With the exception of a few die hard soccer fans, most viewers will not be rushing to the television to watch today’s Premier League encounter between Hull City and West Ham.
Under Sam Allardyce, the Hammers have staggered to the start of the season with two losses in their opening three BPL fixtures. While Steve Bruce’s side have managed only four points in the league and have seen their dream of an extended run of European football (Europa League) ended by Lokoren.
Hull City were hoping to unveil their four new signings against West Ham. Mohamed Diame should make the starting eleven. But Hatem Ben Arfa, Gaston Ramirez and club record-signing Abel Hernandez are all doubtful for the match; with fitness issues facing Ben Arfa and Ramirez, and Hernandez dealing with work permit issues.
That leaves that match spotlight on Hull City midfielder, Tom Huddlestone.
Since joining the Tigers from Tottenham in the summer of 2013, Huddlestone has been a standout performer from the center of midfield for Steve Bruce’s side. The 27-year-old controls matches with his range of passing and hardnosed tackling. His delivery on free kicks are perhaps Hull’s best opportunity to score and his intelligent defensive play shuts down opposing team’s numbers right at the start of attack.
But the former Spurs midfielder is at his best when he’s given space to play neatly timed passes to Hull’s attacking players in areas where they can do their best damage.
Huddlestone’s play has had him on the cusp of an England call-up for the better part of a season. He has previous experience with the national team – earning four England caps since 2009 – but his contributions have been sporadic at best.
If the six foot-two inch midfielder played for one of the bigger clubs in the Premier League and showed similar consistency, the likelihood is Huddlestone would regularly be lining up with the Three Lions during the international breaks.
Despite his omission from the national team, Huddlestone has remained humble and deflected attention from himself to his Hull City teammates.
“I don’t think Roy Hodgson’s been up here,” he told The Sun. “But there are a few of us to watch.”
“Curtis Davies and Jake Livermore had a great season, playing regularly and full of confidence, myself playing regularly and feeling confident in a good team – so there’s a few of us that are always hopeful [of an England call-up].”
“Jake has been in the squad before, I think Curtis has been in the squad but hasn’t managed to get on the pitch.”
“So there are a few English lads at Hull who would be over the moon to get back in.”
“Me? I will always remain hopeful. Obviously I have to have another good season for Hull.”
[Hull City vs West Ham will be shown LIVE today at 3:00pm EST on NBC Sports Network ]
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