Thursday, June 1, 2023

From Greece To England: Can Marco Silva Inspire A Turn-Around At Hull City?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Hull City made a sensational Premier League return under Steve Bruce last summer. But the story of 2016-17 is somewhat different as the Tigers are currently rock bottom of the league table and in desperate need of a turn-around to survive in the top tier of English football. They have appointed former Olympiacos manager Marco Silva to upturn the campaign who himself admitted it as the toughest challenge of his career and like their supporters, he is also hoping for a miracle.

“I know many people… say that we need a miracle to remain in the Premier League, it’s normal that you say this. But sometimes they happen, the miracles. We’ll try and maybe in May the miracle will happen. We’ll see.”

Despite leading a return to the Premier League, Hull boss Steve Bruce resigned from his position due to lack of funding during the summer. His departure was an alarming sign for Hull and their owners who were engaged in takeover talks. However, they opted to stay calm in the situation and chose assistant boss Mike Phelan as caretaker manager. The Tigers failed to keep hold of key players and started the campaign with only 13 senior footballers. However, they had a bright inception defeating defending champions Leicester City and followed it up with an away victory against Swansea City. Phelan was with rewarded a permanent role for his excellence and also named as the Premier League Barclays Manager of the Month for August.

Since then though, Hull are having a derailed campaign and managed only one victory and four draws in remaining eighteen Premier League outings. The nightmare run cost Phelan his job who has now been replaced by the 39-year old Portuguese gaffer.

“He has a great track record and we feel this is a bold and exciting appointment in our aim to retain the club’s Premier League status”.

Quoted by Hull vice-chairman Ehab Allam. Silva, who enjoyed successful spells in Portugal as well as Greece at very young age, is a bold recruit by club officials who decided not to move for Premier League veterans like Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce. He made Estoril Segunda Liga champions and made them qualify for Europa League in the following campaign, won Taça de Portugal with Sporting Lisbon and the Greek league title with Olympiakos Piraeus.

Often compared with famous Jose Mourinho, Marco Silva is known for his aggressive display, tactical awareness and game-reading traits. While he has cleared his intentions to do deals during winter transfer window, Silva has kept his faith in current squad and they responded well in the Emirates FA Cup third round tie when the Tigers defeated Swansea City by 2-0 and handed their new boss a winning start ahead of their EFL Cup semi-final outing against Mourinho’s Manchester United. Although they delivered improved performance against in-form Red Devils, the Tigers suffered a  2-0 defeat at Old Trafford.

Hull, having an uphill task ahead of them, and should primarily focus on their remaining 18 Premier League fixtures and need a good run of games to stay in the survival race. They indeed have a few decent footballers in the form of Michael Dawson, Robert Snodgrass, Tom Huddlestone, Ahmed Elmohamady and Abel Hernandez who are well capable of turn things around for Hull.

Marco Silva will be an exciting inclusion in Premier League football if he manages to bring proper resources in January ( at least a couple of defenders and a forward), the Tigers will roar again under one of the brightest young managers in world football.

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