I should probably start by admitting how very wrong I got it last season.
I tipped us for relegation. I thought the hangover from the disastrous previous season would be too great, McCann was clueless, the much shorter break the squad had compared to the rest of League One I thought would impact more as the season went on – and I massively over-estimated the quality of League One.
I wasn’t the only one duly pessimistic about our chances last season – despite having a fairly strong squad for League One, many other fans tipped us for top half, or play-offs – few tipped us for promotion, at least from what I read.
Yet promotion really was the minimum requirement to wipe the slate clean after the disaster of 2020.
I guess I’m being churlish in suggesting that I’m still not convinced by a manager who led us to our first league title in 55 years.
Firstly, it should be said that I had a very distant following of my football club last season. OK, we all have, but I really lost interest for a while. I sometimes read what McCann has to say and I’m just astounded by his blandness – yet as pointed out to me after we achieved promotion, why do we have such a good spirit in the squad?
Is the blandness actually a genius way of disguising his ability to get a team promoted? In the same way that Early Mourinho™ was labelled a genius for getting the media to attack him and take the blame off the players when Chelsea lost – is this Grant McCann’s version?
The name of my blog might give away that I take my time to forgive poor performance, but I’m assuming that I’m missing something over McCann – and as someone who didn’t watch us often last season, the onus I feel is on me to find out what I was missing – as opposed to McCann needing to prove himself.
Without doubt, though, I hope and expect that he gets the opportunity to prove himself in the Championship.
I can still be unconvinced about him, dulled by him – yet support him and the team in the Championship. Plus he is a young manager – maybe he has learnt enough from the abysmal relegation season to stand us in good stead next season?
For me, it is slate cleaned.
And the other elephant…
I saw the recent non-story about people allegedly interested in giving Ehab Allam far less money than he would accept for the club, though that is assuming their existence.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are not going to get the spirit of the club back to what it was in the 2000’s and early 2010’s. That era has gone. Certainly not without new owners – but even then, we might not.
Yet we are also not where we were in the mid 2010’s, with the acrimony over the name change, the hatred and spite towards the fans. Things have actually improved regarding relations between fans and owners.
I do think if you are willing to offer a clean slate to a manager who presided over an abysmal relegation but then took us back up in style, you should suggest that the slate should be at least dusted, if not quite thoroughly cleaned for an owner that did actually back the club after said abysmal relegation, and kept McCann – against the wishes of most fans, including my own wishes.
The reality, to me, seems to be that our previously loathsome owner has learnt from his many mistakes and has been trying, at least somewhat, to work with the fans in recent years. It feels like a pragmatic relationship, we need each other – but don’t want each other.
Of course, come November if we are bottom of the league, McCann and/or Ehab are lashing out at fans, then I’m sure I’ll revert to type and be wanting their disposal. Whilst I no longer view either as detrimental to the future of Hull City AFC, I still need a bit of persuading that we can repeat prior successes under either.
But for now, and hopefully for a while to come, the slate is cleared and I look forward to the 2021/22 season with a bit more hope than the last.