Filed: Sunday, 14th September 2014
By: Preview Percy
He's had a week off and, having been snubbed by England, Preview Percy is now considering taking his international preview, er, "talents", down to help Gibraltar's European Championship campaign. As if the Spanish weren't cheesed off enough already. In the meantime he's back on the domestic trail looking at Monday night's trip to Hull......
Next we head up to where the River Hull meets the Humber Estuary, to Kingston Upon Hull where our hosts at the KC & The Sunshine Stadium will (for the time being) be Hull City. Kick-off on Monday night will be at 8pm just so that Sky can kill two birds with one stone in their unconvincing quest to shout out “look we're covering everyone”. All of which means that if you're reading this you've probably missed the last train home already.
Pssst. Anyone want to buy a football club? Or take one over for free? Well if you hang around long enough our hosts may well be on the market. A while back the club's owner Assem Allam announced that if it was all the same to everyone he was going to change the name of his plaything to Hull Tigers. The supporters said that, actually, it wasn't all the same to them and that they were quite happy with the name Hull City thanks very much, what with it having been their name for something like 110 years and all and what with tradition being an important part of football clubs in England (with the obvious exception of Crystal Palace).
Allam then upped the stakes by announcing a poll of season ticket holders; asking a referendum question along the lines of whether supporters would like to see the name changed or would they prefer to see the financial rug pulled from under the club's feet and a load of puppies drowned in a canal at the same time. Ok maybe I made the last bit up but the question was loaded enough without threats of canine slaughter. The “Yes” vote carried the day by fewer than 50 votes, whereupon the FA Council stepped in and told the club not to be silly.
Since then, the club has apparently been up for sale with Allam even being quoted as saying he would give the club away if he doesn't get his way. Meanwhile, the whole name thing is about to go to the Court For Arbitration For Sport, you know the place that we weren't allowed to go to to appeal against the Tevez stitch up. A few more legs in this tale methinks.
The work experience girl with an inappropriate number of rings through her lips tells me that they currently sit in 9th spot on 4 points, having beaten QPR away 1-0 on the opening day, drawn 1-1 at home to Stoke and gone down 2-1 at Villa all those pre-international break weeks ago. They've yet to participate in the League Cup having had a couple of Thursday Night League ties to negotiate over the summer. Although they beat AS Trencin (Slovakia apparently) 2-1 on aggregate, their debut foray into Europe ended at the slightly more familiar hands (or feet if you will) of Belgium's Lokeren who prevailed 3-1 on aggregate, thus ensuring that the citizens of Kingston Upon Hull will be able to stay in and watch whatever they've replaced Tomorrow's World & Top Of The Pops with on Thursday nights.
They spent a reported £37m over the window. Of that about £6m went on their winner of the Andy Carroll award, Robert Snodgrass, who managed to dislocate his knee on the opening day, ruling himself out for 6 months.
The big money - £10m allegedly – went on Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez. Like Snodgrass he is likely to be unavailable for Monday night, though the reason for his absence is somewhat prosaic; at the time of writing he's stuck in Rome waiting for a visa. Nice to see that the diplomatic corps still contains its fair share of Hammers. Meanwhile Hernandez has claimed that he rejected a move to Benfica to go to Hull. Of course you did Abel. Much in the same way as I turned down the chance to live in the Playboy Mansion when my chance came up to live in the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered. Yeah right.
Like Hernandez, they picked up Mo Diame on deadline day. Diame's early days with us were quite good and goals against Arsenal & Chelsea stick in the mind. However consistency was always an issue for the midfielder whose penchant for blind alleys might have led to a nasty rash had he indulged it in certain parts of Soho. Or so I am told. As it happens I sort of agree with his rather undignified rant that he wasn't played in the right position during the latter part of his stay at the Boleyn but them's the breaks there's only so much space on the bench after all. The arrival of Kouyate meant that Diame would have spent more time in his proper place in the racing car seats so his departure was inevitable. It's good though that he had the integrity to sign for Hull despite a those offers from top 4 sides that he kept telling us he was getting. The transfer fee received, whatever it was, represents decent profit on a player who we signed on a free. Which is nice.
They got shot of Shane Long to Southampton where we note that he's lost none of his diving skills. Coming the other way on loan was Gaston Ramirez who, coincidentally, replaced Long in the Southampton match. He also looked a bit unsteady on his feet.
Steve Bruce seems to be trying to out do his owner in an attempt to make his club look daft by adding two more ex-Spurs players to the squad. Jake Livermore was already there on loan – his blatant handball was a notable feature of the corresponding fixture last season and his deal has now been made permanent. They've also picked up centre back Michael Dawson this season. I suppose it's a more practical way of helping the homeless than simply buying a Big Issue.
The signing of Tom Ince brings the number of players in the squad with obnoxious fathers to two. The manager's son Alex apparently spent half the summer knowing that his Dad was trying to use him as the makeweight in an attempt to lure Jordan Rhodes from Blackburn, which must make for some long silences on Sunday lunchtimes. Bruce Jr has represented both the Republic of and Northern Ireland at full international level, which is precisely two more countries than his Dad represented at full level in his career Which amuses the hell out of me.
Ince of course is son of that chap who took instructions from Manchester United whilst still a West Ham player, a blatant breach of just about every transfer regulation in the book that, strangely, went unpunished by the authorities. That's not junior's fault of course. Ince is another player who claims to have turned down a decent European club to go to Hull, in this case his Dad's old club Internazionale were supposed to have been snubbed. “I've come to Hull to be educated” claimed the player, possibly the only time ever that that sentence has ever been uttered anywhere in the world ever. Meanwhile, when considering the claims re Inter from a player who couldn't get a start for Palace for much of last season. I would refer you to my previous comments concerning the Playboy Mansion.
The other deadline day arrival was Hatem Ben Arfa, whose loan from Newcastle didn't go down too well with the Geordie faithful. Alan Pardew (who he? - ed) claims that the French international was a disruptive influence behind the scenes on Tyneside. I haven't read any recent interviews with the player but, given, the other clubs that players have apparently turned down to join Hull, I expect that he will be informing us of how he could have played for the Planet Earth XI against Mars or something but preferred to go to Hull instead.
And so to us. The performance against Southampton left a lot to be desired – though if I were a Southampton fan I'd be musing on the fact that as bad as we were they still needed the usual range of baffling decisions from Mike “I do what I like and sod the game” Dean to get past us. One day they will fine and imprison dishonest referees rather than protecting them. That shouldn't disguise the fact that the result was precisely what we deserved. It is to be hoped that some work was done during the international break on defending set pieces as it looked for all the world that we'd done no work on such matters all close season.
We have a couple of new faces to welcome of course. Alex Song actually did leave Barcelona to join us on a season long loan. Quite what influence his cousin Rigobert had on proceedings lord alone knows but let's hope Alex has more of an influence on our season than his cousin ever did.
The other arrival was Morgan Amalfitano. Amalfitano spent last season on loan at West Brom where the highlights of his season included spectacular goals against Man Utd and Cardiff, though consistency was allegedly an issue. Reports suggested that the Baggies had an option to buy at the end of the loan spell last season. If that was the case it wasn't exercised and we were able to pick him up on a one year contract from Marseille.
Injury news is much as you were. Carroll has apparently started to jog but it'll be a while before he pops up. Nolan's looking at mid-October. Jenkinson, O'Brien and Jarvis are probably one more match away from availability with Ginge being the only previously unavailable player now fit for selection.
This brings us nicely to the matter of prediction. The Palace away match was precisely the way we should treat this sort of match and the result we got was what the performance merited. Sadly I suspect that we will be a tad more circumspect about this one, partly because of the poor performance against Southampton and partly because I have a feeling that the manager considers the home side to be a stronger prospect than Palace. On the latter theory he may have a point to a certain extent – I'd certainly expect them to play less on the break than Palace tried to for example. So I fear this will be one of those “respect the point” matches of which he is so fond. I'm therefore going to place the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered's fund to bring in some young nurses who will turn down the chance to work in the Playboy Mansion to work here (£2.50) on a 1-1 draw.
Enjoy the game!
When last we met at the Sunshine Ground: Lost 1-0 – September 2013. Referee Kevin Friend was Hull's MOTM, awarding them the most embarrassing penalty ever seen outside Anfield then doing nothing while watching Livermore punch the ball away at the other end. Steve Bruce defended George Boyd for his role in the penalty, adding “liar” to his long list of offences against the game.
Referee: Martin Atkinson Incompetent who couldn't spot a dive if you sent him to an Olympic Diving competition comprising Tom Daley and half the Liverpool squad; a fact memorably lampooned by Matt Taylor who, exasperated at Atkinson's awarding of a free-kick after an obvious dive at Man City last season, did a brilliant “extra from Platoon” impression in front of the gullible official. I believe it's on something called “youtube” if you want to look it up.
Danger Man: Mo Diame It's going to happen isn't it.
Daft fact of the week: Alex Song has a daughter called “Nolan”, though whether this is in honour of our skipper or the 1970's/80's all-sister blander than bland singing group is not recorded. I went to ask the club but they told me “Don't Make Waves”.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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