Hull still handicapped by owners - Interview
Thursday, 29th Nov 2018 17:14 by Clive Whittingham
A predictable season of struggle so far for our Saturday visitors Hull City, who continue to suffocate under the ownership of the Allam family according to Charlotte from the Tigerlink supporters’ group.
Assess Hull City’s start to the season for us – a predictable struggle?
That sums it up quite nicely. We never really had high hopes for this season given the continued downgrading of the squad and the long running saga of the Allam family and their 'will they sell won't they sell' guessing game continuing.
The Allam ownership is at the heart of all this of course, what’s the latest situation with them or any possible sale of the club?
Some people started getting very excited a couple of months ago when it was reported that a sale was imminent, with more than one party expressing an interest. We remained sceptical - this isn't the first time rumours of a sale going through have emerged. What has happened previously is that the deal has always fallen through and it is said that this has been due to the Allams deliberately throwing a spanner in the works in the latter stages. I don't believe that they will be departing just yet and keeping the fans guessing is actually entertaining for them I think. So whilst the hope is they clear off as soon as possible, I will believe it when I see it. Then the champagne will come out.
Nigel Adkins doing his best under difficult circumstances or underperforming?
I think Nigel Adkins IS probably doing his best and undoubtedly the circumstances under which he is expected to operate are challenging to say the least.
I don't think he is underperforming, I think he has limitations as a manager and these are becoming apparent. We were described as 'freestyling' by the commentator on Sky last night during the Norwich game and to be honest that is a frustratingly accurate summary. There can be a distinct lack of structure to our play which undermines the undoubted efforts of the individual players. I don't think he is a tactical genius putting it politely. On the plus side, Nigel has a reputation for developing young players and it's been great to see the likes of Dan Batty get a run in the side and put in some really assured performances. Whilst his relentless positivity is sometimes irritating (especially listening to his post match analysis when you've just been beaten), it seems he can keep the players battling and hopefully this will keep their spirits high and their confidence up for what will be a tough second half of the season.
Couple of wins of late though, including a good one against West Brom, what’s brought about the upturn and can it be maintained?
Clean sheets against West Brom and Norwich City have proved that we can actually defend well and I think the experience and leadership qualities of Tommy Elphick at the heart of the defence have helped massively. Fraizer Campbell has also rediscovered his goalscoring touch and his goals have been the difference on several occasions. And I think the players have just continued to scrap and keep going and their persistence has paid off. We have seen it before on many occasions when desire, togetherness and heart win out over flair and quality and I hope that we can just keep grinding out the results. So whilst not being convinced it can be maintained, we live in hope!
Stand out players and weak links in the side?
Some of the players that came in during the summer have done quite well, the stand out performers being Elphick (on loan from Villa) and Lichaj (signed from Forest). Wantaway winger Kamil Grosicki has come back into some form after his move abroad fell through. He seems to have got his head down and grafted and arguably he is one of our most skilful players. But I still remain a little concerned in his tendency to go missing in games too often. I must also mention Jackson Irvine who has shown commitment and heart in his midfield performances. I would say loanee Chris Martin has been a huge disappointment so far - he has the physical stature that we have been missing up front but has looked low on confidence and hasn't scored for nineteen games I believe. Jarrod Bowen has got potential and was our top scorer last season but has struggled a bit so far this campaign. He keeps going though and hopefully the goals will come.
How do you see the rest of the season panning out?
I'm afraid if the Allams stay and continue to run the club down as they have been doing and fail to make further investment in the squad, I can see us being closer to the bottom of the table than the middle of it come the end of the season.
And does this situation ever get any better while the Allams are still around?
In short - no. We need a sale and we need it now. The club and fans are just in limbo and we have to tough it out and dream of the day we wave goodbye to them.
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