Things We Think We Think #248

TWTWT

1. We needed that. Forget the manner in which it was achieved, just count up those three points and reflect upon a dirty job done well. The Premier League table and the predicament it places City in has been upgraded from “critical” to merely “severe”.

2. City’s 2-1 win over Swansea will not live long in the memory, but that doesn’t matter. After the pretty wretched capitulation at Leicester, coming on the back of a disappointing draw against Burnley, it’s hard to imagine that City’s aspirations of staying up could have survived anything but a victory over Swansea. Sometimes, it just needs grinding out. And that was done, to the significant credit of a side that must have felt immense and growing pressure throughout the afternoon.

3. For an agonisingly long time, it was a win that didn’t feel as if it was coming. Swansea were as limited as you’d anticipate relegation rivals on the road to be, but they were also organised and well aware that a point was as useful for them as damaging for us. For the first hour, City laboured against the Swans, and while the eventual victory makes it easy to overlook, the manager could do a lot worse than revisit this period for clues about how it could be improved upon.

4. It’s also easy to assume it’s nothing more than City playing for too long with one striker, and it’s true that the improvement upon playing with two up front was swift and considerable. However, City looked to be lining up with a 4-5-1 designed to quickly morph into a 4-3-3 – except that it was far from quick. Swansea had the better of the opening stages, and nervous or not, City simply didn’t start the game well enough.

5. At least City stayed in the game when struggling. And when Llorente went off close to half-time and Swansea realised they’d forgotten to devise a Plan B for life without the Spaniard, we grew nicely into the game. It still took the addition of a second forward though. As touched upon in the match report, strikers hunt in pairs, and even the most willing of forwards must find it dispiriting to plough a lone furrow. Hernández brightened when Niasse arrived and the combination for their goal was delicious. Silva appears not to favour a front two – but might the instant impact that pairing Hernández and Niasse had give him cause to reconsider? (post-Everton, at least…)

5a. The laughable attempts of Swansea fans on Social Media to paint City as little more than thugs trying to cripple all of their players glosses over a simpler truth. Swansea are a team of fadges.

6. The effectiveness of a front pairing was further emphasised when City reverted to one up front for the closing spell, allowing Swansea to press forward with urgency and score a preventable consolation which made it uncomfortable for the last couple of minutes of added time. It seems that this is sewn into City’s fabric, this notion that winning comfortably is anathema and somehow we have to make it hard for ourselves. Taking off attackers when in winning positions, very simply, endangers that winning position. Swansea had nothing left to lose by piling forward anyway, the last thing we needed to do was make it easy for them.

7. It’s fair to say that Kamil Grosicki had a difficult and frustrating afternoon on Saturday, epitomised by his rueful expression after slicing a free kick into touch (when City had sent everyone but him and Jakupović ahead of the ball). Still, his determination and graft are plain for all to see and highly admirable,  hopefully it will click for him soon.  Comparisons with David Beresford (Beresicki?) on the grounds of ‘lots of pace but no end product’ seem a bit harsh and premature, but that’s preferable to comparison with Lazar Marković, a man with little end product largely down to little work rate.

8. It was brilliant to see plenty of Poles in the ground on Saturday, presumably to see their compatriot. Several near us looked as though they’d thoroughly enjoyed their build-up to the game, and it was depressing to see the City stewards acting in such an unfriendly manner towards them. We hope they come back.

9. Attendances would be further buoyed if kids and seniors weren’t priced out. The courting of the city’s Polish community is admirable, but it also highlights the continued contempt for the young and old of the indigenous community. Concessions City, stop divving about and offer them again as the rules of the league you play in stipulate.

10. Much furore over Marco Silva’s comments about the state of the Circle’s greensward, having been rugby-ed up just 19 hours before a Premier League football match. From our vantage, it didn’t look too bad – however, both managers bemoaned its condition, so appearances were evidently misleading. It’s a pity the BBC chose to so callously misquote the City manager, for his complaint was about the proximity of a rugby league match to a football one, not the actual presence of it, something that naturally riled the eggchasing fraternity and meant we’ve had to spend all weekend listening to them moaning, as if the Premier League and “Super” League are somehow comparable. Nonetheless, the episode serves as a reminder that groundsharing with a rugby franchise is occasionally exasperating, and that it really isn’t on for City to have to play so soon after.

11 replies
  1. Richard Ollett
    Richard Ollett says:

    Why didn’t Hull City transfer the game to the Sunday, if they are concerned about playing so soon after Hull FC – The SL have been released since last October, so the fixture arrangement was not a secret!!! In addition why is it necessary to water the pitch before the RL game, the softer ground must make it more vulnerable to “chew up”?
    Lastly the pitch may remain in a better condition if the Football Club refrained from playing Reserve games at the K Com or staging friendly fixtures against touring African teams.
    Silva should think twice before bleating to the Press.

  2. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    Fadge! A team of Irish potato cakes. I am glad City won even if it was a bit dirty, they have had it done to them many times this season. Grosiki I am sure will improve when he learns to settle, he seems like a man desperate to impress. I thought Markovic had a reasonable game, maybe I am missing something ( don’t answer that please ). Huddleston was again having a fine time in the middle and Ellabdoulawi ( or however it is spelt )is settling in nicely. Re the the pitch, cannot the eggchasers run around the day after City not the day before.

  3. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    I don’t know where all the fuss about the pitch is going. Yes it wasn’t perfect but for anyone who watched the Celtic V Rangers match it was a bowling green!!
    Yes we seem to have gathered quite a few Polish fans all of a sudden.
    This brings me to Grosicki who I think is just trying a bit too much & it’s not working yet for him.
    I thought Elabdellaoui had a good comeback game.
    Also a delightful flick from Elmo to lead to the second goal but he’s another who is lacking something now, pace?
    Hard match Saturday but a point achievable. I hope

  4. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    Re:8
    Nobody minds people having a few beers & enjoying themselves but is it really acceptable to see people (who are obviously the worse for wear) being sick in their seats & spoiling the enjoyment for those around them?

  5. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    Would somebody please help me with this…….
    Marco received great praise for his substitution on Saturday and indeed his decision proved to be pivotal to getting the 3 points. Buy why did we not start playing 2 up front? We are at home against a relegation rival, and a team that we have already beaten twice this season, home and away. And if we are to play 1 up front why choose Hernandez, who for all his skill does not possess the same physical presence as Niasse or Diame for that matter, and therefore not as much of a threat against 2 defenders on his own.
    Am I missing something?

  6. Audacious Chip
    Audacious Chip says:

    A fadge used to be a very large breadcake filled with bacon, beef or cheese and available in the early hours from Arnetts down Princes Ave. Oh – and the Premier League fixtures have been out since last June. So there!

  7. Cayman Tiger
    Cayman Tiger says:

    JohnK – I think what you are missing is that for one Diame doesn’t play for us anymore, Diomande can’t hit a cow’s ass with a banjo, mainly because his second touch is a tackle, and apparently Niasse was uberwank at Leicester thinking no doubt he was playing in Everton’s U23’s. So Silva really didn’t have many other options. Also Peter Skipper may actually have explained it well today in a piece in the Fail, one of the few times he’s actually made sense, in this case regarding Silva’s tactics.

  8. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    Thanks Cayman Tiger. Yes I meant Diomande who does seem to lose his eyesight when facing goal.

  9. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Any podcast this week?

    When I was at school many years ago, we always thought “fadge” meant “fanny” as in “minge”. Derogatory term for weak boys as in “Stop being a fadge you weakling”.

  10. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    As ever a great post chaps, well done and nice to read something that actually reflects what we’ve seen, unlike the HDFail tripe.
    As for concessions, which we’ve discussed endlessly, by pricing out loyal past and future generations and under the new pricing, you attract, as predicted, blokes who think nothing of paying £20-30 for a ticket. Who probably like a drink. So instead of a mixed “family” support, you end up with a skewed support of 20-50 year old males.
    Your choice Ehab??

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