This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
Hull City ran out narrow winners over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, with Tom Eaves’ first goal for Grant McCann’s side proving to be enough to see them come away from the game with three important points.
Football League World’s Hull City fan pundit Alex Chittock is hoping to see more from the Tigers’ summer signing, after his first goal for the club.
“It’s fair to say Tom Eaves didn’t have the start to life as Hull City’s number nine we were hoping for after arriving on a free from Gillingham in the summer, and no-one will be more disappointing than him given the confidence with which he spoke about his ability and eye for goal when joining.
“After not scoring in his first nine games, the desperation from Eaves to get the monkey off his back was becoming clear, and he began to come under fire from fans and pundits alike.
“He is clearly a striker with a lot more to his game than scoring and, despite early struggles to hold up the ball, it was always clear a goal would be the catalyst for far better things, with trust and patience required to give Eaves the chance to adjust to the step up in quality.”
There were high-hopes for Eaves when he first arrived at the KCOM Stadium from Gillingham in the summer, after he scored 21 goals in League One last season.
Chittock felt as though his first goal for Hull could be the turning point for Eaves, who seemingly isn’t short of confidence in his own ability.
“I’ve rarely seen a group of fans and players so happy for a player after a goal because it seems quite clear that’s all Tom Eaves needs to begin scoring on a regular basis for the Tigers. It was a superb header to beat a top goalkeeper in Keiren Westwood, generating a huge about of power from a fair distance and excellent accuracy to find the top corner.
“You could see how much it meant to him and you’d expect him to up his game as a result of it, starting up front away at Huddersfield this weekend as opposed to rotating with Josh Magennis as he has done in recent weeks. We’ve seen the quality Eaves has at Gillingham, and I’m excited to see just how well this goal with galvanise him going forward.
“Any striker can endure a goal drought, but listening to Eaves speak, he seems hugely confident in himself and mentally very strong. It was a massive moment for him, and potentially the team going forward.”
The regular punter highlighted what Eaves brings to the Hull City team this season, and praised the 27-year-old for playing his part in the positive start to this year’s campaign which sees them sit 13th in the Championship table.
“It’s a common theme for strikers to be seen as ‘bringing more to the team than just goals’ these days – many people would point to Olivier Giroud as a prime example given his hold-up play.
“Although Eaves has surprisingly struggled in that respect so far against many established Championship centre halves, I’d put him very much in that category. Something I’m looking forward to seeing from Eaves as he continues to settle in is how our wingers can play off him, particularly given our reliance on the superb Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen.
“However, the stand-out theme at Gillingham was his ruthless finishing ability when given the opportunity. I’m a huge believer in confidence in football and it’s clear Eaves was lacking in that, and I’m full of belief that he can start to replicate that following this first goal.”