Hull City August Review: goals galore

During this two-week break from the Championship for internationals, we review how all 24 teams have looked in their first five league games. Here’s our assessment of Hull City.

What we said in pre-season

“Hull City have boardroom unrest and, in Leonid Slutsky, a manager who has never worked outside Russia in charge of an ever-diminishing squad. Michael Dawson if he stays and Kamil Grosicki should do well in the Championship but a lack of depth puts the Tigers in the worst position of the relegated clubs. 14th

Have they surprised us so far?

Yes – The Tigers have had the best start of the relegated clubs! Kamil Grosicki’s early-season form was to be expected, though. The Pole adds pace and creativity out wide and was influential in heavy home wins over Bolton and Burton. Diogo Jota is the only left winger who has completed more successful dribbles than his 10 (WhoScored). Junior Hoilett is the only one with as many assists as Grosicki’s three, while the duo are joined by Jacques Maghoma in having scored twice this term. Look no further to find the most complete left winger of the Championship season to date.

The positives

Goals. Academy graduate Jarrod Bowen promises to be one of the stars of the Championship season. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is the only right-winger to score as many goals as his four and the only one to have more shots from inside the penalty area than his six. Ola Aina has made more tackles (17) than any right-back in the Championship, as well as the most interceptions. He and centre-back Michael Hector have slotted in seamlessly since joining on loan from Chelsea.

The negatives

The calibre of the two teams they’ve beaten heavily, Bolton and Burton, is yet to be seen, the latter playing 52 minutes with 10 men. Wolves and Villa arguably provide a more accurate yardstick for Hull’s promotion credentials and both dominated for long spells. Hernandez threatened to become Hull’s main goalscorer after a hat-trick in the second week, but he will miss most of the season after rupturing his Achilles.

Late business?

Jackson Irvine must have caught Leonid Slutsky’s eye when he scored a sumptuous bending effort for Burton at Hull, even if he was later sent off. Irvine was one of four additions made in the last week of the window: Jon Toral will provide creativity, Nouha Dicko pace and power while Fiyako Tomori offers much-needed defensive cover.

The Football Lab’s Grade

A good start, but bigger tests are still to come. C