Football News: Hull City, Newcastle United or Sunderland?


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Looking at this season's battle against relegation from the Prem is an odd one, even though Hull City are not fighting for survival like the tigers the owners wish to name them after, they are still in with a very good chance to avoid relegation. They only have to look at the way Leicester have fought clear of the drop for inspiration.

Newcastle United are in shambles, not one part of the club is truly united in anything but name. Mike Ashley has turned the club into a laughing stock, the caretaker manager, John Carver, is adding to the comedy value with stupid comments, that would have been better delivered while wearing a red nose, spinning bow tie and huge shoes. The players are simply not trying for either him, the club or the fans, they have been on their summer holidays for months now. Added to that the fans are turning on the club as a whole, with good reason, after being treated appallingly over the years by Ashley, even fans known for their loyalty beyond the norm have had enough. The one saving grace is that they have more points than Hull right now and you can't see Hull getting the points they need to save themselves.

Their local rivals, Sunderland, are in a similar state of disrepair, managerial changes have caused a few problems, with the wrong men brought in time and time again. There is still no sign of a long term plan, with youngsters having very little opportunity to get a chance with the Mackems and the wrong players brought in continually. Despite all this, Sunderland have two chances left to reach safety, and have the points already in the bag to stay in the league unless both Hull and Newcastle get a result on the final weekend. It seems so unlikely that one of them will get a result that the odds of both doing so must be astronomical, so astronomical that it is beyond belief that Sunderland will go down. Though this is football and so the impossible can never be completely ruled out!

All the indicators point to Hull City going down, with the divisions at the club between owner and fans being a major part of the problem. Like Cardiff City last season, Hull's owners are showing a complete lack of sensibility towards the feelings of the fans in their quest for improving the club's marketability. Unless the owners see sense, then the club will not progress. It will not matter how much money is invested if the fans are not backing the club fully. Though, in my personal opinion, Steve Bruce is not really the right man to take the club on a level beyond a relegation struggle. I know people will point to him keeping Wigan safely in the upper half of the table for a number of years, but the expectations there were much lower. Bruce, for all his qualities as a manager, just does not seem to have an eye for players of the next level up. He seems unable to pick out the right players to improve quality while maintaining the desire and workrate required.

So I believe it will be Hull City joining QPR and Burnley in next season's Championship. Well maybe not QPR, as they could end up anywhere as things stand! Another club with shambolic ownership, it seems to be a theme in football that for every Roman Abramovich there are a hundred Ken Bates. There are very few bigger contrasts in the game than the way those two ran Chelsea. One took the club to the brink of liquidation, constantly abusing anyone who disagreed with him, including the fans, while Roman has been the very model of a benevolent dictator at the club.

Written by Tris Burke

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