Football News: Hull City Season Review

 

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Hull City Season Review
Image from: funnypictures.co.uk

Hull City Season Review

When you sit down and look at what was going on at Hull over the course of the last couple of seasons, it was damn near a miracle that they got into the Premier League, let alone nearly survived. The turmoil at the club, which is continuing still as they begin the search for yet another manager, should have ensured the Tigers slid down the league pyramid, rather than rose to the top rank. An ownership at war with the fans is not a recipe for success, yet somehow Steve Bruce managed to achieve promotion despite this, only to then walk out of the club as the owners refused to back him in the transfer window.

With very little time, and even less funding, Bruce's number two Phelan was given the job of masterminding Hull's survival. Starting the season with a squad full of crocks and not enough players to put a full subs bench out, but Phelan inspired his players to work together and pick up two shock wins to start off the season. The team everyone expected to prop up the table was suddenly up there near the top, having beaten the reigning champions Leicester City on the opening day. After that it was all downhill, other than a good run in the EFL Cup (eventually culminating in a semi-final defeat), and Mike Phelan was given his marching orders at the start of January.

The arrival of a manager who was pretty much unknown in England, despite having come close to taking over at Wolverhampton Wanderers last summer, Marco Silva, revitalised the team. A few clever signings, despite the outgoing of Hull's best players, lifted the atmosphere around the club and a miracle was very nearly achieved. When it mattered the team fell short and the pressure got to them. They did enough to get Marco Silva another Premier League job though, this time at Watford.


Mike Phelan

If it had not been for Marco Silva's excellent results following him, people would still be talking about just how well Phelan did with the tools at his disposal. Unfortunately for the former Manchester United man, his achievements were massively overshadowed by Silva. Just pulling together a cohesive team from the mess he inherited was an achievement, let alone managing to pick up a couple of wins to start the season with. Performances did drop off, after the initial fast start, leaving the club almost certainly relegated if he had stayed, but work rejuvenating the team deserves to be remembered.

Marks out of 10: 4.5


Marco Silva

During the season it felt like he was performing miracles to keep Hull within touching distance of safety, but, in the cold light of day, his record is not quite miraculous. At home his Tigers were strong and his record there was amazing, but away from home it was awful. Silva did really well, but it was not a miracle, but he did make a significant difference to their chances. It is no wonder Watford were so quick to appoint him as their new manager.

Marks out of 10: 7.5


David Marshall

The former Celtic keeper had been much in demand following his previous spell in the Premier League with Cardiff City, when the media were creating tales of £10m bids raining in from all around the top half teams. Moving to Hull in the summer gave him something to prove and the Scot broke into the side after Hull had suffered a 4-1 thrashing. Unfortunately the only thing he showed is why there was no big money move for him, as his limited skillset saw him dropped by Silva pretty much immediately. After conceding 44 goals in his 16 Premier League games, it is fair to say he will not have enjoyed this season back in the bigtime. Especially as it ended with him in the net for a 7-1 spanking by Tottenham Hotspur!

Marks out of 10: 2


Eldin Jakupovic

The Swiss keeper is not as big a name, nor as well regarded as Marshall, but he showed himself to be a fairly capable Premier League, though he also conceded 44 goals, but in 27 league and cup matches. Much better with his distribution than Marshall, but slightly more prone to making silly errors or rash judgements.

Marks out of 10: 4


Andrea Ranocchia

The former Italian international joined on loan at the end of January as Silva scrabbled around desperately trying to reinforce his shattered squad. Ranocchia had fallen out of favour at Inter Milan, barely featuring for them despite their own struggles. Joining Hull, he quickly became a cult hero, as he tried to hold together a defence that was, on a good day, shaky. It is debatable whether or not he deserved that hero worship when he was the main piece in a defence that conceded 33 goals in his 15 starts. It is quite worrying that a man often considered rash and irresponsible during his time in Italy was suddenly a steadying influence for a team in a relegation battle.

Marks out of 10: 6


Curtis Davies

Not a good season for the veteran centre back, the team managing just one clean sheet with him at the back. The Premier League is a step too far for him now and he was unable to raise his game to compete, allowing himself to be physically outmatched regularly, as well as spending most games unsure of his positioning. Davies was not helped by Maguire alongside him, who was very prone to going on forward runs and giving the ball away leaving Davies to try and cover.

Marks out of 10: 2


Michael Dawson

Once again the club captain suffered a season punctuated by injuries, sadly though it is clear the injuries have robbed him of the little pace he once had. At 33, he is no longer up to the Premier League and struggles to impose himself on attackers. Where once he would have thrown himself into rash challenges, jumping in front of attackers, now he is unable to get close enough to do so.

Marks out of 10: 1


Harry Maguire

The English defender has certainly improved his reputation over the course of the season, with his forays from the back providing excellent YouTube and Match Of The Day highlight material. Sadly they were of little value to the team, as he often overran the ball and gave it away, leaving the defence light and open to be attacked. Defensively his positioning was not always the best, he did show signs of his inexperience, which led to the other highlight reel moments of last ditch blocks and tackles. Needless last ditch blocks and tackles in most cases. However, for a player in his first season in the Premier League, following his emergence from Sheffield United's youth academy, he has done well.

Marks out of 10: 6


Andrew Robertson

For all the hype surrounding the young left backs delivery from wide areas, there was a remarkable lack of success from it. While he is seen as having a good cross from his left foot, there were far too many crosses that were poorly delivered during the course of the season. That is why the incoming players in January made such a difference, as they did deliver some quality. Defensively Robertson is not the best, leaving gaps behind him far too often.

Marks out of 10: 4


Josh Tymon

The young left back only made a handful of appearances, not really standing out, despite him having attracted the attention of the scout's from big clubs in the youth ranks.

Marks out of 10: 3


Omar Elabdellaoui

Elabdellaoui was another of the recruits made in January in an attempt to rescue the Tigers, the former Manchester City youngster was recruited on loan-to-buy from Olympiacos. Unfortunately, he only managed a few games before injury finished his season.

Marks out of 10: 1.5


Tom Huddlestone

Huddlestone was a big part of Hull's early success but then his season, like the team's, faded out as his lack of mobility was exploited by the opposition. With little protection to help him out, he was constantly exposed under Phelan. It was a tough season for him, trying to use intelligence to get himself in the right place to snuff out attacks, but often being overrun and unable to cope. A late season red card cost him his starting place in the relegation battle.

Marks out of 10: 3.5


Jake Livermore

Started the season as an emergency centre back, as Hull's squad was stretched extremely thin. The former Tottenham Hotspur man showed well early on in the unfamiliar role, but was found out towards the end of his time there. Moving back into midfield, he played well enough to attract the attention of West Bromwich Albion and he moved there in the January transfer window. While he was one of the better performers in the first half of the season, the midfield as a whole looked so much better in the second half that is difficult to judge his contribution. Livermore's major contribution was to be the emergency centre back in a time of need.

Marks out of 10: 6.5


Robert Snodgrass

Somehow the former Leeds United winger ended up as Hull's top scorer, despite not being a striker and his transfer to West Ham United in the January transfer window! Despite lacking pace and vision, to make the most of his skills, his deadballs are top class, particularly free kicks around the edge of the box. Snodgrass was the creative heart of the Tigers' side, but that was, in part at least, why they struggled so badly. Like Livermore, and despite his goals, Hull looked a better side without him in the team, which is why I have to knock off marks for the season, despite him being club top scorer.

Marks out of 10: 5.5


Alfred N'Diaye

Another emergency January signing, this time on loan, N'Diaye was returning for a second spell in the English leagues, having been at Sunderland a few years ago. After missing the first game following his signing, against Man Utd, the Senegalese midfielder was an ever present in the team that gave such a good account of themselves. While his quality on the ball was not the best, he did provide good energy and got up and down the pitch to help out at both ends. However his lack of genuine quality on the ball cost the team, as the creative influence they needed was missing.

Marks out of 10: 5.5


Ryan Mason

A last gasp summer signing from Spurs, the midfielder joined Hull's depleted ranks on the 30th August, as Phelan scratched around desperately trying to put a team together. It was a surprise move for a player that had been on the fringes of the first team in North London. With Hull so short of players, he was forced to play a number of different roles and struggled to establish himself due to that. Sadly Mason was unable to get fully involved in the Silva revolution, as a fractured skull suffered right at the start, in a match against Chelsea, ended his season in January.

Marks out of 10: 5


Marcus Henriksen

After a fairly successful first half of the season on loan from AZ Alkmaar, Hull made his deal permanent in the January window, only for injury to badly affect the second half of his season.

Marks out of 10: 3


David Meyler

Meyler is probably more famous for being the victim of Alan Pardew's headbutt a few seasons ago, than his on-pitch play. This season he started off as a central part of the team, but gradually was faded out of the team as the injury problems cleared up. Always a willing worker, but lacks the ability needed in the Premier League.

Marks out of 10: 2.5


Ahmed Elmohamady

The Egyptian is happiest on the right side of midfield, but was more usually utilised as a right back or right wing back during the season due to injuries and failed to produce a meaningful contribution. In the past his crossing was seen as his biggest strength, but this season, similar to Robertson on the left, his crossing was nowhere near the level expected of him. With a lot of focus on Elmohamady's defending, it was not the best of seasons for him, as he was often caught out of position.

Marks out of 10: 2


Samuel Clucas

Clucas came from the lower leagues but never looked out of place at all and his importance to Hull grew as the season went on. Seeing how technically equipped he was to step up to the Premier League makes you realise just how much of a loss the Glenn Hoddle Academy is to youth football. Clucas was brought in as a left sided player, who could play left back, left wing back and left mid but mostly plays in central midfield for Hull, and stood out for them. Worked hard, kept going and never let his head drop, Clucas' value was incalculable to the Tigers last season.

Marks out of 10: 8


Evandro

The Brazilian attacking midfielder was one of the January signings intended to dig Hull out of the hole they were in. However the loanee from Porto struggled to adapt and had little positive effect on games. His main contribution was to give the ball away repeatedly when there was an easy pass on. A trier, but lacked any real quality.

Marks out of 10: -4


Shaun Maloney

Maloney had such a neglible effect on the season that he spent most of the time picking splinters out of his backside on the bench. Miles past his best, which was barely Premier League level anyway, Maloney is no longer capable of effecting games.

Marks out of 10: 0


Kamil Grosicki

Hull's desperate search for the players to rescue the club from relegation took in France in January, as Grosicki was picked up from Rennes in a last gasp move. His lightning pace added another dimension to the attack but his inconsistent delivery meant that Grosicki did not provide the final ball needed most of the times.

Marks out of 10: 6.5


Lazar Markovic

It has been a difficult few seasons for Markovic, his move to Liverpool has not worked out and it has been a hard slog for him to establish himself during his loan moves since then. Having struggled massively at Sporting Clube de Portugal, it was a massive relief for him to change clubs in January, joining the influx to Hull. Markovic gradually established himself as a key figure in their battle for survival, though he missed a few key chances to score. However his pace on the break was a real danger to opponents. When it really mattered, in the must win game against Sunderland, he struggled before picking up an injury that ended his season prematurely.

Marks out of 10: 6


Jarrod Bowen

The young forward was a fringe player in the Hull squad, even when it was stretched to breaking point by injuries.

Marks out of 10: 2


Oumar Niasse

Despite scoring in every one of his matches with Everton's U23s, Niasse was never given a chance under Ronald Koeman, so he was relieved to get the opportunity to show what he could do following his January loan move to the Tigers. By the end of the season, the Senegalese forward was firmly entrenched as the first choice striker on Humberside, but he was unable to score the goals they needed. While he always looked a threat, his goal tally of just 4 goals in 17 Premier League matches tells you how rarely that threat was made real. Niasse was erratic in his play, a willing worker but his touch could be anything from sublime to terrible. However his goal against Manchester United in the second leg of the EFL Cup semi finals endeared him to the hearts of Hull fans.

Marks out of 10: 6.5


Abel Hernandez

Hernandez is a big, bustling striker, with a good touch but lacking the most vital skill of a centre forward. The Uruguayan is a forward that struggles to put the ball in the back of the net. He works hard and links up well, nowhere near well enough to make up for that glaring deficiency in the ability to score. Hernandez is simply not good enough for the Premier League, and it shows.

Marks out of 10: 1.5


Dieumerci Mbokani

The first attempt to fill the void up front was a season long loan move for Mbokani from Dynamo Kiev in the summer. The move never worked out for him, injuries, the AFCON all interfered and he struggled to make the team even when fit and available. Mbokani offered little to the team and nothing in the way of goals.

Marks out of 10: -3


Will Keane

Joined the club in a last minute move from Man Utd in the summer window, but suffered an ACL injury which ended his season before it really began.

Marks out of 10: 0


Adama Diomande

The Norwegian forward was completely out of his depth in the Premier League. By the end of the season he was unable to even make the bench.

Marks out of 10: 0

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