We at 32 Flags are previewing every team in the English Premier League, two teams a day until the beginning of the season. Get ready as we preview your favorite team or maybe we can help you pick a team to root for if you are undecided so far. Today, we’re covering Hull City A.F.C.
Hull City A.F.C.
Founded – 1904
Last Year Position – 16th
Transfers In (As of 8/9) – Robert Snodgrass, Jake Livermore, Tom Ince, Andrew Robertson, Harry Maguire
Transfers Out (As of 8/9) – Matt Fryatt, Conor Henderson, Nick Proschwitz
Projected Finish (Voted among 32 Flags staff) – 18th place
Rivalries – Leeds United, Sheffield United
Famous Supporters – Omar Sharif, Sinitta and Tom Courtenay (don’t worry if you don’t know who they are…neither did I).
Finishing 16th and barely avoiding relegation usually isn’t something to celebrate, yet for Hull City it was exactly that. The club’s 16th place finish was the highest ever in its EPL history. Yet, it wasn’t the biggest highlight of the season.
The club also had a massive run in the oldest cup competition in the world, making it all the way to the FA Cup finals against Arsenal. Even though Hull lost that final, it still qualified for the Europa League since Arsenal were already in the Champions League.
That will be a massive challenge to a club that don’t have near the resources available to them as the top teams in the EPL, and it could be a reason to look for them to possibly drop out of the league this season.
Adding the likes of Jake Livermore and Robert Snodgrass should help bolster the squad, as both are veterans of many an EPL campaign. However, Livermore is the club’s record signing at £8 million after making a loan from Tottenham Hotspur official this offseason and the pressure for him to lead the midfield will be great—especially after making 36 appearances and scoring three goals for the club in 2013/14.
This season, Hull need to find the back of the net with much more frequency. Last season the leading goal scorer in EPL competition was Nikica Jelavic with four goals and the leader in goals in all competitions (Matt Fryatt) had just six and was sent off on a free transfer this offseason. As a team they were fourth-worst in the scoring department during the EPL campaign, netting just 38 goals in 38 games.
Hull will look to Jelavic to be more of a poacher this season, but this squad is going to be stretched thin the further it runs in the Europa League. That combination of cups, EPL, and Europa could mean this team struggles unless it doesn’t take anything but the EPL season seriously.
Staying up once more would be a great feat, but relying on the likes of newcomer Tom Ince to be a viable EPL striker may be asking a bit much. The good news is that this team has made a concerted effort to be a much better defensive squad wit the permanent addition of Livermore and the transfer in of Andrew Robertson and Harry Maguire.
Luck will need to be on the side of Hull if they are to avoid the drop though, and it’s hard to see how it doesn’t happen.