Mohamed Diame (k) (mid) Newcastle; Sone Aluko (sp) (att) Fulham; Ryan Taylor (def) released;
Hull City achieved promotion after showing outstanding home form last season that saw them keeping thirteen clean sheets in front of their fans and scoring a staggering 49 goals at the KC Stadium. However, a summer of turbulence makes the Tigers’ future very uncertain. Steve Bruce enjoyed a good spell in charge of the club for several years and with every player trusting his decisions it came as a massive shock that after not being picked for the England job because of Hull’s Board refusing to let him go he resigned. This happened just a month before the start of the season and at the minute his assistant Mike Phelan is managing the training process on an interim basis. The search for a new gaffer continues, while the aftermath of this decision saw the team’s best player for the past two years Mohamed Diame leaving too. Without his presence in the heart of the midfield and very good scoring record Hull’s attacks will be much weaker and the Tigers are yet to make a new signing in the summer. They officially have the smallest squad in the top flight at the minute, only 21 players, and it seems that many already tipped them to go back down straight away. With so much uncertainty the last thing Hull wanted was injury-problems but as troubles never come alone the new campaign will see three players, all of which likely regulars, sidelined for months to come. Hull’s only hope of survival will be through solid home form and this is where the main striker Abel Hernandez is expected to be scoring most of his goals. Diomande is the only other typical centre forward in the squad but he is not known as a prolific goalscorer and Hernandez’s contributions will be vital. Despite the lack of cover and the few injury problems Hull’s defence should be solid with Dawson and Davies in the heart of it, but the quick left-back Robinson will be missed until November. In goal Jakupovic will have to start in the early rounds as McGregor is also injured. The key for Hull’s survival will be how influential Huddlestone and Livermore will be in the middle of the park and also if the regularly plagued by injury Snodgrass will manage to stay fit once he recovers from his latest knee problem. Who will be the new permanent manager will also be vital and at the minute it seems that all transfer activity is suspended until this decision is made.
Hull City looked impressive in the Championship last year but after Bruce’s resignation the Tigers were thrown into turmoil and at the minute they look a very likely candidate to go back down. Avoiding the drop will be seen as a heroic effort by the fans and the players will rely heavily on the support at home.