Things We Think We Think #315


1. Well! Haven’t things changed? Two successive 1-0 wins, and all of a sudden this grotty season has been lent a faint but unmistakeable (and not misplaced) sense of hope. The single goal victory at Bolton was decent, but beating a West Brom side with automatic promotion hopes was authentically impressive. And not just for the result.

2. City deserved this. They absolutely did. It wasn’t a streaky backs-to-the-wall-and-pinch-one-on-the-break kind of win over a top side. City created chances, and while the lingering impression remains that we don’t convert them often enough, we did at least take one. Best of all, City then controlled the remainder of the game with rarely seen assurance and conviction. The defence and keeper will get the plaudits for another clean sheet, and rightly so. Successive shut-outs have capped off a run of seven games in which no side has beaten David Marshall twice in a game, and this defensive improvement has been vital. To stay up, a side often needs little more than to be tough to beat. Well, we’re looking a trickier assignment for opposing sides than we did six weeks ago. It could just be enough.

3. However, the whole side warrants praise for the way West Brom were repelled. Never mind that they clearly had an off-day – even at 50% effectiveness they’d have comfortably rolled us over in September. Now, we can see growing organisation and confidence throughout the side. From Fraizer Campbell’s tireless efforts up front, Dan Batty’s remarkable composure in midfield right through to a defence that is seeing inexperienced players begin to rise to the challenge – well, frankly we didn’t see it coming.

4. But let’s not get too carried away. City are still second bottom after all; these two wins have only stopped us from being hopelessly cut adrift. We’re still progressing than less a point a game and that needs fixing if we’re to survive. The key thing is that we can now start to see a way towards safety. New owners, a few new players in January to augment an improving but still desperately thin squad, and 21st could be ours. We didn’t think that a fortnight ago.

5. It also means we needn’t desperately fear Birmingham next week. They’re having a good season, just three points from the play-offs, and will start as favourites. But a match they thought was a gimme isn’t now. We hope. Any positive result will be very welcome, and may even lift us out of the bottom three. And considering that we were four points adrift of safety a very short time ago, that’d be some turnaround.

6. There was a meeting of the new Supporters’ Committee on Monday. No, we didn’t know about it either. The fall-out has been predictable though, with the club violating guidelines on club-fan consultation by barring the Hull City Supporters’ Trust after their failed – and really quite distasteful – attempts to strong-arm a fans’ group into changing its personnel. That ensured a few days of bad headlines and robust censure from the Football Supporters’ Federation, who are referring to the club to various authorities. How utterly pathetic our club is.

7. The strangest thing (beating even the comical suggestion that the OSC is “independent”) was the claim by the club on Tuesday that some of the “reps” at the meeting “prefer not to be widely publicised”. Now, we would really prefer not to be querying fellow City fans, but you can’t help wondering what the point in putting oneself forward as a “fans’ representative” is if you don’t want fans to know that you’re representing them.

8. But as usual, the real cause of the issue is Hull City AFC themselves, who bar fans from groups and organisations that DO possess a constituency and thus a mandate to represent other fans, and are also willing to do so. And of course, it’s all so short-termist. A hallmark of the Allams’ regime is how the club merely survive from one day to the next, never willing (or perhaps able) to think of anything beyond simply stumbling through whatever self-wrought crisis they’re presently experiencing. But one day, the club will be owned by adults again, who want to engage meaningfully with the fans, and some tough questions will be heading the way of those who helped the Allams spread their poison.

9. Apropos the takeover, the relative silence on that front isn’t particularly concerning. This sort of thing takes time, and much of it occurs quietly, behind the scenes. But…why was there a very slightly discordant note about the news being reported last Wednesday about the Allams “saying farewells”? That would be awfully premature if we’re still at the due diligence scale, and without a preferred bidder even been decisively identified. Coming so very conveniently at a time when the club was copping flak for their ridiculous antics with the Supporters’ Committee is interesting too. We aren’t buying it. And never forget: the Allams may love money, but they already have enough of the stuff, and also have the motivation to inflict even greater ruination of the club if they want to while planting stories about sales and takeovers to amuse themselves in the meantime. Price up the champagne if you wish; but don’t part with your hard-earned just yet.

10. Above all, we ache for the optimism and unity we’ve had before. Watching old clips of City home games at the Circle is hard when you see stands full of City fans all pulling in the same direction as the club. It’s been so long now – last week saw the fifth anniversary of the meeting Assem Allam called with City fans over the name change at which he promised not to proceed with Hull Tigers without consulting the fans (a promise he almost immediately broke). Since then, nothing has felt right. We yearn for City to be mended.

5 replies
  1. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Yes it was a good win against a very good team, West Brom played pretty football at times with plenty of intricate triangle passing but there was no end result, Marshall was hardly bothered and only had one real save to make from a header in the last seconds. Every City player did well although I’ve still never seen Henriksen make a tackle and win the ball, his passing and distribution is good but scoring and tackling are non existent. I thought Burke had his best game, he pulled off some excellent tackles and used the ball well when he had it. It was a good all round team effort and we could have scored more with Irvine at his creative best and Grosicki deciding to join in. Allam senior once said he’d be gone in 24 hours if the name change wasn’t okayed, that turned out to be just more bullshit and hot air. The owners have hung around long enough to squeeze all of the juice and most of the pips out of the club and their misrule is evident in the half empty stands at every game and our place in the bottom three.

  2. Brian Hudson
    Brian Hudson says:

    I wish the Allams no harm, and hope that Dr. Allam can continue to recover; but can anyone imagine for one second a similar reaction in Hull to that demonstrated in Leicester? Such a wasted opportunity – in spite of all the good causes that the Allams have supported in the city, they will be remembered mostly for the inexplicable way they have mis-managed both Hull City the business, and Hull City the Club. I really hope that new owners, whoever they may be, have a more positive, more sympathetic, more sensible set of ideas, and ideals, and that the takeover happens sooner rather than later.
    One final point – we must not forget the good times that the Allams brought to the Club when they first took it over; they effectively saved the Club, and despite the poisonous atmosphere they have generated since then, their rescue must not be forgotten.

  3. Backothenet
    Backothenet says:

    I can only add that the Allams perverse nature and childlike attitude in not getting there way is no absolution in my book for where we are now. The fact is that under their ownership the club went to Europe yes, but then they bottled it and left SB with the certainty that the potential would possibly never be realised. He must have been lied to so often he had no alternative but to walk. When you think what might have been frankly I don’t think they ever believed or perhaps wanted us to have, what was to me, nailed on. How can any of us think they deserve sympathy for profligate failure such as it is.

  4. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    I think that the bottom line of the Allams ownership was that they saw it as a money maker. There was no higher motive involved, they made one of their few intelligent decisions in hiring Bruce and it paid off with a cup final and Premier League football. Once we were relegated and Allam senior had to give the reins to his son, that was the beginning of the end. Bruce got us promoted again but Ehab cut funding and refused to buy Bruce’s targets. Bruce saw which way the wind was blowing and walked, after which it was a campaign of pocketing parachute money and flogging off almost every player with any value to fill the Allam coffers. And here we are today with 10,000 crowds and another relegation battle.

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