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…