Who’s impressed and who hasn’t in the month of August?
Best City Player
David Livermore – The player arrived at the KC after an unexpected u-turn by Leeds United. After spending only a week at Elland Road, Livermore was shipped out and headed to Hull in search of first team football. After spending seven seasons with Millwall ending in relegation from the Championship last year, Livermore has established himself in the Centre of Hull City`s midfield.
Although unspectacular, Livermore has been a calming presence in the middle of the park since being given his starting place in the team against Derby County. Livermore has shown several neat touches and brings calm to the City midfield. Livermore`s defensive abilities should allow Dean Marney to provide the attacking drive needed from the centre of the park. Although we are yet to see the best of the player, his understanding with Marney and his team mates has grown each game. His performances have been much better than expected following the negative comments from Leeds and Millwall fans upon his arrival at the KC Stadium – so far it looks money well spent.
Best Opposition Player
Inigo Idiakez – The Derby County midfielder ran the show in front of the Sky TV cameras. Similar to last season`s performance, the City midfield backed off the dangerous midfielder too often and his passing ability coupled with his vision provided a difficult afternoon for Hull City.
Although the player failed to score, along with his midfield partner Seth Johnson, Idiakez dictated the play for Derby County and was pivotal in his side gaining all three points. By next season, City should have learnt of his threat!
John Welsh versus West Bromwich Albion – The now seemingly out of favour midfielder started the season brilliantly, not least with a terrific individual performance at the Hawthornes. Welsh instantly formed an understanding with Dean Marney and the attacking play of the two midfielders almost saw the Tigers come away with a promising opening day result against one of the promotion favourites.
Welsh himself was unlucky when with only minutes of the opening day fixture left, a late challenge from behind knocked the midfielder to the floor, only for the referee to wave away his appeals for a penalty that would have provided Hull City the opportunity for a deserved draw. Reasons for Welsh`s current omission from the squad are varied but many fans would have him back in the squad starting with the next fixture at Birmingham City. Whether we see him or not is however, up to Phil Parkinson.
West Brom away – although some fans would have opted for the match against Barnsley, I have opted for our opening day encounter. Apart from the excitement of the opening fixture of the 2006/07 season, Hull City gave a terrific account against one of the league`s promotion favourites.
Although two john Hartson goals sent City fans away with an opening day defeat, the performance left many fans encouraged about the new regime under Phil Parkinson. Those early hopes have now been diminished in some fans views but if City can regain the attacking flair that made the fixture at West Brom so enjoyable, the first win can`t be far away – and we may have some excitement again!
Most Disappointing City player
Dean Marney – Having arrived with a large price tag, the midfielder has failed to show the promise that was suggested upon his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur. The midfielder has shown glimpses but he has failed to convert a chance in the black and amber of Hull City. Despite getting into several promising positions, his final shot or pass has been misdirected.
The presence of David Livermore alongside Marney in the midfield hasn`t seen the same attacking yield that the partnership of Welsh and Marney provided the team with in the opening two fixtures. Despite the presence of a defensive midfielder operating alongside him. Marney hasn`t been able to support the attacks and until he is able to do that, I don`t think we will see the best of the midfielder for Hull City.
Barnsley – No sets of fans that Hull City have played against have stood out but Barnsley`s support in the early Yorkshire derby were the best. Their continued support for their team, even when two nil down after nine minutes helped inspire their team to a fighting comeback. Without their vocal support, City might have taken all three points but in the end we all know how it finished.
Ipswich – Was this game actually played at Portman Road as I don`t remember one song being sung by the Ipswich fans. The travelling faithful showed the tractor boys how to support their team with a fine vocal display as City picked up their solitary point. Without a point at that date, you`d of expected a stronger support from the 18,000 Ipswich fans.
4 – His start to the Championship has been a steep learning curve. Without a win in his first five league games, some fans are already questioning the manager`s credentials. Phil Parkinson started with an all out attack motto which saw two exciting games result in defeat, but since then, Parkinson has reverted to defensive football which has seen three dull affairs resulted in one point from an available nine. With the transfer deadline almost upon the English leagues, will Parkinson be able to bring in the players needed to turn his fortunes around. Starting in just less than two weeks time at St Andrew`s, Parkinson will have to turn around the side`s fortunes quickly to stop the already questioning fans become even more worried.
The poor start has filled every fan with a bit of worry but is it really the time to start throwing in the towel? No, of course not, but amazingly some fans already seem resigned to a return to League 1 and the likes of Bradford City and Chesterfield. With only five games of the season gone, we aren`t in the position we all wanted to be but we aren`t relegated yet! If the fans get behind the team and we show our support for the black and amber, we will soon rise up the league – of course, remember, the only way now is up!