But in Hull City’s case, most fans would be forgiven for uttering those words associated with sitting in the middle of mountains of paper and packaging, holding on to the meagre contents of once promising delights…”Is that it then?”
I don’t know what a “Squib” is but Hull City’s participation in the frantic closing hours of trying to secure the last pieces of our physical, technical and tactical jigsaw on the field can only be described as a damp one. Had Bruce been able to sign Long, Bendtner, Rodallega or Amalfitano for instance, then our squib might have been a nice dry, pristine and proud example.
But there we have it. 11 players in and 16 out and the squad we have, is the squad we have. Also just like Christmas, is that time when it’s all done and dusted, the Turkey has been roasted for dinner, used for cold cuts on boxing day, used for sandwiches the day after that and then the mandatory turkey curry for the remaining 4 days and we can at last say…It’s nice to get back to normal.
It’s at this point we forget the anticipation and ultimate disappointment when the promise of the box containing your Ferrari car keys is in fact a soap on a rope and the themed “Scrooge” socks brings a warm smile to your heart as you realise it’s the only pair you have without holes in them and the year ahead seems a bit more optimistic now that the pressure of expectation is behind you.
So, onward and upward. Hull City doesn’t have £150M worth of talent, a 30 goal a year striker or a second string 11 that could replace the first to a man. But we have got the backbone of a workhorse mentality in the team with great performances at both away games and a victorious one at home. Against both of 2 of the top 5 sides, Hull City have had 2 nil nil halves and looked a coherent squad. Huddlestone will be a big factor for us this season both in his command of the midfield and his physical presence and confidence he exudes. I think Brady will be a dark horse this season and will cause the opposition a few problems along with Livermore who will grow into the side based on what I’ve seen of him so far.
Steve Bruce has done what he can with the limited money available and it was always going to be difficult to sign big players because Hull City has not got a glamorous persona and has a limited appeal in the footballing world. As Steve Coppell is once alleged to have said “The only good thing about Hull is the road out.”
I have every confidence in Steve Bruce to manage the half decent squad we have into a respectable competitive unit and if need be, to grind out whatever nil nils we require to evade the trap door back to the championship. My only doubt is that Steve may not be here for the long term as I feel he would be attracted away to a higher profile club if he doesn’t get the opportunity to access the higher funds he will need, certainly next season if we do enough to maintain Premiership status, although I respect the Allam’s philosophy of not seeing Hull City spiral into uncontrollable debt.
Given the various interviews I’ve heard from SB, I get the impression he’s careful not to speak out of turn and upset the Allams to the point of verbally walking on eggshells and to me it’s obvious he’s under strict orders and restrictions of what he can and can’t do even pitch side which Allam said he would never get involved in, but that’s my only speculative point and may be just "hear say"
The one saving grace that is already splitting at least one other Premiership club, is that Hull City do not have one of the most dysfunctional management arrangements ever to be instigated within a football club…A Director of football. If we use Newcastle United’s example of how well it works, with the miscommunication and “at odds” issues between Pardew & Kinear, then Hull City will do well to keep clear of such a commission.
Moving on, Hull City face a buoyed Cardiff and ex Hull City servant, Frazier Campbell in Saturday’s game at the KC and Bruce will demand all three points as this is surely a must win and can win game.
So, back to the Christmas present expectation / Summer signing analogy, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and all that, so here's my tongue in cheek team Line up against Cardiff as follows (No insults intended to any player who may, if they wish, adopt to be any one of the itmes below)
Pack of 3 matching handkerchiefs from aunt Beryl who has suffered from recent memory loss so she’s done well even to remember.
5 across the back
Soap on a rope
2 pair pack of “Scrooge” Christmas socks
Gift set of Brut Aftershave and talc- £3.99 from Wilkos
Nostril hair trimmer
Box of Barratt’s Liquorice Novelties but without the liquorice pipe because it causes people to take up smoking.
3 across the middle
Pint glass with “Dad’s Beer” and picture of small bald fat man in pair of slippers and bubbles emanating from his skull, indicating he’s drunk with a further figure of a trim woman stood behind him, scowling with contempt and holding a rolling pin with menaces – Bought by all 4 of your working kids who have clubbed together and given your wife the full £2.75 pence kitty to go and buy it for them because they are too busy downloading ITunes.
Another pack of 3 matching handkerchiefs from aunt Beryl because she wasn’t sure if she’s already wrapped you a present and in any case, they will always come in handy. (Will have to subbed off at half time)
A gourmet selection of miniature breakfast marmalades - Despite the fact you have never touched the stuff…Ever…In your whole life.
2 up front
Video Box set of “Crossroads – Series 1 -7 plus bonus disc “an interview with Benny”” – In Beta max
A whistle receptive key fob in pink blister pack with the announcement “Never lose your keys again” - (Until the freakin' batteries run out that is)
Homer Simpson carpet slippers
400g box of Tesco brand “Roses” style chocolates in a 2 for one offer…So where’s the other one then?
A pooper scooper
A replica print of the Daily Mirror on the year you were born
A set of heated curlers – Mistakenly wrapped and tagged as your present when in actual fact it’s your sisters who is now the proud owner of a yearly subscription to Angling Times.
On that bombshell (Squib)…!
I look forward to seeing you all on Saturday. I will be the one with the brightly coloured home knitted cardigan with odd length sleeves, holding a TV Times match programme and instead of the usual meat pie and pint I shall be quaffing Rudolph’s milk and Santa’s mince pie left out for them by Steve Bruce at the foot of the Transfer chimney that went largely unused.
If we all close our eyes very tightly and all believe together…maybe, just maybe, in the January transfer window we might get a special present? I can feel the anticipation welling up already.
City 2 – Cardiff 1
Up The Tigers.
Source: Hull City Mad