Without doubt he was Hull City’s modern day most famous manager for all sorts of reasons. The first two accolades include, the first manager to take Hull City into the Premiership, then being the first manager to get them relegated from the Premiership. In between, he lauded himself on Question of sport, punditry on Sky Sports and radio 5 live, broke Hull City’s transfer record paying the highest fee when he signed Jimmy Bullard and most incredibly, the first manager EVER, to humiliate his team in front of millions of viewers worldwide by ranting at his players during a halftime team talk in the middle of Manchester City’s football pitch, looked on by over 40,000 supporters. So love him or loath him, Phil Brown will take a prominent place in Hull City’s history books.
When City were relegated from the Premiership, the writing was on the wall after two lacklustre seasons. He had already split the fans confidence with his unusual man management approach and tactical decisions and had alienated a number of players such as Ricketts and Giovanni and had a strange relationship with the playing staff, trying to be both friends as well as their boss. Phil had an uneasy relationship with top flight protocol. The F.A. Fined Phil £1000 for improper conduct after the Wigan game when Hull City were trounced 5-0 but we can forgive him for being passionate on this occasion but then went on again to verbally abuse Newcastle’s Chris Hughton at St James Park and this time fined £2500.
I recall a warm up session before one particular game when the lads were doing sprint circuits along the touchline near the west stand and Brownie was messing about with the ball playing “keepy uppy” and for whatever reason, showing off, bored, for a laugh, whatever, He hammered the ball into the group of sprinting players catching Michael Turner. I thought to myself at the time, if that had caught Turner mid stride and he lost his balance or footing he could have broken his leg and surely that’s no way for a manager to behave minutes before kickoff.
Phil fared no better at Preston North End despite coaxing Ian Ashbee away to bolster his defence and midfield, and Preston faced the same peril as Hull City in his first season and then in his second, plummeted from 2nd place to 10th and in freefall, Preston pressed Browns eject button. It seemed like Phil Brown and relegation went hand in hand although some would say that it’s just a run of misfortune due to injured players he had to manage and Phil’s suntanned appetite for the game went undaunted despite a year and a half in management wilderness.
Phil now finds himself on the South Coast in charge of Southend Utd. (The Shrimpers), shouting across a less grandiose stadium than the KC, but with the same enthusiasm he always had. His management style has seen mixed fortunes as they sit firmly in the middle of league 2 with a goal difference of 0 which would have been a little more boastful had he not witnessed his side get thumped 3-1 at home on Saturday by fellow seasiders Morecambe after being 1-0 to the good after the 30th minute.
I think he would prefer a bigger audience than the steady 6000 supporters who turn up for home games which is a world away from the near 25,000 at Hull City but I’m sure he’s just glad someone thinks importantly enough of him to employ him as a football manager as in my opinion he always craved attention and notoriety.
Personally I can’t really make my mind up about Phil Brown as a manager, I feel he inherited the squad that took us up into the Premiership the first time around and he was almost coasting on the good work that had already been done by the previous regime which, granted, he was assistant manager to Phil Parkinson and so unarguably part of the set up. There were one or two good signings he made which could be down more to good luck than due diligence but there were a good number of overpaid flops to go alongside them as well. So all in all I wasn’t too disappointed when he got his marching orders but will always have a soft spot for his upbeat enthusiasm and wish him every success but I know many fans who will think that It’s no coincidence, his name “Brown” is the same colour as Marmite being one of those love him or hate him Hull City managers. One thing I can say without fear or regret. Much rather Phil Brown than Iain Dowie, his successor. If there was ever a frying pan into the fire situation, then the end of the 2009/10 season was it.
Brian Horton, Phil’s former assistant manager at Hull City is currently in that very same position at Doncaster Rovers.
Source: Hull City Mad