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City Independent
The Hull City Fanzine
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05/08/2018 at 17:53


PREVIEW: Hull City v Aston Villa

It’s actually becoming tiresome. Never before can it be stated, Hull City fans are so brow-beaten by their current owners, that the majority simply dread the season starting these days. Those on the sidelines anyway, already having a gutful of the Allams – and unlikely to be returning to the stadium any time soon, at this rate. 

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A glimpse into the 'empty seats' future?

Here at the Towers, you can see by the steady stream of summer City news we’ve been bringing you, enough is enough. Nobody is prepared to waste their time here, on yet more broken promises, utter contempt for the supporters and inane management policies from those at the top any longer.

Yet the Allams (and their new Communications Manager Ms. Vicky Beercock) will tell you all is rosy in the garden and the name change is no longer an issue, the membership scheme will be resolved (just the third month into the season no less to find out how much it’s going to cost the remaining few still going) and the small matter of concessions really is a subject fans should not trifle themselves with.

After all, these are genuine football issues and these need not concern those in the boardroom, because Hull City – as we all know – is a business. Don’t let that Saturday/Tuesday axis of events with an actual football being kicked around on a rectangular green playing field confuse you into thinking otherwise, during this Championship season.

And anyway, who are we mere mortal fans to contest such? What on earth would we know? The Allams have got this right and are business geniuses, so we fans can just suck it up. And if you need proof of how far the Allams are taking this club forward, just wait until you see a KCOM Stadium packed to the rafters for the televised clash with Aston Villa this Monday night. You’ll see…

So, on to lesser matters then, the actual game itself. City will have the potential to field 6 debutants for the home game with Aston Villa. George Long, Todd Kane (Chelsea loanee) Manuel Milinkovic, Eric Lichaj, Jordy de Wijs and Reece Burke, for a grand total of £1.5m summer spending during the close season – all of which was solely spent on the last of those names, with the funds duly paid to West Ham United.

Analysing these new additions a little closer, with the former of the aforementioned players being a keeper, it’s highly unlikely David Marshall will be unseated in goal this early in the season, meaning only five at best of those new signings, are likely to actually get a kick this Monday night.

And if that doesn’t set alarm bells ringing, precisely how far the Allams are cutting this club to the bone, just the 16 players have left Hull City over the summer. Yes, you read that right, 16 players – which include the likes of Hernandez, Meyler, Dawson, Larsson, McGreggor, Odubajo and even local lad Clark to name but a few.

So, instead of renewed optimism, fervour and energy for the new campaign ahead, it appears our new additions look like lambs to the slaughter. Nigel Adkins appears to be a dead man walking in unenviable managerial circumstances this season, despite the fact only Mazuch and Weir will be missing for the Villa game due to injury – although Irvine and Grosicky may be rested due to recent World Cup exploits.

Couple this with the news that Markus Henriksen has been given the captain’s armband and it’s either a gesture simply borne out of limited options, demonstrating how far this club has fallen, or an inspired decision that will see the Norwegian flourish and maximise his potential given the added responsibility he now shoulders for this club. Where does your money lay?

Opposing boss Steve Bruce has endured a turbulent summer at Villa Park after his side crashed in the play-off final to Fulham. Although speculation is rife about Jack Grealish’s move to Spurs, the midfielder is still expected to start against City. However, Scott Hogan, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and youngster Callum O'Hare are all expected to be ruled out with injury.

Joyless, soulless and negligible enthusiasm reigns supreme in Hull for this and the ensuing 2018-19 campaign ahead – and as we’ve repeated many times before on CI – we all know who to thank for that, don’t we? The attendance this Monday night will be the legacy of how right the Allams are to be running this club. Not that they'll be there to see it, like.


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