I’m a glutton for punishment sometimes. Whilst reading and interacting with fellow City fans after the “unforgiven” blog we really dug into just how many grudges our fans (including me) do hold. What also became apparent is there’s the odd exception, opposition clubs, managers and players that actually we don’t mind, to be honest more clubs than players or gaffers in this case but there is some. So with that in mind and as we are knocking on the door of Christmas (presuming it’s not cancelled again) I’ve had a go at a nice list, people and clubs for whom we might not want to pop coal in their stocking, or worse. As ever send your hate tweets to @thelikesofhull ….
A fantastic example of how fans win. Didn’t give up when shafted by treacherous owners and simply dusted themselves off and started again. Promoted six times in fourteen years and rising up to league one, where their former stolen club reside is an achievement which rarely gets the mainstream plaudits it deserves. Perhaps one of the only downsides of leaving League One so abruptly would be not getting to visit their new ground back in Wimbledon with City. There are other fan ran restarted clubs that have done well in Darlington, Hereford, Bury and Macclesfield, but AFC Wimbledon are an example to everyone of how far you can get with unity and vision. Fair play to them.
Probably the best day out of the London clubs. Great pubs, genuinely nice fans, they’ve risen up by being ran incredibly well and the only bonus of them going down will be going to the new ground again.
Much like Brentford a great away day. Fans could have every right to be a bit up themselves considering their standing but they have always seemed a decent bunch. The Vine is of course the greatest away day pub ever and the 2008 win in the Championship at the Hawthorns will always feel like the day we believed we could go up.
This one is a little left field I know. There’s two very specific reasons for the choice of Gary Johnson, as I know he’s not held in incredible esteem by some of his previous clubs and his son is an angry small man. However here are my two main reasons. One, listen to his interview on the grass at Wembley in 2008. He doesn’t whine, doesn’t complain and looks for no excuses. He’s knackered, his voice has gone but he’s magnanimous in defeat when so few gaffers would be in that position. I’ve simply always liked him for it. The anti-Warnock/Cotterill/Laws. No barbed comments or bitterness, fair play to him. Two, he’s still managing, at Torquay who he took up from the National South to step 5 and was unlucky not to promote in the play offs last season, he’s a lifer and that should be respected.
Came up via Walsall and Brentford, playing attacking and attractive football. Landed the job at Villa which had looked a poisoned chalice, did the same things there and took them back up to the Prem. When he got binned this season he didn’t feel sorry for himself and took the Norwich job almost straight away, backing himself. Another one who doesn’t make excuses.
Maybe he does like a moan sometimes but I quite like Chris Wilder, despite him managing three clubs most recently I don’t really care for in Oxford, Sheff U and now Boro. He’s another modern gaffer who definitely runs a good ship and would have loved to have seen him at City. Even rang Grant McCann to tell him his team were about to turn a corner, and he was right.
The opposition player
This really was a tough ask. Players of the opposition are damned if they do and damned if they don’t and rightly so. If they are great we hate them for raining on our parade, if they are crap we laugh at their ineptitude. However sometimes a player is just so good it’s ridiculous and you just have to tip your hat. There’s been lots of examples of this in the 2008-16 period as we came up against some of the best players in the world. Modric is the one that just sticks for me. Early in the 2009-10 season Spurs rocked up and gave us and absolute football lesson. I think it was 5-1 (stattos please help) they were just electric that day and you could have no complaint but Modric was freakily good. He looked super-human, his touches, vision, passing, just incredible. Eight years later he was still too good for England in the World Cup Semi-final. You just can’t quibble with class like that. He’s not even dislikeable either damn it!
Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney, Hugo Lloris etc
All provided Modric-like brilliance. Torres destroyed us at Anfield and Liam “Leeds til I die” Cooper. Rooney put a poor United team on his back to beat us 3-2 after going 2-0 down. (Although it’s perfectly ok to dislike the candy floss haired granny dater). Lloris is another one that in the flesh was just freakily good, Robbie Brady having to swing corners to the edge of the area because if you didn’t he simply took it.
Ok this one is cheating a bit. Playing Accrington in the League cup in 2015-16 we adopted the opposition keeper, singing his name, asking for waves (he did oblige) and someone even changed his Wikipedia to show he played for us later that night. Some guy was Mooney.
The extra special City players/staff
You could chose people all day on this one (my notable mentions may go on forever) but to come top of this list means you must be something special. That’s Peter Skipper.
On the pitch he was brave, tenacious and had top class timing. He was a Hull lad, he came back to the club. Him and Stan Mac were pivotal in the team that bounced up two leagues in three years and I genuinely can’t remember seeing him have a bad game.
Then there’s the other stuff, regularly played for the ex-City teams to help anyone, always at the club on match days, time for everyone. Just class in every single way. He was taken far too early and I figure like lots of you reading this that it still hurts today. R.I.P Skip, you were the best.
The Skip for the next generation. Hard as nails, loved the club, still does. Just a great guy and he battered Alan Shearer. I’ll even forgive him for playing for Grimsby.
One of the biggest mistakes in our history was sacking him. Gave us a culture again and a team to be proud of. Came back and helped Phil Brown to do it again. Still loves the club and we still love him.
The logical steps, first Skip, then JW, then Curtis. Played one of the most heroic performances I’ve ever seen in the shirt in the FA Cup final. Never been remotely disrespectful when he returned. I’d still sign him back even if he turns 40. What a guy.