Things We Think We Think #244

TWTWT

1. A week ago, we wistfully sighed at the triumph that a point from Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal would be, doubting that even that modest total could be met. Get ye gone, pessimism! Marco Silva is in charge, and there are shades of 2008’s “anything’s possible” mindset bubbling to the surface.

2. Manchester United first. Not unlike our other recent trip to Old Trafford, we went hoping for a point but more realistically aiming to keep it close. Instead, City fought tenaciously enough to pinch a draw, and came desperately close to even stealing what would have been a first win at that ground since 1952. And thoroughly merited it was too, with City playing with a confidence that belied our lowly league status.

3. We can scarcely imagine the chaos that would’ve ensued if Lazar Marković’s cute shot had struck David de Gea’s post another inch further along. In contrast to some visits to the “big clubs”, the away end was largely free of tourists and their revolting half-scarves, and instead the atmosphere was a good one and we all richly enjoyed the performance. But if only Marković had fractionally adjusted his shot…or Hernández had controlled that high ball when twenty yards clear…

3a. Of course, the embittered halfwits at Old Trafford would probably have lodged a High Court injunction striking the game from the records. Jose Mourinho is a nasty specimen whose repellent bullying attitude increasingly render him yesterday’s man, while being chided for playing to the cameras by Zlatan Ibrahimović is simply beyond parody. In case you’re wondering, you pair of dildos, it made the result even sweeter.

4. As it was, we didn’t have long to wait for bedlam in the stands while socking it to one of the Sky Sports Super Clubs. Liverpool may have been wobbling, and our resurrection is clear, but we still started as distant underdogs against a side that panned us 5-1 earlier in the season. This could scarcely have been different. Sure, the statistics may record that Liverpool had more possession, shots, corners and so on – but they looked fretful throughout, whereas City applied themselves with steely resolve. This is a side that really knows what it’s doing and calmly does it. And when Oumar Niasse unflinchingly stroked the game’s second goal past the Liverpool keeper to win the game, we had our moment of Tiger Mayhem.

5. There’s such a long way to go that this cannot be regarded as anything other than the start of things. We remain in the bottom three, and it’s going to take something remarkable at Arsenal to alter that next weekend. What’s clear is that Marco Silva is restoring confidence to a side that (and we really must remember this) was playing well under Mike Phelan, but rarely seemed to believe it could finish sides off. Whatever he’s doing, he needs to continue it.

6. City’s relegation in 2015 should forever dispel the myth that you can ‘win’ the January transfer window, but nonetheless there is good reason to be pleased with the recruitment done on Marco Silva’s behalf. Polish winger Kamil Grosicki seems a particularly exciting signing, giving us width and a ready made dead ball specialist to replace the departing Snodgrass. Grosicki seems genuinely excited to be a City player too, rather than just being here to rehabilitate a faltering career.

7. That might sound sneery, as City have signed a few players on loan who have essentially failed with their parent club (Niasse with Everton, Marković with Liverpool, Ranocchia with Internazionale), but no such sneer is intended. On the contrary Marco Silva’s plan of mobilising a mob of misfits is admirable (possibly inspired), and the vast improvement we’ve seen in David Meyler and likely 2017 Ballon D’or nominee Tom Huddlestone under Silva is testament to his ability to coach and improve players regardless of what has gone before. Sign one such player and the destabilising impact of Hatem Ben Arfa is a possibility, sign three or four and the odds of one or more being a success dramatically improves, and lessens the disruption if one fails miserably.

7a. City apparently missed out on Guingamp midfielder Yannis Salibur because they ‘ran out of time’. The transfer window is only open for one day after all. What’s that? It isn’t? Oh!

8. City fans have got so used to a lack of meaningful communication from either of the Allams that some have responded to the club’s ‘Transfer Window Review with Ehab Allam” with delirious glee. Regular meaningful communication is a MINIMUM REQUIREMENT of a chairman, it should not be considered an unexpected bonus or anything particularly laudable, even if the latest attempt is a positive step.

9. The Allams just don’t do admissions of personal culpability do they? Ehab attempted to pin the ‘permanent’ hiring of Mike Phelan (and indeed the overlooking of Marco Silva in the summer) on “three potential buyers” as if he had no input. With those deals no longer pursued (they lost interest as City dropped down the table, Ehab says; his standing up one of the bidders, Peter Grieve, had no impact) Ehab took positive, decisive action to bring Silva in. Nicely staged Ehab, of course you’ll come across well when there are no probing or challenging questions on the table. It’s way past time for you to address the Premier League rulebreaking on lack of concessions and the laughable marketing mess caused by using different club names on different media platforms.

10. Hard luck to Ahmed Elmohamady, who last night featured in the Egypt side that lost the final of the African Cup of Nations. He’s going to find a lot’s changed here when he returns to East Yorkshire…

14 replies
  1. Richard pearson
    Richard pearson says:

    Mourinho’s response to our draw was typically graceless and best ignored. I think it’s done for the sake of headlines – “alternative facts” as the Orange Beast calls it Wonderful day last Saturday, could it be another “Great Escape”?

  2. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    Good report again.I thought we missed out on Salibur because the paperwork was sent to the wrong place?
    Another showing up because of staff cutbacks / redundant staff??
    We should find out if City have still signed him this week after FIFA’s meeting.
    Back to Silva now, what a relevaton he is. Got the players playing well to his instructions. Cut out all the back & sideways passing that we seemed to be doing all the time before.
    The signings he brought in all look decent, some look very good!!
    I do note that we are getting more Hull City postings from the club all of a sudden, but as you say this guy/ family (Allams) will only just do what he has to, nothing more which is a shame because that family COULD have come out of buying the club & running it far greater with a bit of common sense.

  3. Ben
    Ben says:

    Surely the fact that Ehab has started to talk again is a positive and a small bit of progress. It is clear that they aren’t going to sell now so we all need to get on with supporting MS in keeping the club up. It was fantastic to see such a positive atmosphere in the ground again on Saturday with no meaningless Allam Out chanting (or certainly none that was audible).
    No one knows what the situation was with the “non signing” but everyone seems to be onboard so hopefully FIFA will ratify.
    Whatever you think about the Allams, surely they deserve some credit for bringing in Silva – it could prove to be an inspired decision. Genuinely think we will stay up now. We are in form and Palace and Leicester seems to be on the slide as are Boro. I can also see Bournemouth getting sucked in. If we do survive it would arguably be on a par with the “Great Escape”.

  4. Adam
    Adam says:

    There’s a compilation video of Grosicki’s debut on Youtube that’s somehow already got 300,000 views! Looks like the Poles are crazy excited about him, and I can’t wait to see how he plays against a ‘weaker’ team when his attacking strengths can come out (he looked a little unsuited to the constant defending on Saturday).

    Also, surely it’s time to drop Hernandez for Niasse? I know who I’d want playing on the counter (although again, maybe Hernandez is better against lesser opposition when we have more of the ball). And I can’t see Elmo getting back into the side…

  5. Les
    Les says:

    Ben: “Surely the fact that Ehab has started to talk again is a positive and a small bit of progress.”

    Yes, we explicitly acknowledge that with “the latest attempt is a positive step.”

    Ben: “Whatever you think about the Allams, surely they deserve some credit for bringing in Silva.”

    Yes, we have expressed that in our outputs.

  6. Brian Hudson
    Brian Hudson says:

    As an absent, but long-term supporter (60years+!), can I ask everyone to give 100% support to our team throughout the full 90 minutes of each of our last 7 home fixtures? Campaign as hard as possible, drum up as much support as possible, to make the Allams more open, more responsive, more sensible, more sensitive to the fans’ (their customers!) demands – but, please, within the ground for these last games, the same unswerving support that has always been there.

  7. ann guy
    ann guy says:

    Interesting that our Man U supporting neighbours and their kids, also my Liverpool supporter friends can feed back to me, city fan for 50 years, as to how much improved our players are, they having been able to afford to go to both matches, whilst my kids, my husband and I are listening at home, unable to afford the membership. Keep talking Allams, we’re listening. Great report, thankyou.

  8. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    I may be looking at life through rose tinted spectacles but if the general consensus is a need for a change of ownership, which I agree it is, then I do believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    I can’t see the Allam’s selling if we don’t retain our PL status next season so the upturn in fortune since the turn of the year plays exactly to that tune.
    However it came about the Allam’s have clearly come out of their slumber and realised the same. The employment of Marco Silva, while a risk, and the acquisition of 7 new players with points to prove and a coach that will squeeze the last ounce of sweat out of them to make sure it happens is all good news.
    I accept that in the process we have lost Jake and Snods, the latter I was less concerned about as I think he only turned up when he wanted and his scoring stats were always going to look good in a team that had as their second highest scorer a central defender, well for a time at least.
    So for the remainder of the season my suggestion is that if there is great support of the team on the pitch, which is in turn repaid by good results and PL status is confirmed then I think everybody will get their wish and new owners will be installed during the summer as fast as you can say Jack Robinson. Ehab’s latest efforts at communicative overtones would also suggest that he understands that a sale will be quickly achievable if he, in his way, tries to build a bridge or two.
    So for the first time in a long time it could appear that everybody is pushing in the same direction for the same goal both on and off the pitch.
    On a separate note, the Liverpool match commentator (I watch live in the USA) was suggesting on Saturday that after the Liverpool win then just 4 more wins could be good enough to stay up. Don’t know what anybody’s thoughts on this are but seems a bit seat of the pants to me. Moreover if I look at the remaining fixtures, out of the 14 I can see 6 wins and 2 draws, which would put us on 40 points and probably by the commentators criteria mid table!

  9. Chris
    Chris says:

    I’d like to second your nomination of Tommy Tommy Tommy Tommy Huddlestone for the Ballon D’Or. It’s amazing what these know-nothing foreign managers can do for a player when they decide to build a team around him rather than leave him on the bench because he’s a bit too slow for the Best Premier League In The World.

    I know the country will be behind us next week when we give those sanctimonious norf landan goons a good going over. Hopefully one particular slack-jawed, Thames-estuary-slavering halfwit pundit will be forced to reflect on how his own life and career was saved by the sudden, unexpected appearance of a know-nothing foreign manager

  10. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    In my opinion the Allams don’t talk TO the fans. They talk AT us.

    On 19th January HCST sent an open letter to Ehab asking for talks, a request that had previously been made repeatedly without reply.

    I have looked for reports of any response to that open letter but am unable to find any.

    Enough said.

    I will in my own way support HCAFC until my dying day. The Allams lost any prospect of my support a long time ago, based on their disrespect for and open contempt towards the core fanbase and our city.. I see no sign whatsoever of them reversing their attitude.

    Marco Silva and the team need as much support from us AND the owners as possible. I know we will provide our support. The Allams will do “what is morally right” for themselves, as Ehab has already said.

  11. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Thought we may with luck get 2 points from this batch of games…at best 3 with a hard fought/lucky win, so yippee dooo! The Arse aren’t looking great at the moment, so not impossible… Pity we drew Man U in the Cup as either Liverpool or Soton would probably have seen us to Wembley on current form. Man U were just picking up and probably the best squad to pick from. Such is Cup fortune…but the gate was disappointing…
    As to Ehab’s interview/PR, some encouraging bits and good explanation of some costs, etc. However, the cock up in our last signing provides ammunition for the view that 2 players were sold to pocket some cash. They’re obviously meaning to keep City up, so we’ll see in the summer. More moves on these lines would be welcome, and a comment to look at the concessions issues, seating, the badge, etc would go a long way…
    Meanwhile hope Silva and the boys can depress my Arse supporting son in law on Sat! COYH! Onward & upward!!

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