Tag: Hull City

Brian Little – Slow Decline Or Varied Career?

If you watch a match this afternoon, take a moment if possible to look into the eyes of your manager. If your team is winning you may think that you see happiness, but it’s not. It’s relief and respite. If your team is losing or drawing you may just get to see a haunted soul. Ironically, given that it is statistically likely that most managers will lose as many games as they win, the life of the football manager is one of surviving from one match to the next. In the most extreme circumstances, one match can lose a manager his job and, in select cases, destroy his reputation. Managers in the Premier League are the top of their game. At the prime of their game, and it’s a long way down. Even some of the most established Premier League managers will be more than aware that their reputations will only last for as along as their teams can keep their heads above water. It is an insecure profession and, since all managers have been players at some point, they know it. It is, therefore, likely that some older managers may have shivered yesterday when a minor announcement appeared, almost as a footnote at the bottom the sports news. Gainsborough Trinity, of the Blue Square North, have hired Brian Little as their manager. Little’s managerial career has become a...

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Alex Ferguson: Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold?

As we suspected all along, it has come down to the last day of the season. West Bromwich Albion had managed to postpone the hangman’s noose for a couple of weeks longer than many people had expected, but they finally fell through the trapdoor at The Hawthorns with a home defeat against Liverpool last weekend. This leaves two places in the Championship available for next season, and there are no shortage of takers. Two clubs from four – Hull City, Newcastle United, Middlesbrough or Sunderland – will be missing out on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for one season at least, and the press have been spending the week ensuring that there will be “controversy” tomorrow, no matter what. Middlesbrough are almost down. We already know that they are dependent on results elsewhere all going their way. They have to win tomorrow regardless of any other considerations, and the chances are that they will need to win by at least two or three goals. They are away to West Ham United. Sunderland, on the other hand, have drifted into the relegation zone in the absent-minded way of the priests wandering into “Ireland’s largest lingerie department” in that episode of “Father Ted”. They face one of the ultimate tests in the form of a home match against Chelsea but, even if they fail to pick...

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Match Of The Week – Hull City 2-1 Fulham

Before the realpolitik of the new season starts to properly bite, August gives us all a chance to suspend our disbelief and wallow in our dreams. The reality is harsher now than it ever was, with the brushed metal veneer of twenty-first century money shining in the background reminder us at every step of the limits of everyone’s ambitions. For the press, this season isn’t about whether Hull City and Stoke City will stay in the Premier League or not. In the Brave New World, we already know that they are showing breathtaking impetuousness by even daring to turn up for their matches. Why are they even bothering? They don’t have the right to come into this league under the pretention that they can be considered equals. August, however, is different. For a few weeks, we can wallow in our own opulence and dream, amongst dreams, of parallel universes in which scenarios so unlikely that Terry Pratchett would baulk at them unfold. Why shouldn’t be us that storm to an FA Cup Final and sneak into the Champions League on the last day of the season after Arsenal draw at home for the fifteenth time? The first day of the season is often the day upon which those dreams burst, but it’s probably fair to say that the hopes and dreams of Hull City supporters have leant towards the...

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