Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill had to deny links to the Hull City job last night after his Ireland team drew 2-2 with Serbia in World Cup qualifying.
I am not quite sure why the Irish boss is being linked with the job anyway, as current caretaker boss Mike Phelan should be given the role on a permanent basis and media reports suggest he is about to be handed a permanent deal at the KCOM Stadium.
Exemplary so far
I have to admit at the start of the season I was one of those people writing of Hull as a lost cause and I have to say I did not believe that Mike Phelan had it in him to be a Premier League boss.
Phelan had always come across as a number two, maybe because he has always just been a coach and never had the top job before. However, for an inexperienced boss he has done an incredible job with very little resources.
The Tigers have produced very good displays in their three Premier League games so far this season. Two wins and a highly unlucky defeat against Phelan’s old club Manchester United has been a very good start for a team that most people expected to sink without a trace this season.
Everything seemed to be against them at the start of the campaign. They had no permanent boss, hardly any fit players and the owners were attempting to sell out. However, things are now looking slightly rosier for the Tigers at the moment.
Phelan is highly-experienced
Phelan may be a rookie number one, but he has collected a wealth of experience being a coach in the last two decades. The 53-year-old spent more than a decade coaching various teams at Manchester United.
He also spent five years as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at United, which I am sure he learnt a great deal from. It would be impossible to work so closely with such a great manager without having garnered a morsel of their managerial methods and magic.
Ferguson was one of the best football managers the game has ever seen. Phelan was his trusted lieutenant at United and if Ferguson rated him as a coach then he must be good.
Everybody in football seems to think that Phelan has what it takes to become a manager in his own right. However, due to the fact that he has taken so long to make the step-up to a boss, there will be doubts about whether he has what it takes.
Phelan has been thrown in at the very deep end at Hull City. Not only has he guided the club through difficult situations, but the team have thrived under his management. It may only be three games into the Premier League campaign, but you can see the Hull players are playing for Phelan and each other.
It would be wrong for the Tigers to appoint another boss now. He has made a good start and it looks like he will be given the opportunity to continue to prove himself in the Hull hot seat.
Premier League relegation battle
The Tigers may have won two out of their first three Premier League games this season, but nobody will realistically look beyond staying in the top-flight as a goal for the Humberside club this season.
Phelan’s side are now odds of 10/11 to be relegated this season, which makes them the second favourites to go down behind fellow top-flight new boys Burnley.
Those odds are not surprising considering how much of a crisis the club appeared to be in at the start of the season. Phelan managed to bring in six new players on deadline day, which will at least give the former-United coach some more bodies and options.
The new signings and Phelan being appointed as the club’s new boss on a permanent basis will help stabilise the club slightly and give the fans hope that this season could still be a success.
At the moment after the heart and the spirit the Hull players have shown under Phelan I would write them off at my peril.
Should Mike Phelan be named as Hull’s permanent boss?