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Hull FC will make Garry Schofield eat his words… again!

It’s no secret that former Hull FC player Garry Schofield has a major problem with Hull FC, and has done since he was acrimoniously sold to long term, bitter rivals Leeds back in the 1980s.

However that does not excuse his latest, ill-thought out attacks on the Black & Whites, which only seem to prove one thing, that he hasn’t learned from previous harsh lessons he has been taught.

In his latest attack he accused the Airlie Birds of “Playing rugby that would send an insomniac to sleep” in his League Express column, detailing ten supposed problems at the club.

He also bangs on about how “They have signed no top players” and how recent England debutant Jamie Shaul is now “Way down the pecking order for an England jumper.”

He also states the wingers get no service, and has another swipe at Marc Sneyd saying effectively that, the only player ever to outright win the Lance Todd Trophy back to back, has big problems with creativity and that Jake Connor should be paired with Albert Kelly in the halves.

He also points to a lack of pace, too many bang average forwards, no spark from dummy-half, claiming that Danny Houghton “Isn’t the most skilful hooker” according to him, and nobody else!

He acknowledges that Hull did have injuries to cope with, but that apparently they didn’t have the necessary depth to cope, like apparently other teams have previously and, the final straw is claiming “There was a nasty, toxic atmosphere at the club at the end of last season” which will return if the Black & Whites lose the Hull Derby at the start of next season, according to him!

Can anybody please, tell me what he’s on, because frankly I want to give it a very wide berth, if that’s the sort of rubbish it makes him spout. Quite honestly Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown couldn’t write such outrageous comedy, especially with no actual hard facts to back it up!

For instance, when it comes to sides having depth to deal with injuries better than Hull, do I need to point out the recent struggles of Leeds (2016 and 2018) Huddersfield (2016 and 2017) and Warrington (2017) or do they not count?

Yes my team lost 11 games on the bounce at the end of last season, some of them embarrassingly, but let’s look at some of the business they did in player retention.

World Cup and NRL Grand Final winner Sika Manu, NRL legend Mark Minichiello, the extremely popular Fetuli Talanoa, Junior Kiwi and Samoa international Carlos Tuimavave, star half back Albert Kelly and England star Jake Connor were all retained on varying lengths of deals from one to three years! I would imagine most Super League teams would like to have the opportunity to retain that sort of talent in their squad.

I believe Schofield may have slipped into the trap of, underestimating Hull, just due to a bad finish to a season, playing under a league system which didn’t work and, dare I say, not realising just how much young players like Masi Matongo, Brad Fash, Cameron Scott, Liam Harris, Lewis Bienek, Jez Litten etc, will have benefited by playing first team rugby, or how much they will get from playing regular rugby league in 2019, either first team or in the reserves.

I don’t believe I have to demonstrate exactly why he is wrong about Shaul, his first England cap against France and the fact he was going to be on the England Knights tour to Papua New Guinea, until he pulled out for personal reasons, already does that for me.

The claims got nearly as ludicrous, when claiming Danny Houghton isn’t a skilful hooker, a number 9 who has energy, vision, a kicking game which includes 40/20s, the difficult left to right pass, which he makes look simple, can Schofield be for real about this, really?

Hull FC 39-26 Wigan Warriors

He states the wingers get no service, may I remind him, before injury Fetuli Talanoa was the top try scorer in Super League at one point and Bureta Faraimo finished as Hull’s top try scorer, with a run at one point of 12 tries in just SEVEN games!

The claim looks even more ridiculous when you look at Hull’s options for the halves and the centre’s. Do I need to remind anybody (apart from maybe a particular former Australia international) about the sort of service Tommy Makinson received on the wing for England this year, with a certain Mr Jake Connor as his centre?

Yes there will be quite a few ins and outs at the KCOM Stadium in 2019, but the starting point when you have to do that, is to keep the core of the side that has been successful for you, like keeping your spine, formed by your full-back, halves and hooker settled.

As for the claim about a lack of pace, I’m sure most teams would inform him of the speed of the likes of Shaul, Faraimo, Griffin, Tuimavave, Kelly and just ask the New Zealand defence about the pace possessed by Jake Connor, they got rather a good look at it in Denver!

It’s no secret that the Black & Whites are on a very strong financial footing and, when necessary can go out and sign the best available players, but that doesn’t mean they need the scatter-gun effect that maybe certain other clubs use, for signing big names to put bums on seats.

No that 11 game losing streak won’t go away, but you don’t go from back to back Challenge Cup winners and Top 4 finishers, to being a bad side overnight and, frankly saying the Airlie Birds will finish in the bottom 4 in 2019, with the immense talent at their disposal, is beyond laughable.

I have no doubt that, by Easter, Schoey will be forced to eat his words. Remembering one encounter I had with him in 2017 in the media suite at the KCOM Stadium, Hull had 50+ points put on them for the second consecutive home game, and I pointed out to him that our next home game was against Castleford.

His response to that was “You definitely better learn to defend by then!”, what actually happened was that a certain prop forward was sent off with an hour of the game left to play, yet Hull went and did what nobody else could at the time.

The prop sent off that day was Liam Watts, who has since been ushered out the door, signed for Castleford and apparently has never been replaced, oh the irony of it!

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