Hull City Could Scupper Sunderland’s Managerial Plans This Summer – Opinion

Hull City announced on Tuesday afternoon that Liam Rosenior had been relieved of his duties after his side missed out on the play-offs this season by three points.

Before the campaign commenced, the club had tasked the former Derby County interim boss with building on last season’s 15th-place finish by making an outside push for the top six. In the grand scheme of things, Rosenior achieved just that as the East Yorkshire outfit reached the 70-point mark and the club’s best league standing in the English football pyramid for seven years.

Exciting players had been brought to the club last summer, including Jaden Philogene for a reported £5 million from Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa. Ryan Allsop and Aaron Connolly also joined on a permanent basis while the likes of Tyler Morton, Ruben Vinagre and Liam Delap moved to the MKM Stadium on loan.

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This was a Hull City squad with solid foundations to finish in the top half of the table in a campaign which boasted clubs such as Leicester City, Leeds United and Southampton and the financial power that came with their parachute payments following relegation from the top-flight last season.

However, somewhere along the way, the goalposts were shifted by the ownership, and this likely came during the January transfer window. Ryan Giles, Fabio Carvalho, Abdulkadir Omur, Billy Sharp, Ivor Pandur, Noah Ohio and Anass Zaroury all came through the door, causing other clubs in the Championship to stand up and take notice.

Carvalho was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch. The Portuguese playmaker joined Rosenior’s squad, having made 21 appearances for English giants Liverpool and 15 with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. Seven of these 36 matches came in Europe’s elite competition – the UEFA Champions League. From the get-go, Carvalho seemed to be a level above anyone else in the league.

As soon as the transfer window slammed shut at the start of February, Hull City were no longer plucky underdogs. With the players at his disposal, who could easily go toe-to-toe with the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City, the manager was tasked with taking the Tigers into the play-offs, a task he ultimately failed to accomplish.

In defence of Rosenior, the 39-year-old was a nominee for the Championship Manager of the Season award which Ipswich Town‘s Kieran McKenna eventually, and rightfully, won. Furthermore, Hull played some scintillating stuff this season under his tutelage and wins at Southampton, Leicester and Sunderland are proof of this.

That being said, with the goalposts in a new position, three wins from 13 games to close the season out hindered their chances of leaping above Norwich and West Brom. Whatever one’s own opinion is, the board have now decided to remove him from his post and work will begin on appointing a new manager who can finish the job in the 2024/25 campaign.

If the hierarchy at Hull City are keen to continue on the pathway of handing a promising, young coach the reins, then they need look no further than Will Still, who left his role at Reims in Ligue 1 just last week after eighteen months at the helm.

Still was identified as Tony Mowbray’s successor at Sunderland before Christmas and it was even reported that the owner of the Black Cats, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, held ‘positive’ talks with the English coach. With the season now finished, the 31-year-old is a contender for the vacant job at the Stadium of Light once more.

However, Hull could potentially get one up on their potential promotion rivals ahead of next season by bringing Still in as Rosenior’s replacement. The bilingual coach took Reims from a relegation battle in the 2022/23 season and guided them to an 11th-place finish in the table. For long periods of this term, the French club were in a battle for the European places but a poor string of results over the past few weeks caused tensions to rise as Reims announced Still’s departure.

Still is open to the idea of moving to the Championship. In an interview back in February with The Athletic, the managerial prodigy stated that his dream is to manage in the Premier League one day but would also be keen to take over a club in the second tier with the potential to reach the promised land.

“I would work for a Championship team without a problem,” he said.

“If there’s a Championship club that’s ambitious, that wants to work in the right way and be open and honest about things, and really try and push to get somewhere, then I would love to do that.

“Obviously, the Premier League is the ultimate dream for any manager in the world. I’m not in a rush, either. It’s not that, if I come to England, I have to go to the Premier League, or I have to go to this or that club. If something fits then it fits, and I’d be just as happy doing that.”

Still is one of the best young coaches in the world, has a proven track record of developing young players and holds an incredible tactical brain. At Reims, on a limited budget, he managed two consecutive draws against Paris Saint-Germain, a side that boasted some of the greatest players on the planet, including Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and none other than eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.

Ahead of the 2024/25 season, Hull City will likely have one of the largest budgets in the division and the board will want to make a push for the top six, potentially even the automatic promotion spots depending on summer recruitment. Still could be the perfect man to bring the Tigers back to glory, or else he may achieve this same feat with Sunderland.

About Adam Scully 1065 Articles
Deputy Head of Writing

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