a. After two weeks off we'll be wanting to correct our last result, Win
b. It's a tough place to go these days, Draw
c. We'll be hoofing it to CFC, who'll miscontrol it and give it straight back, Lose
d. It's not the players who need a shrink you fat oaf, look a little closer to home.
e. Monday Night on TV you say, hmm so is Corrie and Eastenders and I do love my soaps, I'll pass
On the Forums
View From The Opposition - Hull City Vinny 12 Sep 2014
View From The Opposition - Hull City
It seems like an age since West Ham last took to the pitch as Southampton came into town and easily beat a poor Hammers side.
Three games, two losses doesn't make good reading and the pressure remains on for manager Sam Allardyce.
Transfer deadline day saw one notable player leave with Mohamed Diame moving on and the club he joined is who West Ham will be playing next - Hull City.
Hull have had a turbulent year regarding their owner and his obsession with changing the name of the club to "Hull Tigers".
With the FA rejecting this proposal he has stuck to his word and put the club up for sale.
This week we have a bumper View From The Opposition with THREE Hull City supporters giving their views.
The three Hull fans are Chris Bell, David Shaw and Rudi Jones. A massive thanks to all three for their answers.
Up until recently there was talk of a name change for you - What are your thoughts on The Hull City Tigers? grrrr
Chris: The whole idea is ridiculous and offensive. The really shocking thing was that 30% of the FA’s governing committee thought it was a good idea. So look out – when Gold & Co. feel the need to shake things up a bit on your way to your new home you might find yourselves supporting West Ham Javelins, or Stratford Olympic. We’ll help you fight it off, though.
David: The short answers is it's a complete nonsense, total bollocks. [there was a long answer provided, but this was too long to put in this article!]
Rudi: A ridiculous idea from start to finish. Cast a shadow over what should have been a glorious season for us. The problem with the proposed name change is multifold. One, the word "city" is the very essence of the club's identity. In local terms, Hull City were referred to as "City" to differentiate between the football club and the West Hull rugby club, which, confusingly enough for some, is called Hull FC. Two, it sounds like a stupid American Football name. Or a RL name. Thirdly, the very idea that people in China or India will suddenly start supporting Hull City over Manchester Utd or Arsenal simply because there is a Tiger in the name is beyond fucking stupid.
Transfer Deadline Day was busy for you - what were your hopes for the season before and how have they changed now.
Chris: The last few windows have been extraordinary – this one was borderline crazy. As well as breaking the record for the amount paid two or three times, we also sold a player for £5m profit. We’ve never even sold a player for £5m before - £5m profit is unheard of.
And of course expectations have gone up. 16th this time around will look like failure. But at the same time there is a degree of nervousness about the amount of money being spent. It will also be interesting to see how the new boys will fit in to a squad that has always seemed like a big gang of mates who just happen to be footballers.
David: Hopes were an improvement on last season's league position and qualification for the group stages of the Europa League. Now they are the former, and another good cup run.
Rudi: Initial hopes were to have an extended jolly around the continent and to ensure PL safety long before the final few matches of the season. Since our early exit from Europe and the unexpected flurry of internationals coming in on transfer deadline day the hope is now for a concerted assault on the league and to finish somewhere mid table at least. Steady growth and continued stability is the widely held idea. However, if we can keep Ben Arfa on an even keel and the other signings live up to their promise I would personally hope for something a little bit more flamboyant. Everyone points to Stoke as the model for a club coming up but I'd rather watch wood warp than be subject to that kind of tedium every week.
Do you mind having a manager who looks like a fat menopausal lesbian whose nose is trying to escape its face?
Chris: Bruce has done amazing things for the club. He’s brought in some great players (Danny Graham and Nick Proschwitz aside) and has them switching with ease between the vaunted 3-5-2 and more traditional 4-4-2, while all the time passing the ball along the floor (remember that?). He could look like Sam Allardyce and we’d still love him. Just as long as he never becomes Sam Allardyce, who appals his own mother.
David: That's a bit rich coming from a club whose manager's face is too big for his head. When Steve Bruce got us promoted, a local radio presenter asked if they'd started work on a statue of him at the stadium? To which some wag replied, "just leave a candle out in the sun".
He's a gentleman, the best manager we've ever had, and universally loved here.
Rudi: We tried having a good looking manager with a deep tan and a pink jumper slung casually around his shoulders on A Question Of Sport but he turned out to be an preening karaoke singer who nearly bankrupted the club. So we'll stick to personality over looks from now on, thanks very much.
Is it a blessing in disguise to be out of the Europa League, or was Hull's elimination a missed opportunity to experience more European football?
Chris: It’s infuriating to be out of the Europa League, particularly now we have assembled a squad that could have made some in-roads. There are plenty of people about the place making the ‘blessing in disguise’ argument, but they’re clearly idiots. Football is about glory, not mid-table respectability. “Remember that year we finished 8th?”, is not a phrase you’ll hear anywhere in the country. The Tursday-Sunday teams may struggle a bit in the league, but nobody playing in the Europa League has ever been relegated. I would have taken a bit of league-struggle to see some big (if slightly jaded) European teams crossing the North Sea. But it’s gone now, so the hope is that we give the three competitions we are still involved in the proper respect.
David: For me, a missed opportunity; it's debatable whether we'll get the chance again, and we shot ourselves in the foot in the away legs of both qualifying games with a missed penalty and a gifted goal. Given that Steve Bruce proved last season that he could keep his full squad involved, well motivated, and happy in a league campaign and FA Cup run to the final, it's a shame it was over so soon.
Rudi: Definitely a missed opportunity. I don't see why you can't have both league and cup success. A decent European campaign breeds impetus and confidence. And you get to taste some new and exciting beers and experience the thrill of shoplifting in stores with armed security guards.
Would you swap winning last season's FA Cup for staying in the Premiership?
Chris: It was a belter of a final, wasn’t it? And be honest, you cheered us on more than once. Even though we came second, I wouldn’t swap that experience for anything. And if we’d actually have won it, relegation would have been a small price to pay.
David: You dream of your team's name being etched on to the FA Cup, so yes, I'd take that, with the added bonus that Arsenal's trophy drought would've been extended for another season.
Rudi: I would, yes. We may never get that chance again. I quite like the Championship. I enjoy having the thrill of something to aim for rather than the constant fear of losing what you already have.
“Stepping stone to bigger things” - Is Diame a bit of a cunt?
Chris: He made some unwise comments, I’ll grant you. But Gold’s riposte on twitter was hardly classy either. And isn’t it funny how nobody leaves a team managed by Substantial Samuel and says, “I’m really disappointed to have gone. That man is a footballing genius. I’ll never have another manager like him. I’m going home to cry forever”?
David: I dunno: are Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll?
Rudi: I hope so. We need a bit of a cunt in our team. Most of them are too nice. I don't really understand the "stepping stone" thing. If he's inferring Hull City are a bigger team than West Ham then he's clearly wrong. If he means he's using Hull City as a stepping stone to bigger things than I can only wonder why he just doesn't fuck off to Real Madrid or Chelsea now, if that's where he thinks he's ultimately headed. Ultimately, I stopped taking notice of anything players say years ago. As long as does the business on the pitch he can claim to be the King of Jupiter for all I care.
Is your chairman genuinely a little unstable?
Chris: The man is clearly some kind of sociopath. Not only does he think we’ve been officially known as Hull City Tigers for 110 years, he also thinks that you could kill somebody after a game, hide the body under the stadium and nobody would notice until the next home fixture. This last nugget he feels fit to tell to the nation’s football press, following up on his throw-away comment last-year that those who oppose his ludicrous plans “can die when they want”. Then, as a self-lauded business genius, he says that if he doesn’t get his way and can’t find a buyer he’ll give the club away. Oh, and the club has been for sale since April last year but he didn’t think it was worth mentioning. And something about KFC, Waitrose and the Labour Party.
Expect a song at 19:04. Join in if you want.
David: This is a man who said if he owned Manchester City he would give them a "strong name, like Manchester Hunter".
Rudi: Yes. He's a petulant megalomaniac who has extended his row with Hull CIty Council over into the running of the club. Basically, he wanted to buy the KC stadium and he can't because it's owned by the council. So now he hates the word "City" in all it's incarnations. This is basically what's behind the "Hull Tigers" nonsense. Classic example of a wealthy businessman who has never been told "no" suddenly realising that running a football club is a much different proposition to his usual gig. Wallet the size of Mount Everest with an ego to match.
How do you feel about a badge that doesn't have your club name on it?
Chris: We’ve had more badge-changes than most – I make it six in the last 20 years. The reasoning behind this latest change seems like manoeuvring towards another crack at the name-change nonsense, and many fans are cross about it. The really annoying thing, though, is that the club seem to have employed some kid who got a B in his graphic design A-level to do it. Just look at the gap between the 1 and the 9. That’s piss-poor.
David: The badge actually looks pretty retro and cool, but the motive behind removing the name is tactless and petty. All the literate from Hull City AFC, the season tickets etc, also have no reference to the club's name - only "your local team". It's almost Stalinist, the way the name has been airbrushed out of everything.
Rudi: Pathetic. The FA wouldn't let him change the name so he took it off the badge. It'll be back on next season when the people's revolution rises up and we seize control of our club back.
How did you feel about giving Jimmy Bullard a generous pension?
Chris: Even the mention of that man’s name brings bile to the back of my throat. It was a reckless signing to a reckless contract, as was most of the business done by that regime, and he picked up an entirely predictable injury on his debut. His actions on and off the pitch after that, two goals against the Hammers and That Celebration at the City of Maine Road Etihad Sports Facility aside, were appalling. An expensive lesson.
David: He's a symptom of the circus that was our first foray in to the Premier League. I think the situation would have been handled differently under the current regime. All top level footballers' wages are obscene.
Rudi: He'll spent it all on weak lager and new fishing reels by now. Best of luck to the dopey cockney twat. If they ever make a film version of Charley Drake's life story he'll be back in full employment.
What is the best and worst thing about your own fans?
Chris: The worst thing is the way the name-change debacle split opinion, which leads to the phrase “proper fan” being used in arguments. Other than that, we are a friendly bunch with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game at all levels. Talk to us about a day out at St James’ Park and we’ll have to check whether you mean Newcastle or Exeter.
David: The name change debacle brought out the best - The City Till We Die campaign was well organised, articulate and dignified, but the pro name change arguments of "it's his club, he can do what he wants" symbolised a lot of what's wrong with modern football. Our away support is good, and I like the way the fans wear shirts from all eras, not a homogeneous mass of this seasons BPL shirts.
Rudi: Best things - Solidarity, pitch black sense of humour, grace under pressure.
Worst thing - That stupid fucking Mauled By The Tigers thing that some of them insist on whenever we score more than two goals. They think it's ironic. It isn't, it's just daft.
Your favourite crisp?
Chris: Seabrook make the best crisps. They used to do a pizza flavour back in the 80’s, which was fantastic. These days I have to make do with their salt and vinegar.
David: Seabrooks - Canadian Ham
Rudi: Crisps? What are you, some sort of health fanatic? It's lard sandwiches all round up here our kid. At a push, I'd got for Scampi Fries in honour of our sea-faring heritage.
Prediction for the game.
Chris: After all the transfer shenanigans it has become something of a new hobby round these parts guessing our starting eleven. No two people have yet put the same team or formation together. I fancy plenty of goals, a home win and the entire ground joining in a chorus of “Fuck off Sam Allardyce”.
David: 1 - 0 (Diame)
Rudi: Two nil to City. Ben Arfa to score both before leaping into the away end and nicking a flat cap. Gertcha!
Big thanks to Chris, David and Rudi for their help.
Next up is Liverpool. If you have a Liverpool fan who would like to have a go then by all means let me know. It is simply whoever is first to reply!