Friday, August 19, 2022

Has Mike Phelan Done Enough To Keep Hull City In The Top Flight This Summer?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Having achieved an impressive feat of coming back into the top flight of English football just an year after relegation, Hull City made a bright start to their new Premier League campaign under the caretaker manager Mike Phelan. The 53-year old is responsible for stabilizing a rocking ship at the KC Stadium after he managed to secure back to wins to start the Premier League campaign. Things are only getting better for the Tigers as Phelan managed to meet his requirements of bringing half a dozen players into the team before the deadline day.

They managed to sign 6 players in the last 36 hours of the window squeezing 2 months of transfer negotiations into less than 2 days. However, even with all the frenzy, there is an impending fear in the fans because of the number of changes the squad has gone through recently.

The secret of their success in the Championship was the fact that they managed to retain most of the senior squad regulars over the course of the year and are still doing so in the Premier League. Though they lost Mohamed Diame to Newcastle United, Hull have managed to hang on to the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, Abel Hernandez, Curtis Davis, Michael Dawson and will go into the new season with some experience from their time in the 2014-15 season. However, injuries to first team regulars in Allan McGregor and Moses Odubajo saw them go into the first three games of the season with just 13 fit players.

Phelan has managed to address the lack of depth with minimal net spent which is standing at £13.5m even after a £180m financial incentive that they got after promotion. But the fact that they had enough to spend on more quality additions but did not, has seen the fans start being a bit skeptical about the team’s chances in their Premier League adventure.

They have bought in the likes of David Marshall and Ryan Mason for a cost that is close to nothing in this inflated market. Both the players will bring their own flair to the side. Dieumerci Mbokani and Markus Henriksen are two players who will make Hull City’s attack more versatile and a bit stronger than it was before. They provide their own options up front and will help Phelan get the better of sides around them in the table. Will Keane and James Weir are quality players coming from arguably the best side in the league and will add the exuberance of their version of the game to induce further threat to the opposition.

In a normal window, Mike Phelan’s business would have got a 6-7 out of 10 for success but not this summer. The amount of cash thrown around this summer has seen clubs around Hull City increase the depth and strength of their squads. Phelan has a decent first team but even after all the additions, thanks to the injuries, he cannot call upon too much of change from his bench which might prove to be the difference in the long run.

Odubajo and Allan McGregor’s return will add a bit of strength to the squad but having taken 6 points from the first 2 games and pushing Manchester United to the edge only to lose in stoppage time, Phelan will be fairly confident that his side can get the business done this season and stay in the top flight for a longer time this time around.

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