Hull City – Team of the season

by Matt Quinn

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Kings of the jungle

On Saturday evening I was part of a drunk, betting syndicate that decided the odds on Hull City to beat Arsenal were just too generous to ignore. £100 later and suddenly we all look like footballing Nostradamus’. Yet none of us seriously expected a return on our alcohol fuelled punt as the sincere pre-match predictions were whether Arsenal would score 5 or 6 or 7. The shock result of the season, however, was perhaps not as shocking as one might expect. Hull City did not get this freak result from no-where. A glance at the Premiership table and they are currently sitting happily in 6th, above Manchester United and having already equalled Derby’s points haul for the entire last season. Taken in isolation, these strange results occur in football sometimes; but when Hull can point to having not lost to Everton, Newcastle, Blackburn and Fulham it becomes clear that they are an ill-fit for the role of Premiership whipping boys. Further research into their manager, Phil Brown, and his coaching history suggests he was instrumental in Bolton’s emergence as a Premier league force as well as a couple of “shock” Bolton victories at Old Trafford.

Clearly, Brown knows a thing or two about how to compete in a new division as well as how to get a cracking tan from a sun-bed. The perma-tanned one has brought in ultra-experienced Premier league stars and sprinkled them liberally with a smattering of creative front-runners. The likes of George Boateng, Stelios and Marlon King will prove solid additions over the season but it is the signings of Geovanni and Daniel Cousin which may prove decisive in the long-run. Geovanni and Cousin, like all “flair” players, will have several off-days. Indeed, I thought Geovanni was poor against Arsenal. But while natural logic suggests that teams such as Hull cannot afford to play with such luxuries, Saturday’s events suggest the exact opposite. Indeed, I think this is where most newly promoted teams fail. They fall into the trap of believing hard-work and diligence is the answer- which only really succeeds in stifling any attacking impetus. In the past, Bolton had Djorkaeff and Okocha to turn to when points were needed. While the populist approach of “dogs of war” curries favour with many managers and pundits, it is those who have the foresight to realise that it is the unreliable player in a poor team that is ultimately it’s most important. (See Le Tissier, Matthew.)

Phil Brown has the vision to import creativity into his team, and while the likes of Myhill and Ashbee are extremely important to Hull’s chances this season, they can relax knowing that even if Hull concede first in a game (as they did against Arsenal) then there are players in Hull’s squad who can turn the result around. Too few managers are brave enough to put their faith in the unreliable, and I believe this was the main reason Birmingham City went down last year. They had Mauro Zarate on their bench and used him far too sporadically, believing him to flit in and out of games. Alex McCleish didn’t place his confidence in the little Argentine, Birmingham went down and Zarate is currently the top scorer in Serie A.

Thankfully, Phil Brown is not one of these managers and his Hull team should be an excellent attacking addition to the Premier league. They will get thumped on occasion (see 5-0 v Wigan) but Brown will accept these results, knowing in the long-run his side should gather enough points to stay afloat in the Premier league. That is the ultimate goal and Hull are certainly on course to succeed.

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  • Darren

    to be fair, I thought Hull City totally deserved it. They defended brilliantly and work extremely hard for each other. Geovanni ran the show, I knew a goal was coming, and when it came it was no surprise.

    They’ve signed some top quality team players (Spurs take note), I can see them winning at White Fart Lane too.

    When will Arsenal learn? You don’t have to walk the ball into the net, numerous times I was shouting shoot for f**ks sake!! Another kick up the ars needed. I thought after Fulham we’d turned a corner, just becoas the kids won 6-0 it doesn’t mean we’d do the same to Hull. Gallas is always quick to moan at every one else but he needs to take a look at himself as he was at fought for the goal, just like he was at Fulham.

  • Matt Quinn

    Last night Villa Reserves beat Arsenal reserves 4-1 (at Arsenal).
    Villa reserves are made up of our kids and the Arsenal team was basically the one that beat Sheff United minus Vela and Bendtner. Does this mean Villa have the best youth team in the world now?

  • Darren

    the word complacent springs to mind!! That’s the problem with kids, they can’t perform week in week out.

  • dexylongshot

    I took in the game on the final leg of an exhausting expo to the Ocktoberfest via amsterdam and Cologne in an Irish Bar in Rembrandt Sq. Watching the pi88ed up Fraulines was almost as good watching the Tigers p*ss over Arsene. They fully deserved it with Big Marlon exposing Arsenals defensive worries in the centre of defence.

  • Dan Bob Yorke

    who’s top of the league at the moment? Whoever is I support you!!

    2 goals in hastings!!

  • Stevie

    I wish we could save some of our goals for the sh*t teams. Are Arsenal a Jeckyl and Hyde team or what?

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