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All Hail Hull City, Giant Killers Of The Premier League


Who would have expected Hull City — tipped by many for relegation, myself included — to go to the Emirates Stadium and pull off one of the shocks of the season against the mighty Arsenal?

Every player on the Hull City side yesterday deserves a massive round of applause for the way they played in their shock 2-1 win over the Gunners.

This was no fluke. Far from it.

Hull defended valiantly, putting so many of their players behind the ball and breaking out on counterattacks whenever the opportunities arose. By flooding so much of their penalty area with defenders, Hull forced Arsenal to play wide. Hull was then easily able to defend the crosses coming in from the left and right wings and then knock the ball to safety.

Sure, this wasn’t a performance from Arsenal that we typically expect to see, but part of that has to be directed at Hull who prevented Wenger’s side from playing the type of game they thrive on. Theo Walcott for Arsenal had a poor game and looked very much like the player of last season instead of this season — spending too much time on the ball and being slow to react.

Going back to Hull, the players that generated such a herculean performance deserve to be mentioned, all 11 of them:






The two goals scored by Hull were world-class. Geovanni’s 25 yard shot into the top corner is one of the goals of the season thus far, while Daniel Cousin’s header was wonderfully taken after a great leap.

While Hull’s goals were spectacular, the overall way they played against Arsenal wasn’t pretty by defending deep. But to play against Arsenal, this is exactly the type of performance that’s necessary that prevents the Gunners from playing their beautiful brand of football.

Incredibly, Hull City now sits in sixth place in the league with eleven points, which is exactly the same number of points that Derby County achieved during the entire 2007/2008 season. Hull have already beaten Arsenal, Newcastle and Fulham, and have drawn Everton and Blackburn.

Where Hull goes from here, no one knows. But what we have seen is a wonderful performance that just goes to show that if teams play with heart and confidence that even the lesser sides can overcame the giants. And this is exactly what the Premier League needs. Predictability? The Big Four? You’re having a laugh.

Be sure to read all of the newspaper match reports for the Premier League games throughout the season, as well as chatting live with football fans from around the world during today’s games in the EPL Talk Chat — all courtesy of EPL Talk writer and host Johnathan Starling.

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  1. DaveMo

    September 29, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    I don't watch Fox Football Fone-In much this season (or listen to WSD at all), but I've been wondering if Stephen Cohen has retracted his oft-repeated declaration from late last season – that all three clubs coming up from the Championship (Hull, Stoke, WBA) would be going right back down – that it was essentially a “relegation pressure free year” for the 17 clubs that manged to stay up. Anyone follow him closely enough to know? Not to say that they're safe, but – surprise! – they're good. I'm a United fan, and especially after the way they've begun their season, I'm always watching the weekend matches that include Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool – always hoping they'll find some way to drop points – who would have thought Stoke would trip up Liverpool, and Hull Arsenal? It's like manna from heaven.

  2. lsmetana

    September 29, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Massive win for Hull. The more points they put up early the better off they'll be come the busy stretch in Dec/Jan.

    Geovanni has to be one of the best signings of the summer thus far. He's really given Hull some creativity and that ability to strike from long-range.

  3. jm1

    September 28, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Well, this sure puts some pressure on Arsenal. It isn't a season killing loss, being only 2 points off the pace. However, given that Arsenal's easiest stretch is the beginning of the season, there will be a lot more pressure to get 3 points out of some of the tougher matches as the season goes on.

    Fair play to Hull though. Some Arsenal fans have been devastated today, worried about how poor the performance was. I'm not as concerned. Yes, there were lots of problems – didn't take some chances we should've, lacked the ball in often, didn't keep up with our marks on that corner, etc. Hull, however, just did what they had to do. They played tight and organized defense and when they had opportunities they took them brilliantly. Both of their goals were perfectly placed. Better to be beat by a team that deserved the win than on shocking officiating or a lucky goal or something.

  4. Matt

    September 28, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Interesting, the MoTD analysis focussed on the fact Hull forced Arsenal inside and had bodies in there and didnt allow them to get behind and get crosses in. The opposite of your analysis 😉

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