When Phil Brown took over as Hull City's caretaker manager in December 2006, they were languishing
in the Championship relegation zone. Against the odds, he kept them up.
The following season he orchestrated a late-season surge
into the play-offs, which the Tigers only proceeded to win, securing top-flight
football for the first time.
Considered massive favourites to drop straight back down,
Brown presided over a remarkable early-season run of form to escape relegation.
Yet, five games into the season, with Hull on equal points
to West Ham and one win away from a comfortable mid-table position, Brown's future now hangs in the balance and the bookies
make him 13/8 to be the next Premier League manager sacked.
Early Doors knows Hull's record since the turn of the year has been
putrid, and that their transfer activity over the summer was fairly scattergun.
It knows they were dreadful in the 4-0 Carling Cup defeat at
home to Everton, it knows they were booed off the pitch and it knows Brown
openly accused "one or two" senior players of letting him down.
But considering the above, doesn't
the man deserve a chance to get the club out of their predicament?
Even if Hull finish bottom
(which they won't, as that would
getting four points) they will still be in a better position than the one in
which Brown found them.
There is a false impression that Hull chairman Paul Duffen
has given Brown huge funds to fritter away on players - like the massive sums
spent by Roy Keane when at Sunderland or Harry Redknapp in the days when Pompey
Yet although there are plenty of new faces at the KC
Stadium, Hull's transfer activity this summer has been revenue
neutral at worst.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was free, while Ibrahima Sonko
and Jozy Altidore are in on loan.
And the fees paid for Seyi Olofinjana, Stephen Hunt, Kamel
Ghilas, Steven Mouyokolo and Paul McShane were more than offset by those
received for Sam Ricketts and Michael Turner, for whom Sunderland
could end up paying an eye-watering £10 million.
Hull's only real extravagance was the £5 million
acquisition and four-and-a-half-year contract lavished on Jimmy Bullard, who
promptly snapped his cruciate less than an hour into his debut in January.
There is a lot not to like about Phil Brown; his radioactive
perma-tan, his self-styled image as the Humberside Mourinho, his stupid bloody
headset and that 'look-at-me' half-time sit-in against Manchester City
But if Brown's
track record does not buy him until the end of the season to turn things
around, it will rank among the most bizarre sackings ever. Especially when Iain
Dowie replaces him.