Hull City: Has Phil Brown Gone Too Far?

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IMarch 1, 2009

In December 2008, Phil Brown—the South Shields born Messiah of Hull City—was lambasted by fans and the media alike, for his half time on-field dressing down of the Hull City players at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The demolition of the Tigers at Eastland warranted Brown's outburst on that cold December evening.

However, this afternoon Phil Brown had another mad moment. During his postmatch press conference he was asked about the substitution of Geovanni.

The mercurial little Brazilian was not having a good day at the office for the Tigers but was giving his all for the cause.

On 53 minutes, Brown decided to substitute Geovanni and Kevin Kilbane, bringing on Nick Barmby and Daniel Cousin in a double substitution. Geovanni's demeanor on realizing his substitution left little to the imagination. Although, he did get a rousing round of applause from the Tigers' crowd.

He was belicose and ebulent in his hand gestures and very vocal, even ranting whilst sitting on the bench, even though it was falling on deaf ears from his teammates sitting next to him on the bench.

Brown, when asked about the Geovanni substitution said, "He will never do that to me again."

Brown went on to say, "Geovanni's not bigger than this football club, it's as simple as that." 

"I don't think he was having a positive impact on the game. Nicky Barmby was our match winner on Thursday night (in the FA Cup replay against Sheffeild Uited) and I thought it was a chance for him to come on and play in the same position."

When asked if he had spoken to Geovanni after the match, Brown said he was undergoing drugs testing. "Hopefully they'll find that positive," Brown went on—to very little laughter from the press corp.

However, Brown did insist that there was still a place for Geovanni at the club.

So where does this latest little managerial incident leave the South Shields Messiah of Hull City?

He has certainly left the team and the fans in no doubt that he is the "BOSS"and what he says goes. The fans at the game certainly left Brown in no doubt what they thought of his decision to substitute Geovanni.

However, will this undermine the team's morale?

Geovanni was, at the start of the season, a revelation for the Tigers. His goals set us on the glorious run that left Hull City in third place in the toughest league in the world on the same points as Liverpool and Chelsea.

This after much of the media and most neutral fans would have earmarked the Tigers to go straight back down.

Unfortunately, for the Tigers and Brown a series of incidents have helped to undermine the fabric of the Championship playoff winning team of last season.

Firstly, Marlon King getting a driving ban, fighting with Dean Windass in a local casino, and then getting arrested for assault in a strip bar in London. This lead to his drop in form and the club sending him back to Wigan prematurely ending his loan spell.

Windass was also a thorn in Brown's side constantly harping on at his lack of playing time in the media then fighting with King before becoming the sacrificial lamb to the slaughter in the Eastlands fiasco that ultimately ended his Hull City career.

Craig Fagan getting assaulted against Newcastle United by Dany Guthrie, George Boateng, getting a long term injury. The signing of the injury-prone Jimmy Bullard for a record five million pounds, only to get injured in his first run out for the Tigers and to be out for the rest of the season, have not helped Phil Brown's cause.

So is this current spat a single incident or a symptom of the pressure that he is under?

In his short spell in charge of Derby County he was known for his verbal gaffs and tripping over his own tongue tied word. Is this what happens to Phil Brown when he is under pressure?

If so then look out world, the gaffs are going to come thick and fast at the KC as the Premiership survival race hots up. On current form with no Premiership win since early December it has left the Tigers the club with the worst form in Europe as well as the Premiership.

Will Phil Brown go from Championship winning hero to Premiership relegation zero? I, for one, hope he can hold himself and the team together as the Premiership will be a sadder place without Hull City.