Hull City – Would you like a UEFA with your ice Cream Sir?

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

The future is orange

Just a short trip to Walton Street in East Yorkshire you would find yourself staring up at Hull City F.C. The home of the “Tigers” and just like the big cats there has been no time to ‘paws’ or rest on any laurels since their entry to the Premiership this season. This their 1st season in the top flight after sealing a 3rd place finish at the end of 2007/08 after beating a resolute Bristol City in the play-off’s. Since old boy Dean Windass’ stunning 38th minute volley in front of 86703 fans no less, they have never looked back with a most impressive start to, in my opinion, any season. Brown was quoted as saying this was the “best day of his life” – let’s just hope your wife never reads this eh Phil?

Seriously though, credit must surely go to Phil Brown and his backroom staff at Hull. Although he looks like he wants to leap from the dug out and start auditioning for X-Factor (with his nice mike delicately taped to the side of his cheek – no beard this week then Phil?) he can certainly not be slated for commanding his technical area and getting the best from his squad. Not only have they achieved unthinkable goals since promotion to what may definitely be one of the hardest leagues in the world of football, but they were only a championship side from 2005, a wonderful effort.

So who is this caped crusader? Caped? Maybe not. Super hero? Possibly at weekends? A stunt double for David Dickinson? Could be! No, It is just Mr Brown, but with this one there is not a marmalade sandwich to be seen anywhere! After finishing his playing career in 1996 as a full-back for Hartlepool United, Halifax, Bolton and Blackpool he then became Sam Allardyce’s right hand man at the seaside resort. After returning briefly to Bolton to coach for Bruce Rioch, Brown was then appointed in 1999 to assistant manager to a now Colin Todd. Todd however resigned 7 games into the 99/00 season only to see Brown taking charge for the next 5 games, impressively winning 4 of these ties. Allardyce and Brown reunited when Big Sam took over in September of the same year reverting to his caretaker role. Helping the club to promotion to the Premiership in 2000/01 via the play-offs, the pair then held firm for a further 2 seasons as Bolton grew in stature and presence. In 03/04 they finished in a very healthy 8th spot, reaching the final of the League Cup only to be beaten 2-1 by a Middlesbrough side ruled by McClaren. When you see Brown you can see the influence and guidance of Allardyce oozing from his pores, and with 6 years together you can almost hear the fine tuning of his football brain.

His excellent work here saw Brown take over at Derby from a Mr George Burley in 2005, to only get the axe 7 months into this managerial position. Winning a meagre 7 games from 33 could have done much to influence the board here. He left with Derby 19th and hanging on, however they came good and survived the season’s infamous cull. Phil Brown then took his next position, and most current, at Hull City in 2006 as first team coach under Phil Parkinson. He became joint caretaker in December of the same year with Colin Murphy after seeing the removal of Parkinson by the Yorkshire club. 3 wins and a draw in his first 6 games saw Brown promoted to top dog at the club just freshly into 2007 only for him to narrowly escape relegation in the same season by finishing a humble 19th.

Now 49 the world must be his lobster? Does he pinch himself every morning or does he firmly believe that Hull are deserving of their premiership status? The question on everyone’s lips, and not those just north of the border, is where can Hull City realistically finish? At the start of the season if any one were to say “hey look Hull will be 6th with 20 points at mid November” let’s face fact it may have just put more than a smirk on our faces. However now that this is a reality, who is having the last laugh? I personally love this season’s premiership start. Seeing the giant killers of the league such as Arsenal falling to minnow’s like Stoke away (2-1) and Hull of course at the Emirates, again 2-1 is just great football – unless your of a “goonish” persuasion of course. I firmly believe Hull, if they can maintain their form and keep injury free from their not immense squad, can finish top 10 this season. I’m not sure there will be any silverware coming home for any one to polish at the Kingston Communications Stadium but I do believe that many teams will not want to draw Hull in any competition. Watching them play this season, they are solid and defend as a unit, with Turner and Dawson both putting in excellent performances and the likes of Giovanni in the midfield and Marlon King up front they have the skeletal structure for very good things. With Brown calling the shots the season can only become nothing more than interesting.

The future is bright – the future is Orange (and black!).

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  • Darren

    everyone thought they would do a Derby, including myself, and go straight back down. The result at the Emirates was nothing short of sensational, bearing in mind we have only been beaten once (West Ham, 1 shot, 1 goal) in the 2 and half years since we’ve been there, something like 67 games?

    But after their recent performance at Old Traffic it shows that that result was in fact no fluke. My only concern would be they have started losing games and at home too, the Premier League is a very long cross country run not a sprint race. As Spuds fans will tell you.

    There’s no doubt in my mind they are the team of the season so far, lets just hope they do finish in the top half of the table as their performances deserve…

  • Jimbo

    I’d actually say Rotherham are the team of the season, deducted 15 points yet they still look certain to stay up. They’d be top if it wasn’t for those points.

    Hull will slide down the table now, just u watch!!

  • Lauri Cox

    The bubble will surely burst at some point, but hey! let Hull have their moment!
    i also thought they would “do a Derby” but fair play to them, they are doing a lot, lot better than many so called “big teams” – Newcastle, Tottenham, Manchester City .. you know who you are! I actually don’t want them to come to the Riverside, as we all know Boro are probably incapeable of beating opposition at home unless they;
    A. Have no manager
    B. Are in turmoil, or
    C. Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool.

    Why not let them bask in their glory, and if they do end up finishing in the bottom half, even near relegation, you cant take away their start to the season and what a fantastic job Phil Brown has done!

  • Darren

    well said Lauri, you’re not just a pretty face!

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