Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been one of the revelations of the campaign.
He has been at the level where the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic continued to perform for several years. Smalling was signed from Fulham as a player with potential, but he disappointed with his inconsistency in the last couple of years. Now, the presence of experience appears to have given him a new dimension and edge to his game. The importance of the 25-year-old is demonstrated by the fact that manager Louis van Gaal has not even contemplated the prospect of dropping him even for the sake of rest.
Smalling has featured in all of the eight matches for United this season. He even showed his attacking instincts in the recent game against Southampton, which finished as it 3-2 win for the Red Devils. United still have to go a long way before being considered as potential title challengers. However, they have moved within two points of table leaders Manchester City after the shock defeat against West Ham. Smalling may finally get some well-deserved break as the team shifts focus towards the League Cup. Ipswich Town will be visiting Old Trafford for the third round of the League Cup. It is a trophy that United can dream of winning this season.
“I think he [Van Gaal] has [improved me], all the coaches I’ve worked with, especially Louis van Gaal, have helped me.We work hard and tirelessly on the training ground with our tactics, we do 11 versus 11’s a lot so we know our positions and our roles down to a tee.The repetition has really improved my game and a lot of the other players as well.The manager said at the start of the season that once you’ve used to the repetition of drills, the tactics and you know your role that we will get better,” said Smalling.
Aston Villa are reportedly interested in bringing Tom Huddlestone back to the Premier League with a £ 5.5 million bid for the midfielder.
The former Tottenham man moved to Hull City last summer and was immediately relegated with the club into the Championship. A former England international, Huddlestone is seen as reportedly being unhappy at Hull and he could be offered a way back in to the top division through Villa. Even though the club only narrowly avoided relegation and they are in the process of being sold by owner Randy Lerner, they have already made some sizeable investments in the transfer window.
Micah Richards has arrived on a free transfer from Manchester City. The former England defender will be key towards preventing the club from leaking any more goals. Last season, Villa had the third worst defensive record in the division after having conceded 57 goals in 38 games. They only managed to stay above the relegation zone in the penultimate weekend. Apart from Huddlestone, Tim Sherwood is also reportedly keen on bringing Jake Livermore from the club. This is despite Livermore testing positive for cocaine a few months ago. Livermore could be banned from football for a considerable period of time.
The arrival of Huddlestone will compensate for the loss of Tom Cleverley, who decided to join Everton on a permanent basis rather than move to Villa on the free transfer.“Sherwood is a big fan of Tom, and the pair have strong ties after working closely with one another during their time together at Spurs.Tim coached Tom at White Hart Lane when he was fighting his way back to fitness with the reserves following a bad injury, and rates him as one of the best creative midfield players in the country,” said an insider at Aston Villa.
Hull City is currently fighting just to survive in the Premier League for another season and are positioned in the bottom spots of the English League.
Tom Huddlestone is a regular starter for Hull City in this season as the English midfielder has made over 20 league appearances in this campaign and he believes that all of the clubs’ remaining matches are going to have the same importance as if they were cup finals.
Tom Huddlestone spoke to reporters before his clubs’ match against Crystal Palace as the midfielder said: “We have to start capitalizing when we are on top and playing well. First goal is always crucial. Six cup finals to come.”
Steve Bruce and his men are not going through the best of times as Hull City sustained their 3rd successive Premier League defeat after losing against Southampton with a final scoreboard of 2-0. In order to achieve the task of surviving for another season in the Premier League, this losing streak has to end.
The 5 final Premier League matches of Hull City will be extremely difficult as they will have to face off with: Liverpool, Arsenal, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Depending on the result of these upcoming matches, it will determine if Hull City manages to stay in the Premier League or suffer a relegation blow back to the English Championship League.
McInally is a Sky Sports pundit and he revealed his thoughts about the current situation that Hull City is going through as McInally said: “Home to Liverpool, home to Arsenal, my goodness.If anything, Burnley, you’d hope to win. But I genuinely, genuinely can’t see getting anything. It’s so difficult.”
These last few matches of the season will be tough for Hull City and any amount of points that is secured in these stages are incredibly important for the survival of Steve Bruce and his team in the Premier League.
Hull City’s winless run stretched to 3 matches after the club could only manage a 0-0 draw with Leicester City away from home.
Even though the point taken may help push Hull further away from the relegation zone, three points would have been extremely positive for the club. This is considering that Leicester are one of the teams involved in a relegation battle. Bottom club Leicester are not being given much of a chance to get away from the drop zone. They are already seven points from safety, but the situation is much better for Hull City.
A win against Leicester have completely eradicated any worries about relegation for the next few weeks. As it was, the bottom club managed to get a credible 0-0 draw. They were partly helped by the fact that Hull City had a player sent off in the form of Tom Huddlestone. The former Tottenham midfielder stated that Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy was very clever in ensuring that he received the marching orders from the referee. Huddlestone was sent off after a second yellow card in the 72nd minute. His first yellow card came after just 14 minutes into the match.
Leicester not only had most of the possession, but they also dominated the chances. “2 rubbish yellows today.
Vardy was clever. Apologies to everyone involved. We should win games like that though,” said Huddlestone.”I have seen everyone surround Alex for a red card for his challenge. It is a perfectly decent challenge you would expect a good centre-half to make.It’s not even a foul but he is influenced by the reaction of the players. That is creeping into our game.That influenced the referee from then on. It got the crowd up. They are perfectly good challenges,” said Bruce about the part played by Leicester City players in the sending-off.
Manchester City have received a major blow ahead of the crucial Manchester derby with the news that midfielder David Silva will be out for the next three weeks due to an injury suffered in the match against Newcastle United a few days ago.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini took the risk of playing one of his important players in the League Cup match. City were knocked out by a resurgent Newcastle team, but more importantly, they will be without Silva for the next few weeks. Even though the injury blow is often by the fact that the international break is coming around the corner, Pellegrini will have a major headache ahead of the Manchester derby.
City have been the dominant force in the local derbies of late. They have won the last three in succession, but Manchester United are slowly appear to be coming back to their best. Silva, along with Sergio Aguero, has been the two best players for City this season. They have been able to overcome the poor form of important players like Yaya Touré as a result of it. Now, there will be more pressure onAguero to score the goals that could close the gap on leaders Chelsea. The blues will have home match against QPR on Saturday.
“David has a problem in his ligament. Maybe he will be out around three weeks, so he will not be available for the derby.He is a very important player but I always say the same thing, we have a squad and we have to replace him with another player.I think we are a team, and in that team we need top players in top performance always, because that is the best way to play. Yaya has a small problem but he should play,” said the City manager.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce expects midfielder Tom Huddlestone to be back to his best sooner rather than later.
The former Tottenham man was dropped to the bench in the 3-0 defeat in the hands of Manchester United. Bruce attempted to change the team in the hope of invoking some response amongst the players. The club has already suffered six defeats this campaign while they have managed only two wins. This record sees them just hovering above the relegation zone. The defeat against United has only worsened the situation while many felt that Huddlestone could have made a difference with his physicality and passing skills.
Bruce, though, says that the recent poor form of the team has led to changes and he does not expect them to be permanent. Huddlestone is one of the club’s most important players. The England international moved to the club in 2013 for just over £ 5 million. He almost helped them win the FA Cup in his first season at the club. Even though he was on the bench when the starting line-up was announced, many expected Huddlestone to make an impact if called upon. That call never came as Bruce brought on Stephen Quinn and David Meyler as the late impact substitutes.
“I just thought he could sit out and have a look at it.Maybe that will freshen him up a little bit and let’s hope it works. It’s fair to say that Tom has not lived up to the heights he did last year.Then again he set unbelievable standards in his first season with us. Tom will come again, I’m convinced of that,” said Bruce after the match.”We made the change and second half we were slightly better with one or two opportunities,” said the former Sunderland manager about the defeat.
The last match that Hull City’s Tom Huddlestone made at the international stage was back in 2012 when England played a friendly match with Sweden and Huddlestone entered the pitch as a substitute player.
Huddlestone wants to make more appearances for England and the English midfielder believes that Roy Hodgson should look around at Hull City and give different players a chance to perform and represent their country.
“I don’t think Roy Hodgson’s been up here. But there’s 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’’
“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.” Huddlestone said during the launch of the FIFA 15 demo.
In the previous edition of the Premier League season, Hull City was just barely able to escape the bottom relegation zone as they finished at the 16th spot with 37 points and now Huddlestone admitted in saying that one of the main objectives of the club is to remain competing in the top tier English League for another year.
“Survival is the main objective. There are ten teams that could be in a relegation fight. And although we have invested in quality players, I don’t think we can get above our situation at the minute. Hopefully we can get as close to tenth as possible but then, we are cautious enough to realize a lot of teams are also fighting to finish top of the bottom half.” Huddlestone added on.
Tom Huddlestone really had a horrible moment while playing in the Europa League a couple of days ago.
His team Hull City earned a penalty kick against AS Trencin, a club from Slovakia in the 63rd minute and the onus was on Huddlestone to convert that penalty into lead.
Huddlestone seemed to be quite confident as he came forward for taking the shot, but, he didn’t succeed in outfoxing the opposition goal keeper that dived in the right direction and managed to get his hand to the ball before it got past him.
Huddlestone still had the opportunity as the ball reached him on the rebound and he was just a couple of yards away from the net. He could have easily put it in, but, when it’s not your day, it’s not your day.
Huddlestone’s kick on the rebound went over the goal post and the second opportunity went begging for the Tigers in a space of few seconds.
Every Hull player had his hands on his head in disappointment at that point of time. It was a golden opportunity to get ahead of the opposition in such an important fixture. The match eventually finished as a scoreless draw.
The return leg will be played in a weeks’ time now and it’s the winner of that leg who will move to the next round of the tournament.
This is Huddlestone’s second season at Hull. He had been good for the club last season, both in the league as well as in other competitions, playing a great role in taking the Tigers close to the FA Cup glory.
Hull City had bought Huddlestone last summer paying more than 5 million Pounds to his previous club Tottenham Hotspur.
Huddlestone stayed at Tottenham for 8 years.
Hull City have been preparing for their second season in the Premier League with a training camp in Portugal. The players recently returned from their holidays, which was well earned considering that Hull not only managed to stay up quite comfortably but also reach the FA Cup final as well. Even though they lost the final against Arsenal, this was seen as a great season for the club. They will be looking to build on this success in the coming campaign, but it will be extremely tough. Newly promoted teams usually struggle in the second season and often end up being relegated.
Midfielder Tom Huddlestone is aware of this dubious record, but he says that the preparations have been going well so far. Compared to the temperate climate of United Kingdom, Portugal has been experiencing hot summers. Reflecting on the climate, Huddlestone said that it was not easy but he is aware that players need to get their fitness as quickly as possible. Due to the World Cup, there is limited time between the start of the new season. Hull city have been relatively active in this transfer window by bringing in some key names like Tom Ince, who initially linked with a glamorous move to Inter Milan.
Ince has also been involved in training with the rest of the team in Portugal. “It’s been good so far. Everybody is getting to know the new lads and we know this trip is going to give us more strength going into the new season. The hot weather is exactly what the manager was looking for because that gets the heart rate going more than it would back home. There’s already been a lot of hard work and by the look of things, all of the lads have come out here in very good shape,” said Huddlestone.
Tom Huddlestone has come out in support of Wayne Rooney. He doesn’t think that the star forward should be left out of the starting line up of England for the World Cup match against Uruguay.
The Three Lions had lost their opening match in the World Cup 2014 the other day against Italy by 2-1. So, they desperately need to win against Uruguay tonight.
England would stay alive in the tournament even if they lose against Uruguay, but, then they would find themselves in a very tricky situation where they would have to be dependent on the other sides. The England management would never want the team to be in that situation.
As far as Rooney is concerned, he has been heavily criticized for the way he played against Italy. Although he set up the only goal that England scored but, still, the Pundits reckon that he couldn’t perform up to the potential he had.
Some pundits have even said that the 28-year old Manchester United player should not be included in the starting XI against Uruguay, but, Huddlestone doesn’t agree to them.
The former Tottenham Hotspur player wrote on his Twitter account, “Huge match in a few hours’ time. I am backing England to bounce back. There were a number of positives in the first match. Rooney would strike I reckon.”
Rooney has never been able to rise for England at the World Cup level so far in his career. This is his third World Cup, but, he is yet to find the back of the net in the tournament. There will be huge pressure on him in the game against Uruguay. He will have to score if the Three Lions are to win. If he doesn’t, England might go close to suffering another early elimination.