Things We Think We Think #334


1. It’s been a slightly doleful week in some ways. The funeral of City legend Peter Skipper at the shockingly young age of 61 cast a midweek shadow over the club and city, one that was certainly never going to be banished by an end of season dead rubber. Credit to City though, their matchday tribute to the ex-Tigers captain was fitting. RIP Skip. You entertained and inspired a huge number of your fellow Hull folk.

2. The launch event of Amber Nectar alumni Richard Gardham’s constitutive book ‘The Decade’ was a much needed infusion of ebullience however. What was vividly evident was the deep and authentic love that many people have for Hull City Association Football Club  For some it’s on hold, but undoubtedly still there, and it found joyous expression on Saturday night. City fans and ex-players were in violent agreement that the club will be ours again, and will rise again, after the parasitic infection currently ailing it is finally banished.

3. You don’t own a copy of The Decade? Buy it now!

4. Sunday’s season finale was more entertaining than was expected wasn’t it? City have a historical tendency to be quite accommodating to teams that need a result on the last day, but we bucked the trend and were easily the better side in a game against a team who started the game with play off aspirations. Some of the performances of young players gave us cause for hope that next season might not be the inevitable relegation battle that this season threatened to be for a while. George Long looked assured and quasi-commanding in nets, and Robbie McKenzie looked assured and composed in his preferred full back role.

5. We can’t truthfully say we mourn the failure to make the top six this season. Of course, it’d have been amazing, and there were a couple of times when our customary cynicism found itself wobbling. Ultimately, we didn’t challenge quite seriously enough, never actually made the top six and fell short with a lack of squad depth and real top-level quality. It never felt seriously on, even if it was fun to talk about. And naturally, that atrocious start was always going to hurt – it’s still quite an achievement that this weekend wasn’t spent in a torment of relegation-based anxiety. So, 13th constitutes a real success this season for Adkins and his players, and we salute them for it.

6. However, if we don’t regret a midtable finish, the end of 2018/19 is tinged with sadness for players we won’t see in black and amber again. Jarrod Bowen is destined for bigger and better things, and we wish him well (and hope that his eight-figure sale fee is reinvested into the club, rather than funnelled elsewhere). Fraizer Campbell enhanced his reputation during his second spell at the club, and will forever command a considerable mention in the Hull City story. He hopefully has another very good move left in his career, and let us hope that he remembers us as fondly as we will him.

7. Kamil Grosicki has been divisive for much of his time here, but his best form has undoubtedly been this season, a time when he’s also looked more integrated into the group than before. It’s possible he’ll stay, though clearly unlikely. This is the last chance City will have to get a couple of million pounds for him, and his wages wouldn’t sit comfortably with an ambitious Championship club, let alone Hull City. If/when he goes, his legacy will probably the subject of debate, because his application has been so erratic. At least he saved the best until last, and his talent is a rare one at this level. We’ll miss that, if nothing else.

7a. If his final notable contribution to Hull City’s cause is flicking the ear lobe of an opponent he felt wronged by, well that’s just serendipitously beautiful.

8. It looks as though we may soon be missing Nigel Adkins, too. When City were tussling with Ipswich for possession of 24th last autumn, there was no guarantee he’d survive 2018, and little chance that the following summer he’d have the upper hand in new contract negotiations with City. Yet here we are. Adkins is able to (partly) dictate terms and demand guarantees of investment, safe in the knowledge that his overachievement with City has rehabilitated his reputation. He no longer has so few career options that staying amid the slow-motion car-crash of City is his only route to employment. It’s a remarkable turnaround, and one we suspect Ehab Allam is yet to properly appreciate.

9. The EFL’s justification to us about their decision to highlight City’s “family excellence” was something to cherish. There’s the hugely patronising assertion that capering mascots, pre-match antics and concourse adornments are why families go to football – sometimes, it really is because of a shared love of football, the atmosphere, the occasion, rather than generically identikit McEntertainment. But even if we overlook that arrant nonsense, the idea that ANY quantity or quality of extracurricular gadding about is relevant if families can’t afford to get in because the owners refuse to offer concessions is ridiculous. The EFL is a seething nest of simpletons.

9a. And what happened to the announcement about “family” discounts anyway? In its presently degenerate condition, this is a club with a lengthy history of broken promises, so another one isn’t going to spoil the summer. But it’s a reminder that the club needs an extensive clean-out off the pitch.

10. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that for TWTWT in 2018/19. We’ll have a last match/end of season review podcast at 7pm tomorrow night; then pop back later in the week for a bit of news about the site and podcast. Thank you for being with us throughout another characteristically turbulent, eventful and sometimes even enjoyable season of Hull City AFC. Have a bloody brilliant summer…

12 replies
  1. Bosco
    Bosco says:

    A mixed season, whereby Adkins and the players turned things round to give City hope, albeit about to be dismantled again by the owners.

    I’ve been less to the KCOM than in previous years and it saddens me to see the support that had been built up, savaged by the stubbornness and stupidity of Ehab. I can’t see a sale happening for some time, so I really hope Adkins stays, with some backing, to give fans hope of on field excitement.

    Thanks for another year of informative and thought provoking TWTWT’s, match reports and great podcasts.

  2. Joe
    Joe says:

    Took my 5 year old son to his first 2 matches this year, Bolton and Pigs at home, he really enjoys the whole day, not that bothered about the football just yet, but wants to go more, but I just can’t bring myself to do it…..worse still, living in Sheffield he’s going to grow up with his mates supporting Weds or United and if he doesn’t get properly hooked we could lose him, and his younger brother, for ever. And that really is the heartbreaking thing. Sensible children’s prices and we’d prob go to 5-10 matches next season but this generation is at risk of being lost forever.

  3. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Thanks AN for a small truthful drop of reason in a vast ocean of misinformation and Allam appeasers and sycophants.

  4. scunepo
    scunepo says:

    Thank you for your fantastic work this season. As an exiled fan, Amber Nectar and HCST have been my portals to access information I can rely on about the club that up to a few years ago was my passion in life. That passion is slowly ebbing away and the main anchor to what remains is HCST together with your continued enthusiasm to tell the unabridged truth about the goings on at the club.

    Please keep up the good work.

  5. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    Re 3. This book is worth every penny, if you spend anything on yourself this year make sure this book is top of the list.

  6. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Thank you for for providing this forum to express our opinions on Hull City, Amber Nectar! “It was the best of times it was the worst of times”, could very well have been written by Charles Dickens about Hull City instead of the French Revolution. Under the Allams there have been two promotions to the Premier League, an FA cup final and a brief foray into Europe. We’ve also seen a stupid attempt at a name change by them, Steve Bruce walking away after the second Allam era promotion, thanks to Ehab’s idiocy and a huge drop in attendance, also thanks to the boy blunder. Next season will probably see another gutting of the squad followed by an influx of loan players, and who knows if Adkins will still be around? I understand why so many fans have voted with their feet but it’s sad to see the KCOM less than half full at every game and only a change of ownership can fix that but there’ll still be no guarantee of better times even then. Still, we can only hope.

  7. Black Label
    Black Label says:

    Thank you for your season of diligent efforts to inform and entertain in equal measure. It is appreciated. One day the Allams will be gone and Hull City can by a source enjoyment & pride that isn’t tinged with such needless angst and anger due to their tyrannical reign.

  8. HempholmeTigers
    HempholmeTigers says:

    Thank you guys. Enjoy the summer and look forward to welcoming our weekly AN TWTWT fix next season.

  9. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Thought the Bristol goal offside…having seen the highlights twice. Thought it came off the inside of his leg, and Henricksen didn’t touch it anyway. (Will be pleased when he goes so the spelling problem will ease!) Still didn’t matter really. Unlucky season really in the end, but seeded for failure from the start by slow recruitment after a lot left. However, the loss of Elphick….can we afford him back?…and the unfortunate fail of the Cardiff replacement…followed by centre back and defensive midfield injuries en masse did too much damage. You get individual mistakes from young centre backs too.
    Having seen the results of starting a defence from scratch, we all suspect we will be trying the same for our strike force next year. Possibly even more difficult to survive, as those extra goals have papered over defensive failings this season, and getting another Championship strike force together….well…worrying. Should keep Campbell IMO. Adkins? Would like to see him stay and build something at Hull City AFC. He seems able to bring youngsters through. A good thing in a manager.

  10. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Forgot to say….keep Kane and sign Pugh too. Probably too expensive if the finance rumours are true. What a pity! The solution? Not an owner like Bassini!!!

  11. Ozzie
    Ozzie says:

    Thank you from afar!! Did not make a game this year sadly but it has been a roller coaster to track and thank goodness that mid-season burst of success gave hope and more importantly has allowed the fight to continue next year at Championship level. Just hope that sanity might return to the administration, but then again I am probably day dreaming!

    Once again thank you for your insightful reports and editorials!!



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