Premiership Underdogs: How Hull City and Others Are Prospering
Hull City, the clear underdogs of the English Barclays premier league season 2008/2009. The team, just promoted, having fought vigorously in the championship play-offs, desperate for their chance in the top-flight, now with a challenge of much greater difficulty and importance, surviving in this so called top-flight, the Barclays premier division, where the big boys play; the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Looking at the majority of predictions, these new boys wouldn't stand a chance having a minimal time in comparison with the teams who finished in the automatic promotion slots, Stoke City and West Brom, to work on their squad and prepare for their next season in the premier division.
Also, from finishing in a lower position than both Stoke and West Brom statistically, they are a weaker side, let alone any of the top clubs in English football who statistically compared to them, are a lot weaker.
So from looking at Hulls' chances, any football fan with half a brain would predict that Hull's chances were very limited, with a team weaker than the regular premier division sides and the two teams going up with them. Plus, little if no money to boost their squad and obtain some new signings with the quality to keep them up. A blunt way to put this; these lads, as it seems, had no chance!
So, Hull City the new boys in the top-flight, as I keep saying, of English football, with a slightly more impressive squad despite their lack of funds, including the likes of Daniel Cousin from Rangers, George Boateng from Middlesbrough and Geovanni, the Brazilian with heaps of talent, from billionaires Manchester City, now ready to meet a simply immense challenge.
A team, who less than five years ago played league one football, competing with sides much smaller than the teams they would face in their current season, must try to avoid the drop. What then, appeared to be an impossible challenge.
However, a win against Fulham and a draw against Blackburn were quite impressive results leaving manager Phil Brown feeling more relaxed with the obvious words, "we can do this," running through his head.
The end of August though, reminded Hull City and their fans alike that this really was the toughest league in the world to play in as they were reminded that nothing came easy in this division in a 5-0 thrashing from Wigan came their way. Wigan, not even one of the top teams, easily defeating them, putting five goals past their keeper. Surely now, Phil Brown was thinking, "Ok, maybe we can't do this."
Luckily for him, things looked up as they once again managed a win and then a draw, the win against a disappointing Newcastle side and the draw against Everton, who were playing equally as bad. Then, their luck went from sky high to the stars as they managed four wins on the trot.
The first, against Arsenal, from 1-0 down coming back to 1-1, indefinitely because of the sheer quality of their new number one signing Geovanni as he hit a beautiful curling shot from the edge of the area that whistled past Arsenal's outstretched goal keeper's arms and nestled neatly in the top corner, rippling the net sending the Hull city fans into raptures. This, then followed by a Daniel Cousin header, also ending up in the top corner.
Hull City, the team with "no chance," the team "definitely relegated," had triumphed over Arsenal, shocking the press, shocking every football fan across the globe. That wasn't the end of it, the next three wins coming against Tottenham, West Brom and West ham United.
Third in the table, Hull City, surely now title contenders, only goal difference separating them from the two top teams Chelsea and Liverpool. Nothing could go wrong now, they had done it, they were up there with the best, winning games and losing none. Hull City, the greatest team on Earth.
However, Hull fans, what the heck, football fans, were living in a dreamland, every one wanting Hull to win, every one expecting Hull to win but surely, no one expected this to continue and life is cruel so this magnificent winning streak, did not continue.
Confidence levels rocketed as high as they could go, Hull faced Chelsea, possibly the best team in England at this current time and as some expected, there was no upset.
Hull City were brushed aside, leaving their home ground with not a win over Chelsea, begged for, prayed for, by every football fan alive, even some Chelsea fans I'd expect, but a 3-0 thrashing. There run, was over, and as they met Manchester United and Bolton in their next two games a new run formed. Not a run of wins but a run of losses.
Now, Hull City, expected to be crushed, ripped apart, by the mighty force of the premier division had fought well and were beginning to look like a top English club, but as most predicted, this good fortune could not last forever and as it seems now, Hull City's luck as most definitely run out.
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