Posts Tagged premier league

Hull City 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

January 31, 2009: Hull City face West Bromwich Albion at The Circle in a relegation six-pointer, taking the lead deservedly twice only to be pegged back twice due to terrible defending.

January 30, 2010: Hull City face Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Circle in a relegation six-pointer, taking the lead deservedly twice only to be pegged back twice due to terrible defending.

So nothng’s changed over these 364 years? Not exactly. The personnel was different: only two City players started both games, Dawson and Mendy. Wolves were undoubtedly more of an attacking threat than West Brom. And we were beset by problems which meant a draw in this instance wasn’t actually that bad.

With Kamel Zayatte ruled out with ankle problems, Amr Zaki not fully fit and Craig Fagan being injured in the warm-up, Phil Brown had to change both his defence and attack from the ones he’d have intended to field. Furthermore, Tom Cairney was making his debut, Stephen Hunt was trying too hard to show his loyalties lie firmly with his employers and not his suitors Wolves and Seyi Olofinjana was sat on a bench in Nigeria, watching the Africa Cup of Nations.

Despite the problems, I thought we put in a performance that just about deserved three points. It was refreshing to see not one but two strikers on the pitch, Jozy Altidore and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, the former creating both goals and creating a one-on-one for himself which hit the keeper’s legs, while the latter superbly opened the scoring from the edge of the box and looked dangerous in the air all game.

The problem with having 2 up front, and 2 wingers as well, is it places a huge burden on the 2 central midfielders to deal with the packed opposition midfield. George Boateng battled admirably but as an attacking midfielder making his Premier League bow Cairney understandably looked a little lost when balls needed to be cleared or tackles made.

And as the game wore on Wolves increasingly won the midfield battle and managed to push several of them forward to join their lone striker in attacks. Both goals conceded came from positions where we could easily have cleared two or three occasions, but from the midfielders just as much as the defence.

An option for Brown when we’d taken the lead again could have been to shore up the midfield and go 4-5-1, perhaps with someone like the hard-working Richard Garcia joining Cairney and Boateng in the middle, but I’m pleased he didn’t. He chose to stick with an attacking set-up, presumably reasoning a third goal would kill them off, and I’m not going to criticise him for that having seen so many ultra-defensive tactics from him.

This game wasn’t a must-win. It was a must-not-lose, and we keep just one point behind Wolves, the team we’re most likely to be able to overtake. Keep in touching distance with them for the next two games, against Chelsea and Manchester City, and with the return of Jimmy Bullard and the full fitness of Zaki we’ll be in with a strong chance.

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Watch all Hull City’s Premier League goals

For most teams, a video featuring every goal they’ve scored in the top flight would take days to watch.

For success-shy Hull City, you can just feast your eyes on this six and a half minute YouTube posting.

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Why do Stoke City fans hate Phil Brown? A Stokie writes

Here, Stoke City fan northstokie writes about why Phil Brown isn’t terribly well loved in Staffordshire.

On the face of it there is no real reason why I should dislike Hull – they are a club from an unfashionable area, who like Stoke have fallen foul of the Location Location bods in being shortlisted as some of the worst places to live.

Stoke have had more success over the years, but as a 30-year-old I have only ever known old second and third division monotony and failure, not dissimilar to Hull’s recent history.

I remember when Peter Taylor brought Hull a bit higher profile and then came the stadium move and soon enough we both found ourselves in the Championship. But we never rivals – we’re miles away.

Then something happened last year – an unassuming and professional Stoke had spent most of the season in the top 3 and were working towards automatic promotion, when a team from left field started an impressive run up the league in the final third of the season.

This run was exciting for the league, they started to get a bit close to Stoke towards the top , and along with Bristol, WBA and Watford, started to become an automatic promotion rival.

Two weeks before the end of the season, Stoke went away to Colchester and could clinch automatic promotion with a win as long as Hull didn’t win in their game against Crystal Palace; Stoke held up their end of the bargain and Hull grabbed a last-minute winner which meant Stoke would have to wait until the final game against Leicester.

As I read the Sunday reviews of the game my eyes were drawn to an outspoken Phil Brown who seemed to think he had scored a psychological victory over Stoke and was quoted as saying that our kit man would have to pour the champagne away and that Hull had spoiled the party.

Many Stoke fans wondered where the outburst came from – it wasn’t as if Hull had a massive chance of overtaking us. I think it was 1 possible permutation of results in 9 would take them ahead of Stoke on the final day, yet this tanned fella from Hull saw fit to speak out?

Of course Stoke went up automatically and Hull lost that last game, having to make do with the play offs. This was the first example of Tango Man’s words putting unneccesary pressure on his players.

I have a couple of Hull fans for friends, and when Hull got promoted, one was quite grounded and pragmatic and the other full of mass optimism and fully bought into the Phil Brown quest for world domination, making bets with everyone on how Hull would trounce all laid before them.

A couple of Hull fans made the short virtual trip to our fanzine, the Oatcake, to continue this theme and build on the negative view Phil Brown had so randomly attracted to his club. Needless to say much banter ensued.

Throughout the season, the Premier League and indeed Stoke were to witness many more Tango moments that I feel have contributed more than he would like to admit to Hull’s spectacular slide down the league.

The loud clothes, the perma tan, the Madonna mic and eagerness to run to every camera, microphone and TV show he could…were soon a regular feature of the Orange one.

He revelled in Hull’s early success – as well he should – but his attitude was one of ‘this is what Phil Brown deserves’ as opposed to ‘what a great start we have had surprising teams and the more points we get on the board the better come the end of the season which will no doubt be a scrap.’

The Chairman also came out to form a sickly double act saying that Hull should be aiming for Europe. Tongue in cheek it may have been but the spotlight such comments placed on the team and club were to prove to be detrimental as the season went on.

Form began to dip and on Boxing Day Hull were on the end of a thumping first half 4-0 deficit at the hands of Man City. Instead of privately chastising his team in the dressing room, Brown led them out like naughty schoolboys onto the pitch in full view of the stadium and the world’s media to dress them down publicly.

It seems this was the beginning of the end for Phil Brown. Things started to go from bad to worse and Brown started to whinge and complain. He seemingly hasn’t stopped since.

Then in the loss at home to Blackburn Rovers, having incurred the wrath of his own fans for booing his decision to substitute Geovanni, he bizarrely said he hoped Geo failed a drug’s test.

Whatever his reasons for saying this, whatever hurt he was feeling, Phil Brown once again aired his dirty linen in public and once more brought unneccesary attention and focus on his club at a time when he should be knuckling down behind closed doors to stop what was becoming a worrying slide down the league.

What happened next, though, put the cherry on top of the madness cake. Following a loss to Arsenal in the cup, Brown seemed to completely lose the plot and started throwing accusations around, mostly in Fabregas’ direction for reasons including wearing inappropriate clothes.

He then went to draw even more attention to himself and Hull focus by claiming the player spat at assistant manager Horton, then it was on his feet, then it was near his feet.

Brown then again rushed to the phone to speak to a radio station where he sounded like a man broken. He truly sounded like he wanted to cry and contradicted himself a number of times before patronising the female presenter by calling her darling.

The clip increased the radio station’s click count considerably as fans from across the world wanted to hear the apparent breakdown of Brown.

Throughout this season Brown has made life for Hull City very difficult indeed. Unneccesary pressure and focus on the team, like it did in the promotion race, has affected the team for the worse and now Hull City look to be falling faster than Phil Brown’s stock.

I see many anti-Hull threads on the Oatcake but when you read into the reasons people dislike Hull it is a dislike for Phil Brown, not of Hull City the football club.

The main message being if it wasn’t for Phil Brown, 90% of Stoke fans would love Hull to survive at the cost of a more established team to further bloody the noses of Fleet Street’s finest.

It is a real shame that Phil Brown has sullied the club which should have been most people’s second team along with ‘plucky’ Stoke, instead he has attracted derision and mockery, something that Hull City, the club perhaps do not deserve.

If Hull City get relegated it will be largely down to the failings of Phil Brown, however, you could also argue that Phil Brown was the man who got Hull promoted.

I guess the question is, was the Premier League a step too far for him?

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Could Dean Windass score the goal that keeps Hull City in the Premier League?

Dean Windass scored the goal that took Hull City to the Premier League – could he repeat the trick and keep us there?

Windass, though back at Hull City playing for the reserves and travelling with the first team to games, is still of course registered with Oldham Athletic until the end of the season.

However, the Latics have stumbled badly since Christmas and are now way off the promotion picture, eight points off Scunthorpe United in the last play-off spot having played two games more.

So it looks like Oldham’s season – and presumably Windass’ registration with them – will finish on May 2.

Hull City still have three games to play after that date – Stoke City at home, Bolton Wanderers away and Manchester United at home – and presumably 40-year-old Deano will thus be available for selection.

I say ‘presumably’ as there has been no official word on this on the club’s website, and the Football League rules online don’t say whether a season-long loan ends when the parent club’s season finishes or the receiving club.

Windass was way down the pecking order when at The Circle earlier this season, but with Marlon King gone, Daniel Cousin and Caleb Folan hardly unfamiliar with injuries, and the rift with Phil Brown seemingly healed, it seems almost certain he’d at least be on the bench for those crucial last three games.

Forget about Alan Shearer returning to Newcastle United – Deano back in the Hull City line-up would be the returning messiah moment of this season.

UPDATE With Hull City’s game at Aston Villa being moved to Monday, May 4 – after Oldham’s season finishes – it means Windass will presumably be available for this game too.

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