Hull City are many people’s tip to get relegated, this would not be an unfair statement to make. They have not made the greatest start to the season with problems both on and off the field. However the last two games have seen Hull take 4 points from a possible six, performing well and scoring 5 goals in the process. One of the main factors in this recent success has been the injection of the returning England midfielder Jimmy Bullard.
Hull have been much more impressive in their last two games against battling opposition Stoke City and West Ham. Bullard has been at the centre of all what Hull did throughout these two games. The 31 year old showed that despite his long break from first team football due to his knee injury, he is still set to be an instrumental player for the Tigers.
Since his return Bullard has shown what he can bring Hull. His Premier League experience in midfield from his time at Wigan Athletic and Fulham should not be overlooked. He has previously been involved in a relegation battle in the season that the Cottagers performed the great escape and his return was one of the main sparks to the West London club’s survival. However above all, Bullard makes things happen. Take the Stoke game for instance, the last minute winner from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink came after goalkeeper Thomas Sorenson spilled a Jimmy Bullard strike. It was not the first time that Bullard had struck from distance in the game, he often looked threatening from distance however it wasn’t until stoppage time that he reaped the rewards.
Bullard was as impressive, arguably more so in the weekend’s 3-3 draw with fellow strugglers West Ham United. The Tigers found themselves two goals down within the first 11 minutes, not the most ideal situation; however Bullard led a spirited Hull City comeback in one of the most thrilling games of the season so far. Both goals that Bullard had a hand in showcased another aspect of his game that he will bring to the side; set pieces. Admittedly Hull do not lack a quality set piece taker, with Brazilian Geovanni more than capable from dead ball situations but nevertheless Bullard still excelled in that department. He struck a free kick that caused West Ham problems, deflected off a range of players before clipping the head of Carlton Cole and finding its way into the top corner. This was followed by the midfielder expertly finishing from the spot as he crashed a penalty high to Rob Green’s right.
Bullard has returned to the centre of the Hull midfield and has given their side a new dimension. His influence has boosted confidence at the KC Stadium and Hull will look to get a result from a home match with Everton tonight; a match that is most certainly winnable with Everton still struggling to find form. If Hull City can find a run of form with Bullard at the centre then Premier League survival is more than achievable for the Tigers.