What Makes A Team
Phil Brown has a well-organised squad of players that he has picked from the also-rans and the nearly men on the fringes of top flight football. What Phil Brown, Brian Horton and our Chairman Paul Duffen have done is speculated on players that have a hunger to be successful. Cousin and Halmosi want to play in the Premiership. Boateng wants to prove he shouldn't have been dropped at Middlesborough. Mendy, Zayette and Stelios want to play at international level again. King wants to prove that he is Premiership class after a disastrous season at Wigan plagued by injury, as does Gardner after rejection by Spurs and Everton. These players, added to those from the lower reaches of the Football League, have a hunger to not lay down and take a beating. They stand their ground and fight to win. The game on Saturday was a wonderful example of that grit and determination of the team, with everyone working together for a common goal and making a team look a lot worse than it is by playing some very good football.
What shouldn't be forgotten about the team against Arsenal was that of the five players from last season's Championship promotions winning side, three joined the Tigers whilst in the bottom division. Ashbee, our inspirational captain, Myhill, our agile keeper, and Dawson, our dogged left back, all plied their trade in the fourth division and gained promotion through all the leagues.
This shows that a team is the sum of its parts. Just because a team is made up of millions of pounds-worth of players doesn't mean it is a team. Toure has said in an interview that he "was scared to play against Hull City." Is this a statement from a player that is playing for supposedly one of the best football teams in the world? Arsenal are a collection of very good young players but are they a team? I don't think so, yet. Maybe losing to Hull City will help shape them but their defence looked shaky when we attacked them and I feel that Phil Brown took his team of Tigers to the Emirates to exploit that defence.
How many other teams in Hull City's position would play 4-3-3 against the Premierships leaders? I think that is the point to take from this game. Fortune favours the brave and Arsenal and the other top four teams get good results because other teams go to the Emirates, Old Trafford, Anfield and Stamford Bridge with a "batten down the hatches" attitude of damage limitation. Hull City didn't do that. They went to win a game of football, and did so.
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