Hull City have been one of the major surprises and the start of the Premier league 2016-17 season.
The team was expected to struggle from the opening weekend, as they did not have a permanent manager nor a fully fit squad. Caretaker manager Mike Phelan was dealing with only 13 fit players while the club had signed no new names in the summer. Former manager Steve Bruce left the club just before the start of the season after his fall out with the owners. The club has been crumbling due to the owners being unhappy with the fans’ constant complaints.
Despite those issues, the club started out in the campaign with an unlikely 2-0 win over reigning champions Leicester City. This was followed by yet another remarkable victory over Swansea City last weekend. As a result, they have already taken six points out of their objective of 40 for the campaign. The target of 40 was going to be extremely tough to achieve at the start, but the players will now feel a major burden off the shoulders. Midfielder Tom Huddlestone has been in fine form and was influential in the game against Swansea. He has backed caretaker boss Phelan for the role as the permanent manager.
Phelan was the assistant manager at Manchester United for more than a decade."I think he's done well. He's got a few new ideas which the lads have adapted to. If he is to get the job it's just a shame he wasn't given it straight away.The players and staff just want clarity whichever way the chairman goes. You just want things decided as soon as possible. You even see teams in the Championship spending dozens of millions every few weeks on players and we're yet to bring one in,” said the midfielder.
Tom Huddlestone reckons Hull City’s signings must have the striking ability because that’s a department the team was not the strongest the previous season and had to look up to Abel Hernandez all the time whenever a goal was required.
As per Huddlestone, the signings, not essentially, have got to be the forwards. They can be playmakers or wide men, it doesn’t matter, but, they must be the players with the nag of finding the net so that all the pressure doesn’t happen to be on Hernandez again.
Huddlestone said, “We had almost 30% of our goals coming from Abel only. Ideally, we would want others chipping in with the goals too. So, maybe, we can look around for genuine scorers who can score every now and then even if they play in the centre or wide. To have a couple of them will be good.”
“No other department, I believe, desperately needs additions. It’s only the scoring department to be honest. We are not selling too many players and will have the same crux which always helps. Obviously, we would all like to pull our socks up for the highest level and it would be nice to begin just in the manner we finished the previous season.”
In 2015-16, Hernandez was ahead of the other attackers of Hull City by some distance in terms of scoring. No player even scored half as many goals as him. In fact, only two players managed to take their scoring tally into double figures. One was Hernandez and the other was the playmaker Mohamed Diame.
The forwards like Sone Aluke and Adama Diamonde who played more than 20 games apiece had striking rates of one goal per 8 games almost and it was so, so poor.
Tom Huddlestone could be leaving Hull City this summer if they do not win promotion.
According to The Sun, Hull City are set to lose not just Huddlestone but at least three players for free this summer, if they fail to win promotion through the play-offs.
The three players are; Tom Huddlestone, Ahmed Elmohamady and Sone Aluko. They are all out of contract in the summer and will leave the club if they aren’t promoted back into the Premier League this season. Aluko Elmohamady could be set to leave the club anyway, with Rangers interested already in his services, but it is understood that Hull will fight to keep hold of Huddlestone and Elmohamady.
Huddlestone was signed for Hull back in 2013, just after the club had been promoted back into the Premier League. In his first season with the club, Huddlestone helped Hull stay up and get to an FA Cup final against Arsenal.
Relegated side Aston Villa and Derby County are both interested in signing the central midfielder this summer.
Elmohamady has been with Hull for four years, signing for the Championship side on loan initially. The winger has been in and out of the Hull team this season, but put in a brilliant performance in Hull’s last game, a 5-1 win over Rotherham United. Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Everton have both shown interest in signing the winger at the end of the season. The player has struggled to score goals for the club however.
Both these players want to be playing Premier League football again next season, with the Hull Daily Mail stating that Elmohamady is “too good for the Championship.”
Therefore if Hull do miss out on promotion this season, they will have to try again without Huddlestone and Elmohamady next season.
This current season of the MLS is almost over and clubs are attempting to finish their campaign on a high note by securing as many points as possible with the objective of snatching a top spot in the American League.
Hull City is battling in the play-offs of the Championship as Steve Bruce searching for a promotion spot that can allow his team to compete in the Premier League in the next season. As the head coach of Hull City, Bruce has utilized a variety of different players and formations in the latest Championship League games of his team but someone that has managed to truly standout has been Tom Huddlestone.
Huddlestone has been going through an up rise in the late stages of the season. One of the biggest doubts that surrounded Steve Bruce was in relation to his midfield department as to who player he was going to partner up with Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone has recently proved his worth with man of the match performances.
For the longest of times, Steve Bruce has opted to pair up Jake Livermore with David Meyler in the midfield of Hull City but Tom Huddlestone is making the manager think twice about his decisions.
The future of Tom Huddlestone appears to be unclear as the 29 year old midfielder is one of the highest paid players of Hull City and its unlikely that the club will be able to continue paying his salary if they remain in the English League Championship for another season, however if Hull City does manage to clinch a promotion spot to the Premier League then they will be earning more money just for being promoted as well as more match-day earning in the upcoming season, so it seems like Huddlestone’s future might be dependent on whether or not Hull City get promoted to the top tier English League or if the English midfielder is willing to have a slash in his wages and stay with his current club.
Tom Huddlestone remains defiant that Hull City will be able to qualify for the Premier League despite their inability to recover the winning form.
After being in a sparkling run during the first half of the campaign, the club has failed to receive in the latter. The likes of Burnley, Brighton, and Middlesbrough are now seen as the favourites for the automatic promotion spots, while Hull may have to settle for a place in the play-offs. This is unlikely to guarantee the club that they would return to the Premier League, but Huddlestone remains confident that the second spot remains up for grabs even now.
Hull City secured a fine win over Ipswich Town a few weeks ago. Since then, they have been on a rotten run of form and have taken only three points from a maximum possible 15. A major problem for the team has been scoring goals and this is only likely to increase with the added pressure in the business end of the campaign. Prior to the win against Ipswich, the club suffered only one defeat in the league in 2016. Since that victory, though, they have already lost numerous matches and have also gone out of the FA Cup after a replay with Arsenal.
“We have a massive nine games left.If we can get on a decent run, getting six or seven wins on the spin, then we won’t be too far off. It is still all to play for in this league.I firmly believe we can get those wins. If we can put a run on for those six or seven games to take it down to the last two then we will be in with a good chance.The opportunity has not gone. It is still all to play for. There are 27 points still up for grabs,” said Huddlestone.
Aaron Lennon made his name at Tottenham, but he is currently with Everton hoping to get some regular first-team football.
Lennon was marginalised at Spurs win the club appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager. He has been enjoying much better respect at Goodison Park. Just like many other players before him, he came back to haunt his former club after scoring in the 1-1 draw against Spurs at home. After the game, the former England international rejected any talk about punishing his old club since he just did the job for Everton.
Unlike many other players, Lennon chose to celebrate mildly after having scored a brilliant goal. Romelu Lukaku provided the soft touch required for the 28-year-old to finish brilliantly from a volley. Lennon, though, was a little disappointed by the fact that Everton were unable to get all three points from the game. His goal was cancelled out by Alli just after half-time. Roberto Martinez will be pleased by the fact that they were able to halt the Tottenham juggernaut, which has been on a three match winning run. Their impressive Premier League form has seen them rise up to fifth in the table.
As for Everton, their inconsistent form continues to be a major problem for Martinez.“I was just happy to score my first goal at Goodison.I’ve been wanting to get one for a while.I thought I did well against Tottenham.When I get a chance, I have just got to do as best as I can.Geri [Deulofeu] has been playing brilliantly and sometimes you have just got to be patient in football. We are a team and we support each other. We have so many games coming up and we have such a good squad,” said Lennon. The 28-year-old has featured in only 10 matches this season.
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been one of the revelations of the campaign.
He has been at the level where the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic continued to perform for several years. Smalling was signed from Fulham as a player with potential, but he disappointed with his inconsistency in the last couple of years. Now, the presence of experience appears to have given him a new dimension and edge to his game. The importance of the 25-year-old is demonstrated by the fact that manager Louis van Gaal has not even contemplated the prospect of dropping him even for the sake of rest.
Smalling has featured in all of the eight matches for United this season. He even showed his attacking instincts in the recent game against Southampton, which finished as it 3-2 win for the Red Devils. United still have to go a long way before being considered as potential title challengers. However, they have moved within two points of table leaders Manchester City after the shock defeat against West Ham. Smalling may finally get some well-deserved break as the team shifts focus towards the League Cup. Ipswich Town will be visiting Old Trafford for the third round of the League Cup. It is a trophy that United can dream of winning this season.
"I think he [Van Gaal] has [improved me], all the coaches I've worked with, especially Louis van Gaal, have helped me.We work hard and tirelessly on the training ground with our tactics, we do 11 versus 11's a lot so we know our positions and our roles down to a tee.The repetition has really improved my game and a lot of the other players as well.The manager said at the start of the season that once you've used to the repetition of drills, the tactics and you know your role that we will get better,” said Smalling.
Aston Villa are reportedly interested in bringing Tom Huddlestone back to the Premier League with a £ 5.5 million bid for the midfielder.
The former Tottenham man moved to Hull City last summer and was immediately relegated with the club into the Championship. A former England international, Huddlestone is seen as reportedly being unhappy at Hull and he could be offered a way back in to the top division through Villa. Even though the club only narrowly avoided relegation and they are in the process of being sold by owner Randy Lerner, they have already made some sizeable investments in the transfer window.
Micah Richards has arrived on a free transfer from Manchester City. The former England defender will be key towards preventing the club from leaking any more goals. Last season, Villa had the third worst defensive record in the division after having conceded 57 goals in 38 games. They only managed to stay above the relegation zone in the penultimate weekend. Apart from Huddlestone, Tim Sherwood is also reportedly keen on bringing Jake Livermore from the club. This is despite Livermore testing positive for cocaine a few months ago. Livermore could be banned from football for a considerable period of time.
The arrival of Huddlestone will compensate for the loss of Tom Cleverley, who decided to join Everton on a permanent basis rather than move to Villa on the free transfer.“Sherwood is a big fan of Tom, and the pair have strong ties after working closely with one another during their time together at Spurs.Tim coached Tom at White Hart Lane when he was fighting his way back to fitness with the reserves following a bad injury, and rates him as one of the best creative midfield players in the country,” said an insider at Aston Villa.
Hull City is currently fighting just to survive in the Premier League for another season and are positioned in the bottom spots of the English League.
Tom Huddlestone is a regular starter for Hull City in this season as the English midfielder has made over 20 league appearances in this campaign and he believes that all of the clubs’ remaining matches are going to have the same importance as if they were cup finals.
Tom Huddlestone spoke to reporters before his clubs’ match against Crystal Palace as the midfielder said: “We have to start capitalizing when we are on top and playing well. First goal is always crucial. Six cup finals to come.”
Steve Bruce and his men are not going through the best of times as Hull City sustained their 3rd successive Premier League defeat after losing against Southampton with a final scoreboard of 2-0. In order to achieve the task of surviving for another season in the Premier League, this losing streak has to end.
The 5 final Premier League matches of Hull City will be extremely difficult as they will have to face off with: Liverpool, Arsenal, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Depending on the result of these upcoming matches, it will determine if Hull City manages to stay in the Premier League or suffer a relegation blow back to the English Championship League.
McInally is a Sky Sports pundit and he revealed his thoughts about the current situation that Hull City is going through as McInally said: “Home to Liverpool, home to Arsenal, my goodness.If anything, Burnley, you’d hope to win. But I genuinely, genuinely can’t see getting anything. It’s so difficult.”
These last few matches of the season will be tough for Hull City and any amount of points that is secured in these stages are incredibly important for the survival of Steve Bruce and his team in the Premier League.
Hull City’s winless run stretched to 3 matches after the club could only manage a 0-0 draw with Leicester City away from home.
Even though the point taken may help push Hull further away from the relegation zone, three points would have been extremely positive for the club. This is considering that Leicester are one of the teams involved in a relegation battle. Bottom club Leicester are not being given much of a chance to get away from the drop zone. They are already seven points from safety, but the situation is much better for Hull City.
A win against Leicester have completely eradicated any worries about relegation for the next few weeks. As it was, the bottom club managed to get a credible 0-0 draw. They were partly helped by the fact that Hull City had a player sent off in the form of Tom Huddlestone. The former Tottenham midfielder stated that Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy was very clever in ensuring that he received the marching orders from the referee. Huddlestone was sent off after a second yellow card in the 72nd minute. His first yellow card came after just 14 minutes into the match.
Leicester not only had most of the possession, but they also dominated the chances. "2 rubbish yellows today.
Vardy was clever. Apologies to everyone involved. We should win games like that though," said Huddlestone."I have seen everyone surround Alex for a red card for his challenge. It is a perfectly decent challenge you would expect a good centre-half to make.It's not even a foul but he is influenced by the reaction of the players. That is creeping into our game.That influenced the referee from then on. It got the crowd up. They are perfectly good challenges,” said Bruce about the part played by Leicester City players in the sending-off.