1. On the face of it, a 1-0 loss at second placed Cardiff isn’t a calamity. A side that’s closer to a relegation battle than it cares to admit away to a team challenging for automatic promotion would probably be expected to lose this sort of game, and so it proved.
2. The match was settled by a single goal – offside, if you scrutinise the television replays closely enough, but such a close decision we’ve no real right to furiously rail against it. In real time it was almost impossible to be sure, and it must be correct that attacking players receive the benefit of any doubt in such situations. It’s understandable that the City manager and players are frustrated to lose to a goal that could’ve been chalked off, but if you need slow motion replays to be certain, it’s clearly a tight call.
3. After the (relative) excitement of winning by the odd goal in five against Brentford in Nigel Adkins’ first game in charge, this was a far dourer approach. We hope it was done with the quality of the opposition in mind, and not an indication of the way the new manager hopes to avoid relegation. It was a dreadful match, low on creativity and invention, played at a weirdly consistent half-pace throughout.
4. Positives. Er, well, City looked a little more assured defensively than of late. There was a degree of compact coherency to the performance, even if it came at the expense of any creativity. We weren’t blown away, and given that our ambitions have shrivelled from advancement to mere survival, that sort of approach could be enough to see us stumble into a safe high-teens position. But it’d be godawful to watch us do it this way.
5. But maybe it was just for Cardiff. For all of the faults that this weakened, imbalanced squad possesses, the ability to score a few goals isn’t one of them. It’d be a mistake if Nigel Adkins sacrificed one of his side’s few qualities for greater defensive stability – besides which, Adkins arrives with a reputation for coaching, so with luck he can fix the defensive issues without unduly hampering the goals. There’s also a lengthy injury list, which would have challenged a properly assembled squad. It could be that we must wait until the New Year before discerning the Adkins master plan.
6. Blackburn away in the FA Cup. It’s a chance for a trip out to a ground we wouldn’t have expected to visit this season, and as they’re also blighted by abysmal owners, might there be the opportunity for the two sets of supporters to get their heads together and make a bit of noise about our predicaments?
7. The Christmas fixtures now loom, with an air of menace. Leeds away isn’t a match you could reliably expect City to get much from, while the visit of fourth-placed Derby on Boxing Day – who’ve already smashed us 5-0 this season – feels uninviting. Still, there’s there the visit of midtable Fulham and a New Years Day trip to bottom placed Bolton, so there are chances for points too. With only 22 gained from 22 matches, we’re only just up with the overall run-rate for survival.
8. It was disappointing though completely unsurprising to hear from the redoubtable Hull City Supporters’ Trust that no progress has been made from their latest meeting with the Allam family. It didn’t bode well that the club had reneged upon its promise to share their brand guidelines before the meeting, the ones that fans have previously been assured do not exclude use of the never-used term “Hull City”. And so nothing was resolved, save for an Allam promise – not the world’s most valuable currency – to look again at the badge. Which is pointless anyway, when the previous one was popular.
9. Ehab’s drivel about adults misusing concessionary tickets was again produced. It’s been rebutted often enough, but he clings to it as a defence of the malicious and ruinous membership scheme. Perhaps he even believes it. It does make one wonder how every single other professional sporting club in the country manages. Had he ever thought of doing even a bit of perfunctory research? Or was the temptation to wreck the club’s future as well as its present simply too attractive?
10. The one interesting detail to emerge was that if no buyer is found for the club by the summer, then it will managed by a third party. We can’t wait for Paul Duffen’s return. Honest. In the meantime, it’s clear the Allams aren’t interested in resolving any of the issues the club faces. Mostly because they’ve caused them, but the lack of willingness to budge an inch on anything proves they’re not bothered, and that these meetings are probably just a box-ticking exercise to placate disinterested authorities.