Mark Sellers provides his review of the week just gone (featuring Chickens, Black Eagles, and an Ostrich).
Thursday saw the owners score yet another own goal when, in an interview with the HDM, Ehab Allam stated that none of the Away Supporters Initiative (ASI) fund will be spent on City’s travelling supporters and in fact has been used to benefit opposition fans visiting the KC by improving the away end. This is clearly against the spirit of the ASI initiative, and is contrary to how other clubs have used the money. Spurs fans, for example, had the option of discounted chartered flights to Newcastle, and many clubs used the cash to reduce the cost of away tickets. Another PR gaff that further alienates City supporters and could have easily been avoided.
The transfer rumour mill continued to turn this week, with Abel Hernandez again linked with a return to Italy. Moves to Milan and Torino have both been mooted, but the Torino story seems the most likely. Other Italian rumours reported that Sulley Muntari is looking for a move back to England after being told he will not feature for Milan next season. The Sun reported that City are leading the chase for the 30-year-old Ghanaian (who played for Steve Bruce at Sunderland). Everton and New York Red Bulls are also believed to be interested.
City are also one of many clubs being linked to Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson. The 23 year old has been instrumental in securing the Cherries promotion, and is attracting a lot of speculation.
According to reports in the national press Tim Sherwood is looking to sign both Jake Livermore and Andy Robertson if Villa stay in the Premier League. The Robertson story first featured in the Daily Mirror with no price mentioned, although City would certainly be looking to sell the promising 21 year old for significantly more than the 2.85m they paid Dundee United for him last summer.
One playing coming back to Hull immediately is Tom Ince, who returns after his loan spell at Derby ended with the Rams finishing 8th and missing out on a Play-off spot. Ince has had a successful spell and picked up the April Championship player of the month prize this week.
It was reported on the Turkish website BGNnews.com that Allan McGregor has started legal proceedings to reclaim 175,000 euros outstanding from his contract during his time with Turkish side Besiktas in the 2012-13 season. A number of other players are also suing the “Black Eagles” for smaller amounts of unpaid monies.
Nigel Pearson was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons when after his midweek defeat to Chelsea he gave another bizarre press conference in which he called a journalist “an ostrich” and then the next day was very much taken to task by 5Live’s Pat Murphy.
Pearson’s Leicester did their talking on the pitch on Saturday though, with a solid 3-0 defeat of a shamefully under par Newcastle side. This result was one of a number that went against City, with Villa and Sunderland also winning at the weekend.
All of which left City’s survival chances looking less assured than a few days before. If a week’s a long time in politics then it’s an eternity in football and the upbeat mood after the Palace and Liverpool victories was less evident as the grim reality of the relegation struggle returned.
And so on Monday night Arsenal arrived at the KC and left with all three points after a vibrant performance that leaves City in 17th place, one point off the drop zone. Off the pitch the game was notable for more animosity amongst differing factions of City fans, as divisions about the Allam stewardship continue to run deep. The result means that the Burnley game could be key to the outcome of City’s season. Steve Bruce was right to warn City fans not to “count their chickens” after the Liverpool win.
Mark Sellers @mrmarksellers