Hull City Chairman Paul Duffen has ridden to the defence of his beleaguered, battered and bruised manager after another capitulation on Saturday saw Hull brushed aside 6-1 at Anfield. 7 games into the season and Hull City have just 4 points, with a solitary win against Bolton and a point gained away at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Since the turn of the year, Hull have now played 24 Premiership games, winning just two, and losing 17.
Now that’s not relegation form, that’s dead and buried form. 11 points from a possible 72 is an astounding return and one that beggars belief. Already this season they’ve conceded more than 4 goals in three different matches and that for me sets alarm bells ringing. I’m completely at a loss as to how Brown can address this dreadful run of form. It’s not the worst Premiership record, as recent history will testify with Derby County’s year of hell probably cemented in the record books for some time to come, but surely someone at Hull City must be worried.
Now, I’m still surprised as to how far Phil Browns star has faded since the Tigers burst on to the Premiership scene last year. People seem to be enjoying Hull getting mauled every week so they get to see Browns saddened face after every match. I’m not one of them, I actually really feel for Brown and the Hull fans. When you’re facing what appears such an insurmountable task, even little hiccups seem like mountains in the black light of football induced depression.
It makes you face every game with a level of pessimism that even the Grim Reaper may think a tad depressing. Going to a match begins to resemble spending two hours on death row, where even the prospect of contracting the black death seems preferable to watching your team get stuffed once again.
Fair play to Hull City’s chairman, he stopped short of giving the dreaded vote of confidence, but even Brown must realise something has to give eventually. I’m certainly not advocating any manager getting sacked, especially one that has taken a club to a level they have never been to before but sometimes you have to hold your hands up, say enough is enough and walk away. The chairman’s statement included one of those comments were you think Hmmmmm.
“Only a few points separate us from the middle of the league, and I am really pleased with the signs I see developing in the squad” Now it’s easy to be churlish about a Chairman when he comes out with a statement like that. Is it damage limitation? Is it spin? Is it delusion? Or is it a manager receiving a level of support that should be applauded.Duffen knows that Hull City are in the Premiership more or less due to Brown’s skills as a manager.
All the additional revenue, coverage and publicity is down to a manager taking an unfancied team in to the Premiership. Moments like this don’t come around very often and after 104 years of trying, you tend to give the man who got you there a little more support than perhaps other club chairman may do. Bigger clubs than Hull City have treated better managers worse than the support Phil Brown is currently getting.
Hull are about to embark on a run of six games that will show everyone exactly where Hull City are in the scheme of things. A run of 4 home games against Wigan Athletic, Portsmouth, Stoke City and West Ham United book ending away games at Fulham and Burnley will offer us an exact dissection of Hull City in the scheme of things. Once that run is over, things may look a whole lot rosier than they currently do at the K.C. Stadium. I just hope Phil Brown doesn’t get the karaoke machine out!