Things We Think We Think #312


1. It’s been a week of contrasting emotions. The glimmer of hope presented by a doughty draw with Middlesbrough was extinguished in defeat to Leeds, a match that started well but ended pretty pathetically, with City completely unable to lay a glove on their opponents despite trailing only by one.

2. Nigel Adkins’ view of our Tuesday night victors didn’t make any sense. They’re good, quite good in fact, and clearly a mile better than our sorry squad. But the best Championship side in years? They’re not even the best Championship side of this calendar year, and there wasn’t much to suggest that the Hull City class of 2016 wouldn’t overcome them. Mind games to bolster his side’s fragile confidence? Perhaps. But at least make confidence-building remotely grounded in fact, eh Nigel?

3. It was an oddly listless evening. Fewer than 10,000 City fans turned up, and it didn’t feel remotely like any previous City/Leeds fixture at the Circle. When not even the visit of the Champions of Europe can fill seats and clear throats, we know the disease is deep and entrenched. City were alright in the first half, competing well and suggesting that another unlikely point was possible; but the second half response to going behind was abysmal. Sure, City were unlucky to lose Irvine (who is excellent) for Stewart (who is, shall we say, not operating at quite the same level). And they’re better than us. But for pity’s sake, don’t cough up a match like that.

4. If minded towards a charitable disposition, it’s possible to have a degree of sympathy for both players and manager following our latest defeat, this time at Sheffield United. The manager made a courageous (in the Sir Humphrey Appleby sense of the word) decision to shift to 3-5-2 and drop both Bowen and Grosicki; yet he was only 20 minutes and a penalty away from seeing it justified with a surprise point. Meanwhile, the players themselves showed tolerable application, albeit undermined by a familiar lack of quality, but they too were part of an outfit that wasn’t far from a draw against a side now 23 places above us.

5. And if you’re not charitably inclined, and are instead absolutely bastard sick of City losing all the time, then you’ll note yet another defeat, yet another unclean sheet, yet another blank, yet another slide down the table. Which is placing Adkins under considerable pressure. If a takeover is in the offing – which we’ll deal with shortly – then he won’t be sacked now, as any new owners will probably want to decide who they want taking the club forward. There’s also no prospect of the Allams spending another penny on the club they don’t have to by paying him off. So we’re stuck with him for now. And of course, it’s up for debate as to how much of this unbearable shitshow is even his fault anyway. Our view is that he’s a secondary but not inconsequential culprit. Who sometimes does our head in.

6. If Kamil Grosicki is fit and not acting the idiot in the dressing room, he has to play. He is by some distance our best footballer, and dropping him against a side who had eyes on the top of the table, in tandem with our form goalscorer (for what that actually is) in Jarrod Bowen, was a batty decision. Adkins doesn’t have enough league points nor brownie points to be making calls that lend credence to the idea that his ego is getting in the way.

7. We suspect that when Ehab Allam recently  asked the Guardian newspaper “How is this club decaying?” he was being rhetorical, but everyone else but him knows the answer, because they know what recent home attendances have been, and they’ve seen the current league table.

8. It’s takeover gossip season again. Except…are we genuinely close this time to the Allam nightmare ending? The midweek document unearthed on Company’s House, plus seemingly categorical statements about bids, interested consortia together with names and nationalities bodes well. We’ve been here before of course, and a man like Ehab Allam would no doubt regard raising the hopes of a city only to destroy them as a worthwhile use of his time. So, the champagne isn’t yet bought, let alone transferred to ice – but we may begin pricing it up soon.

8a. Of course, if Paul Duffen returns, we may downgrade to just fizzy wine. The former City chairman would return with considerable baggage, much of it decidedly unappealing. His fingerprints were all over the descent into financial doom that brought about the Allams in the first place. Of course, we’d take him over Assem and Ehab, in the same way a particular nasty dose of ‘flu is preferable to a right good Novichoking. But that isn’t to say that his comeback will be a cause for unrestrained celebration. He’d better have learned a thing or two about responsible housekeeping.

9. But hey, it might not be him. Or it may not happen at all. So we’ll just wait, and hope. There’s no point appealing to the Allams’ better nature to sell, because their nature is purely about money and spite. But at least it means there is a language they understand. So come on, someone. Take a punt on a broken club, because the world has seen what we can be, and could be again if handled right. Get kids and old folk back in; treat disabled fans properly, open the Upper West, call us by our bloody name, make Hull proud of its foremost sporting institution again. You won’t regret it.

10. Bit of housekeeping: two thirds of our editorial team are moving house at the moment. Bear with us while posting is light, and excuse the lack of a podcast this week (KCOM are partly to blame here, if you can possibly imagine that). Back after the international break.

5 replies
  1. Rich
    Rich says:

    Let’s get some perspective, if Adkins was the right man for the job before the game on Saturday then he is still the right man for the job after 70 minutes when we’re 1-0 down to a penalty in a game that we’ve played well in, against the team that are top of the league.

    The Allams won’t sack him anyway, so let’s accept it for what it is and support him and the team.

    If that’s the difference between top and bottom then there’s no reason why results won’t improve.

  2. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    I used to like Adkins but he’s getting on my tits now.

    All this “we’re working hard”, “we’ve got a hard working group” shite he spouts after every defeat is bad enough but to say “we’re as good as any team in this league” just makes him look an embarrassing cunt.

    The sooner he fucks off with the Allams the better.

  3. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Any team with Henriksen and Stewart in is doomed to failure, why Adkins thought the former would make a good captain is a mystery, he can’t tackle, can’t head the ball, doesn’t score and is generally fucking useless. Stewart is just as fucking useless and a waste of £4 million. Henriksen was solely responsible for Leeds goal, he tried to tackle Roberts then tried to foul him and gave up after being brushed off like a fly. Adkins days are numbered, he’ll be dumped whoever buys the club.

  4. Backothenet
    Backothenet says:

    City are in a terrible slump with a manager that looks increasingly desperate to find a combination that he doesn’t have? As BB says he will get on all our tits when the results don’t happen. The Allams must be pissing themselves with glee but the prospect of Duffen does not make any of this go away. And personally I hope Adam Pearson or some other white knight with deeper pockets would appear. I’m trying to see the end game as positively as anyone must during this misery.

  5. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Yes Backothenet we’ve already had a taste of the Duffen/Brown combo, we gained promotion to the top flight for the first time alright but we later had Duffen flogging off players like Michael Turner at the expense of the club’s Premier League place. Duffen isn’t the money man anyway, he’s just a front but I’d rather it be someone passionate about Hull City like Nick Barmby or Adam Pearson.

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