Posted by Barrie on Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hull City Heading for the Drop

Coming into tonight's game 3 points behind West Ham United, the team directly above the drop, Hull City put in a flat performance against Aston Villa the KC Stadium.

Poor defending culminated in Aston Villa's opening goal when Hull City failed to clear the ball which ended with Paul McShane's clearance into the back of John Carew falling into the path of Gabriel Agbonlahor. Still with work to do at an angle, Agbonlahor coolly bent the ball past Matt Duke into the top corner after 13 minutes.

Aston Villa started the game brightly but their possession lead to few chances before Hull came into the game half way through the first half. Hull City and Kevin Kilbane in particular were kicking themselves in the first half when they missed a hattrick of opportunities in a matter of seconds, firstly with Brad Friedel making a double save and ending with Kevin Kilbane's effort from six yards hitting James Collins on the goal line and bouncing onto the roof of the net.

Hull City failed to create any real chances in the game after as Aston Villa defending soundly. With Richard Dunne and James Collins at the centre of their defence; two defenders who enjoy defending, Hull City didn't have enough quality to cause problems.

Matt Duke sparred Paul McShane's blushes when the goalkeeper narrowly beat John Carew to the ball following a risky back pass from the half way line. Eventually Aston Villa doubled their lead when George Boateng brought down James Milner in the penalty area with quarter of an hour of normal time remaining. Milner picked himself up to score the second goal that pushes Aston Villa into 6th position, 3 points behind Manchester City in the battle for the final Champions League place.

Following this result, Hull City are heading back to the Championship along with Burnley and Portsmouth. With 3 games remaining they are effectively 4 points behind West Ham, despite a 3 point difference, they are also 21 goals behind the Hammers. The Tigers host Sunderland this weekend in a must-win game before travelling to Wigan on a Monday night and hosting Liverpool in their final game of the season. West Ham host Wigan this weekend, travel to Fulham and host Champions League-chasing Manchester City on the final day.

The appointment of Iain Dowie ruled out Hull City's chances of avoiding relegation in my opinion. The timing of Phil Brown's “gardening leave” in mid-March was crazy to say the least. Dowie's influence hasn't had a positive influence as he continued the Brown trend of playing 1 striker at home. He never took a gamble in both the weekend's draw at Birmingham or tonight's game by throwing extra striker's on. Thus his team are in the position they are in.

Jimmy Bullard hasn't been the player he was in the few appearances he was able to make under Phil Brown either. Perhaps with most of his goals coming from set pieces he was receiving more credit than was due, but he was doing more under Phil Brown than he has done in the last few games when they've desperately needed goals and performances.

Hull City are playing like a team knowing they're on the way down. A lack of effort and heart in their performances haven't helped. Iain Dowie looks destined for a Premier League hat trick; being relegated as manager of Crystal Palace, assistant at Newcastle last season and as 'Football Management Consultant' with Hull this season. He was also relegated as a player with Crystal Palace in 1994/95.

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