Hull City and The "Formula For Survival"

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IAugust 18, 2008

There is a formula at work for the teams that are set to struggle in the Premier League this season and it involves a magic points total of 40 points from 38 games.

In the past three seasons any team that has reached this magic number has comfortably avoided the drop and ensured their survival for another season.

Hull City started out in a game that would have slipped beneath the radar of a lot of the English Premier League's international audience as the newcomer to the league put one over one of its more established rivals.

Fulham would obviously have been looking to start their seventh consecutive season in the top tier with a victory at the expense of the newly promoted Tigers at Hull's Kingston Comms stadium, but it was not be.

Despite a flying start in going ahead in only the eighth minute courtesy of a Ki-Hyeon header they were unable to capitilise on early chances and Hull new boy Geovanni, signed on a free transfer from Manchester City, equalised with a well taken goal in the 22 minute.

While the eventual victory was absolutely the best possible start that Hull could have hoped for it was this equaliser and the belief that it instilled in the side that became the key moment in the match.

After conceding an early goal in the manner they had, it could have gone horribly wrong for them and very nearly did. Fulham went up a notch after the goal and looked to apply the screws with some pressure that almost led to the Londoners extending their lead.

The defence of the homeside was steadfast though and when the Brazilian who last season scored the winner in the Manchester derby equalised it was a match again.

Veteran Nick Barmby in a triumphant return to the top flight went close with a header before the break.

Barmby turns out for his home town club in a season that could be his last at this level as he approaches his 35th birthday. He gives the team a much needed boost in the experience he has had at this level most notably with Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool.

In the second half the home side continued to make chances and were unlucky not to score a few times before Phil Brown played his trump cards with the introduction of two players who combined to create the matchwinner.

Craig Fagan and Caleb Folan came on and within minutes Fagan robbed a dithering Konchesky on the byline and he squared to Folan who scored easily into the empty net.

With strong games from several of the side and a manager that appears to know when a change is needed they will no doubt give some other sides a scare.

This is the formula from here on in for the Premier League new boys. It involves 38 matches with an even number of home and away fixtures. In these fixtures it is necessary to win at least ten and draw ten giving a side at least 40 points.

40 points in all games looks to be a conservative approach from a total of 38 games but it is no easy task in a league where the dispersal of talent is in the favour of established clubs and big European players.

But looking at the last few seasons of the Premier league a trend is seen in that any club that does not reach this magic points total is struggling severely and is very lucky if they avoid the drop.

With three points on the opening day the Tigers have definitely started things off on the right note and as a survival total now are looking at 37 points from 37 games.

As we all know the easy way to accumulate is with wins, but with the quality of opposition that they will face this season being the highest this club has seen on a week to week basis anytime in its history it is obvious that draws will become as vital as wins for this team in the coming months.

Can they build on this and avoid the plunge back to the championship? I, like a mad catholic in the time of Henry the Eighth, will put my neck on the chopping block and say, yes.