Should We Really Be Surprised Hull Have Started So Well?

Chris RowlandsCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2008

Is there really any reason why we should be so surprised that Hull currently lie 4th in the Premiership? After all, they have a strong team, with a great mix of new talent and veterans; plus a manager (Phil Brown) who got relegation candidates promoted after two seasons.

Back in the 2000-01 season, former Leeds United commercial director Adam Pearson became chairman; easing financial worries. Within the next two years perhaps the two main reasons Hull got to where they are today occurred. Firstly, Peter Taylor was made the new manager; and Hull moved from deteriorating stadium Boothferry Park into the brand-new KC Stadium.

Taylor got Hull promoted in his two full seasons at the club, finishing runners-up in both league 2 then league 1. Star player and Northern Ireland International Stuart Elliot (Now at Doncaster) scored 27 goals, from the left wing, winning the Golden Boot in the process. Taylor left for Crystal Palace and was replaced by Phil Parkinson, who stayed for half a year before being replaced by current manager Phil Brown. At this point Hull were in the relegation zone, and Brown would have a hard road ahead if he wanted to keep Hull's status as a Championship side.

In June and July 2007 Pearson sold the club and resigned as chairman, saying that he had taken the club as far as he can. Paul Duffen became the new chairman.

In the January transfer window, he signed home-town boy Dean Windass on loan from Bradford City. Perhaps this saved Hull, we will never know if it made the crucial difference to keep Hull in the Championship. Hopes for a top half finish, let alone promotion, were very slim going into the 2007-08 season.

However, Brown has given Hull a renewed vigour; and much to everyone's surprise (including Hull fans) they were fighting with West Brom and Stoke for the top 2 positions. Hull narrowly missed out on promotion, but several pundits commented on how Hull and West Brom were the only two teams in the league playing "pretty football". Hull beat Watford 6-1 on aggregate in the play-offs, before beating Bristol City 1-0 in the final.

Brown has made several high profile signings this summer, including Geovanni, Marlon King, Péter Halmosi and Anthony Gardner, which are sure to bolster an already strong squad. Players such as Richard Garcia and Craig Fagan have shown in the first two games why Hull have a Premiership-standard team; both scoring exceptional goals. Whether or not this carries on for the rest of the season remains to be seen; but after two games Hull have acquitted themselves more than adequately, retaining all the style they had last year in the Chanpionship.