1. An unfathomable amount has happened since we last wrote one of these, most of it in the past week. It’s hard to know where to start: Mike Phelan’s dismissal, the appointment of a largely unknown foreign coach, Cup progress and the first ever organised boycott of a City home game. If stability is one of the key ingredients of footballing success, City are sorely lacking it.
2. Let’s start with the sacking of Mike Phelan six days ago. Taken in isolation, there’s a real stench of shabbiness about it. Phelan did a job few others would have taken on, and kept the show if not quite wholly on the road, then at least mostly out of the steep ditches on either side. We’re bottom, but we’re not as hopelessly adrift as Ehab’s summer sabotage might have left us, and we’re League Cup semi-finalists.
3. It’s easy to pick holes in what Phelan did, and he was far from perfect – sometimes too negative, erratic in the deployment of personnel and tactically limited. Nonetheless, he kept our miserably thin squad together, won more games than we expected and actually had City playing some attractive football towards the end. His status as a decent and respected football man will hopefully not suffer from his experience with the Allam family, we thank him for doing his best and wish him well for the future.
4. Marco Silva then. We are supposed to believe that Ehab Allam has suddenly become massively knowledgeable about football and wanted a manager, sorry head coach, with a sports science background (which is odd, because the owners had a purge of sports science staff a few years ago, deeming them a waste of money). It has been suggested that the appointment was made on the suggestion of a party interested in buying the club, but whether that’s the case or not, it seems implausible that Ehab identified Silva as a candidate by himself.
5. Nonetheless, Silva’s CV is impressive: Near miraculous achievements with a small club (Estoril) followed by delivering the first silverware in a while to a well known club (Sporting Lisbon) and a league championship in another country (Olympiacos). He showed himself to be very articulate in his first club interview and called us Hull City several times for good measure. His appointment has breathed new life into the club, and we wish him the best of luck as a Premier League manager and in dealing with the buffoon(s) currently running the club.
6. It was quite unfortunate for Silva’s first game in charge to coincide with an organised boycott. Some opportunists claimed that boycotting the game was the action of fans who ‘don’t have the club at heart’, which is quite disingenuous. The boycott was never, ever about the club’s manager, its players or league position, but rather to highlight malcontent with the owners, something that hadn’t previously penetrated the football supporting collective consciousness on a national level. We would argue that wanting rid of the Allams is absolutely the default position of those who truly have the club at heart.
7. The attendance was 6,608. That’s essentially 10,000 down on when we faced Swansea in the League Cup last season, suggesting the boycott was a ‘success’. No one should be celebrating it as such though, that’s we’ve gotten to this point is a cause for great sadness.
8. Ehab Allam thinks ‘two or three’ signings will be enough to save Hull City’s Premier League status, so ahead of the deals being done we look forward to welcoming Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski to the Circle very soon.
9. The prospect of Robert Snodgrass leaving before the month is out is a genuine concern, even after the club activated a contract extension without attempting to negotiate a proper, long term deal. West Ham’s bid of £3m might seem insulting, but frankly City have insulted the player more by leaving it until just days before he was permitted to field free agency offers before indicating we’d maybe like to retain him. Well run clubs tie up players they want to keep a year (sometimes more) before their current deal expires, but we are not a well run club, which may encourage Snodgrass, who has been at the heart of anything and everything good that has happened this season, to take his chances elsewhere. If Snodgrass has his head turned by West Ham’s interest, then a lowball first offer puts them in a good position to get him for less than his true worth.
10. We won’t be podcasting tonight – we boycotted Swansea and we can’t therefore offer a reliable view of the game.