Football: Your club's mid-season report



Slightly late with this, but you know the drill…









Man City (feat. added entitlement)

To be involved in the title race right up until the season’s end even if we didn’t win it, a domestic cup and the quarters or better in the Champions League.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs are clearly better than us. United have a lot more balance, Arsenal tend to not finish lower than 4th. Monaco will ruin us and we’re out of the League Cup, so i’ll say 6th and an FA Cup Final. Wibble.

None. Fernandinho’s generally our main man but he’s gone full-on Moker. De Bruyne started like a house on fire but is now being played out of position. Silva offers a guaranteed level of quality but is doing it on his own. Sterling arguably improved. Toure still doing the business against the mid-tablers. Gundogan was looking silky until his inevitable injury.

A goalkeeper who can save shots and pass a football ten yards (Schmeichel would be okay), a left-back who can tackle if such a thing exists, and a vocal centre-half, whatever the cost. We won’t of course, but in theory that’s what we need.

I’d strongly consider any serious bid for any senior player bar Silva, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Aguero and Stones, not that any are above criticism.

Doesn’t feel like an improvement on Pellegrini at this point and seems embarrassingly fragile. Have some sympathy, though, he’s hamstrung by our bizarre approach to player recruitment. Had hoped he’d improve some players individually, mind, and anything lower than 4th would be an automatic P45 for anyone else. 4/10.

Unless Gabriel Jesus turns out to be some sort of combination of Messi and peak Yaya Toure and we can pump Vinny full of some Spanish cycling vitamins we’ve fucked it short term. We’re not going to suddenly stop conceding goals. 3/10.



REALISTIC TARGETS NOW: Top 4, domestic trophy or two and hopefully a good Europa run

STANDOUT PERFORMERS: Difficult to look past Zlatan despite the fact he was dreadful during his dry-spell being the reason we’re not challenging Chelsea. Valencia has been exceptional as well.

NEED TO SIGN THIS MONTH: A new LB if pizza boy can’t get his act together and we’re gonna continue ignoring Blind

NEED TO BIN: Schneiderlin and Depay gone already, Rojo and Jones have miraculously turned it around, no one really needs shifting immediately at the minute.

MANAGER RATING: 7/10 acted a slapped arse early on I think after realising the magnitude of the task ahead of him given how much standards have slipped post-Fergie, has started to look like he’s got a tangible plan moving forward now though and results are improving to match the improved performances.



League champions

5 points off the top, and it is still possible to win the league but it does require the leaders to slip up. Probably have to settle for second best, again.

Our captain, as always

A proper winger. Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu is rumoured. And some 19-year old Brazilian wunderkind.

We got rid of the dead wood by selling 3 players this winter. That should suffice.


Terrible start, particularly embarrassing performances in Europe. Things have improved since but after last season’s failure to reach the finish line, the team really should have been in better shape by this stage.


#Wigson Athletic

  • REALISTIC TARGETS PRE-SEASON: Kick-on from title win and finish top half


  • STANDOUT PERFORMERS: Stephen Warnock > Yanic Wildschut >>>>> Will Grigg :fire:

  • NEED TO SIGN THIS MONTH: Right-back, holding midfielder

  • NEED TO BIN: David Perkins (old, slow, out of contract, he’ll join Chesterfield), Craig Davis, Jordan Flores (great local lad but not a Champo player), Donervon Daniels

  • MANAGER RATING: 4/10, looked woefully out of his depth and not remotely involved with pre-match training, complete lack of final third presence let alone creativity, but two wins on the bounce have got me all giddy and he’s starting to sound like there IS a grand plan after all. Hope not a false dawn :pray:

  • OVERALL: God help us, are there really 3 worse teams than us? Let’s hope so.


Celtic (who play their football in SCOTLAND)

REALISTIC TARGETS PRE-SEASON: Win the league, win a domestic cup, get into the champions league

REALISTIC TARGETS NOW: Given that we’re roaring ahead (19 points with a game in hand right now), there’s serious talk of a treble and unbeaten domestic season. The latter is very unlikely to happen, but that it’s even being talked about is evidence of how good we look domestically. Cue defeat to Albion Rovers in the cup this weekend.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS: Dembele has been great (if occasionally a little inconsistent, understandable given his age), Stuart Armstrong has started to play really well, and Scott Brown is showing his best form in years (maybe ever). Scott Sinclair has been fantastic too.

NEED TO SIGN THIS MONTH: We’ve signed a centre mid which was needed, a right back would be nice. We’ve got the luxury of being able to plan for next season’s CL qualifiers now, so just need to aim for quality rather than squad filler.

NEED TO BIN: There are a few hanging around the edge of the squad who should probably move on. Ciftci won’t be missed, and it’s probably the end of the road for Commons (who has been great for us over the years).

MANAGER RATING: Can’t have any real complaints. We didn’t win a game in our (pretty difficult) CL group, but just qualifying was the main thing this season, and performances seemed to improve as the group went on. Baby steps on that front. Domestically we look 10 times stronger than last season, signings have been pretty excellent as well. 9/10.

OVERALL: Onwards and upwards, 9/10.


Forest - Everything’s wrong.


This isn’t anti-bants or a dig, or whatever, but what’s it genuinely like being a die-hard Celtic fan with the whale/fishtank scenario. Do your seasonal aspirations hinge on a Champions League run, or is it sweeping all before you domestically and getting to stick two fingers up at Rangers 4/5 times a year? Did the Ibrox fuck up take some of the gloss of it for you all?



Pre-Season target:
Avoid having the lowest points total and taking that record from Derby.

Realistic target now:
18th. 17th if I’ve been smoking the wacky tobacky.

Standout performers: Snodgrass, Michael Dawson, Roary the tiger.

Need to sign: A right back (haven’t had one all season), a winger, a box-to-box midfielder.

Need to bin: No one. The squad size is paper thin and even players like Alex Bruce who should be moved on to championship clubs are needed. If Snodgrass goes we’re completely stuffed.

Manager rating: Silva ?/5, Phelan 2/5. If Marco Silva keeps Hull in the premier league then he’ll be a hero, but if Benitez couldn’t do it last season then I don’t see why Silva can now. Granted Silva has a lot more games to attempt it with, and he has this transfer window. I didn’t care much for Phelan, he’s a good bloke and everything but players made a lot of individual errors under him and since Silva has come in they’re all repeatedly saying how thorough he is, as if to say Phelan was well, a bit dozy. Phelan never had a proper chance though, considering the lack of players and also the worst pre-season possible. Multiple players getting long term injuries, Mo Diame leaving, no players coming in until desperate attempts on deadline day, and meanwhile Steve Bruce was nicking all of the coaching staff.

Overall: 1/5.

Longstoryshort for the ramble below is: The owners haven’t been good and Hull don’t deserve to be in the premier league.

Genuinely one of the worst seasons I’ve spent supporting the club since I started going to matches in the late 90s. All the hard work of last season and getting into the premier league has been completely undone by owners that have refused to invest in the squad or replace players with long term injuries. Making matters far worse is the mood in the stands. The owners took away concessions and introduced a ridiculous “membership scheme”. Older people and younger people simply can’t afford to go to matches. Chants against the owners are at every game, and the attendences have been the worst of any season since we moved to the KC. Feelings about the name change, the badge change, and a dozen other things mean the relationship with the owners is unsalvageable. The club has been for sale for nearly three years, but things keep falling through and there’s this feeling that whatever Hull do, it happens at an incredibly slow pace and ends up being the wrong decision.

The standard of football itself has also been, not good. The defence and midfield can actually play quite well but each game is severely lacking in chances created, and the strikers haven’t been good enough to score those previous few chances when they happen. With Hull’s small squad size and lack of options off the bench, it’s not surprising that most games become this war of attrition where important goals are conceded late on e.g. games against Watford, Crystal Palace, Man U, Everton, West Ham. I think in all of those games points were dropped after the 80 minute mark, and just one point from any of them would have Hull outside the bottom 3. Ultimately though, that’s one of the major differences between teams that stay up and teams that go down, the ability to see games out.

Before the season started I was on the tube with my partner and I flippantly said to her that maybe I should put a small bet on Hull staying up, considering the odds and because if Leicester could win the title then maybe there’s a chance? A bald cockney bloke turned and said “For fackin Hull City waste o money you’re fackin mad got no chance.” And he walked off laughing to himself and at me, causing my partner to laugh as well. That’s pretty much been the whole season.


After losing our two best players and their 36 league goals from last year I was pretty worried and would’ve taken survival

Potentially playoffs. Think there are 8 teams of pretty similar overall quality for the four playoff spots (assuming Newcastle and Brighton are gone) and it’ll come down to pretty tight margins. We’ve got the best goal difference of the chasing pack which could be important, but we’re also a couple of injuries away from being pretty average

Cairney’s been brilliant as usual. Johansen, Kalas, Button, McDonald, Aluko and Martin have all slotted in really well. Looked incredibly coherent for a team with so many new signings

More important to keep players than buy any. Another championship experienced striker would be nice but as long as Martin stays and no one sniffs around Cairney I’ll be happy. Piazon’s extended his loan to the end of the season which is good

Ryan Tunnicliffe (still)

9/10 - massively exceeding expectations, good mix of handsome and terrifying, too.

8/10 - Playing properly good football, one of the best teams to watch in England atm, will probably fall apart when the weather dips but we’ve pretty much already safe and are still in the mix for the playoffs. Best we’ve looked since Roy the boy left


Win League 2

Win League 2

Graham Carey is a class act and Luke McCormick is probably the best keeper in the league. Sonny Bradley is a man mountain.

None, just extend the loan deals for Garita and Tanner.


10/10 Can’t realistically ask for anything better. Nearly outmaneuvered Klopp. Sort of.

Happy but need to avoid dropping into the playoffs which happened last season despite being top at Xmas.


REALISTIC TARGETS PRE-SEASON: Keeping afloat, a bit of stability, maybe a playoff run

REALISTIC TARGETS NOW:At the minute it looks like two of Sheff United, Scunthorpe and us going up automatically, so that has to be the target now.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS: Back four have been outstanding so far, and a refreshing change. We’ve conceded 19 goals so far this season, which I think is the best in Europe (or England?). Away from that, been good to see Spearing come into his own and Vela show his natural ability.

NEED TO SIGN THIS MONTH: Some cover, hopefully, and hopefully re sign Sammy Ameobi (OBE) back on loan - one of the most hard working wingers I’ve seen. Otherwise we just need good, healthy bodies, because we’ve been looking quite leggy since the christmas schedule

NEED TO BIN: Trotter and Pratley - the latter because he’s re-injured and he’s on £££££££££ we can’t afford, the former because he’s shite. Would be tempted to get rid of Madine as well but there’s no one to replace him. Oh, and Dorian Dervite can probably get gone.

MANAGER RATING: Given the situation Parkinson came into he’s dealt with it incredibly well on the pitch. Got to be a nine out of ten for me, clive.

OVERALL: Stuttering in autumn, we’ve now built our season on being solid and working for each other. Happy to be a proud supporter again after years of seeing your club in the papers for bad reasons.


No idea if this is about Ajax or Arsenal


A realistic target for City is still definitely be top four, even though 6th may be where you end up if you don’t improve quickly.


Wenger is 10/10, obviously.


10/10 for wearing coats that look like sleeping bags, am i right lads!? LADS…


His coats are really silly, that’s true


REALISTIC TARGETS PRE-SEASON: Lower top half, mid table.

REALISTIC TARGETS NOW: Avoid relegation.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS: WIlf Zaha. He won player of the year last season, and has been great this season. One of the few players who actually cares. Magnificent on his day which is becoming more regular.

NEED TO SIGN THIS MONTH: A left back, right back, defensive midfielder, attacking midfieder and another striker. Most importantly we need a strong defensive midfielder, not the power puff players that we have at the moment.

NEED TO BIN: AnDROSS Townsend, Jordan Mutch, Yohan Cabaye, Zeki Fryers, Bakary Sako, Joe Ledley.

MANAGER RATING: Pardew 2/10 (2 for the cup final). Big Fat Sam (to early to judge but 5/10)



He wasn’t dreadful, he just missed a few sitters and didn’t get much luck either. Other than that was still our best offensive player. The fact that he was getting more chances in the league than any other striker wasn’t pure coincidence and I’ve also many times pointed out RVP having a similar drought in his wonder season for us. We’re not failing to challenge just because of Zlatan, but because no one stepped up to score goals when he didn’t.


He’s got a touch of the Ruuds about him where the team is set up for it to be him or nothing though, when he has an off day they team suffers a lot more than it should do.