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Two Wins In A Calendar Year Isn’t Mischief Making

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!

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  1. Jason

    September 28, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Its as if 2 of the 3 relegation places are already locked for this year. Hull City and Portsmouth are down for sure. Its a shame since you got tems like Blackburn Rovers, Bolton, and West Ham United who I would be more than happy to see leave the EPL. Hopefully at least one of them will still go down with the previous 2 mentioned.

    • The Gaffer

      September 28, 2009 at 10:49 pm

      West Ham and Portsmouth don’t deserve to go down when you consider how entertaining both clubs have been to watch so far this season. Blackburn and Bolton have been too inconsistent. Hull City has been just awful.

      The Gaffer

  2. The Gaffer

    September 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Here’s a comment about the article that Hull City supporter Les gave me permission to reprint:

    “I’m filled with rage whenever I hear Brown and Duffen talk, they’ve shown themselves to be total fools.

    Duffens imply doesn’t understand the game, which is why he comes out with shit like ‘our performance at Liverpool showed heart and spirit and that the players are behind the manager’ and ‘The first half at Sunderland was one of the best in the history of the club’. What an idiot.

    He’s only interested in having people shake his hand on matchdays and making tv appearances. He lets Brown run the club and it will destroy us. There is no way Duffen will sack Brown because he loves the celebrity that Brown’s actions a year ago granted him.

    As for Brown, he says the defence is disgusting, well you brought them here, you chose them, you selected a kid to make his debut against one of the best strikers on the planet, then blame other players for it possibly scarring him.

    Brown should go, but for that happen, we need the actual owners of the club to relieve Duffen, who exists in a fantasy world, of his position. Duffen has taken to calling any supporters who question what’s happening as pathetic, and sadly it’s creating a civil war amongst fans. Some, having watched us scuff about in the lower leagues for most of our 104 years refuse to criticise the manager and chairman who got us in the Premier League, even though their ineptitude is taking us out of it needlessly.

    If you can be bothered, have a read of this…

    I wrote that two days before the sale of Michael Turner and a lot of Hull City fans reacted angrily to it and called me ‘poisonous to the club’, but time is showing me as somewhat prescient. We are pissing away our Premier League existence and that fate could so easily be avoided. “

    • Paul Bestall

      September 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm

      It’s amazing that when valid points are made, in this day and age, instead of the issues that you raise being answered, you’re shouted down, abused and accused of not being a real fan!

      I celebrated when we won the League Cup in 2008, but by god I celebrated when Levy finally booted Ramos out of Spurs. It was horrible to see just how bad we’d become in a year.

      The problem some chairman have, as you point out, is that they get seduced by the spotlight and suddenly feel all the success is down solely to them. That is always a bad sign, a very bad sign.

  3. Les

    September 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    That’s a very good article.

    I’d like to say more but I may implode with rage if I do.

  4. The Gaffer

    September 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    In Paul Duffen’s interview with TalkSport last Saturday, Duffen talked about how Phil Brown had brought Hull City up and had kept them in the league for two seasons. Yes, that’s true, but it’s stretching the truth a little bit. It wasn’t Phil Brown who kept Hull City up on the last day of the season. It was luck.

    If Hull City wants to play a third consecutive season in the Premier League, Phil Brown has to go. If they do get relegated, the blame should be placed on Duffen’s shoulders, not Phil Brown.

    The Gaffer

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