City Unbeaten in Eight
Hull City stretched their unbeaten run to eight matches, drawing with Reading on Tuesday evening. James Harper smashed an absolute stunner to give City the lead, before Simon Church scored from close range to equalize for Reading.
For the Tigers, it is another impressive result against a team in the playoff places and continues their amazing march up the table. From flirting with the relegation places only a few weeks ago, City now sits in 15th, an amazing 4 points from the final playoff spot. Jimmy Bullard put in a few minutes as he continues his lengthy recovery from injury, and now the Tigers will look ahead to a New Years Day clash with 17th placed Leicester, and their continued march up the log.
In Honor of Bullard Getting Back Into It: Some of his Antics
And We’re Back
Hull City has clawed themselves further away from the relegation places with two wins on the trot, against Preston and Ipswich. Now on 21 points, four away from 22nd Middlesbrough, the Tigers will look to continue their good form and move up the table. The two victories have coincided with great performances by both Robert Koren and Richard Garcia, which is a relief considering the lack of a big time striker in the City squad this season.
Garcia has usually been left up front on his own, even though he is not an out and out striker, with Nigel Pearson relying on midfield firepower in the form of Koren, Solano, Barmby and Bostock to shoulder the scoring load. Although it is not an ideal formation, Pearson hardly has a choice due to injury and form concerns.
This weekend will see a massive ’six-pointer’ with Boro at the Riverside, before an equally huge home match against table topping QPR. If the Tigers can continue their current form (1D, 2W) through December 4th, there will be some delighted Tigers supporters on Humberside, and a Hull team moving their way up the table.
Tigers in the Championship
Having begrudgingly accepted our descent into the second tier of English football, lets take a look at some of the recent happenings at the KC as the Tigers prepare for life outside the Prem.
The Tigers have switched from Umbro to Adidas for the 2010/2011 season. The new home kits look fairly sharp, with the vertical stripes in black, combined with the three on the shoulders. Not a bad switch in my opinion. Check out the club shop if interested in picking one up.
So far both Nobby Solano and James Harper have penned deals with the Tigers, two excellent pickups in my opinion. Both have experience in these sorts of situations and should bring immediate influence to the middle of the park. Solano’s delivery on set pieces should also be crucial for the Tigers this season.
New boss Nigel Pearson has said that it would be best for all parties if Jimmy Bullard left the club. Mixed feelings on this one. So much excitement over the initial signing was dissipated equally as fast by his well documented injury problems, but to see a good lad such as Jimmy leave would be fairly disappointing. I understand the reality that his wages are something the club could do without at this point, and Solano could be used as a direct replacement in the set pieces/creative mid role, but still, its sad.
Myhill to WBA
Super keeper Boaz Myhill has moved on, to the West Bromwich Albion. I am fine with this one, what a servant for Hull City, especially for only fifty thousand pounds in ‘03 from Villa. We need the cash, have a more than capable replacement in Matt Duke, and Myhill is at the perfect stage in his career to battle Carson for starting spot at WBA. Hopefully he can win it.
Who Else is Out?
Boaz Myhill to WBA
Stephen Hunt to Wolves
Steve Mouyokolo to Wolves
Jozy Altidore back to Villarreal
George Boateng to Skoda Xanthi
Khamel Ghilas on loan to AC Arles-Avignon
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (currently free agent)
Geovanni (currently free agent)
We’ll check back in advance of the season opener with Swansea on the 7th.
That’s All She Wrote
While still mathematically members of the Premier League, City are all but down after falling to Sunderland at home on Saturday, 1-0. Only winning their last two matches by hefty margins, while hoping West Ham do not pick up any points, would give them hope, a fairly implausible scenario.
Often not exactly pretty, but man was it fun. Brownie’s halftime on-pitch rants, Geovanni’s piledrivers, relaxing in the top five, weeks into a season, hanging on by the skin of our teeth last year. The memories will certainly last a lifetime.
The Hull City Offside has certainly enjoyed its stay as well, from sticking it to the Premier League, to exclusive deals with City’s media relations department, to becoming a star in Asia, its been almost as fun as watching the Tigers on the pitch. Guess we’ll be back to recap, and then enjoy the World Cup. We’ll see you in the Championship (tear).
Hull City 2 Fulham 0
The Tigers moved closed to survival with a two-zero win over Fulham on Saturday. Former cottager Jimmy Bullard smashed home a penalty for the opener, and then Craig Fagan looped a header up and over Mark Schwarzer to seal it.
Great work from Jozy Altidore to draw the penalty, and he was a general nuisance all afternoon for the white’s back line.
New man Ian Dowie will be pleased with the three points, as it brings us level with West Ham on 27 points, but still in the relegation zone on goal difference.
The next two weeks bring two massive fixtures, first away to Stoke, and then the following Saturday, what surely will be a make a break for either side, at home to Burnley. The Stoke fixture should be one the Tiger’s look to get a minimum of a point out of, and build some momentum heading into the massive clash with the Clarets. Getting down to the wire now, and the nerves are starting to go. Well at least it will be interesting for the neutrals.
In what was certainly a sad inevitability, Phil Brown was sacked by Hull City on Monday.
The statement from chairman Adam Pearson, in full:
Hull City AFC confirms that Phil Brown has been relieved of his managerial duties at the club and has been placed on gardening leave with immediate effect. Brian Horton and Steve Parkin will take charge of first-team duties until further notice.
We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Phil for the major success achieved during a period of four seasons in charge at the club and wish him every success for the future. Promotion to the Premier League in 2008 and retention of our status on the last day of the 2009 season are unique events in the history of Hull City AFC and both were achieved under Phil’s stewardship during a period which will never be forgotten by all connected with the club.
However, retention of Premier League status is paramount and the board believes that a change in managerial direction is the correct option at this time. The club will keep supporters completely up-to-date in respect of any managerial appointment but, in the meantime, Brian Horton and Steve Parkin will prepare the team for our important game at Portsmouth next Saturday.
Chairman, Hull City AFC
There isn’t too much to say, with relegation looming close on the horizon, Pearson thought a change was needed. You can’t sack the players, so Brown had to go. Agree or disagree, that is the way things are in this day and age.
From my point of view, Phil Brown led our club to promotion to the highest level of club football on the planet, and helped retain our status on the final day of last season. His place in the history of Hull City is firmly cemented, and will be fondly recalled.
Now the club most focus on what has become the biggest match in its history (every match of the remaining nine will take that mantle), against Portsmouth on Saturday.
Everton 5 Hull City 1
Ouch. That one hurt. But considering Everton’s recent form at home (wins over United & Chelsea), realistically it was never going to be three points for the Tigers.
Methodically and at times spectacularly picked apart by the passing and movement of Everton, the Tigers capitulated rather alarmingly. Mikel Arteta was tormentor in chief, firing home two, one of which was exquisitely setup by South African Steven Pienaar. A Richard Garcia own goal, which really should be credited to Boaz Myhill for failing to deal with the ball into the six, a Landon Donovan missile, and finally Jack Rodwells marker made it five for the Toffee’s.
On the bright side, Tom Crainey curled home a magnificent volley to equalize at one, but the Tigers were living a lie and it was only a matter of time before Everton sealed it. Best just to pack up, move on, and begin focus on next weekends clash with high flying Arsenal. Yikes.
Highlights here, watch through your fingers if a City supporter. Or better yet, just hit back in your browser. Now.
Tiger Trio All Lose
City had three international players on duty during Wednesday’s round of matches, and all saw action in losing causes.
Jozy Altidore went the distance for the USA in Amsterdam, but the Dutch prevailed 2-1, with goals from Kuyt and Huntelaar giving them the victory. Bocanegra scored the States’ lone goal, with Altidore going close late.
Boaz Myhill saw one half of action for Wales vs Sweden, with Bolton’s Johan Elmander beating him off a corner to give the Swedes a 1-0 win.
And finally, Amr Zaki saw action for Egypt at Wembley, where they nearly played England off the park at times in the first half, only to succumb 3-1 after some defensive lapses in the second half.
So all in all not a great night overall for the Tiger rep’s, but its good to see players getting caps.
Earlier in the week Kevin Kilbane and Paul McShane went the full 90 for Ireland against Brazil at the Emirates, falling 2-0, but putting in an impressive battling performance overall.
Wales v Sweden
England v Egypt
USA v Netherlands
Ireland v Brazil
Jimmy Bullard looks set to return from injury this weekend, with a possible substitute appearance against West Ham, according to Tigers manager Phil Brown.
“‘Probably on Saturday he might play some part in terms of the bench but he won’t be ready to start. Then we’ve got a game against Wigan in the reserves next Tuesday and we’ve arranged a game over in Ireland and again that will be earmarked for Jimmy.”
Fantastic news for City supporters, but fingers crossed he is not rushing it, as the last thing we need is for him to go down with another injury. He really is a critical player for us, and having healthy from now until May would do wonders for our survival hopes.
Hull City 2 Man City 1
Hull City gained a massive three points by despatching Man City on Saturday afternoon, 2-1. Goals from Jozy Altidore, his first in the Premier League, and George Boateng proved enough as the Tigers dragged themselves out of the relegation zone, and all the way to 14th place.
Altidore opened the scoring for a suprisingly dominant Hull City, and Boateng hit a 25 yard missile to take the Tigers lead to 2 – 0 in the 54th. While Adebayor pulled one back for Citeh in the 59th, the amber and black cruised to the finish, taking all three points, and climbing up the table.
Check out Altidore’s first league goal for the Tigers here.