There are only 4 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Hull.
On the face of things, referring purely to the Premier League table from last year, Hull had a pretty bad season, finishing in 16th place and a mere 4 points above the relegation zone. However, in reality, Hull had a very successful season. They reached the final of the FA Cup, which affected their league form towards the back end of the season, and for the majority of the campaign they looked a solid Premier League side.
Steve Bruce has been the manager of Hull City for two years now, getting Hull promoted to the Premier League in his first season in charge through automatic promotion and keeping them afloat in his second. He’s a well-respected and liked manager throughout the game with previous spells at Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City.
Hull City’s chairman, Assem Allam, seems to have confidence in Steve Bruce as shown by his willingness to pay good money for proven Premier League players such as Tom Huddlestone, Shane Long and Nikica Jelavić. Despite signing Tom Ince on a free this summer I would argue that the purchase of Robert Snodgrass will be their best signing as he has performed well in the Premier League previously with Norwich City whereas Ince hardly impressed in his spell with Palace. Hull have also secured the services of Jake Livermore on a permanent basis, who was an important part of their midfield last season, and that is a good piece of business from the club.
Who is tipped to join them?
Michael Dawson has been linked and Bruce declared his admiration for the player but also admitted it may be hard to persuade Tottenham to sell at the price they are offering due to the number of years left on Dawson’s contract. Steve Bruce is also hopeful of making Harry Maguire from Sheffield United his fourth signing of the summer with a fee close to being agreed with United.
Who should they sign?
Hull have a strong squad and Steve Bruce is right in declaring that it’s the best squad the club has ever had in it’s history. One area they could perhaps strengthen is the centre-back area, which they are looking to do because of a lack of partners for Curtis Davies. Dawson would be an excellent acquisition in that respect and Bruce seems to be on the right track with his recruitment drive.
Voted player of the season last year Curtis Davies will once again be Hull’s key player for the coming season. It’s always important to build from the defence when forming a good, solid team and Davies provides just that for Hull. Hull will need big performances from Davies once again in order to build on last season’s success.
I think that Hull will go from strength to strength this coming season with the Long/Jelavić partnership having had a whole pre-season to develop and Huddlestone/Livermore providing a good platform in the centre of midfield. I expect them to finish in the top half of the table, which would represent an excellent campaign. Expect Hull to finish 10th.