After Leicester’s jubilant Premier League victory, many football fans were quick to place their bets on this season’s newcomers.
If Leicester could defy 5000-1 odds, surely Burnley, Hull City or Middlesbrough can do the same and earn someone a small fortune?
At odds of 750/1 to win the league, Hull have won their first two games of the season. Putting an end to Leicester City’s party, Hull have since secured a consecutive win over Swansea City.
However, Hull’s successful start to the season has arisen after a summer of instability. With Steve Bruce leaving the club by mutual consent in July, caretaker manager Mike Phelan has since taken the reigns. In addition, the club have failed to make any new signings to strengthen their squad for their arrival into the Premier League.
Alongside a considerable lack of preparation, Hull have also faced a host of injuries prior to the start of the season, including Michael Dawson and Alex Bruce.
All of these factors would indicate that Hull City were in trouble before a ball had even been kicked.
Nonetheless, Hull have strung together experience and team spirit to work past their evident disadvantages. Already, it is easy to draw parallels between Leicester and Hull. Similar to Leicester’s Premier League winning side, Hull’s side also includes a number of journeymen such as Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone and Robert Snodgrass. In addition, “togetherness” appears to be a common ground fuelling both sides.
Of course, it would be absurd to take too much away from the first two games of the season. However, Hull’s performances have contrasted with their backdrop of uncertainty and provided a surprise for football spectators throughout the UK. It will be interesting to see how they progress from this point onwards. With Phelan noting the urgency to sign new players, the club still has remarkable potential for improvement.
I’m not suggesting that Hull will win the league, however it’s only human nature to love an underdog story. After Leicester’s fairy-tale season, what’s to stop other club’s dreaming too?
Liam Hope, Pundit Arena