Hull miss the bounce of Bullard
Hull City 0 Blackburn Rovers 0
Monday 14 December 2009
Of course, said Phil Brown when he was asked whether he was frustrated his team had not taken all three points on Saturday. The Hull City manager could hardly say otherwise, but when he sent them out in a 4-5-1 formation against a side itself set up not to lose, it is hard to understand what else he expected.
Judging by the reaction of many of the City supporters, they shared his frustration, although in their case it was almost wholly with Brown's tactics and team selection. As far as they and most observers are concerned, City's improved form in the five games leading up to being trounced by Aston Villa last Saturday week was down to two things: the galvanising effect of the return of Jimmy Bullard and playing two recognised strikers.
While Brown could do nothing about losing Bullard, reverting to an essentially negative set-up featuring Craig Fagan, who has yet to score this season, on his own up front in a game which, with Arsenal, Manchester United (twice), Chelsea and Spurs among their next six opponents, the Tigers badly needed to win, was very hard for the faithful to comprehend.
It was not even as though City were water-tight at the back; had Nikola Kalinic taken one of the three excellent chances Rovers created after he came on as a second-half substitute, they would have left with all three points, and arguably deserved to.
Brown was dismissive. "It's for me to pick the team," he shrugged when asked why he had left the improving Jozy Altidore and the canny Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink on the bench. His argument that teams get "sucked into a way of playing" against Blackburn was similarly unimpressive.
If Bullard does have to miss another string of games, there is an argument that he might as well miss matches like those coming up, in which Hull's chances of picking up any points at all appear slim.
Hull City (4-5-1): Myhill; McShane , Gardner, Zayatte , Dawson; Garcia (Altidore, 66), Boateng , Marney (Olofinjana, 77), Hunt, Geovanni; Fagan (Vennegoor of Hesselink, 77). Substitutes not used: Duke (gk), Barmby, Mendy, Kilbane.
Blackburn (4-4-2): Robinson; Chimbonda, Samba, Nelsen, Givet; Emerton, Nzonzi, Grella (Andrews, 40), Hoilett; McCarthy (Kalinic, 59), Di Santo (Roberts, 75). Substitutes not used: Brown (gk), Pedersen, Diouf, Salgado.
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).
Booked: Hull: Marney, Altidore; Blackburn: Samba, Kalinic.
Man of the match: Robinson
Latest in Sport
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid winger
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories