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EPL Week Seven: A Look Back


People love an underdog.

In the English Premier League, where the Big Four dominate and the middle of the pack beats itself up for most of the year, you can occasionally find one overachieving club to win over fans and knock off the big boys in surprising fashion. This year, that team is Hull City.

The newly-promoted club has been the talk of the season, standing at third place in the EPL with recent wins over Arsenal and Tottenham.

Can Hull keep working that magic? Also, on the other end of the spectrum, can Tottenham really stay bottom of the table bad?

SBI EPL correspondent James Tyler of The Unprofessional Foul takes a closer look at Hull’s amazing start, as well as Tottenham’s awful start.

Hull of a start for EPL newcomers


I’m going to say it, despite the inherent killjoy within: Hull will finish in the bottom 7 when this is all said and done. I mean, their performances through 7 games are nothing short of remarkable, but the wheels have to fall off sometime, don’t they? Or do they?

Spurs aren’t exactly the Top 8 juggernaut they’re capable of being these days, but still; Hull’s win, thanks to another wonderful goal by Geovanni, was fully deserved, and now they’re sitting 3rd in the table. It’s insane, really, the stuff of Disney movies and Tony Robbins seminars: the little minnows, up in football’s top flight for the first time in their history, scoring goals and beating teams they have no business beating. Hull in 3rd after 104 years of footballing mediocrity, and Spurs at the very bottom with their worst start to a season since 1912.

It’s an interesting flip-flop of fortunes, as normally these plucky Colaship outfits are promoted only to serve as chum and 6-point fodder for those teams making a run at European qualification. While Stoke are currently fulfilling that role perfectly despite the long-throw menace of Rory Delap (seriously… they’ve scored I think 5 goals this season directly from Delap long throws) and WBA are hovering mid-table, surely to join the Potters in the basement by Christmas, Hull are defying the stereotype, and comfortably too. Their football has a flow to it, something unseen from the newly-promoted; normally, those sides sit 10 behind-the-ball and 6-in-the-box to choke the game to a stalemate, but Hull play the kind of expansive, attacking football that Spurs, with all their flashy new players, should really be playing instead.

Instead, Spurs look nervous, unsure of themselves, and a lot of that has to do with players constantly finding themselves playing out-of-position. The strike partnership hasn’t gelled by any means, and the midfield, something Spurs fans were praising in the summer, just hasn’t been able to assert themselves for a full 90 minutes. They’re advancing slowly in the UEFA Cup, but with only 2 points from 7 league matches thus far, the heat is building at White Hart Lane.

At KC Stadium, Hull fans have witnessed the dizzying highs and had a glimpse of the scary future that could well await them in the coming months; what other teams can you think of that lost 5-0 at home to Wigan, and then took 7 points in September from away wins at Newcastle and Arsenal, and a 2-2 draw with Everton where they were up 2-0 at halftime? For my money, the veneer has to crack eventually, although I’m taking nothing away from their achievements thus far. If they’re still in the top half by Christmas, I might drink the Kool Aid.

As for Spurs, they just can’t beg, borrow or steal a win to save their lives (or, more importantly, Juande’s job). 4 goals in 7 matches, one of them an own goal, two simple home defeats and only one bright spot, an away draw at Stamford Bridge, to keep fans optimistic. Considering what happened to Martin Jol after a less-disappointing start last season, you expect Ramos to get axed shortly. Whatever they do, firing Juande is not the answer, but Ramos needs to find a way to win back the dressing room and get some confidence into his side. Picking lineups that make sense would be the first step on this long and difficult road.

For both teams, time is on their side to a degree. With 31 matches still remaining, any outcome is possible, although I do think this flip-flop will reverse sometime in the New Year. Hull can’t keep winning, can they? Spurs can’t keep losing, can they?

(of course I have to fit Liverpool in somewhere: they’ll be in the EPL title mix this season. 3-2 away to Man City from 2-0 down… it’s the stuff of champions)


  1. They are going to need the early points. As the season grinds on other teams will rely on deep benches to get through the injuries and suspensions. Teams with less in the way of resources like Hull do not have as many options. It’ll be hard for Hull to maintain their form as a result.

    I still predict a top half of the table finish, though.

  2. Hull looks like they may be banking enough points to stay somewhat secure throughout the season. However I would posit that clubs have not exactly broken the bank scouting them thus far and players and managers have overlooked them a bit. We’ve also lucked on Newcastle in chaos, Tottenham coming off a mid-week UEFA cup match, and Arsenal at the heights of over-confidence. That said, for those that have not seen Hull play, Phil Brown seems to be more than capable of matching wits with any other manager in the Prem, and the team plays an exciting brand of football with an emphasis on stout defense, which they need given the lesser athleticism on their side.

  3. You can’t sell of a 1st string strike pair athat scored 56 goals in the Premiership last season, not sign anyone (as replacement) and expect to go ANYWHERE. That said, the truth of the matter is that if anyone gets the axe, it WILL BE Damien Comolli (sporting director at Spurs) and NOT RAMOS.

    That said, Spurs must realise that they are not too good to beat the drop–otherwise they face the same uphill and backwards race they have so far this season. Once they admit this to themselves, and Juande plays a consistent line-up, we may see some breakthroughs–and points.

    For the faithful, there is only 1 way of life and that’s COYS for life. Remain steadfast, my friends, the night is darkest before the dawn.

  4. Admittedly, my Spurs are total garbage, though in my own defense, I never had any illusions of top 4.

    Lots of blame to go around; too many players play the same position, no strikers, no def mid, no depth on the back line, Modric hasn’t been the player he is w/Croatia, Jenas is soft yet Ramos has a man crush on him.

    Selling Defoe in January was an omen of things to come; what a horrible move in hindsight, very short-sighted.

    And despite all the players they brought in, the one that would’ve made the most sense was Arshavin.

  5. i haven’t paid attention to the epl for years. hull city intrigues me. i look forward to paying attention to them.n thanks for the article.

  6. Who do you guys will finish as the top10 goal scorers this season? In no particular order i have

    Torres, Defoe, Agbonlohar, Carew, Ashton, Rooney, Ronaldo, Berbatov, Bendtner, Adebayor.

  7. Torres with 2 goals against Man City, so close to a hat trick. Tied with Defoe for EPL’s highest goal scorer with 5. Im banking on him top finish with 25goals this season in the league.


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