Premier League Half-Term Reports: Hull treading early water
Team Name: Hull
Current Premier League position: 11th
Giddy highs: All of the goals
Last season Hull finished one place above the relegation zone for goals scored, managing to slot the ball past the keeper at a measly rate of one-per-game.
But after a summer recruitment drive that saw Abel Hernandez, Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez arrive, the Tigers are strutting around the pitch with renewed attacking swagger, scoring the league’s seventh-most goals to this point.
If Hull continue at their current rate, they’ll end the term with 19 more strikes than they did last season.
Crushing lows: The dirty sheets
For all their verve in the opposition’s half of the pitch, Steve Bruce’s side have so far failed to keep them at bay in their own.
Hull have managed to keep just three clean sheets in the 12 all-competition outings they’ve had this season.
In the league they’ve let in 11 goals, cancelling out all of their strikes at the other end and rendering them a mid-table side that promise much to their fans but only deliver to the neutral.
Shining Star: Mohamed Diame
In a midfield trio with Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone, the French-born Senegalese has been handed more license to break forward than at any other time during his stay in England.
Diame has performed like a natural goal-scoring midfielder so far, notching three times in four appearances. The tally is already one shy of his career-best seasonal haul in the top flight.
Biggest Disappointment: Tom Ince
The free-transfer from Blackpool started the first three league games for Bruce but failed to make much impact and has since only seen action in the Capital One Cup.
With his manager reverting back to a 3-5-2 system, it’s difficult to see the young Englishman forcing his way into contention behind Andrew Robertson, Ahmed Elmohamady, Ben Arfa and Ramirez on the wings.
Best bet for the rest of the season: To be top north east club @ 13/10
The switch back to 3-5-2 last time out brought a 2-0 win and persevering with that formula seems to suit Bruce’s squad best, even if it leaves Ben Arfa and Ramirez on the bench. The top half isn’t beyond them.
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