additional investment in January, without which an instant return to the Championship is overwhelmingly probable. Meanwhile, Phelan must labour on with what he has, and somehow he needs to get his sorry-looking charges to improve at both ends of the pitch.
6. Given that three of the players criticised in point 3 were recent signings, there might be some who question the wisdom of giving Mike Phelan a wad of cash to spend in January. However, we’ve no idea just how many of the signings made near to the transfer window’s closure were actually Phelan’s choices, or if all of them were on a Post-It note left in Steve Bruce’s office after he’d grown tired of the Allam machinations and done one.
7. It would be a disaster if Abel Hernández were sold to Aston Villa in January. However, it’s a story that refuses to die, and even if it’s only been kept alive by a mischievous agent it’s still very much there. Dieumerci Mbokani has done extremely well up front, often alone, but if we’re to score the goals we need to reach the promised land of 17th, he needs a partner – and Hernández can score goals. Don’t even think about it, Ehab.
8. In his own mind Ehab probably thinks he’s really clever. In the real world, where publicly stated stupidity is easily searchable on the Internet, his previous utterances keep coming back to show just how dim he is. Remember this? “Clubs should be encouraged – by a penalty system – to ensure crowds are close to capacity. If, for instance, a game is not televised and played at 3pm on a Saturday then the attendance should be at least 90 per cent of capacity, maybe 95 per cent. Anything less and the club will be penalised financially. That would encourage clubs to improve their marketing, pricing structure and the standard of facilities. Get these right and supporters – both home and away –will want to come along. At Hull, it would put the onus on us to get things exactly right. If the prices were too high, we could miss the 90 per cent threshold.” How’s that onus going Ehab? Have you contacted the Premier League asking them to penalise the club financially for the empty seats as each passing month sees another record set for lowest Premier League attendance at the KCOM?
9. It’s increasingly apparent that the hateful Allam family are not going to relinquish their chokehold on the club voluntarily. It’s also obvious that they cannot be reasoned with, for they are not reasonable men, and it’s a waste of time trying – the name change fiasco demonstrated their total inability to comprehend logic that’s civilly imparted. The time has surely arrived for a greater directness in our attempts to usher them out of the door, before the damage they do ends up taking a generation to repair, and it’s going to take a lot more than protests at the game to achieve this. You don’t cure cancer with aromatherapy and Gregorian chanting, after all. We’re open to all ideas and happy to speak with any interested parties in bringing this about.