Things We Think We Think #256


1. City have been relegated, and no matter how much we may dislike plenty about modern football and its ultimate manifestation the Premier League, it hurts. It hurts to see (R) decisively affixed to our name in the table, it hurts to be regarded throughout the game as having failed, it hurts that the magnificent City of Culture celebrations no longer include having a top flight football team, and it hurts to see so much hard work undone. This is going to distress and dismay the Tiger Nation throughout the unhappy summer that awaits, and there’s no point in pretending otherwise.

2. City were abysmal at Crystal Palace, playing with the intensity of a pre-season friendly and the intelligence of a hungover Sunday League team. The ultimate responsibility for this ghastly season lies elsewhere, but there’s no doubt that the players have grossly underperformed in these last two critical games – from a nervy, uncomposed display against the worst team in the division to an absolutely disgraceful non-performance in the game that represented our very last chance. They’ve been appallingly let down by others, but on these two occasions they’ve let themselves (and us) down very badly.

3. Unfortunately, it has to be conceded that Marco Silva has also seen just the faintest dulling of his lustrous reputation during these two calamitous games. Selections have surprised, and while unexpected XIs have been a (broadly positive) feature of his tenure, the decision not to restore Tom Huddlestone to the side following suspension has always jarred. Moreover, he failed to calm his side against Sunderland, and inspire them in the slightest against Crystal Palace.

3a. However, he remains this single best thing about this season and, given the epic handicap of our owners, to have even left us in with a plausible chance of survival going into the final weeks was a colossal achievement. He’s a fine manager, an assured speaker, an innovative tactician and he’s going places far loftier than the Championship.

4. And if that sounds like we’re already saying farewell to Marco Silva…well, would you want to work in the second tier for an odious owner with no money, no players, a ground partly closed and decline evident everywhere?

5. Only simpletons and people who are financially rewarded by the Allams will place the blame for this train wreck anywhere else than at their feet. It was Ehab who drove out the club’s most successful manager ever, who let us start the season with barely enough senior players to play a five-a-side game and then waited until January before taking action to give us any hope of at least trying to fight relegation. Playing in the Championship isn’t the worst part of relegation, no, the worst part is the decrease in likelihood of the club being sold, leaving us with the dreadful Ehab, a man with no love of the club or football, no integrity, no ability to see beyond his own ego and avarice, who is content to carry on his father’s work of transforming a beloved community enterprise into a soulless husk, a generator of revenue streams, a player trading exchange, a content provider.

6. After relegation in 2015, we were still able to be competitive in the Championship because several key sales, fees perhaps inflated by a new TV deal which made Premier League clubs feel flush, allowed us to keep some experienced players. Doesn’t seem likely this time round, as most of our current first team are on short term loan or out of contract. Great if you like seeing academy products given a crack at first team football, not so great if you’re hoping for a quick return to the top flight.

7. Congratulations to the players who won one or more of the awards on offer at the midweek end-of-season bash. What a pity the prizes themselves sport the name of a football club that doesn’t exist; we’d like to think at least some of them are aware of the upset this causes among supporters as the Allams continue to ride roughshod over popular opinion, club tradition and FA decree in still pursuing the Hull City Tigers nonsense, even though “it is not club policy not to use Hull City”. Also notable is that, post-Palace, Andy Robertson was swift to put much of the blame for our trials this season at the hands of those responsible for not allowing any player recruitment last summer – one imagines that the Scotsman knows he’s on his way to pastures new this summer and has nothing to lose.

8. Meanwhile, Marco Silva himself has also talked about the mishandling of the situation by the hierarchy at Hull City back in the summer as a key reason why, ultimately, he found himself falling just short in his rescue mission. It feels like, even if it’s just in a roundabout way, that he’s blaming the Allams for the mess. Astute man. Now, in 2013, Nick Barmby made similar comments in a far less toxic environment and was still sacked  – would the Allams do the same to Silva? If Silva leaves of his own accord he would do so with our best wishes and deep thanks, but if he were to go against his will then it’s close to impossible to imagine just how ferocious yet another backlash against the Allams would be.

9. Whatever the inquest records over the next few days, next Sunday’s dead rubber with Tottenham is an opportunity to begin the forcible ejection of the Allam family’s death grip on this club. There’s nothing to play for, and none of the whiny excuses about not distracting the players can hold water (they never do anyway). We should appreciate the players, who were betrayed by their employer, and fête Marco Silva, if he’s still around (and more so if he isn’t), as we’ll never have another opportunity. But an afternoon of revulsion at what Assem and Ehab Allam are doing is essential. They cannot be left in any doubt that they are not wanted and must sell at the first opportunity to suitable owners. Bring every poster, banner and flag that’s ever been used against either them or their ridiculous, spiteful name change idea, and let’s get these appalling people out of our football club.

10. But there is a positive! Really, there is. And it’s usual, it’s all of us. The City fans at Palace were magnificent, as we’ve been all season. Amid the burning wreckage, we remain defiant and unbowed, the proud people of Hull, the loyal supporters of its foremost sporting institution and this essential part of Hull’s civic fabric. Very soon, we’re going to be all that’s left, so it’s a good job we’re so bloody brilliant.

20 replies
  1. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the jury’s still out for me on Marco Silva.
    Yes, he gave us half a chance with the home record but his away record was worse than Phelans and his insistence on zonal marking cost us a lot of goals.
    I would also question your description of him a being “an innovative tactician”.
    Strange how he’s won a lot of plaudits in the media whereas Paul Clement did a better job at Swansea & doesn’t seem to get as much credit.
    Time will tell (when he inevitably moves on) whether he’s a good manager or not.

  2. Cayman Tiger
    Cayman Tiger says:

    Bill, be honest, Clement had Llorente and Sigurdsson, we had…errrr….Niasse & Co – nothing against them, just those 2 Swansea players were a significant part of the difference.

  3. Steve
    Steve says:

    After having manfully dragged myself from the depth of despair over the last two week and a bit, I was starting to be positive about our future. Almost looking forward to next season. Then I read your article.

  4. Black Label
    Black Label says:

    Atmosphere created by away support yesterday was tremendous – the team could not have had more vocal support to help them – shame they weren’t capable of seizing it for whatever reason.
    In particular it wouldn’t have been lost on Marco Silva just how much the fans were/are behind him. (The “we want you to stay” chant being a lament too far perhaps?)
    But only a HUGE about-face from the Allams could make it happen in view of MS’ comments post-match of survival being lost in pre-season and player recruitment and a look at who Hull have tied to the club going forward:
    Greater than 12 months left:
    Marshall – 19, Mason – 19, Henriksen – 19, Elmohamady – 19, Clucas – 19, Evandro – 19, Grosicki – 20, Bowen – 19, Keane – 19.
    Only 12 months left:
    Jakupovic, Davies, Dawson, Maguire, Robertson, Odubajo, Huddlestone, Meyler, Hernandez,
    Luckily the Allams don’t have form for shipping out players nearing the ends of their contracts……..oh………Maguire & Robertson could play in almost any 1st PL XI so won’t stay and no one could blame them. It would be no surprise to see Hernandez go either (for less than we bought him do doubt)
    For good measure Out of contract/End of Loan:
    Tymon, Elabdellaoui, Lenihan, N’Diaye, Maloney, Markovic, Niasse, Mbokani, Luer
    The obvious step would be to sign up Tymon to mitigate the Robertson loss – but good businessman Ehab is likely many steps ahead on that front already!!

  5. Paul B
    Paul B says:

    This is probably the least down I have been about any of our relegations from the Premier League. I have no problems with dropping back to the Championship, doing so gives us at least a faint hope of experiencing the highs of promotion yet again. I also find the Championship a much more enjoyable league to play in. That said, what’s the point in supporting a team if you don’t want them to play at the highest level possible? With that in mind, I will miss the Premier League, but I won’t get too distraught about not being in it.

    What worries me the most is what happens next. The mass exodus of what remains of our squad, the inevitable departure of Silva (a man who, whilst he had his faults still did a brilliant job all things considered), and the depths that the Allams can and probably will go to to recover their ‘investment’.

    Still, it wouldn’t be City if things were straightforward. Even at our highest, the sense of foreboding doom has never been too far away. In a strange way, it makes it morbidly fascinating to be a City fan and I’m looking forward in seeing what develops next.

  6. richard pearson
    richard pearson says:

    Wealthy and powerful people do not enjoy being questioned nor their desires frustrated. To such people the fear is to ‘lose face’ and when that happens there will surely be a reckoning. The scene was set last May at Wembley – any City fan present could sense that something was very amiss. Compared to 2008 there was a lack of excitement in black and amber ranks as well as many empty spaces. (compared with the impressive Wednesday end), plus the body language of Steve Bruce which spoke volumes. What has happened over the next twelve months is exactly how one Sheffield Wednesday fan put it on the way home that day; “They’ll be back down quick enough!”. I hated to hear that but had an uneasy feeling he might be right and we all know why.
    Common sense says that If you try to sell something, its not a good idea to damage it first. What a great job the Allams are doing with that.
    I can’t believe the Allams really want to sell Hull City, their attitude seems solely bent on a single purpose. They are “getting even”. Please tell me I’m mistaken.

  7. WSM
    WSM says:

    Richard, I think you are spot on. But I believe they have two aims: get even while making money out of the situation. Judged by that yardstick it’s all going wonderfully to plan from their perspective.

  8. Paul Gill
    Paul Gill says:

    What great support yesterday and emotional but result not good enough with have Marco silva but hope keep hold off him players to

  9. HempholmeTigers
    HempholmeTigers says:

    Richard – dead right – it only echoes what I’ve thought for many, many months. The Allam’s will squeeze as much money out of the club as they can line their greedy pockets with and to hell with the club,and its survival. They do not care and in fact would see it as petty revenge against all those who dared to question their god-like status.
    Your ‘legacy’ now Allam’s Snr & Jnr – a foetid stink when you could have been folk heroes.
    I shall still be there next season supporting my club and whatever rag bag team we have left – I just hope you’ll be long gone.

  10. TonytheTiger
    TonytheTiger says:

    Gutted! Such disappointment that after a fleeting revival under Silva the team “bottled it” when it mattered most. But you are right; it was the inept way the owners prepared us (or didn’t) for this season that set us up for the inevitable. They can have my seat in the West Stand Upper (since they want it so much) I shall not return until there is a change of ownership.

  11. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Re 1 & 2: very much my feelings. How Paul B above can post that, when he gives the awful truth reasons for dread further in the post, beats me.
    Re 3: Bill Baxter/Marco Silva comment… Thought SB going was a good thing as had been underwhelmed by tactics and buying injured players, etc. However, was hoping for new club buyer and manager and a fresh start. Do think the Allams thought the Chinese were coming in, but after that the whole season start was a shambles as Silva said! Silva was a breath of fresh air in the club and frankly in Jan performed miracles in recruitment…even if players we needed to keep left. If only he could have been at it this summer for a PL season to come! That’s why we’re in dismay, Paul B!
    However, where were the one or two away wins we needed to keep us up? This I think is where his inexperience of PL football showed up. After the Portugal away training, he also seemed to lose focus on what was his best team too. Before that he seemed precise in what team to play,… after more confused. This last attempt at 3 at the back….? Didn’t work at Stoke. Seemed to unsettle the defence completely. So in some senses I agree that the jury’s out on him and the hype has been OTT. Would have liked to see what may have resulted next year…all gone now I guess…. Depressing…

  12. Paul B
    Paul B says:

    @GJHDurham – perhaps my post wasn’t clear. What I’m saying is as far as the football goes, I don’t have any qualms about going back to the Championship. My concerns go way beyond the football this time.

  13. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Marco Silva did a great job of turning things around, despite zero backing from Ehaw the clown. However I agree with Bill Baxter, the Sunderland game showed a massive flaw with his zonal defence from dead ball situations, City players resembled statues as Billy Jones ran in unmarked to score. So what did we see against Crystal Palace? A repeat performance as Benteke ran in to score past our defenders who were doing another mannequin pose! If Silva want to become a successful manager in Britain he needs to rethink zonal defending! I will be at the KCOM next season but unless we get new owners it will probably be a skeleton squad, bereft of its best players and probably fighting to avoid another catastrophic relegation.

  14. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    We will for sure be bereft of our best players. Any team that’s relegated experiences that. But I don’t think we’ll have a skeleton squad or be fighting relegation. Nor do the bookies.

  15. John
    John says:

    I think we should actually boycott the last game against Spurs? I’m sick of the gun to the head mechanism deployed by two spiteful bastards! And when the cunts hold their civic reception at the KC, fuck that too! Simples!

  16. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    John, it’s probably a bit too late to call for a boycott at this late stage & getting anyone to do it is hard enough in the 1st place.

    I wouldn’t normally advocate a pitch protest but as both teams have nothing to play for I would make an exception on Sunday.

  17. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    All i will say is….. The Allan’s are making 💰💰💸💷💰💰 out of Hull City, would you sell???

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] That was when relegation was sealed, rather than in dismal defeat at Crystal Palace or home defeat to Sunderland. Those travelling supporters who have seen their team collect two points on the road since September 10 do not deserve relegation, but the Allams’ ownership does not merit them enjoying the financial rewards of Premier League football and the fans agree. Hull City blog Amber Nectar has more on that here. […]

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