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Hull City v West Ham Utd: preview

Filed: Thursday, 16th October 2008
By: Preview Percy

Next up we have Hull in a match that has been moved to Sunday for no good reason other than the local police said so. Either the constabulary genuinely believes that any troublemakers will prefer to attend church that day or they are abusing their powers in an attempt to a) make travel difficult for law-abiding citizens, and b) make themselves a cosy few bob in Sunday overtime. You decide.

Hull City is a unique football club for at least three reasons. Firstly, and no I haven’t checked this out so don’t complain if it’s wrong, apparently it’s the only club in the four divisions whose name contains absolutely no letters that can be coloured in. Secondly they were the first club ever to get knocked out of a cup competition by penalties (in a prehistoric pre-season competition called the Watney Cup). Thirdly, and most importantly, they are the club that took part in an event that was unique in British, nay World football history. On 6 October 1990 at the Boleyn, Steve Potts picked up a ball on the right hand side and, running towards the North Bank, he let fly from a good 30 yards out. Much as we’d like to remember it as a screamer that hit the top corner the truth is that the ‘keeper made a complete pig’s ear of the shot and fumbled it through his own legs. The goal – our second in a 7-1 win - came in Pottsy’s 88th senior appearance, and, though he went on to complete over 400 league and cup appearances for the club, the goal remained his only one in the claret and blue.

That match occurred in the old second division (that’s “The Championship” to you kids).Much has changed for both clubs in the intervening years. Hull went through a number of ownership changes and, for a while were owned by Ilford-boy and former Davis Cup tennis player David Lloyd. Lloyd sold the club to new owners having cannily kept hold of Boothferry Park in the process and endeared himself to, well nobody in football really, when, in 2001, he locked the ailing club out of the ground during a period of administration, though the matter was eventually resolved. A winding-up order courtesy of HM Customs was survived, new owners took over and a move to the snappily-named Kingston Communications Stadium followed in 2002. The current owners took over in June 2007 following a relegation battle that saw them stay up in one place above the drop zone. The margin of safety was 7 points however, though this would have been reduced to three but for Leeds United’s cynical manipulation of the administration process that saw them take a 10 point hit once relegation was a mathematical certainty. The 2007/08 season therefore came as something of a surprise to even the most ardent Hull fan as they finished third and went on to claim the third promotion slot at Wembley where a Dean Windass effort was enough to see off Bristol City in the play-off final.

Since that day bookies and pundits alike have happily written off Hull’s survival chances. Only nobody at the KC seems to have read the script and the Tigers sit happily at third place in the table with 14 points, two more than ourselves. Their last two outings have resulted in wins at the Emirates (only the second club ever to do so of course) and at White Hart Lane where the visiting support cruelly chanted “are you Arsenal in disguise?” during the 1-0 victory that preceded the international break.

Hull started both matches with the same line-up. In goal US-born, England U21 cap and now Welsh squad member Glyn Myhill is the current ‘keeper of choice. Myhill is listed by most sources as having the first name “Boaz” – presumably in order to distinguish him from all those other Anglo-Welsh-American goalkeepers called Glyn that were born in Modesto, California. In front of him the central pairing of Michael Turner and Barking-born Wayne Brown has been interrupted by injury to the latter and on-loan Paul McShane has kept Myhill’s fellow Taff squad member Sam Ricketts out of the starting line-up. Andy Dawson at left back and Kamil Zayatte at right back complete the back four. Zayatte, a Guinean international, is currently on loan from Swiss outfit Young Boys, though a deal has been agreed to make the transfer permanent during the January window. Dawson is brother to Tottenham’s Michael which must make for some fun family phone calls at the moment.

In the middle, Hull can call on the services of another Barking-born player in Dean Marney. Marney was described by former Spurs boss Martin Jol as “a complete player” so it was no surprise that he was sold. Marney usually partners club skipper Ian Ashbee and the experienced George Boateng in the middle. Ashbee is a player that seems to meet with mixed reactions from the Hull faithful, but, since the last four Hull managers have all made him skipper during their respective reigns he must have something going for him. Current favourite amongst the KC crowd is Geovanni who arrived during close-season having been released by Manchester City. Geovanni is the club’s current top scorer and the Brazilian has a habit of scoring spectacular efforts from distance so the defence will have to be on their best behaviour on Sunday and avoid giving away unnecessary free-kicks outside the box (though the fact that halfwit referee Mike Dean won’t be in charge will be a help in that respect). Another option in midfield is local veteran Nick Barmby but he has featured in only two matches this season – one of those appearances being from the bench. Barmby played in the memorable 5-1 defeat of Germany by England back in 2001 and his last cap came in the draw with Greece a month later that sealed qualification for the 2002 World Cup. Blimey was it that long ago?

Up front the current pairing of choice is Marlon King and Daniel Cousin. King is currently on loan from Wigan. I suggested in an earlier preview that King was touring crap towns, a comment that met with a response that Hull actually has some nice countryside nearby. So I’ll just say that King is obviously touring places that “have nice countryside nearby”. Cousin has had an interesting recent history to say the least. Formerly with Rangers, he seemed set to join Fulham in the January 2008 window but was denied permission to move by FIFA because players are only allowed to play for two clubs in a season, unless, of course, Liverpool are involved, when the rules mysteriously cease to apply. Cousin saw out the remainder of 07/08 in Scotland before ending up in Hull, presumably having been told about the nice countryside that is nearby.

Other options up front include former Hammer Richard Garcia, who is likely to start in the racing car seats on Sunday, and the aforementioned Dean Windass. Windass has done the rounds, starting and probably finishing off at Hull and including an early spell at Aberdeen in which he managed to somehow get himself a yellow and three red cards in the one match without the involvement of a certain Mr Poll. The first red came for a second yellow after which Windass refused to leave, an act that brought the second red card. The third was shown when Windass finally left when he decided to take it all out on the corner flag which came off second-best in the altercation. A lengthy ban ensued and the corner flag recovered after counselling.

As for us, we’ll be looking to a return to winning ways after the pre-break defeat by Bolton. Despite his ‘mare in the Bolton match, the injury sustained on England duty by Rob Green is a worry and at the time of writing the club has been silent on the prospects of his making the starting line-up. The extra day’s rest will hopefully be a help, especially since Lastuvka’s only outing to date, in the League Cup defeat to Watford, was not exactly inspiring. Matty Upson and Mark Noble appear to have emerged unscathed from their full and U-21 international exertions and rumours of Valeron Behrami’s demise proved (thankfully) to be wildly exaggerated so we ought to be close to full strength (well as close as we can ever be anyway). Bellamy’s starts for Wales will have improved his match fitness and, having caused the German defence a few problems the other night he must now be getting close to a place in the starting line-up. James Collins also had an impressive night in Monchengladbach and he could be a good bet for the bench as is Diego Tristan, who may also be added to the squad if the two week trial to prove his fitness hasn’t actually knackered him.

Hull are on a high at the moment following their consecutive victories over North London opposition but I’ll take us to stop the trend. However, a victory may be just a little too much to expect against a side whose collective spirit at present is resulting in the whole exceeding the sum of the parts by quite some degree. For that reason, and the fact that we’re overdue a draw, I’ll plump for a 2-2 on this occasion.

Enjoy the match!

Last Season: did not play

Danger Man: Geovanni

Look out for: Flying corner flags if Windass gets the hump

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.

Your Comments

by Paul Oldfield
07:48AM 17th Oct 2008
''Great review, enjoy the pre-match rhetoric and the fair cos if Deano gets on the pitch on Sunday I think the corner flag will be safe.''

by Matty
10:02PM 16th Oct 2008
''Nice preview, interesting and funny. Agree with other posts. To Hammers fans - use the Park & Ride at Hessle if coming by motor - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PARK NEAR THE K.C! It's crazy enough for the locals. Enjoy, but hopefully not too much!''

by Preview Percy
02:22PM 16th Oct 2008
''Thanks to all those who corrected me on the inaccuracies contained in my preview. Apologies to the Hull Constabulary and the Hull back four. My researcher will be taken out to some nice countryside nearby and shot!''

by Pegasus Tiger
12:20PM 16th Oct 2008
''Excellent preview, made me laugh.

As an inept plod who also happens to live and nick innocent motorists in the nice countryside nearby I can confirm the match is moved because of the Fair. For Hammers travelling by car come off the A63 at Hessle and use the park and ride; the roads around the ground will be a nightmare.''

by Dan
12:18PM 16th Oct 2008
''Apart from the mistake with our back four, this was a great preview! Good luck to the Hammers on Sunday, hopefully it'll be an open and fluid match.

-Tigers Fan''

by rob kaye
11:29AM 16th Oct 2008
''One of the best previews I have read from the opposition prior to a Hull game. Just one comment: McShane has been playing right back and Zayette has been in the center.

The Hull plod are the most inept in the country however the reason for the game being moved back a day is to avoid a clash with Hull Fair which takes place this week. The stadium car park and surrounds are overrun with pikeys making access more challenging than the constabulary can deal with.

And, yes, I can attest to the nice countryside having grown up there. See you Sunday.''

by Dixie
11:17AM 16th Oct 2008
''The match has been moved because it's Hull Fair this week (Europe's largest travelling fair of course) so parking in Hull would be impossible on Saturday ... the fair is next door to the stadium. Cheers!''

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