Things We Think We Think #255

TWTWT

1. Oof! That hurt. What’s more, it felt depressingly like City v Burnley in 2009/10 and City v Burnley again in 2014/15, where we entered into a game against a team with an (R) next to their name on the table, with a chance to keep our fate in our own hands in the battle to avoid the drop, only to fail miserably. It goes beyond an afternoon to forget, because it will likely have repercussions far beyond the scope of one afternoon.

2. City seemed to suffer a collective mental paralysis against Sunderland. We’re used to City using the first half to merely suss the opposition under Marco Silva, but we’re not used to Silva’s City lacking purpose and conviction in the second half, and nerves appeared to get the best of players who have won games from being a goal down or with ten men of late. Against a side that have already lost Premier League status so had nothing else to lose, the importance of the game got to us.

3. It wasn’t an absolute stinker of a performance, and City were the better side for much of the game. However, a chronic lack of composure undid the side. As half-time neared, it was impossible to miss the nerves in the crowd starting to be reflected by things on the pitch. Sadly, for once, Marco Silva didn’t manage to focus minds at the interval.

4. Ahmed Elmohamady’s substitution was greeted by a chorus of boos in some parts of the ground, unquestionably aimed at the player himself. He’s had a poor season for sure, and he is perhaps the only player that hasn’t responded to Marco Silva’s appointment with an infusion of spirit and purpose, but boos still seemed an excessive reaction.

5. He certainly wasn’t the only person who stunk up the place. Alfred N’Diaye, pivotal in recent wins with his simple and effective game of breaking up opponent possession and moving City forwards, was sadly anonymous, his replacement by Tom Huddlestone was welcome, but overdue. We needed a driving force long before the 65th minute, and though Huddlestone was effective after his introduction, we needed more than his drop back and pass ‘quarterback’ style. Oumar Niasse may as well have been suspended after all, he offered little. Hell even Harry Maguire, lauded for his slightly terrifying but nonetheless exhilarating forays upfield, had a quiet afternoon.

6. What of the penalty claims during the game? The handball at the North Stand would have been harsh – it definitely struck an unwisely positioned Sunderland hand, but the proximity was such that intention cannot be divined with certainty. As for Maguire’s tug ‘n’ tumble, that was a classic deception tactic that players with large arses try regularly, and the referee was rightly not fooled. We’ve had quarrels with referees lately, but there are no legitimate grievances here.

7. Swansea, the admirable bastards, did not wilt as City upped up their game under Silva, and now go into the final two games in the driving seat, having come out of their supposedly tough games versus Manchester United and Everton with 4 points. Tottenham’s defeat at West Ham may have lanced their title aspirations, but beating them on the final day is still going to be difficult (and now the “Marco doesn’t lose at home” mystique has gone), and our away form doesn’t bode well for the trip to Palace. Meanwhile, Swansea take on Sunderland away and West Brom at home, ostensibly easier games. The single point lead Swansea now have on us can, of course, evaporate quickly, but somehow it feels mountainous.

8. There’ll be no shortage of recriminations if the worst comes to pass, most of which will be rightly be directed towards Ehab Allam’s 2016 summer of malice. For now, it’s hard not to fear the consequences. Silva will surely leave, leaving us managerless once more and quality applicants to work for Ehab in the Championship seem unlikely. The decision to soldier on with loanees means the squad will necessarily thin out, though even the City vice-chairman can probably work out which players will be staying in the Premier League with another club. Meanwhile, the epic lunacy of the membership scheme will see gates fall even more steeply, and so on and so forth. Argh.

9. Dispensing with volunteer groundstaff on Saturday with no notice? Classy stuff.

10. On Friday, the club released some minutes from its recent meeting with fans. We’re told by attendees that the content is roughly accurate, though the attendees’ hostility towards the club’s dopier antics has been underplayed. However, City’s contention that “it is not the policy of the Club to not use Hull City” is very puzzling. Unless obliged to in order to meet League and FA requirements (League tables, fixtures etc), it’s been a very long time since it was voluntarily used even once, with agonisingly convoluted means of avoiding it frequently employed. So either there has been an astonishingly lengthy and vastly improbable sequence of accidental non-use of “Hull City” stretching over a couple of years and many thousands of club utterances both large and small; or such a policy does exist and an alternative fact was presented to the supporters.

11 replies
  1. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    #5 Huddlestone replaced Markovic, not N’Diaye, who stayed on the pitch a little longer before being pointlessly replaced by Mbokani.

    I understand why, but today’s TWTWT is written as if we’re already down. Let’s save the blame and consequence game until we are.

    Talking of which, it’s also written as if Swansea are our only rivals. If, a massive ‘if’ I know, we beat Palace on Sunday then they are one point ahead of us, 2 effectively because of goal difference. That would leave us having to beat Spurs in the last match and hoping that Palace lose at Man Utd. Straw-clutching for sure, but just as likely as overhauling Swansea.

  2. Bond
    Bond says:

    #4 The Boo’s directed at Elmo were from the Sunderland fans, not the City fans.
    Its something he has suffered with them since swapping red and white stripes for the black ad amber variety.

  3. haltemprice tiger
    haltemprice tiger says:

    There was plenty of cheering from City fans when Elmo was taken off. Whilst I do not agree with the cheering Elmo should have been removed from the action at half time.

  4. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Gut wrenching loss…with all it may lead to. Can Silva pick them up to do something about the abysmal away record?
    Half expected the loss and thought Swansea would win all three remaining games anyway, and didn’t think we would, so have recognised that nothing’s much really changed…. Although maybe just as we’ve given Swansea a boost, we’ve also boosted Sunderland, and they’re at home, and will want to prove a point to the home fans. Hope so anyway! Defoe will probably want to leave on a high…
    Everton played as I expected…basically on the beach. However, WBA who’d looked out for their hols last time out, actually looked more at it against Burnley. Just maybe they may give Swansea a harder time in the last game, although Pulis is Welsh… However, relying on others is a weak position…
    We’ve been shown how to beat Palace recently…by Burnley… and also Spurs..by WHU. Spurs will have probably settled for second by the last game. Palace have Zaha, Townsend and Benteke…how many millions is that!?…but have defensive problems. It would seem obvious to try to put pressure on and get the ball into their box. Hopefully Zaha’s dives won’t gain traction! How many points have rotten officials cost us this season…and no it doesn’t balance out. How can it when every game is unique.
    If we want to keep the season going, then an away win at CP is needed. If others want to help out, then good! Mackem supporter for one week! Over to you Marco…COYH!

  5. Matt
    Matt says:

    “…although Pulis is Welsh…” – meaning? Yet another undercurrent of corruption by association?

  6. Ben Burgess1
    Ben Burgess1 says:

    Not convinced Silva will leave in the Summer if we go down. Everyone assumes that he will but he might want a crack of getting us back up. Whatever some think about the Allams they seem to leave their managers to manage without interference.
    Re point 8……..seriously? Still a top job and clearly there would be no shortage of top quality candidates. City if we do go down will be amongst the favourites to go straight back up so surely a job that will appeal to many a manger
    Re point 9. Appreciate that these guys have volunteered since BP days and fair play to them but time moves on. Are we really to believe that Ehab himself took the decision to sack the volounteer them? Clearly it appears that it could have been dealt with better but strikes me there are probably 2 sides to this story

  7. Paul
    Paul says:

    Wow Is Ben really Ehab in disguise? With all these players leaving how will we be coming straight back up? Yeah Steve Bruce was left alone…..did he not say he left because of the interference from Allam jnr? And the ground staff story is just shabby, why defend the indefensible? Sad really.
    Massive two games for the future of the club, go down and we really could be in league 8 in a few years time. Thank god Hull CC still own the ground.

  8. Bosco
    Bosco says:

    Re Elmo, he was shite again (and a cheat), but we should not boo our own players.

    A huge number of our fans(?) showed themselves up heading to the exits on the 85th minute, I recall a similar sight the other year for another team, Sunlun?

    Poor. Stay to the end and support your team..

  9. Paul
    Paul says:

    I actually thought more stayed than normal until their second then it was like a fire drill!
    I thought majority of booing of Elmo was from the Mackems, he was very poor on Saturday, as were most of the team, but been a decent servant of the club so anyone booing him (or any other player) needs a head wobble, or executing.

    For all the plaudits McGuire has rightly received lately I thought his defending poor on Saturday given how many chances they had and how cumbersome he looked. Clucas was a class apart for me.

  10. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Agree with Jimmy Weekly about the tone, however I am reading this today and had you asked me to write this a day or two ago I’d have been as depressed as the author.
    Have to disagree about the handball. Yes the defender was very close but from where I was stood, he stopped the ball heading goalwards. Clear penalty.
    Elmo was poor but I agree it was harsh to boo him, the boos were from both City and Sunderland fans.
    Two Cup finals, win them both and the likelihood is, that we will survive.
    Palace are generally poor at home.

  11. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    The fat lady may be hawking up but she still might need a shedload of Strepsils to clear her throat. She’s not sung yet. All we can ask is that the players give it their all against Palace and Spurs. If they don’t then……

    Quarterback?

    QUARTERBACK???!!!

    WTF has an American football position got to do with ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL?

    Just because German Jeans and Mark Poogash thought they’d try and be ultra-cool on MOTD2 last Sunday doesn’t mean AN should follow suit. Shame on you!!!

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