Things We Think We Think #296


1. The four successive home games that events conspired to produce, four games that were always going to have a significant bearing on our survival prospects, are concluded. And the verdict is in: we might, just might, be okay.

2. It didn’t seem that way at 10pm on Tuesday, in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat to Millwall. In a season filled with lows, it was arguably the lowest – a pitiful, rancid non-show in a game of obvious importance, chock-full of feckless individual displays. City stank, from the first minute in which the tone for the evening was set, right through the clueless attempts to remedy the situation later in the game. They were awful.

3. Nigel Adkins’ post-match comments, a genre that we’re already tiring of, offered little comfort. Digging out Angus McDonald while not referring to the illness he remembered later in the week sounded acutely unwise. Meanwhile, there was an air of bewilderment akin to Leonid Slutsky’s latter days, and it all augured very ill indeed.

4. 39 minutes into Saturday’s game against Norwich, and that feeling of doom will have been strongly reinforced. Already 3-1 down, having conceded a brace of penalties and lost an early lead, it’d have been a brave or rather foolhardy City fan who confidently expected anything from the game and the season in general.

5. Yet one ended with a stunning 4-3 triumph, while the outlook for the season as a whole looks rosier now. Okay, the decision to award City a second penalty – crazily, the game’s fourth – was an absolute shocker, surely the worst decision we’ve seen all season, either for or against. But City capitalised in this stroke of fortune by not settling for an unlikely point, but striving for an incredible three. Wilson’s goal gave us the three points, and by the end of the game City were worth them.

6. It’s a comeback of such unlikely proportions that it’s had City historians trying to recall the last instance of a two-goal deficit becoming a win. Was it 3-2 against Derby in 1985? (not long after the 1-4 to 5-4 at Orient, coincidentally) Whenever it was, it’s probably something approaching a once-in-a-generation event for City. And players (and manager) who’ve received plenty of oft-meritted scorn this season deserve immense credit for engineering such a startling turnaround.

7. It may just prove to be transformative. Another series of friendly results elsewhere saw it create a six-point gap between City and the bottom three – and of course, none of the current bottom five stand any realistic chance of beating the Tigers’ -6 goal difference, so it’s effectively seven points. That’s a gap that can still be overturned, and it’s be gravely irresponsible to imagine that having finally hauled ourselves back to a point-a-game average, it’s job done. It isn’t. But Championship survival is absolutely ours to lose.

8. It’s another two-game week, so there’s plenty of scope for dramatic improvement or disappointing setbacks. Two away games feature, Ipswich (12th, and with nothing to play for) and Birmingham (22nd, and in dire trouble) is an interesting pair of games. If the point-a-game record survives through until 5pm on Saturday, that’ll probably constitute a good week for City.

9. Meanwhile, the club has kept a promise (we know…) to offer consultation on the reintroduction of concessions. Needless to say, they’ve done it in a grudging and deeply imperfect manner. The two choices on offer are clumsily enacted concessions with some bizarre exclusions and qualifiers, or the present hateful system of excluding kids, seniors and disabled fans from discounts. So it’s a crap choice, and the club hasn’t done enough to address concerns about the appalling unfairness of the present situation, or ensure the club has a fanbase in the future.

10. Nonetheless, voting for a change seems the least worst option. The prospect of giving Ehab Allam a chance to gloat that fans were consulted and voted against concessions is ghastly, and once the principle is re-established that certain groups ought to receive discounts, we can set to work on improving them in the future. We’d therefore vote, with little enthusiasm, to accept these proposals. Then continue to pressure the club to do it properly.

11 replies
  1. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    Very exciting game from where I was sat, time just flew past in a non stop game, if only they played like this most of the time, maybe Adkins bollocking worked, maybe though it was the starting of Abel that got the team playing like we know they can.

  2. Pete W
    Pete W says:

    Thanks for repeatedly mentioning the fact that disabled fans have also been hit by the awful membership scheme, it is more than the HDM does! I agree that the proposed vote is very much the lesser of two evils but then that seems to be the way the Allams do things. It is not great but it could prove to be a start.
    Personally, I don’t think that there’s much to be taken from the Norwich game as it was so heavily influenced by the ref. The two good things were, however, that Abel Hernandez is far better than some give him credit for, not just his football but his influence on the team, and that the Tigers found the confidence to push for the win instead of sitting back and accepting a point. Harry Wilson’s goal was well deserved.
    Here’s hoping that after next weekend you have more good results to write about!

  3. Dave
    Dave says:

    It’s funny how in two games time, if we win those and if results go our way, we could easily be 12 points clear of the drop – were I think we’d be as good as safe. Winnable games you’d hope, with goals finally going in for us, and Ipswich with nothing to play for and Birmingham in real trouble… but this is Hull City, the club famous for taking the difficult route, so maybe we are guaranteed two losses??

    Whatever happens over the next couple of games, this season for me wasn’t really the one that concerned me – even though it’s ended up going that way. Next season for me has disaster written allover it. Countless players on their way out, some thankfully and others we can’t blame, purely on the way contracts have been dealt with. Guaranteed no or little investment. And the Allams still creaming money from any players the can sell. Think we got problems now, I hate to say it, but next season is the one to worry about. Can just see come summer, Ehab now saying how well Adkins did at the end of a tough season with injuries and that we have to make cut backs, due to parachute payments ending… It’s all lining up rather nicely for them.

    I should be happy after a rather epic Hull victory, but I keep thinking of the longer term, And believe me, we’re nowhere near the bottom of this decline. Sorry.

  4. Ben Burgess
    Ben Burgess says:

    Do you not think the sudden change of stance by the Allams might signify that a sale is imminent? Why would they suddenly agree to discussing concessions, consulting fans on the badge and the return to using City? All seems very strange to me could it be that a potential new owner wants these issues addressing ahead of a takeover? Just a thought!

  5. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    As the cynic says Ben Burgess, “Believe it when you see it”.

    The vote set up by the Allams reiterates that there are no good options when they have absolute power over the terms of the vote. They are basically stacking the vote in their favor by saying “Do you want concessions? And if so, we’ll charge everyone else more for their tickets from now on.”

    How about offering concessions and keeping all other prices where they are now? This may start to stem the flow of fans leaving and bring a few back. The Allams are simply too unevolved and greed obsessed to do the right thing for Hull City.

  6. Pete W
    Pete W says:

    Hull City aka the Allams are not offering any concessions though. What they are proposing is to introduce cheaper rates for certain fans but raise the price for other fans, thereby it is the latter that is paying and not the club. By definition a concession is ‘a preferential rate given by an organization’ but what is on offer clearly does not fit this.
    Curiously, in Islam charity to and compassionate treatment of the elderly and the disabled is seen as one of the guaranteed ways of improving a Muslim’s chances of entering heaven. Having been to the Middle-East as a disabled person I was surprised by how well I was treated by the people there. I do not see anything comparable in what Ehab Allam is proposing. I suppose that he might have lapsed in religious matters though. One thing is for certain, he is not making any concessions in respect of ticket prices.

  7. Steve Lee
    Steve Lee says:

    It’s been obvious for a long time that the Allams’ intention is to leave the shell of a club with a decimated fan base. Why else would they insist on preventing under 14s attending games on their own and limit concessions for adults with kids to one child each?

    Their “legacy” will be to claim that, under their stewardship, we had a thriving club with a full stadium. Vote NO!

  8. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    I keep checking back for a reply from Ray but there’s nothing. Can’t wait to see what he thinks this week.

  9. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Re 5: by the end of the game City were worth the points….Actually looking at the highlights, we created a few chances before they scored and could have been well ahead. So deserved the points IMO…not just for the comeback. Let them have a good header at the end though! Fortunately over the bar. We seem poor on crosses, and Daws doesn’t have much spring these days.
    Very pleasing and much needed win! Now onward and Upward!

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