1. What’s more frustrating: poor concentration and sloppy defending leading to a goal conceded early on, or late in the game? City treated us to both against Ipswich on Saturday, chucking away three points that seemed to have been secured by Allan McGregor’s spot-kick save heroics. Victory would have propelled us to the dizzying heights of 18th ahead of a midweek trip to Millwall (and The Den is rarely a house of fun for us), instead we remain in 20th place. It can’t just be chalked up to bad luck either, we’ve developed a deleterious habit of letting in late goals.
2. The first half of the first half was pretty rancid, not just from a City performance point of view, but also as a spectacle. Indeed, there was more entertainment to be had watching a bird of prey in the North Stand rafters kill another bird and skillfully de-feather it (with feathers, but thankfully not entrails, falling onto fans) than contemplating the grisly fare unfolding on the field.
3. Somehow though the game transmogrified into an absorbing encounter, with City willing themselves back into the game and scoring through the ever impressive Jarrod Bowen (after a good cross from Grosicki) and the decent-in-this-game-despite-generally-woeful-supply-from-the-midfield Nouha Dicko. The Tigers had robbed Ipswich of belief, leaving them a tad petulant and niggly, but foolishly, generously City gave them hope again with a silly challenge that led to the penalty award. McGregor’s save inspired the biggest cheer of the afternoon and that might have inspired City to see out the win, but Ipswich remained energised and moonwalked out of the KCOM with a perhaps unwarranted share of the spoils.
4. Over the top criticism seems just to be the way things are nowadays, and several members of the current squad have been on the scapegoat rota this term. However, it’s fair to say that Markus Henriksen did little to silence his detractors on Saturday, with a foppish, nay fadge-like display that was exemplified by turning away from the ball as he ‘contested’ a header as we defended a corner.
5. Who says that protests don’t work? Rattled by the the stress balls and pre-match march against Nottingham Forest and alarmed by the prospect of dissent during the Queen’s visit to Hull, the Allam family have organised a meeting with fans’ leaders (well, the ones they can trust to say the right things, plus the Supporters’ Trust) – and pretended they want to compromise on the squalid removal of concessions. None of these things would have happened if we’d meekly sat on our hands while the club is dismantled around us.
6. So, there’s to be a meeting. It’s supposedly for “fans group leaders”, though it isn’t really. Amber Nectar and City Independent, present at various incarnations of Fans’ Liaison Committee meetings for over 15 years, have been disinvited in recent times, while the new Hull City Action For Change group is also not welcome. And hey, that’s the Allams’ prerogative – if they don’t want to hear independent views that reflect the wider fanbase, that’s up to them. But we worry that only the Supporters’ Trust will actually represent the fans.
7. It’s a bit reminiscent of November 2013, when Assem Allam – unsettled by dissent over his imbecilic name change idea – summoned fans’ groups to the Circle for one of the more surreal 3½ hours we’ll ever have. He didn’t listen, or even show the faintest comprehension of the issue. Nothing that he and his son have said in the intervening years suggest they’ve developed an understanding of City fans.
8. Then, as now, a meeting was preceded by Assem Allam criticising supporters in the press, suggesting a lack of good faith going into ‘supporter consultation’. He laughably claims that ‘militant’ fans are putting off potential buyers, which shows a startling lack of self awareness and conveniently absolves himself of any responsibility. Let’s face it, Assem and his son are legendary in this city for being difficult to get along with, there is a wasteland of fractured relationships surrounding them and that can’t be pinned on anyone else. The fans didn’t drive Peter Grieve and others away, the Allams did that.
9. The reintroduction of concessions isn’t anything to be lauded, it doesn’t show the Allams to be reasonable as suggested by their dwindling band of self-serving sycophants, since the club had to be censured by the Premier League for the mere righting of a wrong to be considered. Adult prices going up is all good, the whole point is that discounts for children and seniors are subsidised by those paying full price, but failing to reduce the current prices for those who do qualify for concessions shows a (likely deliberate) lack of understanding for the issue people have with the Membership Scheme.
10. Everton are prepared to give Watford £12m to secure the services of Marco Silva as their head coach. Not bad a for a bloke of whom it was asked “what does he know about the Premier League?” and whose appointment at City in January was “astonishing…when there are a lot of people out there who know the Premier League…he’s not got clue.” Whether Silva goes to Goodison Park or not is irrelevant outside of the two clubs vying for his services, but the fact that he is now so sought after by one of the greatest names in the English game may just prove a turning point in the way lazy, xenophobic pundits are permitted to use nationality alone as a reason not to offer gifted football men employment in our game.