Bottom of the Premier League table with one win from their last 18 fixtures and available at odds of 1/8 to go down. That’s the position Hull City found themselves in before appointing the relatively unknown Marco Silva.
We’ll hold our hands up here and say our odds-compilers got this one wrong, too. After the former Olympiacos boss was announced as their new manager, we trimmed the Tigers’ relegation odds to 1/9.
Nobody expected the Portuguese to have such an impact on the club.
In fact, if the season were to have started on the day he took over, Hull would be ninth in the table right now, with 17 points from 12 games. To put that into context, it’s more than both Arsenal and reigning Premier League champions Leicester City can speak of and just one less than Manchester United have accumulated over the same period of time.
Fortunately for both Silva and Hull, the time of his predecessor, Mike Phelan’s exit was perfect.
It allowed the club to go all out in the January transfer market, and by our reckoning this was one of the most effective uses of a mid-season window we’ve seen in recent years.
Spending roughly £16m on no less than eight new arrivals, it’s fair to say City have managed to get real value for money.
For starters, those players have already featured 64 times combined in the top-flight, averaging eight games-per-player.
Between them their eight goals have already earned Hull eight points. Take those off their currently tally and Silva’s men would be six off safety.
Granted, five of their winter arrivals are currently loanees, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the Tigers can keep hold of them after the season ends.
There’s no reason to believe they can’t, though. If anything, we’d only expect Silva to add to them.
That is, of course, providing they can maintain their top-flight status.
In such dire straits were Hull City is back when the 39-year-old took over, they’re still only two points above the drop zone.
Luckily for them though, only one of their remaining fixtures will come against a side currently in the top eight. That someone is Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season.
But based on what we’ve seen of Hull under Silva so far, they should be home and hosed by then, shouldn’t they?
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing