Mike Phelan, former assistant for Manchester United, got sacked on the 4th of January after picking just 13 points in 20 games, sitting at the bottom of the pile. He had been the caretaker manager after Steve Bruce left for almost 3 months, but Hull finally appointed him as the head coach after they won their first 2 matches of the Premiership.
Things went downhill from there as Hull City could manage only 7 more points in the next 18 games while suffering heavy defeats at the hands of Bournemouth, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Marco Silva was brought in although Gary Rowett, former coach of Birmingham FC, was considered to be the favorite for the job. But Marco Silva’s profile was simply too good to be true for Hull and he was hired before the FA Cup fixture against Swansea, who also haven’t been able to find their footing this season.
“Marco is a young coach who has impressed us with his philosophy and football style,” said Hull vice-chairman Ehab Allam.
For those who don’t know who Marco Silva is, he was a full-back and spent the better part of his playing career at Estoril. His career ended with only 2 appearances in Portugal’s top league but his managerial career started in 2011, before which he was appointed as the Director of Football, with Estoril itself. In his three years with Estoril, he saw through their promotion into the Portuguese Liga as champions of the second-flight, losing just 3 matches from 24, and then guiding them to a Europa qualification before signing with Sporting Lisbon in 2014. Here, he won the Taça de Portugal which was Sporting’s first piece of silverware since 2008 and also finished third in the league. But even though, he had signed a 4 year deal with the club, he was sacked only four days after winning the cup, for not wearing the official suit in a match against F.C. Vizela.
After a month, Silva signed for Olympiacos. With the Greek giants, Silva showed the world what he was capable of, pulling the club to record breaking 17 consecutive victories starting at the league’s onset. The club were declared champions with 6 weeks remaining. Olympiacos won their 43rd title with this magician at the helm, but then, because of some personal reasons, Silva resigned, a year before his contract ran out.
Almost six months later, he has now returned to football with a struggling Hull. That being said, Silva started out with a 2-0 victory to set up a FA Cup Round 4 meet with Fulham. An EFL Cup loss to Man Utd at Old Trafford later, Silva’s first Premier League test came in the form of high-flying Bournemouth, who had beaten Hull 6-1 earlier in the season. Under Marco Silva, Tigers beat The Cherries 3-1, with 9 attempts to Bournemouth’s 6. Hull’s next fixture was a trip to London to play the insurmountable looking Chelsea which they lost 2-0.
But, The Tigers look to play the game with a renewed vigor under their new coach as in just the fifth game with Silva in-charge, Hull beat Man Utd 2-1, who were touted as heavy favorites of the fixture. Although Hull were not able secure the ticket to Wembley as United won 3-2 on aggregate but Hull’s showing was in no way short of the confidence which was lacking just weeks earlier. Hull even scored first even though they had not scored in their last four meetings with United.
Pogba’s goal proved to be the difference between the sides but the supporters can now hope for much better showings from the club that they cherish. Silva is reportedly not happy that he could not win, which only tells you so much about the man’s character. He also plans to conclude some deals and add to the firepower available to him. Maybe good times are about to come for all the Tigers fans and we’d certainly hope that Silva is able to bring the wizardry that he possesses into the already loaded Premiership, to make it just more compelling than it has already proven to be.