Despite a very good start to life back in the Premier League, comprising of two early-season victories against Leicester City and Swansea City, Hull then struggled under Mike Phelan, not winning in the Premier League throughout September and October. After a victory against Southampton, Hull's poor record continued until January when Mike Phelan departed on the 3rd January. His replacement? A little known manager named Marco Silva. His previous managerial jobs involved spells at Olympiacos in Greece and Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.
This move was a risky appointment because, as the old-cliché goes, Silva lacked any sort of Premier League experience and with teams at the bottom mostly all benefiting from managers with top-flight experience, Silva looked to have a very tough job on his hands. Yet just eleven games later, Hull have picked up 17 points, only Everton, Tottenham and run-away leaders Chelsea have more since Silva's appointment. So what has inspired this revolution at Hull?
Firstly, Silva has completely overhauled Hull City's home form as they have taken 16 points from a possible 18, their only dropped points coming against Burnley in late February. The key to any survival bid is to remain solid at home and Silva has managed to capture this at the KCOM Stadium with an impressive victory over Liverpool a particular highlight. Other sides, such as Burnley, have capitalised at home and are now regarded as safe from relegation because of this home-form. Hull look to follow in similar fashion with ten points needed to reach the golden fourty-point mark. If Hull's home form can continue, this target looks very achievable.
[caption id="attachment_8649" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo: Football Whispers[/caption]
Marco Silva also made some very shrewd transfer deals in January signing Kamil Grosicki, Markus Henriksen and Evandro on permanent deals as well as five loan deals to bring in Andrea Ranocchia, Omar Elabdellaoui, Lazar Markovic, Alfred N'Diaye and Oumar Niasse, the latter three all having vital Premier League experience, albeit very limited. These signings have added depth to a thread-bare squad which, in August, only comprised of 14 first-team players. The competition for places has increased for Hull, meaning the players playing all have to ensure they step-up or face being benched next game by Silva. Although this is a simple-fix, it was a much needed fix and has allowed Hull to compete in the Premier League.
Finally, Silva has brought a brand of defensive-football infused with attacking prowess and skill. Scoring goals, unlike fellow stragglers Middlesbrough, doesn't seem to be a problem for The Tigers as their shot-count-per-game has reached double figures in three of their last five games, yielding nine points in that time. Hull have also found goals across the team with Oumar Niasse hitting goal scoring form with contributions from midfield and beyond helping Hull's form in the league.
Marco Silva appears to have turned Hull from a team who were weak and almost relegation certainties, to one of the form teams in the division with an outstanding home record. Silva's style of play, when coupled with the new manager effect he has had at the KCOM has transformed Hull into a force to be reckoned with, especially at home. The Marco Silva revolution is in full swing and he is fast becoming a manager with a reputation for success and if he can keep Hull City up this season, he surely this will become one of the most talked about managerial appointments in recent Premier League history.
What are your thoughts Hull fans? Will you stay up? Let us know in the comments below!