What Hull Can Take Away From The Game Against Leicester
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on August 18, 2016
On Saturday the 13th of August, Hull City made Premier League history when they became the first side to defeat a reigning champion on their first fixture since winning the league. This result is a major upset and is a shock to all of English football as the favourites for relegation have defeated the team who, against all odds, won the league the season prior. PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez’s early into the second half penalty cancelled out Adama Diomande’s splendid bicycle kick in the first half, however Robert Snodgrass struck gold when he reinstated Hull’s lead in the 57th minute. From a Hull City perspective, the game was full of positives and negatives.
1. Jake Livermore is an able central defender
Due to the injuries of recognised central defenders Michael Dawson, Harry Maguire and Alex Bruce, Hull City were left with one fit central defender in Curtis Davies. Due to this, caretaker manager Mike Phelan was left with a headache in deciding who to play alongside Curtis Davies in the Hull City back four. It looked clear that Phelan was going to play either Tom Huddlestone or Jake Livermore, there was negatives and positives for both decisions. As Jake Livermore is the best midfielder at the club he may have been wasted at the centre of defence however due to Huddlestone’s lack of pace and Leicester’s abundance of pace in Musa, Vardy, Gray and Mahrez it seemed too much of a challenge for Tom Huddlestone. Jake Livermore gave an inspiring performance alongside Curtis Davies, the pair managed to keep last season’s star striker Jamie Vardy quiet.
2. WE NEED PLAYERS!!!
Although Hull City were very impressive there were of course negatives to take from the match. It was no surprise that Hull City were struggling in completing a substitutes bench, with Shaun Maloney featuring as the only outfield senior player to make the bench. At the time of writing this, Hull City have made no first team additions to the injury-hit squad. Mike Phelan objected in using any of his substitutes and I would not be surprised if he does the same against Swansea on Saturday. It was clear that the players were fatigued and exhausted by 90 minutes with players such as Tom Huddlestone were feeling the impact of a full pre-season and another 90 minutes of first team football. Players have since been linked to the KC and signings are mandatory before deadline day.
3. Sam Clucas is Premier League Quality
I know it seems ridiculous to judge a player after one game. However, I am thoroughly impressed with Sam Clucas’ Premier League debut. Having played in black and amber for one season in the Championship he has been known as a very decent signing for a cheap fee in today’s market. The player featured greatly in last year’s promotion campaign on normally the left wing, forming a formidable partnership down the left side with Andrew Robertson. Clucas played out of position against Leicester with his preferred left wing position going to Adama Diomande, Clucas was forced to play in the centre of midfield and he was a rock. From wonderful passes to an exquisite over head kick style clearance, the fans fell in love with the Lincolnshire lad.
4. Sloppy in Possession
Despite the fantastic result for Hull City negatives were still visible in the match. Often in Hull City’s build up play or just possession play in general Hull City did give the ball away often. Although it kills me to be so negative on another day Jamie Vardy and his Leicester City side could have hammered the Yorkshire side. The main culprit for the lack of precision in passes was Tom Huddlestone. Huddlestone is known for his long ball passes which outwit defences, however against Leicester he did look sloppy at times. Another culprit was David Meyler, although the Irishman did have a great game his mistake caused the lead up to Leicester’s penalty which was scored. This may just be due to a lack of Premier League football for around 9 months.
5. Team Spirit
The pre-season has been nothing less of hellish for every Hull City fan and player. With the sale of Mo Diame, the lack of signings, abundance of injuries, departure of Steve Bruce and the complications in the supposed takeover has disrupted the level of respect between fan and owners. However especially in the latter stages of the second half it genuinely felt as if it was it was forgotten as the boys really done all 20,00 fans proud. The remarkable team spirit was on show particularly after the full time whistle when the team went into a huddle, lead by stand in skipper Curtis Davies.
So, overall a fantastic opening day for Hull City. The game included positives to build on and by May who knows what can happen. Perhaps Hull City can defy all odds and hit the 40 point safety mark, well 3 points is a good start.