1. An away win! A win, away! At an away ground! After well over 400 days of waiting, of fruitless journeys and dismal displays outside of Hull, City have finally won an away game!
2. It’s as much a relief as a source of jubilation. After drawing so many blanks in the Premier League, seeing that wretched run continue in the Championship was becoming a major source of concern and exasperation. Thank goodness it’s now at an end, if only because we were probably all sick of talking and thinking about it.
3. However…amid the glee about winning on the road, would it be excessively churlish to note that it wasn’t exactly a sparkling performance and that the points were not comprehensively merited? If so, then we’ll have to be churls, because the display left an awful lot to be desired – at one point, the away end sang “we only want one shot”. And while there are mitigating circumstances – foul weather, the nerves engendered by that run and so on – we doubt that Leonid Slutsky will have failed to notice that there’s room for improvement.
4. Still, the clean sheet was nice. City have kept too few of these this season, and while a better side than a fairly mediocre Barnsley may have found a way to puncture the Tigers’ iffy defence, nilling someone was nice. And it isn’t just with the benefit of hindsight that we observe that Barnsley didn’t really look like levelling – City closed the game out well and deserve credit for doing so, particularly after losing a lead so late just a week earlier.
5. So, there are some positives to take beyond just the points. City coped better without David Meyler than many may have expected and despite the lack of fluency on show there was no shortage of commitment either. A 6.5/10 sort of effort.
6. It leaves City 14th, as many points clear of the bottom three as behind the top six. Which feels broadly accurate as a snapshot of the season to date, and also a likely final outcome for 2017/18. We don’t feel good enough for a promotion push, but probably have too much to have any serious concerns about dropping another division. Given the calamitous incompetence we saw in the boardroom this summer, what else could we expect?
7. Apropos boardroom dolts, wasn’t Ehab’s interview with the Hull Daily Mail every bit an exercise in snivelling, blame-dodging fact-free drivel as we’d expect from one as unimpressive as him? There were some unintentionally revealing bits though. Ehab’s detestation of City fans was obvious, and him considering not selling City just to spite us is a fascinating insight into his sub-standard character. It’s fairly obvious that the club isn’t for sale in any meaningful sense anyway, and this grim stand-off between the reviled Allam family and the people of Hull isn’t going to end soon.
8. We hear, from multiple sources, that City tried to instruct the stewards at Barnsley to remove anti-Allam flags in the away end at Oakwell. We aren’t surprised that free speech isn’t awfully popular among the hierarchy at City, but even for them this would be pathetically thin-skinned.
9. Forest next on the telly. It’s a chance to show the world how much we hate our owners, but also a chance for City to inch closer to a top-half place. Will Slutsky keep faith with those who laboured to victory on Saturday – or has Campbell earned a start and will Meyler return? Interesting questions for the manager.
10. The impending visits of sides in 12th and 13th should give us an idea of whether we can improve upon the mid-table finish we expect. Forest look nothing special, but Middlesbrough’s comparably lowly standing is a surprise. They’ve plenty of time to put things right, but it’s possible we could catch them at a good time. And who knows, six points from these two home games….