This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand….
Grant McCann’s Hull City came out as the winners from their clash with Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday evening. The result extended Hull’s unbeaten run to five matches as they claimed all three points at the KCOM Stadium in a hard fought 1-0 win with Tom Eaves bagging the goal that separated the two sides. This article will highlight three things that we can take away from Hull’s performance in the match.
One thing we learnt about Hull is that they are capable of playing both as a counter attacking side and a team with possession. Having averaged 46.6% possession this season (whoscored.com), Hull saw an unusual amount of the ball with 57% possession. However, they did not get caught on the counter too often and if they did, they recovered well and were able to keep an impressive clean sheet against a Wednesday side that have had some good results so far this season.
Hull central defenders are essential to their good performances, with Jordy De Wijs and Reece Burke making some vital interventions to prevent Sheffield Wednesday from scoring. De Wijs in particular has been an outstanding player for Hull so far in the campaign. The 24-year-old Dutchman makes 1.9 interceptions / per90 and has an impressive tackle success rate of 86%. Reece Burke has also been particularly impressive, making a vital sliding block to prevent Wednesday from taking the lead in the match.
The goal will do Tom Eaves the world of good. The 27-year-old had struggled in the opening stages of the season, failing to score in his first 9 appearances as the sole centre forward in the team, even losing his place to Josh Magennis who started the game on Tuesday. However, Eaves came on and scored a very well taken goal to hand Hull all three points. His diving header went into the top corner off the post, giving Keiren Westwood very little chance of saving it. Hull’s number 9 seemed delighted with his goal and Grant McCann will be hoping it gives his centre forward the confidence to push on and start scoring regularly for his team.
In summary, the three things we can take away from Hull’s victory is that they are capable of adapting their style of play depending on the match, their centre back pairing played a key role in the result as they have done all season, and finally, Tom Eaves will receive a massive confidence boost after grabbing the winner.