Tango Man gets tango-ed as Hull sack Brown

At Arsenal’s London Colney training ground this morning, I suspect Nicklas Bendtner will have allowed himself a small smile for any contribution he may have made to the dismissal of Phil Brown as Hull City manager this morning.

First, the Danish striker was on the receiving end – literally – of a poke in the eye from George Boateng, for which the Hull captain was (leniently) given a yellow card and Bendtner was (inexplicably) also booked. Boateng received a second yellow card minutes later for an horrific knee-high stamp on Bacary Sagna, a ‘tackle’ which was many times more dangerous than the one by Ryan Shawcross which broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg, and yet – because he received a second yellow rather than a straight red – will receive a lesser punishment.

(And before the “he’s not that kind of player” brigade comes leaping to Boateng’s defence, it is, incidentally, the seventh red card of Boateng’s career, and the third time he has been sent off against Arsenal in his career. You do the maths.)

Then, deep into six minutes of injury time at the end of the game, Bendtner gave Hull a poke in the eye – metaphorically – by being quickest to the rebound after Boaz Myhill had spilled Denilson’s speculative long-range effort, sealing a 2-1 win for Arsenal.

It is, of course, difficult to say how much (if at all) Bendtner’s late strike influenced the club’s decision to put Brown on ‘gardening leave’. A disappointing season which sees them three points adrift in the Premier League drop-zone – rather than one specific defeat to a title contender – is the key issue. The very public incident of handbags last week between Jimmy Bullard and Nick Barmby, which was witnessed by a large group of Women’s Institute members near the Humber Bridge certainly wouldn’t have helped matters either. And it may well be that the move has been on the cards for some time, but chairman Adam Pearson has been waiting until he had a successor lined up before pulling the trigger.

A statement on the Hull City website reads as follows:

“Hull City AFC confirms that Phil Brown has been relieved of his managerial duties at the club and has been placed on gardening leave with immediate effect. Brian Horton and Steve Parkin will take charge of first-team duties until further notice.

“However, retention of Premier League status is paramount and the board believes that a change in managerial direction is the correct option at this time. The club will keep supporters completely up-to-date in respect of any managerial appointment but, in the meantime, Brian Horton and Steve Parkin will prepare the team for our important game at Portsmouth next Saturday.”

“We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Phil for the major success achieved during a period of four seasons in charge at the club and wish him every success for the future. Promotion to the Premier League in 2008 and retention of our status on the last day of the 2009 season are unique events in the history of Hull City AFC and both were achieved under Phil’s stewardship during a period which will never be forgotten by all connected with the club.

Whatever the cause, the Premier League has certainly lost one of its more colourful – in so many ways – managers. This, after all, is the headset-wearing, rent-a-quote Phil Brown who grew a goatee for charity, sat his players down on the pitch at Eastlands to give them a half-time team-talk and has never been backwards in announcing opinions which have ranged from the sensible to the downright bizarre. And he has, of course, been the target of much hilarity from opposing fans who have labelled him ‘Tango Man’ and ‘Phil Orange’ for his predilection for tanning products. But now, in the words of the famous TV ad from a decade ago, he has been well and truly Tango-ed himself.

Last but by no means least, the fans at the KC Stadium will now be spared any further X Factor-style performances. Having survived relegation by the skin of their teeth after the final game last season, Brown to took to the pitch and launched into a karaoke version of the Beach Boys’ ‘Sloop John B’. Who knows what auditory delights they might have been treated to if Brown had guided them to safety again this season. Perhaps one of the following:

1. REM – Orange Crush

2. Stranglers – Always The Sun(Bed)

3. Elton John – Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting

4. Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Mondays

I’m just saying.


About Tim
Father of three. Bit of a geek. That's all, folks.

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