Yesterday Hull City sealed their return to the Premier League. The Tigers have competed in five on the last eight seasons in the English top flight, but will be looking the gain a foothold amongst the elite from their third bite of the cherry in recent years.
Building a competitive squad is something that can take months or even years for any team. The financial gap between the Football League and the superpower that is the Premier League is enormous. Fortunately, the Tigers have managed to preserve the spine of the side that was relegated just over a year ago. Some may even say after experiencing a couple of topsy-turvy campaigns, Steve Bruce’s side may be better off for it.
Experienced names such as Tom Huddlestone and Robert Snodgrass, stayed put despite the disappointing relegation. The professionalism and wisdom gained throughout their elusive careers meant they were able to deal with the dip in morale, and drag the younger, and perhaps more immature team-mates, back into the form that would eventually see them promoted.
Snodgrass in particular has been a real focal point for the East Yorkshire club. The former Leeds man was side-lined for much of his debut season at the KC. With his explosive power and unpredictable shooting coming to the brim of Steve Bruce’s plans this campaign, Hull have one of the leagues rawest attacking talents.
The consistency on Hull’s central defensive pairing has been the building blocks for their immediate return. Many people, including myself, were surprised to see former England player Michael Dawson remain at the club. This would be the first time the 32-year-old has played second tier football since the early days at Nottingham Forest.
His partner in crime Curtis Davies has fit the role beside Dawson like a glove. While Dawson offered the guile, leadership and positioning. Davies as able to cover with his superior pace, and physical presence. A solid defensive paring is something that is craved by even the most elite of sides. The English core of the Tigers defence means communication is no problem and should allow them to continue building from the back for another crack at Premier League football.
The preservation of the most influential players has been the source of much of Hull’s success this term. You have to give credit to Steve Bruce for persuading such big names to apply their trade far below what their potential allows them to. Hull have got what they deserved with the promotion back to the big time. A couple of additions to their attacking ammunition, and they could be the Premier League’s surprise package come the opening weekend of August 2016.