Things We Think We Think #313


1. City are back after the blissful hiatus for an international break (remember when we used to curse these?), and nothing much has really changed. The draw against Preston just wasn’t a good enough result for a side in our desperate predicament, and showed quite perfectly why we look like a side heading for relegation.

2. Sure, City played fairly well for decent chunks of the game, striking the frame of the goal a few times. Nigel Adkins and his players could perhaps bemoan ill luck and fine margins; we could equally bemoan the familiar lack of a cutting edge that’s hamstrung us all season. We’ll stick with the grumpier interpretation. When on top, against a side in the bottom three, chances absolutely have to be taken. Most other sides in the division would, and while we accept that we’re among the very weakest, the same has to apply.

3. It wasn’t a conspicuous lack of effort or endeavour. It’s just a lack of authentic Championship quality running throughout the whole side. We used to be a mixture of decent second tier players with a dash of Premier League class; now the decent second tier players are being asked to carry League One larkers, and the result is the painfully meagre fare we see every Saturday. The idea that we’re good team being chronically mismanaged doesn’t ring true – this just isn’t a good team.

4. Naturally, much of the ire heads Nigel Adkins’ way. It’s worth reiterating, over and over again, that most of this shitshow isn’t his fault, but that of the loathsome Allam family. Nonetheless, the suspicion lingers that he could still be playing this weak hand better. Forget the garrulous media utterances – they’re the style, but it’s the substance we take issue with. Erratic team selections. Perplexing substitutions. Nothing approaching a coherent style of play or purpose is emerging. Instead, we’re sinking.

4a. Not to labour the point, but those substitutions

5. One of the City Twitterati likened Nigel Adkins to Ned Flanders from The Simpsons this week, and it’s an apt comparison. Every day Ned Adkins has a shave, looks in the mirror and asks “Now what can I ding dong diddly do for you?”

6. Kamil Grosicki is worth his starting position right now, he was undoubtedly one of the better performers against Preston, but calls to build the team around him seem misguided. There’s still a nagging doubt about whether he’s giving it his all and he spends a significant chunk of games berating team mates for not being on his wavelength. You build teams around team players, not people looking out for themselves.

7. City have two away games next, from which points must be taken. There’s a long midweek trek to Bristol in the offing, to play a side just two points off the play-offs and who’ll start as strong favourites. Then it’s Bolton, who don’t look up to much this season, but who’ll definitely fancy improving their league position oat our expense. But our already abysmal points-per-game ratio cannot survive two more defeats. That’d almost certain return us to the bottom of the table, and the longer we sit in the bottom three the harder things will become.

8. Relegation no longer feels possible, but now – without a major alteration to our fortunes – actually more likely than not. The major alteration required probably feels beyond the current squad, meaning that it needs bolstering… which will require new owners. Or a new manager. And frankly, for all that he doesn’t inspire, who on earth are we going to be able to attract at the moment? And the Allams wouldn’t pay Adkins’ contract up anyway. So we’re completely stuck with a substandard squad and a substandard manager… until new owners arrive.

9. If they do. The prospects do seem real at the moment, and our hopes are beginning to rise. The fact that things have gone quiet strikes us as a positive sign – serious discussions such as this are much more likely to proceed privately than through the media. We still don’t put it past the detestable duo to continue their slow asphyxiation of the club, just because they can; but money is everything to them, and a sufficiently handsome sum may just pry their cold, dead hands from our windpipe.

10. Charlie Crickmore was still a teenager when he left Hull City, yet there was something that eternally held him close to the hearts of the Hull folk who saw him play in black and amber, made up of a combination of regret that he wasn’t able to stay longer and be one of the creative forces around the forthcoming Chilton and Wagstaff partnership, and of joy at his return to the local game as a referee after his retirement, while working for the fire brigade. He was, very simply, a very nice and popular man who loved his city, and his death last week will be mourned by many. We congratulate City for instigating a minute’s applause in his name at the weekend’s match, and we offer our condolences to his family.

7 replies
  1. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    Adkins may have his hands tied but he’s doing himself no favours by saying we’re as good as any other team in the Championship or declaring that the Preston game was “exciting”. Really?

    He’s just making himself look a daft cunt.

  2. Backothenet
    Backothenet says:

    Thanks for the Preston insight, could only watch the highlights on Skysports and read the Beebs report. Adkins is seriously deluded but worse the profligate attempts on goal from our half arsed strivers…not. Can’t see any Christmas cheer coming our way anytime soon so will now take up bowls. The taste of relegation curdles my piss. Surely we are due a miracle?

  3. Jonty
    Jonty says:

    Despite Adkins not being able to sign the players he wanted he is to blame for the poor quality of football we are playing. We prefer to play ‘safe’ passes and take extra touches in areas where we should be taking risks, and have people passing up shooting options for safe passes on a regular basis. That can’t just be down to player decision making, it must relate to tactics. Plus we seem to be picking up a lot of calf injuries, which would suggest something wrong with the training we are doing between games. Just not good enough from those leading the team. And yes, his substitutions are ghastly and perplexing.

  4. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    Rubbish first half, some improvement second half, overall we are very poor at the moment. The substitutes, I think hindsight is a wonderful thing, I would have kept Grosicki on as he was keeping them stretched, particularly entertaining the way he pissed of their number 2, the other subs well you could have brought The mascots Rory and Amber on for me, they are probably as good as what we have on the bench. Can anyone tell us where Milinkovic is ?.

  5. haltemprice tiger
    haltemprice tiger says:

    The substitutions on Saturday, or lack of them, were totally clueless. Even before City scored, Preston were getting on top, and a couple of pairs of fresh legs would have helped from 75 minutes onwards. Unless the club somehow miraculously gets sold before January to owners who are prepared to invest substantially in the team, City are dead certainties for relegation. Even then it may be too late , as they will probably be cast adrift.

  6. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Adkins baffling team selections and substitutions have been a concern since he was appointed, playing Henriksen and Stewart together has never worked but still he persisted when both were available. At least playing Batty has been a success in midfield but we have no one like Meyler to score seven or eight vital goals a season and losing his experience was a blunder in my opinion. New owners and new talent in January might be the answer but as others have said we might be in deep trouble by then. Adkins needs to stop dicking around with team changes and field a settled side as far as injuries will allow, defeats in the next two games will surely leave us in bottom place and firmly in the brown stuff!

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