Things We Think We Think #290


1. That wasn’t expected. Before Saturday’s Cup tie, it was easy envisage another morose gathering at the Circle quietly suffering as 4,000 Nottingham Forest fans loudly enjoyed their victory. It required considerable optimism to expect the Midlanders to be the ones suffering as City’s unexpectedly effective display took us to a deserved win. But that’s what happened.

2. Ignore the scoreline. City 2-1 Nottingham Forest was more emphatic than that. Multiple opportunities were missed to score a third goal, and City were all over Forest for pretty much the whole game. It was a terrific performance, coupled with a really spirited attitude. And that’s the most encouraging thing: from the first minute to the last, there was a battling mentality in the side. We’ve wondered aloud if this side is up for a scrap. We know now that they can be. Replicating that in the League is now essential.

3. But let’s enjoy this win a little longer. There were many fine individual performances. Max Clark looked mature and assured at left-back, Aina continued to look a threat on the right, while the way in which Bowen has maintained his fine form throughout the season suggests he is the real deal (and his suitors grow in number). Dicko was tireless up front and a constant nuisance, capping it off with a goal, but the star was arguably Jackson Irvine. He’s taken a little time to really embed himself in the side, but his was a buccaneering midfield performance. Full of energy, he tracked back tenaciously, ran forward determinedly and used possession intelligently. More, please.

4. It was a treat to leave a match feeling uplifted at what had gone before. City’s combative approach – aided by an indulgent refereeing performance that Forest should have mimicked instead of whining about – genuinely elevated the spirits. It’s just nice to see goals and victory again. It’s been a rare feeling for too long.

4a. Rarer still must be the same post being struck five times in one game – twice en route to City goals, then acting to deny Forest twice and City once. Bizarre stuff.

5. We’d like to feel sorry for Nottingham Forest fans, who cannot have enjoyed Saturday’s events. However, the way too many of them acted as though they were the first football team in history to take a large following anywhere and so cockily predicted an easy win means we’ll swerve the pity.

6. So, we’re in the Football Association Challenge Cup Fifth Round. This is nothing to be sniffed at – especially when we consider that repeating the achievement next season may require winning four ties if things don’t improve in the League. The draw is this evening, and there are enough non-elite sides left in the competition for us to think a way to the Sixth Round isn’t out of the question. Whether it brings a tie that City are favourites to win or a mission impossible, it’s exciting to be involved.

7. It goes without saying that this now transferring to the League, where the situation remains grim. One of the major issues in recent fixtures has been starting games so weakly. Well, if Nigel Adkins can’t get his side up for the visit of Leeds tomorrow, three days after a stirring victory that owed much to a fast start and an emboldened approach, we have a problem. It’s perhaps pushing it to describe this game as “must-win”…but then again, we need at least seven wins from just 18 games to have a chance of surviving, and this is a home match against a side in 9th. If not now, then when?

8. We are not remotely surprised that City haven’t done a single thing during the transfer window so far. The approach was easy to deduce in December: sign no-one of note and spend no money, then get someone, anyone, into the squad in desperation on the final day, preferably on loan. Not that Ehab Allam’s mismanagement being predictable needs to stop us despairing at this wilfully damaging approach.

9. With two televised fixtures approaching, home matches against Sheff Utd and Aston Villa in February and March respectively, there’s no doubt that failure from Ehab to act in three major areas will see significant and justified protests. Those areas are easy to identify, and equally easy to rectify: strengthen a paper-thin squad, reintroduce concessions, and start calling Hull City Hull City. Otherwise, the protests will restart, and quite rightly so.

10. A spot of housekeeping: we’ll be podcasting on Wednesday evening this week, recapping the Cup win and tonight’s draw, plus Leeds and whatever City have (or more pertinently, have not) done in the transfer window.

9 replies
  1. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    Interesting reading, number nine is a big call for fans to act together.Including fans groups to put pressure on the Allams. Televised matches are ideal to get publicity, ie tennis balls from all stands for example or toilet rolls.
    I don’t think many are surprised by the inactivity in the transfer market.Presume Ehab will try make a big show of buying or attempting to buy very late in the window to try to placate the fans.
    As for the head of recruitment , is he there because he is a supposed mate of Ehabs ? Because anywhere else he would be out the door.
    Obviously the way the Allams have fallen out with the fans, council, purged the working staff at the Kcom, SMC fiasco, he may need a friend at work.

  2. Dave
    Dave says:

    Whilst I’m over the moon that Hull are in the draw for the next round of the cup, I am currently resigned to believing that whatever happens this season, we’ll simply go down next season. It’s going to take some serious investment now and in summer for many of us to believe otherwise. What will happen is Ehab will be seen on Sky Sports News on his mobile phone, making enquiries about players he knows we won’t get, and it’ll all be one big let down… but “we had bids on the table” / “we tried our best”… same every window.

    Does anybody know what the actual attendance was on Saturday? Seemed low again.

  3. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    Thanks for an uplifting TWTWT after a great match.

    #9 not that I disagree with the three areas of Allam failings, but I would just leave it at one major thing they have promised to do but still failed to do. Leave.

  4. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    After almost five years of continued protests against the Allams it should be obvious even to the dimmest bulb that protesting is a waste of time. They will leave when it suits them to leave and not before, that will be when the club has been raped for every available penny. There’s nothing wrong with protesting, that and walking away are supporters only weapons, just don’t expect it to have any effect. Even if the pitch was covered in yellow balls to a depth of six feet there would be no change of heart from our un-beloved owners, they detest the supporters with as much passion as their cold hearts can muster and will do nothing to prevent Hull City’s current slide into League 1.

  5. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Bkackadder, you are probably correct but if we make zero signings and even worse sell Jarred Bowen and or Grosicki, then we have to act.
    Not to mention the failed membership scheme.
    The three things asked for in Point 9 are all easily achievable / doable.
    So on that basis I would say they are perfectly reasonable demands.

  6. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Yes Bill they are perfectly reasonable demands . . .but since when have the Allams ever been reasonable? Now in my opinion, if all the supporters could be persuaded to boycott a specific game, then an empty stadium, or even close to empty, away fans excepted, might just bring the Allams around to seeing some sense over concessions and using the club’s correct name. I seriously doubt it but it might happen. The window closes on Wednesday and it’s very obvious that Ehaw has no intention of spending a penny on new signings, we might get a free or a loaner but that will be it, and if Bowen and Grosicki are sold then it’s curtains for sure. I think we will have to wait until the 2019/20 season when we are in League 2 for the Allams to leave because if we lose all ten players who are out of contract in the summer plus Bowen and Grosicki, then the club will be on its uppers. Ehab will have achieved all of his aims and can sell Hull City for peanuts or by calling in the Allamhouse loan, put the club into receivership, thus taking revenge on the fans and leaving the club deep in the brown stuff!

  7. Nipper Lawrence
    Nipper Lawrence says:

    The Carlton Cole story sums up City’s hopes of any new bodies – “offer for Cole” – (say it out loud) it sums up Ehab’s tactics.

  8. Eastmidstiger
    Eastmidstiger says:

    Blackadder “After almost five years of continued protests against the Allams it should be obvious even to the dimmest bulb that protesting is a waste of time” I take your point if you are looking at the protests as a means to get rid of the Allams, if so you are 100% correct, but don’t forget Hull is an isolated City and without the protests to the outside world we just look like a shit football team with tiny crowds, with the protests making national headlines as least we look like a shit football team but with fans that care and have passion. The worst possible protest in my opinion is staying away, the play off final was a real embarrassment which just made us look like a small club with a small following, which only those in a small radius of the Umber really understood, at least now the rest of the country is starting to get sympathetic and relating our owners to other crack pot owners. The protests may not get rid of the Allams but at least supporters of other clubs are starting realise our cause and plight.

  9. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    You’re right of course Eastmidstiger but all the sympathy in the world won’t help if City are relegated or forced into Administration or worse. The Allams are not football fans, let alone fans of Hull City and their only interest in the club is how much cash they can walk away with by selling off any player of value and keeping as much of the cash from TV and parachute payments as they are able. As a contrast, look at Steve Gibson, the owner of Middlesborough. He was born there and supported the team as a lad, Boro were relegated with City and Sunderland but have kept the nucleus of the squad, they’ve also pushed the boat out and signed Tony Pulis, he has plenty of Premier League experience and has never been relegated. That’s the difference between an owner who is driven by profit and one who loves his club and wants success for the city and the fans.

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