Monday, 2 March 2009

Brown must act quickly to avoid relegation dogfight

A few months ago, Hull City were exceeding all expectations on the pitch, securing fairytale victories against tough opposition including Arsenal and Spurs, scoring wonder goals left, right, and centre, courtesy of stars including the Brazilian playmaker, Geovanni, and ensuring that fans leaving the KC Stadium or travelling back to the city after an away match had wide smiles spread across their faces.

However, since Christmas, the situation has changed dramatically and Hull fans are now, unbelievably given their early season form, contemplating involvement in a relegation dogfight which is also threatening the long-term future of clubs including Blackburn and Middlesbrough.

The club is currently sitting in thirteenth position in the Premier League. If you had approached a Hull fan prior to the start of their first match of the campaign (a game which ended in victory over Fulham) and informed them that they would be sitting in this position at the beginning of March, they would probably have laughed in your face.

Even the most hardcore of Hull City fans could not have expected the run of form which the club experienced during the early months of the season and although Phil Brown's team is several positions away from the dreaded relegation zone, their recent form tells a more worrying story.

Furthermore, tensions and frustrations which must be mounting in the dressing room after each defeat appear to be spilling onto the pitch and this is something which must not be tolerated by the manager. Yesterday, during the team's 2-1 defeat to Blackburn, Phil Brown decided to substitute Geovanni after the Brazilian once again failed to show any sign of the natural talent which proved to be so influential earlier in the season.

No fan wants to see a player happy to be substituted but Geovanni's reaction to Brown's decision was disrespectful, petulant, and ultimately unacceptable. The manager agreed with this assessment, stating that the player "will never do that to me again". Brown continued to argue, quite rightly, that Geovanni is "not bigger than this football club".

The manager will have to act quickly in order to ensure that this kind of situation does not happen again. The frustration evident in the player's reaction is thoroughly understandable but Hull desperately need to pull together if they are to bring an end to their potentially devastating slide down the Premier League table.

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