Many of us will have regular check-ups at the dentist to make sure that there is nothing untoward happening in our mouths. Others just carry on talking without somehow understanding the consequences of what they say.
I have managed to extend the horror of a dental visit to nine month intervals. Others don’t last that long because dentists, after all, always know what’s best for us (and them).
If we think about the patient as Hull City and the dentist as Hull’s vice-chairman Ehab Allam we might hope to make more sense of the nonsense coming out of East Yorkshire where, for some time now, there appears to have been a strange kind of determined alchemy to turn brass into muck.
Mike Phelan brushed his teeth diligently and nearly always used that blue mouthwash stuff after a curry, whilst showing the few players he was left with after the summer extractions, numerous diagrams on brushing and flossing techniques that made them shine at the start of the season. Sadly, Hull became dull again and quickly reverted to poor and inconsistent form as the gastronomic delights of Christmas approached.
Poor Mike was prepared to accept that numbing pain for as long as it took, in the hope that better education at the top might result in new players arriving in January and not as yet more were being simultaneously shipped out.
Unfortunately, Allam seems to be less interested in the health of his club, players or manager than daft names for his team and stadium. Perhaps if he accepted that the KCON Stadium was a perfect fit at this moment in time and that Pussy Cat Awols had a certain ring to it that might even extend their brand name beyond the Humber estuary, then he could focus his mind on a longer-term strategy than the replacement of managers without anaesthetic?
Steve Bruce may be a fossil; he may be a technophobe; he may even eat a few too many curries, but, there was a sense that he did the best with the players he had. Mike Phelan didn’t really have a lot of selection decisions to make and probably saved money on the substitutes’ bench by bringing in a stool instead. However, neither was deemed to be the right person to ‘take the club forward.’ Presumably that means into the North Sea itself?
Breaking as we write, the news is that Phelan has been replaced by Marco Silva who recently took Olympiakos to the Greek title before leaving for ‘personal reasons.’ Is this the same as clubs choosing exotic-sounding players from overseas rather than their own quality youth products? Is it because Allam somehow thinks this will translate to the kind of exciting, stylish football the new City of Culture expects? Or is it because he’s, well, Portuguese?
Gary Rowett might have been tempted but then look what happened when he tried to look after his own teeth at Birmingham City – and seemed to be making a pretty good job of it according to the mirror he kept close by?
Allam and other very important people running football clubs should surely be expected to show a duty of care when looking after those who are genuinely doing their best but forced to work wearing a brace because otherwise the few actual teeth they have at their disposal might protrude in a fairly obvious way.
For Hull City, the problem of Chairmen unlikely to be bearing gifts in 2017 is compounded by the very real likelihood of their player Robert Snodgrass leaving in the January window. Now that really would be a kick in the teeth.