1. Tuesday night’s draw with Barnsley illustrated perfectly why City are in serious relegation trouble, and why there’s no guarantee we’ll survive. Just as we followed up an impressive win at Nottingham Forest with a dismal no-show at Middlesbrough, so the encouraging victory over Sheffield United was conspicuously not built upon with a decidedly crummy draw against Barnsley. At no stage this season have City ever threatened to create any momentum or put together a string of good results. It’s precisely what teams who get relegated do.
2. That Barnsley are a poor side was obvious enough when we laboured to victory at Oakwell. They haven’t noticeably improved since, but neither have we. Perhaps it wasn’t a great surprise that the two sides who put together such a dire game in October should do it again – but even so, it was truly dreadful.
3. Granted, it’s a relief that City spawned a point in the end, even if we have little intention of “respecting” a disappointing outcome so disappointingly arrived at. It did at least prevent the blow of City slipping behind Barnsley in the table. But really, it’s hard not to look back at the entire evening wondering quite why City were so utterly sub-par. No intensity, no urgency, inadequate organisation – the whole thing was just utterly bab.
4. There weren’t many positives. Larsson played tolerably well, though it was his least effective match for a while – and he’s been one of the most impressive figures in 2018, so we missed his influence. Irvine looked cold and subdued, while Diomande in particular spent a thoroughly unproductive evening emboldening only his detractors. Meanwhile, if you hadn’t spotted Toral by the time he was hooked in the 53rd minute (of the first half), you may not have been alone – he was almost wilfully anonymous.
5. We enjoyed the claim that 14,000 were in attendance though. It’s so far from the truth as to be comical.
6. With Ipswich falling victim to the weather, we’re now halfway through four successive home games, rather freakishly following on from four successive away games. Next up are Millwall and Norwich, both treading water in the impossibly distant glory-soaked promised land of midtable. City are still labouring at under a point a game, which won’t often be enough for survival. Setting points targets from a brace of games in March is a little artificial, but if City haven’t moved to more than a point per game by 5pm on Saturday, that would be very bad news indeed.
7. David Meyler said a while ago on Twitter that his future at City beyond this season was in doubt, but now he has willingly and wilfully let the cat out of the bag. He’s off this summer, with the club choosing not to take up their option on a further year, and he’s evidently not happy about it. Neither are we. Yes he has limitations and bad games, and he is called out for them when they occur. He also has experience, an apparent affection for the club, a natural affinity with how supporters feel and unquestionably a sensible awareness of his own contribution over the years, and it’s quite obvious that personality issues have prompted his exit beyond any footballing decision. And isn’t it remarkable how the club can decide in ample time to not take up a further year on a player’s expiring contract, but leave it far too late when they decide to offer a player a fresh deal? Meyler did well out of City and we hope he leaves with more sweet memories than pangs of bitterness.
8. The Allam family state, in absentia, at the rearranged Supporters’ Committee meeting following the one they stroppily cancelled while issuing false claims about the Supporters’ Trust making threats, that things may be about to change. Hull City will start calling themselves Hull City again, while concessions and a proper club crest will be consulted upon. Now, we’ll believe this when we see it. Anyone familiar with the Allam family knows to judge actions, not words. It’s good news if so, but them selling the club “for a pound”, “within 24 hours”, “consulting fans before changing the name” was also good news, so forgive us for not celebrating just yet.
8a. And isn’t it pathetic that they didn’t dare face up to the Supporters’ Committee in person with this? They left others to issue what they probably regard as a humiliating climbdown for them.
9. If you disagreed with the protests on the grounds of their effectiveness, events have not validated your argument. Protests against Nottingham Forest last year brought the Allams to the table, and the prospect of them continuing and escalating achieved these promises. That’s a vindication for those who took a stand during matches. And what else could have been done? They won’t listen, so there’s no point in politely speaking. And they’re unreasonable, so what’s the point in using reason? Well done to anyone who’s raised their voice against the Allams during games.
10. Even if they do implement everything they’ve promised, we’re still Allam Out.