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Archive for March, 2014

29th March 2014 Saturday Britannia Stadium – The Tigers were not at their best in this game and made one big mistake which cost them all three points. After this loss we sit 14th in the EPL on 33 points with 6 games left, 7 points above the drop zone. Not a bad goal difference and equal with Swansea (who have a superior one).

On general play over the 90 minutes there was not a lot in it between these two teams, both of them well drilled defensively, which led to a physical game, particularly from the boys in red and white stripes. The stats however show the the Tigers were never going going to get more than a draw out of the game.

It seemed that almost every challenge Stoke made had to end up with them clattering into an opponent. The referee put up with it for so long and then started to penalise them. When this happened there was whining, whingeing and angry appealing based on what they had just done was part of the game. In fact you have to admire Tony Pulis who must have convinced all the squad he had at Stoke that colliding with an opponent from any angle is allowed by the FA rules, and this has carried on under Mark Hughes, it is so ingrained.

But what was also obvious from viewing this game was that Hull got very sloppy with passing and looked a bit jaded at times, maybe when you expect a collision with 13 stones of defender you do loose passing accuracy.hat

Tom Huddlestone had a good shot, albeit from 25 yards out pushed away by the keeper, and Rosenior had a wonderful chance to score from a 6 yards out header from a Shane Long pin-point cross but put it over the cross-bar. It was an easier chance than the one he scored from in the week.

At half time it was 0-0 and the Tigers looked good for a point.

The goal that sank Hull came in the 62nd minute. Elmohamady under no pressure struck a cross-feel pass straight into the path of the lurking Odemwingie who ceased on it with glee and out ran the centre halves and struck an excellent goal as the defender went to ground. Harper was unsighted by would be tackler and the ball shot past him. Stoke seemed to sense another goal was there for them and City had to defend well to keep them out.

Subs came on for for Hull in the 71st (Aluko), 79th (Sagbo) and Quinn, 82nd minute, but as expected Stoke were far too wily and well drilled to concede now and the Tigers struggled to keep up any real pressure. Two games in 72 hours seemed to take its toll.

I think David Meyler and James Chester were our better players in this game as most of the remainder played below their best.

Hull City: Steve Harper, Ahmed Elmohamady, James Chester, Alex Bruce (Sone Aluko 71), Curtis Davies, Liam Rosenior, Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone (Stephen Quinn 82), David Meyler, Shane Long, Nikica Jelavic (Yannick Sagbo 79). Subs Not Used: Eldin Jakupovic, Maynor Figueroa, Robert Koren, Matty Fryatt.

Stoke: Asmir Begovic, Erik Pieters, Marc Wilson, Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron, Marko Arnautovic (Charlie Adam 85), Steven Nzonzi, Glenn Whelan (Wilson Palacios 82), Stephen Ireland, Peter Odemwingie, Peter Crouch (John Gudietti 87). Subs Not used : Thomas, Sorensen, Marc Muniesa, Matthew Etherington, Andy Wilkinson.

 Referee Neil Swarbruck. Attendance 27,029

FT stats Stoke v Hull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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29th March 2014 Saturday – We learned yesterday that FA officials had done the right thing in the end and rescinded the red card handed out by referee Mike Dean on Wednesday night at The Boleyn Ground. That atrocious piece of reffing was an insult to McGregor and in my opinion caused a loss of at least a point.

We also got more news on Alan’s injury which was sustained when he collided with hammers Diame in the 2oth minute of that match. Yesterday Steve Bruce told the press (as reported by the Hull Daily Mail)……

“Allan’s as tough as they come and he’s very brave. He’s as hard as nails.

“He was in a bit of discomfort but we hope in the next two or three days we’ll know a bit more.

“He’s going to be in hospital for the best part of a week, that shows you how serious it is. It’s scary.

“It’s a contusion and he’s broken the ninth rib. There’s no operation, you can’t repair it. If it’s that badly damaged, they have no alternative but to take it out.

“We hope it won’t come to that. It’s always the fear but, at this particular moment, we think he’ll be okay.”

Bruce added: “The doctor has said if the kidney repairs, he’s out for six weeks. Allan said to me ‘The FA Cup final’s in seven weeks.’ Typical Allan. We’ve got to get there first!

“When you see someone in high dependency, it’s frightening.

“It’s cruel because he’s done so well. He’s been our permanent goalkeeper, which is something we haven’t had for three years or more.

“He’s been great in his first year in the Premier League. He’s been terrific. He’s been pivotal to us, with the clean sheets. He’s a proper goalkeeper.

The Mail reported

McGregor will follow this afternoon’s trip to Stoke City from his bed at the Wellington Hospital in St Johns Wood, North London, where he has been well enough to exchange text messages with team-mates in the past 48 hours.

If all goes to plan the 32-year-old could be moved out of a High Dependency Unit by Monday and return home to East Yorkshire towards the end of next week.

http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Hull-City-s-Allan-McGregor-backed-make-recovery/story-20879424-detail/story.html

McGregor at WHU

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26th March 2014 Wednesday The Boleyn Ground – This was a game I think Steve Bruce had penciled in a winnable and with just a small amount of luck City would have had three points. The hammers play a strange game these days, they have talented players but seem to shackle them to a ludicrous extent which seems to drain their energy . Anyway that’s their problem, even down to 10 men Hull City played with an energising belief they could win this and came near.

Three incidents decided the game in the end.

1. On 20 minutes Diame was brought down by McGregor in the box when the Senegal midfielder collided head-on with him as the City keeper bravely attempted to get the ball. It all happened fast and the referee immediately turned away to follow the play with both players writhing on the ground. Mike Dean blew his whistle a few seconds later when a linesman alerted him and drew his attention to what he considered was a penalty. It was some time before the dithering Dean actually pointed to the spot and by that time a posse of City players were pointing out the fact that Diame had clearly handled the ball before colliding with McGregor. We had all seen the handball of course, it had been replayed a number of times from different angles by Sky, the 5th official would have seen it, but was helpless to extricate his whistle and flag colleagues from the folly they were about to commit. So it was that McGregor was sent off, a penalty was scored (Kevin Nolan) and City had to play 70 minutes with 10 men. Alex Bruce was sacrificed and Harper came on for McGregor. The first choice City keeper ended up in hospital with a damaged kidney. 1-0, and the only three people watching or taking part in the game who were not allowed to view a replay got on with their officiating jobs oblivious to the truth.

2. In the 48th minute City got the equalising goal after the Tigers got a free kick for a foul on Shane Long. From 30 yards out Tom Huddlestone hammered the ball towards goal and defensive wall. The ball hit Jelavic and went past the despairing Adrian in the hammers goal. A little bit of luck.1-1.

3. Fate balanced things back against City 5 minutes later though just when the visitors were in a great spell of attacking football. A cross from Demel seemed to be going nowhere as it was sent towards our goal from the right and James Chester swung a leg at it to clear the ball but only diverted it straight past Harper. 2-1

The unloved Sam Allardyce did the opposite of what most managers would do in a situation that handed them an advantage in numbers. In his case he strangled the game and refused to put an extra man upfront to help out Carroll (he had started the home game with one man up top) and his side moved the ball slowly and cautiously and basically sat back. This of course encouraged Hull City, they took a strong hold on the game and at 1-1 you could tell all 10 of thought the game was now winnable. Hard then to have to take that own goal from James Chester but it was heartening to see the effort and energy displayed by the Tigers in that last half hour.

For long periods of this game the ten men in amber and black outplayed the home team and continuously took the game to them, with quick skilful football, it was wonderful to watch.

Steve Bruce was scathing afterwards:

“We’re hugely disappointed, but I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them, they were absolutely superb on the night. With 10 men, to come to a place like West Ham, we totally dominated the game, in my opinion.

“It’s too often that we stand here and criticise referee decisions, it’s far too often. Sam (Allardyce) is talking about, in his programme notes today, decisions he’s had in the last three games.

“We’ve got video evidence of the referee turning away from it, and I’m asking him ‘Did he make the decision, was he listening to somebody’, and he said he made the decision. When you look at him and analyse it, he’s turned away from it and it’s only when two players are down that he’s made a decision.

“It might be the right decision, he’s missed a hand-ball, but these rules are supposed to make the game fair.

“It’s an innocuous challenge, he’s got there first the lad, it may be a penalty, but to send him off…Is a penalty not enough? To send him off, for me he doesn’t make that decision.

“It’s hard enough to come to West Ham with 11, let alone 10. It’s too often that we’re talking about big games like this and ludicrous decisions that they keep constantly making.”

Asked what can be done to eradicate the mistakes, Bruce added: “I don’t know what we do, but it’s got to improve.

“We come on every day and we just talk about decisions. Why can’t they just have a bit of common sense?

“These rules were brought in to say that if it is blatant – Allan McGregor is in hospital in a really serious way. He’s made a genuine attempt for the ball, he hasn’t got it, but surely is that not sufficient? We’ve got somebody back on the line to clear it.

“Thankfully we still then made it a spectacle, but I think we tend to forget that there is people paying great money and there are huge big things at stake.

“For me, there is no common sense in the referees at all. They are governed by the letter of the law, to a degree, which is ludicrous in my opinion.”

Hull City: McGregor (dismissed – 23′), Elmohamady, Figueroa (Rosenior – 59′), Davies, Bruce (Harper – 25′), Chester, Livermore, Meyler, Jelavic (Sagbo – 82′), Long, Huddlestone. Bench: Rosenior, Koren, Fryatt, Sagbo, Harper, Aluko, Quinn.

West Ham: Adrián, Demel, McCartney, Noble, Collins (Johnson – 9′), Tomkins, Downing, Taylor, Carroll, Nolan, Diamé (Cole – 69′). Bench: Armero, Vaz Te, Jääskeläinen, Cole, Cole, Johnson, Nocerino.

 

FT stats WHU v Hull

 

 

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22nd March 2014 – So after having waited for the FA to make a decision on the Club name change and who asked for a ballot, the owners have run out of arguments and 4 days later offer a ballot to season card-holders with the following options (You can read the entire ballot here.)

  • Yes to Hull Tigers with the Allam family continuing to lead the club
  • No to Hull Tigers
  • I am not too concerned and will continue to support the club either way

We can all see where they are going with that one!Those voting must do so by midnight Friday 28th March 2014.

The FA will have a final meeting 9th April on the subject.

The ‘ City Till We Die’ campaign had suggested the following options

1. Do you agree with the proposed name change to “Hull Tigers”? – Yes/N0

2. Do you support the Allam family’s continued ownership of Hull City? –  Yes/No

Assem Allam has said on numerous occasions that if the FA do not allow the name change he will leave the club, saying….

“If the FA does not allow our plan, we will walk away, put it on the market to sell the club. We would not put it into liquidation; there is a lot of money at stake. I will get my money when I sell.”

The best we can hope for is a No to the name change and the hard-headed Dr Allam stays at the club.

 

tigers

 

 

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22nd March 2014 Saturday KC Stadium – City got two goals in the first half this afternoon and hung on in the second half to see them take all the points and move up a place to 12th in the premier league on 33 points with 7 games to play.

Not a pretty game to be fair, but still sweet for a long term Hull City supporter like me. Whatever the opposition throw at them, this squad keeps going and punishes them in a way that must be infuriating to purists.

A good example of a current dogged City player is David Meyler. He had a goal chance in the 27th minute with a header following a Huddlestone cross from a corner. But he put it wide of the right hand post.

In the 30th minute Shane Long was fouled by Craig Dawson in the 6 yard box and referee Foy awarded a penalty. This was deemed by some to be controversial but it was a push and Long had tried to regain his feet after the tumble.

However there was a let off of sorts for the baggies when Jelavic saw his penalty strike saved by Foster. The ball rebounded and Leroy Rosenior was the first to react and headed the ball past the despairing Foster who got his hand to it but couldn’t stop it. 1-0 to the Tigers, with the brummies feeling badly done by.

Seven minutes later it was 2-0 after City won a corner. The ball was delivered into the danger area and after a mellee Livermore  hooked the ball back in. Curtis Davies finally got his head to it and when it fell near Shane Long kept his cool, watched the ball and rammed it into the net. Wonderful.

Both sides had chances to add to the games goal tally but didn’t. Huddlestone and Long hit the woodwork with well taken strikes.

WBA had a lot of possession in the 2nd half and it looked as if they would get a goal, especially as City had one of those stints when they could not get hold of the ball and when they did,  failed to keep it. However the baggies couldn’t muster enough sustained quality to bother the score-board. They had a very persuasive penalty shout in that second half but so did the Tigers (again a cast iron one). I think by this time Mr Foy was whistle shy, and kept it in his pocket.

The game cried out for George Boyd to come on and change things.

After the final whistle Steve Bruce said:

“We didn’t play well but we did enough with our resilience and attitude to get a result that’s very important at this stage.

“[Referee] Chris Foy was eight yards away [from the penalty incident…. and Shane got straight back up and I thought it was maybe a bit soft but maybe there was enough contact to send him over.

“I always said that we needed 10 wins and then you get enough draws to see you home. If we can get another win to get to 36 points and a couple of draws to 38 it will keep you up this year.”

Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady, Rosenior, Huddlestone, Chester, Davies, Aluko, Livermore, Jelavic, Long, Meyler. Bench: Figueroa, Bruce, Koren, Fryatt, Sagbo, Harper, Quinn

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Reid, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, McAuley, Dawson, Morrison, Sessegnon, Anichebe, Bifouma Koulossa, Dorrans. Bench: Sinclair, Myhill, Vydra, Gera, Berahino, O’Neil, Daniels

Referee Chris Foy – Attendance 23,486

FT stats Hull v WBA

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21st March 2014 Friday – Steve Bruce reacted strongly to the 3 match ban imposed by a committee of three referees on George Boyd.

Boyd was charged with spitting at Joe Hart  during the match with Manchester City on Saturday  but Bruce is unsure how a decision was made and defended Boyd’s part in the incident.

Bruce has said:-

“We’re quite aggrieved by it but no more so than George Boyd, who’s greatly upset by it. The system needs to be looked at. It’s like a kangaroo court sitting,” the 53-year-old told reporters on Friday.

“We don’t know who’s on it, who makes the decision, who’s accountable for it. We just get the decision that the FA are charging by three refs who looked at it and they’re not going to go against the others.”

“We’re all totally disappointed for George. I’ve had the privilege to manage him for the best part of a year and know for a fact he would never, ever spit at anyone deliberately and he is genuinely horrified with the charge.

“I’m 100 per cent behind him. The problem is we can’t go down and see anybody represented on this commission. We don’t know who sat on it, who took it. We’re just totally disappointed that the whole system, for me, needs to be looked at.”

Bruce also questioned why Hart himself was not punished for his involvement, with the England goalkeeper seen exchanging fierce words with the Hull striker.

“[I’ve got] Nothing against Joe Hart but I don’t know how he gets away unpunished if you’re going to do George Boyd,” Bruce added.

“As I said, for George himself he feels that strongly about it if there was legal action to take, he’d take it because he’s accused of something which is not in his make-up. I’ve managed players capable of it but not George Boyd.

“Joe Hart has come out and said he didn’t deliberately spit on him. We all understand that they’re not going to change it and I don’t know why this so-called committee sits, we don’t know who’s on it. We’re not represented on it and, for me, we don’t get a fair hearing.”

“You can see it on the television. You can see a bit of spit come out of his mouth as he’s shouting at him. That’s not deliberate. And I’ll reiterate that George Boyd does not have this in his locker.”

Bruce has used Boyd as a game-changing sub in the last few games and was due to give him a start at the KC tomorrow in the crucial game against West Bromwich Albion.

No ban for Hart after this nose crunching head-butt Selection_117

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15th March Saturday KC – The Tigers put up a decent performance but could not match the fast, passing football served up by the light blues. In particular David Silva had a very good afternoon and scored an early wonder goal to put the visitors in the driving seat.

Controversy marred the game twice, first when Vincent Kompany was red carded for a foul on Jelavic who was clean through on goal. Kompany was the last outfield defender and he clearly fouled the Croat, but it seemed Jelavic had tussled with him for possession and the Manchester captain and gone down. Expecting a foul to be awarded to him he angrily raced after the Hull City striker and brought him down. Whether or not Jelavic fouled him is debatable but to expect lenient punishment was simply stupid. That was in the 10th minute and 4 minutes later the 10 men of Manchester where celebrating after David Silva scored a wonderful goal with his left foot from well outside the box after a pass from Yaya Toure.

The second bit of controversy occurred between George Boyd and Joe Hart. Boyd had come on in the 58th minute for David Meyler and quickly proved his worth on the left hand side. In the 68th minute he was attacking in the ManC box when Hart went to ground and appeared to bring the Hull man down. Hart went straight to Boyd and angrily accused him of diving, which included a soft head-butt. Hart was yellow carded, Boyd was not and the game moved on. Later footage suggested Boyd had spit at the keeper, though he denied it and Hart confirmed he had not been spat at.

Only a minute or two later Boyd was barged in the back by Fernandinho and a penalty should have been awarded to the Tigers.

The Tigers tried everything to beak down the 10 man opposition but could not get the goal they needed and in the 90 minute Dzeko got the second goal to put ManC 0-2 up, which is how the game end.

Steve Bruce said after the game:

“The turning point was the Silva goal. They defended deep, we huffed and puffed and it ended up being a frustrating afternoon.

“We had a wonderful opportunity but we weren’t good enough to take advantage. We struggled to create a clear opening. We didn’t have that craft.”

On George Boyd penalty claims:

“I will have a word with George when the dust settles. Most players are waiting for the contact. The referee has made the right decision.

On the second…...”The push in the back looked like a penalty.”

City are now 13th still on 30 points and face West Brom on Saturday at the KC 3pm.

Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior, Davies, Chester, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Long, Jelavic

Subs: Bruce, Koren, Fryatt , Boyd, Sagbo, Harper, Aluko

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Nasri, Javi Garcia, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Dzeko

Subs: Lescott, Negredo, Milner, Kolarov, Jesus Navas, Rodwell, Pantilimon

Referee: Lee Mason. Attendance: 24,895
                David Silva                                                                   david silva
                                                       FT stats Hull v Man C

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