Better The Devil You Know

Last updated : 29 October 2009 By Andy Beill

All good things must come to an end and unfortunately that end is rarely pleasant. Supporters' unrest has grown as the year's gone on and I think most were on the verge of saying enough's enough and demanding better performances from the team, if by means of changing the manager then so be it. But things have suddenly gone from simmering to boiling over, and I don't think any of us were quite prepared for the events of this week.

It has been made all the worse due to the lack of official comment from the club, prompting everybody to jump to negative conclusions. The state of the accounts and of the performances on the pitch have made Paul Duffen's and Phil Brown's positions at the club look untenable. However, before we'd really had chance to let it be known that those were our feelings, reports surfaced on Wednesday that both had gone. It was the realisation of those conclusions we'd jumped to. Everything really was as bad as we feared or else they'd still be here.

We couldn't carry on together but these were the people who had brought us our happiest ever times and if they're gone who will take their places? Better the devil you know than the devil you don't?

It then emerged that Phil Brown hadn't – yet – left the club. At that stage we'd only been told in the briefest of official statements what hadn't happened, as opposed to what had. Then followed a string of reports spelling out that Adam Pearson will inevitably return to replace Paul Duffen. In that we can take some comfort, if it's true. Here is a man who has previously picked the club up in financial ruin, turned its fortunes around, before finding somebody to give it the funding it required to progress. Now we need him to do it all over again.

The return of a currently unemployed Peter Taylor may be fans' attempts to tie things up a little too neatly. However, the fact remains that Phil Brown is under-performing and all signs are pointing towards him making things worse, not better. The out-of-work managers mooted by the bookies as potential replacements are an unappealing set, and in all honesty why would anyone better want the poisoned chalice?

We've had rare stability and success for several years under Pearson, Taylor, Duffen and Brown – Phil Parkinson's short stint aside – and a step into the unknown now feels very scary. The adage “Never go back” screams out, but what Hull City needs as much as anything right now is the restoration of hope. If Pearson and even Taylor would bring that, we could be taking the first step to recovering from this situation. We've been waiting all year for a turning point. Adam Pearson, we turn to you.

This article is due to be published in tomorrow's edition of the Hull Daily Mail.