Things We Think We Think #270


1. After the gritty win at Barnsley that entertained few but at least knocked a hefty monkey from our collective backs, City failed to build upon it on Saturday. Defeat to Nottingham Forest, fellow midtablers, was sloppy and unnecessary, and indicative of a side that’s going nowhere this season.

2. Forest are a capable but unspectacular side who unquestionably deserved to win. A 2-3 defeat may sound modestly creditable and even a little exciting, but the truth is frustratingly different. City were poor, and the narrowness of the scoreline is probably flattering.

3. Team selections cause all too many eyebrows to be raised this season, even allowing for the thin pickings Leonid Slutsky has been left with. However, those picked didn’t do enough. David Meyler, who we unconditionally adore, had a rare howler, and his rotten teatime was sadly far from unique. We looked shaky at the back, overrun in midfield and (Bowen apart) weak up front.

4. In fact, Bowen was the only outfielder who impressed. He’s a class act who many good judges thought would make the first team before long, but even his most ardent admirers couldn’t have foreseen just what a stellar impact he’d have made this season. He’s been a sensation. And increasing in value every week. Oh bugger.

4a. An honourable mention to Allan McGregor too. Like refs, you often only notice keepers when things aren’t going well for them. Well, McGregor’s not grabbed too much attention this season – but in a good way, and he had another solid afternoon on Saturday, even though he saw three goals fly past him. We aren’t missing Leicester’s third keeper at all.

5. What an anomalous player Markus Henriksen is. There had been some signs of improvement recently, a well taken goal and an assist made people wonder if we are finally going to share sight of what City saw in him in August 2016. His selection on Saturday was mystifying and his performance woeful. Players have off form games, sure, but what was more worrying was the lack of awareness and appetite when Bowen went on a stunning solo run and was setting himself up to centre the ball, all Henriksen had to do was be there to get a tap in, but instead he spectated yards away.

6. Any hopes that the Barnsley win represented a watershed moment in City’s fortunes were pulverised against Forest. There’s still a sense that if Leonid Slutsky has a philosophy, then he’s yet to fully impart it. Yes he has been treated risibly since tricked into taking the job, it was hard to disagree with his claim that he was still doing pre-season work after the closure of the transfer window, but with November upon us you would expect by now to be seeing the fruits of what the gaffer has sewn in the minds of players. Is communication an issue? Who knows, but what we saw late Saturday was an incoherent mess.

7. As usual, we cannot avoid off-field matters. The protest march first. It left the William Gemmell on Anlaby Road at 4.30pm, attracting a few hundred City fans and was well handled by all. Humberside Police provided a sizeable but unobtrusive escort, temporarily closing roads to permit a smooth journey to the West Stand, while the City fans made themselves heard forcibly but peacefully. Congratulations to Hull City Action For Change for its inception and execution.

8. They’re not the only ones ramping up the protests though. Separate to that organisation, a reprise of the 1998 tennis ball protest at Bolton (that remains one of our proudest moments was organised by others), with hundreds of vividly yellow stress balls raining down on the pitch at 19’04” to halt what was a televised game. Not all agree with it, but two things seem clear: it’s been effective, with the abysmal conduct of the Allam family that prompted it receiving national attention. Secondly, it’s absurd to suggest that City’s lousy performance was a consequence of it. It removes agency from the players, who – though limited – are generally honest triers and it’s insulting to suggest they can be so easily distracted (and why were Forest’s XI miraculously unaffected?).

9. Middlesbrough at home and then Sheffield United away, over the next few days. Even when the fixtures were announced it looked like the most appetising week of the season, taking on two sides with whom we have always encountered a bit of needle. Given that Boro are starting to show some fight for this division after a slow start, while Sheffield United top the table proudly and rather smugly after doing over Leeds United at the weekend, it’s not just an appetising week ahead, but a fairly pivotal one. Though as they are known as Boro and Blades, obviously we should beat the pair of them, shouldn’t we?

10. The tribute to Les Mutrie, courtesy of a banner, the big screens and a minute’s thunderous applause, was much appreciated by members of his family, who were present at Saturday’s game. We remain quite fortunate that unlike other clubs, we haven’t lost many of our modern day, colour telly heroes as yet, so when one genuine City legend does leave us, it’s gratifying to know we can celebrate his contribution to the club and his life as a whole with class, style and respect.

26 replies
  1. Pending departure
    Pending departure says:

    I actually heard someone say negative comments about the balls being thrown into the pitch and read comments about it affecting players. I truly wonder as Allam as it may sound, whether some of these people are financially supported by the owners. I refuse to fund the Allams by attending matches, after all they have asked me to and then priced me and my children out. It hurts but never have I seen a business with eager customers run/ruin like this.

    Yesterday I linen the Allams pocket and attended a home game for the first time this year. What I saw made me sad and proud, an empty stadium with a high attendance figure advertised but also supporters who care and realise football is not about 90 minutes/one match. That voice and keyboard staff that complain about balls shame on you, an excellent advert to the world of what the Allams are doing to our club. Stories on tv and media such as the resent the72 about the real reasons hull city fans protest owners. Keep the faith, after the parachute payments, something financially dodgy and selling players I’m sure they’ll leave… unless they actually do take some pleasure from this

  2. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    I found it an entertaining match, neither side that good but plenty of movement. Re the load of balls, there was one person a few rows down from me complaining about the disruption to the game, but that’s life you always get a large amount of me me selfish twats who don’t see the bigger picture, if it does any good or not is not the point as I see it, the right to complain about the service provided is the point.
    As for Slutsky and his selection of players it is easy to think he is out of his depth, I really hope I am wrong as he comes over as such a nice guy.

  3. Dave
    Dave says:

    Got to be honest and say I was torn with the protest, part of me wished I had some yellow balls to throw on myself, and the other part of me wondered if the protest affected the players – less than 10 minutes after the protest Notts scored, yet I felt before that we looked the better side – be it just. It’s a really sad situation and like the previous comments above prove its something that is dividing fans, those who want to protest and those that don’t. I really don’t know what the answer is, as whilst the club turns a profit, be it parachute payments and young players the Allams will stay, regardless of what protests happen – after all they are business men- so we’ve been told… bad times.

  4. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    @John from Brid, well excuse me but in my opinion it’s you and your ball chucking friends that are the selfish twats and you and them that are not seeing the bigger picture. Stopping the game was moronic and selfish, oh yes it was on Sky and went to a national audience, so what? Do you think that the Allams will be moved by it? They don’t give a toss and carry on regardless, despite the myriad protests over the years. They have an agenda and will continue unmoved by anything done by supporters, there’s nothing wrong with protesting but I repeat, stopping the game was stupid and ill advised. Maybe the ball chuckers should really make a bang next time and detonate a thermonuclear bomb on the pitch but even that would not budge the Allams, they won’t leave until they have maxed out their profit and squeezed out the juice and the pips from the club. The truth is that the idiots throwing yellow balls were a tiny minority with tiny brains and the Allams will not be forced out while there is money to be made, I hate them as much as anyone but until THEY decide to sell up we are stuck with them and their bullshit.

  5. richard pearson
    richard pearson says:

    Frankly it was a load of balls! Having watching City since the Carter days I think I qualify as a “fan” and I’m happy to join the ranks of Allam’s Contemptibles BUT on Saturday immediately before the ball shower we were settling – a good game promised.. Thereafter we were out of gear and disjointed (yes, Forest were not affected – save for the chance for a breather and the chance to get at us whilst our minds were elsewhere). Sorry, but this kind of mid-match demo won’t scare Mr Allam (he was probably in his bath at the time). If demonstrations take place surely the worst time is during the game. I realise it was motivated by being on TV but for God’s sake think of the effect on our players whose concentration was wrecked. Demonstrate before or after the game or at half-time but surely not when the lads are working.. And can anyone tell when regime change was the result of fan action? It hasn’t worked at Blackpool and they’ve been at it longer than us.

  6. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    I’ll keep it brief & blunt:-

    Anyone who thinks that the protest (all 2 minutes of it for Christ’s sake) affected the result of the game is a fucking idiot.

  7. Brid Tiger
    Brid Tiger says:

    What Bill Baxter said!
    The only negative thing I have to say about the protest is it didn’t do enough nationally. Sky didn’t report it accurately (the piece of waffle by David Prutton was embarrassing) and other fans I’ve spoken to were often asking what it was all about.
    We need to educate the masses more; show them why the Allams need to sell up as soon as possible.

  8. H
    H says:

    Absolute joke of a demonstration and an embarrassment. Not even original!
    As others have said protest if you wish but don’t disrupt the game. Don’t get the national tv bit either……who cares less outside Hull and Allam certainly doesn’t care. The only real mention on tv in any case was around the disruption to City’s momentum.
    For Gods sake we are used to bad owners but do we really think the Allams are in the same league as Lloyd, Buchanan, Duffen/Bartlett etc?

  9. Les
    Les says:

    Richard Pearson asks…

    “And can anyone tell when regime change was the result of fan action?”

    Yes Richard, the tennis ball protest at Bolton in 1998 motivated David Lloyd to put the club up for sale the very next day, and the club was sold not long after. As a fan since Carter’s day, were you in hibernation at that point?

  10. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    “For Gods sake we are used to bad owners but do we really think the Allams are in the same league as Lloyd, Buchanan, Duffen/Bartlett etc?”

    They’re worse, H. Of our less laudable owners/chairmen, Martin Fish was a not very wealthy man put in a rubbish situation by a family that no longer wanted to put money into the club. He needed the fans to pay the bills. We knew there was something better than the drifting we were doing under this regime and campaigned to get that something. We fought for our club because we loved it.

    David Lloyd was an odious individual who surrounded himself with odious individuals. He wanted to take the club forward and swiftly realised that he didn’t have the capacity to do that, throwing his toys out of the pram in the process. He sold relatively quickly as the fans protested. Again, we knew there was better. No fan’s love of the club was destroyed during this time.

    The Hinchliffe/Buchanan regime was horrible. And in some respects, they were worse than the Allams. They came perilously close to driving us into liquidation through factors that were a whole lot more sinister than the ineptitude and lack of resources that had previously brought us our brushes with extinction under Martin Fish. However, the fans could see an endgame scenario. Again, we fought. We raised money for the players. We showed our love for the club, which shone ever brighter in adversity. We eventually got Adam Pearson and the KC, which made all of the previous decade’s protests and demands for better seem justified. We’d been fighting for what we loved, and for the most part, the more we fought, the deeper our love got.

    Duffen/Bartlett were financially reckless. They essentially expected to be able to sell the club in the summer of 2009 and didn’t have a clue what to do when they couldn’t. They had, however, brought us the greatest 12 months in the club’s history. Paul Duffen had his faults, we all know that, but he would generally treat the fans with respect and dignity.

    The Allams are worse than that lot for me, and thousands of others. Because they actively despise the fans. They have done numerous things to destroy the club’s heritage, its identity, the enjoyment of following it, the passion for fighting for what it is and what it means. And that drip, drip, drip of vileness has killed off a passion for the club for too many people. For some it will be temporary, but not all. You can only go on so long being irrelevant. And with the Allams there’s no endgame scenario (as there was with the others). They’ve bullshitted us about selling the club but we’re stuck with them and there’s nothing we can do. I didn’t like the tennis ball protest (the latest one). I didn’t see the point of it, and I think that in the all-important battle for hearts and minds you should never be seen not siding with the players. But I respect those still fighting for the club. Because for far too many fans – fans at the forefront of the fights against Chris Needler, Lloyd and the Hinchliffe/Buchanan regimes – the fight has gone, replaced by resignation to our powerlessness and Saturday afternoons at garden centres.

    The Allams have done more to kill what Hull City means to thousands of diehard fans than Fish, Lloyd, Hinchliffe, Buchanan, Duffen, Bartlett and co could ever do combined, and they’ve done it in as arrogant, vindictive and spiteful a way as possible. So in answer to your question, no, they’re not in the same league as that historical motley crew. They are much, much worse.

  11. ann guy
    ann guy says:

    Absolutely spot on Officer C. Never in sixty years have I known such utter disregard, disrespect and vitriolic despotism regarding club and fans. Allams are loving every minute and I don’t have any answers., sadly. We can only hope and try to keep a united front. The soul of city belongs to the fans, always has, always will.

  12. Marcus Smith
    Marcus Smith says:

    Suppose Allam left tomorrow and took his money… as you say you want….. we’re would you be… a load of idiots…remembering the good old days when the Allams ran a club called Hull city… unfortunately without an alternative your asking for Bankrupcy. Nobody wants a club with Toxic fans

  13. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Prior to World War II British appeasers of the Hitler regime looked the other way as he set Germany up to force terror on the world.

    After the City match with Forest, Hull City fans that don’t have the stomach to fight the Allam regime whinge and whine as Allam sets Hull City AFC up for sporting, cultural and financial ruin.

    The right to protest is a democratic right. Anyone unhappy with HCAFC exercising that right, then depart to Egypt or Russia where dissent is met with arrests and people “disappearing” in the night.

  14. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Think I’m in the Dave and Blackadder category on the protest. Brid Tiger kinda undermined the argument for the protest himself. No Bill I’m not one of those idiots, but wonder if you’re like some of those posting this weekend, who seem to want more losses to create more disillusionment! Weird football supporters!
    On the match: was Meyler told to play left side and not get booked. Seemed to play that way. On the penalty…very similar episode in the Everton match. No penalty. The commentator remarked…one of those you give or not give depending on which team you support! Yes, that’s how I thought refs did it!

  15. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    So tell me Ambertigerfan, who are these appeasers? Kindly have the guts to name names, I for one fully understand the reasons for protesting the Allam rule but stopping a game is pointless and petty. And it’s not a case of “not having the stomach” I for one am certainly all for verbal protests and showing red cards etc and have never said or thought otherwise but it’s really just a case of doing it to feel good and letting off steam, venting frustration etc. Because us City fans have been protesting for years and what has been achieved? Sweet fuck all that’s what, the owners detest the fans and are not interested in their opinions or their welfare, they’ll go when it suits them and not before and they certainly won’t be persuaded by any amount of yellow balls. So let’s keep the protests going by all means but just don’t expect them to have any affect because the targets are not listening.

  16. Audacious Chip
    Audacious Chip says:

    If the Allams are worried about losing face they could always ask Hull City Action For Change for a cardboard one.

  17. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Blackadder: You never saw the footage of the royal family doing Nazi salutes prior to WWII? Look it up, even the BBC ran it a while back.

    Also, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler. Need I go on from there?

  18. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    “Suppose Allam left tomorrow and took his money… as you say you want….. we’re would you be…”

    Delighted. We wouldn’t have owners shitting all over so much of what is so important to the majority of fans.

    “a load of idiots…remembering the good old days when the Allams ran a club called Hull city… ”

    Ran a club branded as ‘Hull City Tigers’. Ran a club that he attempted to change the name of (twice). Ran a club in which he removed concessions for children, seniors, disabled fans. Ran a club where he took a multi-use arena and evicted numerous sports teams. Etc… etc… Very few Hull City fans will remember these as the good old days because of the toxic environment that is solely the fault of the Allam family.

    “unfortunately without an alternative your asking for Bankrupcy.’

    No we’re not. We’re asking for new owners, hopefully who will respect the fans, that don’t lie to us constantly, that aren’t vindictive, petulant children. We could get poor owners, yes, but ‘be careful what you wish for’ is the cry of the cretin. Football fans wishing for better isn’t a crime. It’s what we do.

    “Nobody wants a club with Toxic fans”

    How do you know? We were branded toxic in the 90s, but we found three owners not put off my fan campaigns against the incumbents. We’ve also had numerous would-be buyers who’ve been messed around in their attempts to buy the club. All clubs have fans who’ll voice their opinions when the owners/managers/players are not meeting their expectations. Do you follow actually football? It should be added that any new owners have had the bar set very low for them when it comes to fan expectations. All they have to do is say the name is safe and concessions will be introduced all around the ground and they’ll be instant heroes.

  19. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Ambertigerfan are you seriously comparing Hull City fans such as myself to appeasers of the Nazi Party and Hitler, just because we don’t agree with morons throwing balls on to the pitch and stopping the game? You need to get a grip fella, you’re living in some alternate reality. I’ll reiterate my position and this is my last word on the subject, obviously supporters are perfectly entitled to demonstrate their dislike of the owners and their actions and I encourage it. I feel the same way myself but I saw idiots throwing balls into the Forest goalmouth and delaying a goal kick by several minutes AND AT THE TIME WE WERE LOSING 0-1! If you and those idiots think that is acceptable behaviour then I’m sorry but you are not a true Hull City supporter and neither are the ball throwers. Protesting is one thing, helping the opposing side is a different kettle of fish entirely.

  20. Rob
    Rob says:

    As far as I’m aware the protest was on 19 minutes and the score was 0-0 Blackadder. The first goal came in the 29th minute. Your arguments would perhaps carry more weight if you got basic facts correct.

  21. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    (if shouting is the order of the day) AND AT THE TIME THE SCORE WAS ACTUALLY 0-0. It took Forest another 10 minutes to score and they didn’t score their second until 52 minutes after the balls. So much for handing them the momentum.

  22. adamhull
    adamhull says:

    People arguing against the protest purely because it won’t get rid of the Allams baffle me beyond any reason. So just because a protest won’t work, means it shouldn’t take place? If you don’t start protesting, when will you get anywhere? Or just admit defeat, bend over and take your punishment like a good little boy?

    My personal preference for a protest would be for people to simply not go. Many have taken that option. Many have not. I understand why they have not, but personally I wish they had (or will, in the future). But to effectively dismiss the protest just because it won’t have an instant outcome, entirely, ENTIRELY, misses the point of a protest.

  23. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    @Blackader, my comment may have been taken the wrong way, it is quite ambiguous if you read it again you might see that.

  24. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Blackadder: you asked for names, I provided them. What’s your problem with that? I see no reply to that.

    The extreme example of appeasement is drawn to illustrate the point. HCAFC has a democratic right to protest how they see fit. How are you protesting? What actions are you taking? If HCAFC take the “ball approach” at least they are doing something, and that’s better than nothing. I applaud that.

    No one should criticize a group that does something, while others do nothing. They nothing doers appease the Allam regime.

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