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Archive for September, 2013

29th September 2013 Saturday – City climb to a heady 7th place clutching 10 precious points and then have to listen to “big sam” berate our wonderful “striker” Robbie Brady, whose habit of exciting the Tiger Nation seems to hold no bounds.

Much better to tell your team not to push attackers from behind in the middle of your penalty area sam, than to attempt to discredit a whole-hearted player. Teach ‘em that, make it sink in and you won’t have to bleat like a school boy on telly (well about that particular incident anyway).

Having said that, Livermore’s elbow/ball contact was missed by the referee (and touch judge) and on the current interpretation of handball should have drawn a penalty. But they didn’t see it like that and City blocked West Ham out of any points.

The table looks good this evening. A lot of teams below us are finding points difficult to come by and those pundits who wrote us off must be hoping we will collapse after October in the way we did before in this league.

If we can can keep clear of accumulating injuries, this class of 2013-2014 have enough nouse to hang onto Premier League status.

Meanwhile Sam’s main reason for whingeing might just be his precarious position vis-à-vis the West Ham fans. They like to think their club is known for passing and bright football, and will bore you all night about the past and the time West Ham won the world cup etc etc. They put a brave face on it when Sam’s win ugly approach got them out of the championship pit. And can just about put up with similar as long as they’re winning. But a no-winning streak is another matter, oh yes. With just one win since the opening game Sam must be feeling uneasy. Hence his over-reaction at the KC in my book.

Of course they was no complaint from Sam when the referee failed to send off Nolan for his two footed “tackle” on Rosenior, which could have ended Liam’s career. A clear red card after seeing the incident via a replay. But the West Ham Captain only got a caution, quite a lucky escape.

Back to the game itself. This wasn’t our best performance by any means, we can play better football than this, we can retain possession better than this and we can do better things with the ball. Maybe the odd change in personnel had an effect or maybe this was the result of Bruce’s instructions on the day. Or maybe the hammers passing game was a bit too good at times. But the lads were organised, concentration was continuous and commitment was there in spades and that was good enough for City to come out on top.

Anyway in the 11th minute Brady was in the Hammers penalty box running towards a through ball alongside Joey O’Brien and what is not in dispute is that O’Brien pushed Brady in the back, the fact that Brady would not have been first to the ball is neither here nor there, O’Brien though was probably unsure, hence the push to make sure. Stupid, stupid, and Brady goes flat on his face. Anywhere else on the pitch and it’s a free kick, but in the box it’s a penna, simple unless it’s against your team so it seems.

Brady takes the spot kick and hammers it home sending  the unfortunate Jaaskelainen the wrong way.

 Decent performances by all in Black and Amber in particular Davies (nearly scored), Aluko, Rosenior, Huddlestone and Livermore (his excellent shot hitting the foot of the post). Elmo seems to prefer playing on the wing (he is not a fullback) and had a decent game, his wonderful header from a Brady corner was only just tipper over by Jaaskelainen, that great keeper who has condemned City to numerous defeats over the years.

West Ham got a lot of possession but their Sam tactics of long balls into the box increasingly favoured our defensive set up and Davies and Faye could have defended them all night.

We have another home game coming up on Saturday and if we get another 3 points from Villa we can go on the travels to Everton and Spurs with a decent points haul in the bag and tough it out the best we can.

Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, Faye, Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Brady, Aluko, Graham. Bench: Harper, Bruce, McShane, Boyd, Quinn, Sagbo, Meyler.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Tomkins, Rat, O’Brien, Nolan, Jarvis, Morrison, Noble, Diame, Maiga. Bench: Adrian, Collins, Demel, Taylor, Downing, Vaz Te, Petric.

Referee Kevin Friend.

Attendance 24,921.

aaaaastats west ham

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27th September Friday – It is announced that Matty Fryatt will play at Sheffield Wednesday during a one-month loan deal to ensure he gets some playing time.

Steve Bruce said  “Matty needs to go somewhere and play. One game a month in a cup competition is not enough,” and “He needs to go and play four, five, six games in the Championship“.

 

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26th September 2013 Thursday – Steve Bruce has confirmed that James Chester will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a hamstring injury.

He left the pitch late on in the win at Newcastle last Saturday.

Bruce said “The injury is what we feared.” and “We feared it would be six to eight weeks just by looking at him at the time because when you do your hamstring you can hardly put one foot in front of the other and you feel very, very sore. That is how James was in the changing room afterwards.”

For the visit of West Ham this coming Saturday Bruce will need to choose between Abdoulaye Faye and Alex Bruce as a centre half replacement with Paul McShane only just back in training and not being fully fit.

Robert Koren (fracture to his foot) is the only other squad injury. Honduran International Maynor Figueroa will be available again after being given leave of absence last week for personal reasons.

a james chester

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24th September 2013 Tuesday KC Stadium

It was the 1977-78 season which last saw us enter the 4th round of the league cup and we can thank Nick Proschwitz for ensuring we hit the heady heights this year. His celebrations are getting better as well, just more practice needed Nick, please, and then another 4 might come along.

The League Cup has always been a non-event in our house as if we just ignore or think it’s a religious festival that’s nothing to do with us, maybe it because all previous managers have done so themselves. This time there was the usual blend of saving players from having to play but also a feeling that we do have some decent bench players who can play a bit. No cohesion though and no free passing play just a keep going spirit for 90 minutes. Also a bit of help from Mark Robbins who put out a team that didn’t have much chance of winning.

Steve Bruce always says it like it is and came out with this beauty after the game:

“It was a comfortable evening for us but it was like watching paint dry.

“There was no real cohesion, there was no real tempo to it because of what it was. It was more like a friendly than a cup tie.

“But that’s what the early rounds of the cup have turned into now. It’s a shame but there you have it.”

Plus some reference to some fans might have been better off sitting at home watching Coronation Street.

Not a game to write home about though so I am told, so here are just the facts:-

Nicks goal was scored in the 59th minute.

Hull City: Steve Harper, Liam Rosenior, Abdoulaye Faye, Alex Bruce, Joe Dudgeon, George Boyd, David Meyler, Stephen Quinn (Conor Henderson 74), Yannick Sagbo, Nick Proschwitz, Matty Fryatt (Gedo 68).

 Subs Not Used: Eldin Jakupovic, Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, Ahmed Elmohamady.

 Huddersfield Town: Alex Smithies, Calum Woods, Oliver Norwood (Adam Hammill 67), Sean Scannell, Oscar Gobern, Murray Wallace, Keith Southern, Martin Paterson (Cristian Lopez 53), Jake Carroll, Daniel Carr (Duane Holmes 50), Tom Smith.

 Subs Not Used: Ian Bennett, Jon Stead, Jazz Richards, Liam Ridehalgh.

 Referee: S. Hooper. Attendance: 7,151 (955 away fans)

                                                                              AAAHudds stats

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21st September 2013 Saturday – Who would have bet on this score? Who was expecting three away goals from misfiring City?

When it was time to step up and be counted the Tigers did so, and emphatically were the better team.

A group of magpies has a number of names. They can be called a tribe, tiding, gulp, murder, charm, flock or a tittering. This lot looked just a sad frustrated bunch in the end, and that must have hurt the Geordie nation after such a bright start to the game.

City sit in 10thplace with 7 points in the top half of the table. As usual the media seem to dwell on the “fact” that all the Hull City goals were care of poor defending and those scored by Newcastle were “crafted vignettes” of football majesty, or something like that. To be brutally honest though the magpies are rubbish at defending and you can thank the fans demand for pure attacking football for that coupled to managers/players who can’t get the balance right. After two wins on the trot you could see that after going ahead they thought 3 points were theirs by right.

As I said Newcastle got off to a good start in this game and in the 10th minute Loic Remy put them ahead. Sissoko delivered a cross which Papiss Cisse fluffed but Remy was there to knock it in and put his team 1-0 up.

City had a handball shout against Collocini in the 17th minute but it was brushed aside.

On 26 minutes Brady delivered a good ball and Danny Graham got his head to it but seemed to aim straight down at Krul who blocked it; the ball went loose and a couple of dodgy clearances from Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa followed and eventually with a pass from Aluko, Robbie Brady pounced, and did not spurn the chance with a sold strike from 12 yards that beat the keeper (through his legs) and it’s a goal. It’s 1-1 get in.

Tom Huddlestone found Graham with a superb pass but the out of sorts striker failed to control it or trouble the keeper.

City started to tick and looked to being well all over the pitch, in particular Sone Aluko who seemed to be on fire, but just before halftime Newcastle got their second goal in the 44th minute to make it 2-1. A Cabaye shot was blocked by Chester but the rebounding ball found Remy who hit it cleanly and found McGregor only just recovering from the earlier blocked strike to his right and he could not save as the ball passed him on his right.

Another time and another City team the heads may have dropped, but not this lot or the fans who made the trip. Or me for that matter, we looked better than Newcastle and proved it in the second half.

Aluko got off to a great second half with a shot in the 46th minute. Then on 47 minutes we get a free kick after Anita fouled Aluko. It’s in Brady territory to the left of the box and he delivers a great ball that is just clipped by the unmarked Elmo head to wrong foot the furious Krul, and the ball spins into the net. 2-2 and well deserved.

Newcastle looked nervous after that and the euphoria of the the first 10 minutes of the game had vanished. This Newcastle team have attacking flair in spades but defensively they let themselves down.

51 minutes and another Graham chance in front of goal, he had to turn and a defender blocked him as he did so.

Huddlestone was spraying the ball about and giving great service especially to Brady.

Danny Graham on 59 minutes found himself just inside the box on the right hand side, his way was blocked though but somehow he managed to slip the ball through the defenders legs. But there was no one their to take a clean advantage. Graham had a shot saved by the keeper on 65 minutes although the offside whistle went; he should have stayed on-side.

City continued to compete strongly.

And then on 76 minutes the best goal of the lot, City moved the ball cleverly all the way up the left-side until Boyd (who had come on for Quinn) gets past Ben Arfa and crosses the ball inside to the unmarked Aluko who is standing just inside the box in the dead centre of the goal-mouth, Aluko swings his left leg back and hammers it with a volley strike into the net past a fuming Mr Krul who must have wondered where the markers had gone. Steve Bruce did a weird disco style arms in the air dance (no chance to be invited on “Strictly” with that) and that was it, a deserved 2-3 win for the Tigers. Another chance for us to believe we do well up there.

The rest of the match seemed to pass me by as I downed beer and wine (never mix it, must remember) and can only remember (a) the sitter missed by Remy inches from the goal (after controlling it perfectly) and (b) the dying seconds of the 5 added minutes when we kept the ball and the frustrated black and whites committed foul after foul as we held the ball up either in the corner or near the side-line.

The stats show the home team had almost 2/3rd’s of the possession, and of 15 shots only 2 were on target.

Davies and Chester had immense games and work so well together.

I am sure Danny Graham will get goals for us eventually but Bruce must be running out of reasons to keep starting him.

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Liam Rosenior, Curtis Davies, James Chester, Ahmed Elmohamady, Robbie Brady (David Meyler 73), Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, Stephen Quinn (George Boyd 64), Sone Aluko, Danny Graham (Yannick Sagbo 84).

 Subs Not Used: Steve Harper, Alex Bruce, Abdoulaye Faye, Nick Proschwitz.

 Newcastle: Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy (Cheick Tiote 86), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye (Yoan Gouffran 62), Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cissé (Sylvain Marveaux 73), Loic Remy.

 Subs Not Used: Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett, Mike Williamson, Sammy Ameobi.

 Referee: M. Atkinson. Attendance: 51,523.

                                                                                            AA match stats

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19th September 2013 Thursday – City will be without the services of their Captain Robert Koren for at least five weeks.

An X-Ray has shown a hairline crack in his right-foot, and is obviously the reason he has struggled in past couple of games. In fact some people considered his form had dipped and he should have been dropped.

Steve Bruce says “That is a bitter blow to us. He did it a couple of weeks ago and to be fair he’s played with it but last Saturday it was worse”. And “When somebody is out injured, somebody else is going to get a chance – that is how football works”.

“There’s a few that have been champing at the bit with the likes of George Boyd and Stephen Quinn in particular, so one of them will step into the breach.”

The Slovenian International started all four of City’s matches so far and was set to play a big part in the teams push for points. An ever present last season (he started 40 matches) lets hope playing on with the injury has not damaged his prospects for the rest of the campaign.

aa Koren

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14th September Saturday – It was all square at the KC again between these two top teams from last years Championship campaign.

The Tigers started brightly and the passing game worked well, and for periods it looked like Cardiff where hanging on.

Tom Huddlestone delivered a great ball into the box and Curtis Davies out paced the visitors defence to give their goal keeper no chance on 40 minutes. Lovely goal, a blink and you missed it.

Danny Graham missed a couple of chances in this game that on another day I am sure he would take. Everything about his seems ok, and you cannot criticise his energy and commitment. But
after Aluko had done some good work and made the keeper parry the shot the ball came quick
to Graham on his left side and all he could do was ping it off target.

Cardiff equalised on 59 minutes and I think it was Elmohamady who stopped running when the attackers didn’t, and in a similar way to the goal by Man City, he just stood and watched as Whittingham scored for Cardiff after good play by the winger Don Cowie.

Graham’s next chance came late on in the 93rd minute, this time a header from a good cross with just the keeper to beat, “just head it down please”….but no goal.

Sagbo is available at Newcastle on Saturday and it would be no surprise if got a starting chance. Graham will come good but as with most strikers he needs to see the ball going into the net now to bring his touch back.

For me a draw was the honest result although I thought City just shaded it against Cardiff and there are still encouraging signs that Bruce is telling them to play good passing possession football.

Koren seems off the pace at the moment and we may see Quinn or Meyler given a chance. Brady strangely off colour.

Aluko looked a class act in all that he did, and the defence showed very few lapses.

Newcastle next then, a tough one because they are in a good vein of form at the moment and boast danger to defences in a few places, but I feel City are up for it at the moment and should get something out of the game.

Frazier Campbell seemed to spend the whole afternoon either wingeing or fouling people.

Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa, Chester, Davies, Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Koren, Livermore, Brady (Quinn 67), Aluko, Graham

Subs not used:Bruce, Meyler, Jakupovic, Boyd, Rosenior, McShane

Cardiff City: Lewis; Taylor, Caulker, Turner, Whittingham, Campbell (Gestede 65), Kim (Maynard 45), Gunnarsson, Cowie (Mutch 90),Theophile-Catharine

Subs not used: Noone, Hudson, Odemwingie, Moore

Referee Mr Robert Madley Attendance: 21,949

                                                                                   AA Stats HullvCardiff

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