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Championship 2012/13 Preview: Hull City


Club: Hull City

Last Season Position: 8th, Championship

Recent History:

After relegation from the top tier in 2010 the Tigers dispensed with the services of Phil Orange Brown and instated Nigel Pearson as manager from Leicester. Plans for an automatic return where somewhat put on the back burner due to reported £30m worth of debts and a £39m per year wage bill which had to be reduced before any signings could be made. Nevertheless, Hull still managed to bring in some decent places including Robert Koren that season and finished a respectable 11th.

Pearson left Hull to return to Leicester in November 2011, local hero Nick Barmby was installed as his permanent replacement following a good spell as caretaker manager. Given the unsettled management situation at the start of the season, a young squad with not much to spend City managed to improve on their previous seasons' finish and secured 8th spot however this was tinged with slight disappointment as Hull had spent much of the season in the play-off places. Most Hull fans would probably admit that the growing optimism would not last and so it proved. Barmby gave an interview in which he criticised the handling of the club's finances by owners, Assem and Ehab Allam. This proved costly for the Hull hero as he was at first placed on gardening leave and later sacked. It also cost head of football operations and former chairman Adam Pearson his job. Barmby did appeal his sacking but this was quickly rejected. On the 8th of June this year Hull appointed the mercenary experienced Steve Bruce.

Manager Profile:

Steve Bruce - after nearly quitting football at a young age, Northumberland born Bruce, was given a trial at Gillingham. He went on to have a glittering playing career including three Premier League medals although how he never managed a full England cap is still a bit of a mystery. His managerial career has been somewhat controversial, after a season each at Sheffield United and Huddersfield he then joined Wigan where he lasted two months before joining the Croydon Eagles. A season there saw him take over at Birmingham, here he enjoyed his first managerial success gaining promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt and gave City fans their best years in recent memory. Relegation happened after four successive years in the top flight, but bounced back at the first attempt. Carson Yeung's takeover saw the end of Bruce's longest spell in charge of a club. After two decent seasons back at Wigan he joined Sunderland, another controversial move given he was a Newcastle fan as a boy. Two years at the Stadium of Light were brought to an end after a poor run of results where he was sacked in November 2011.

Summer Transfer Activity:

Ben Amos ..... Manchester United .... Loan
Eldin Jakupovic ..... Aris Salonika ..... Free
Nick Proschwitz ..... SC Paderborn ..... €3.3m
Abdoulaye Faye ..... West Ham ..... Free
Sone Aluko ..... Rangers ..... Free
Alex Bruce ..... Leeds .... Free

Kevin Kilbane ..... Coventry ..... Free
Richard Garcia ..... ..... Released

Expected Line-Up:

Rosenior Faye Chester Dudgeon
McKenna Cairney Koren Aluko
McClean Proschwitz

Expected Tactics/Formation:

Given Bruce loves a 4-4-2 and how Hull's pre-season matches seem to have gone it is a fairly safe bet that will be their likely formation. He generally sets his teams up as hard to beat. Given that last season their problem was lack of goals there will be a lot of hope that Proschwitz will be the man to score plenty this time around.

What the fans are saying:

Reading the blogs and forums it seems there is a mix of excitement and worry, fairly standard for a Hull City fan I guess. The summer started with a lot of hatred towards the owners and the manner they dealt with the sackings of Barmby and Pearson, however the introduction of Bruce and seeing a decent amount spent on signings has seen this dissipate slightly. It seems a good start is imperative for City as there will be those waiting with noose in hand for the Allam's. Most seem to think that the playoffs are reachable.

Main Forum:

Odds: Promotion 9/1, Relegation 9/1


It really does depend on whether Hull can score enough goals, last season they showed defensively they are good enough and this summer they have strengthened that defence. Add to that Bruce's tactics and it will be tough for any side against them. A lot of pressure on Proschwitz and if he proves a hit Hull could make the playoffs with ease, if not it could be a real scrap to finish in the top 6.

Compiled by: @colthe3rd


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