Foreign managers ranked worst to first…

So this week we’ve finally had the news confirmed of the new manager. By all accounts Tim Walter seems to have both a good pedigree and is very keen to play attack minded football. In a couple of months he could win some games and be king of the hill or fail to and be stig of the dump… that’s how things tend to take shape at City and we’ll just have to wait and see. There’ll be some ins and outs in the meantime and a lot of us will put city on the back burner until after the Euros. It’ll certainly not be boring as that’s something City just don’t tend to be very good at.

Anywho… with this being our first ever gaffer from Germany, it made me think about the other times we’ve dabbled in the international waters with varied success and failure, so without much current content bar speculation, I thought I’d dig into those experiments and take us on a short trip through the highs and lows they provided us with. I’ve excluded managers who are British, just for clarity. Hope you enjoy it and as ever send your hate tweets to @thelikesofhull on Twitter (yeh, I’m not calling it X any time soon)

4th Jan Molby

Jan was the Ryan Williams of gaffers. Brought in mainly as they spanked us the season before (just as the four foot squint eyed winger had for Chesterfield a couple of years before) only for us to find out that it was probably more about us being terrible than than either actually being very good.

Molby was still quite a name in this era and with some serious money being spent during the off-season expectations were exceedingly high. The first game was a 2-2 draw at home to Southend in which we threw away the lead twice and I think (stattos prove me wrong) a certain Mr. Ashbee saw red. The game would be a metaphor for what was to come, City were clearly able and much more capable than in previous years, but we just couldn’t seem to get out of our own way.

It would be into September before we got our first win with a 2-1 victory at Cambridge United and although we then followed that up with a 4-0 home thrashing of Carlisle, we soon returned to our inept habits and lost 3-1 at home to Macclesfield. After a humiliating defeat at his old club Kidderminster the end was nigh and the chip shops of East Yorkshire would have flags at half mast before the end of October as Adam Pearson had seen enough.

On the brighter side he did bring in a couple of capable players in Ashbee and future god botherer Stuart Elliott, but then he also brought in Richie “the limp” Appleby who was about as much use for us as Jason Lokilo in a world’s strongest man car pull.

Players would later talk about the big Dane’s arrogance and unfortunate manner, which may have explained much of the above abject failure. Luckily the Scandinavian scran devourer was about to be replaced by someone not half bad…but that’s another story.

3rd Shota Arveladze

The first major appointment of the new era had a fairly straightforward mission straight away… keep us in the Championship. To be fair he did this fairly easily, although it could be argued that much of the hard work was already done. However that short stint in the spring of 2022 wasn’t too bad. Some cracking wins came on the road at Middlesborough, Peterborough and Coventry and all seemed pretty positive.

Looking back much of what was in place was pretty good, Keane Lewis Potter was developing into the sort of striker that would turn heads in the Premier League and we were defensively sound with Greaves, Jones, Fleming, Ingram etc in place. The summer again raised expectations with some big name signings in the name of Tufan, Seri and Estupinan to name just a few but much like the aforementioned Dane, things just didn’t really get going. Wins in the first three home games papered over some sizable cracks and the 3-1 loss at QPR on the 30th August would start a five game losing streak that exposed both the team and the manager in charge.

A farcical 3-0 defeat at Swansea, live on Sky would be the rather large nail in the coffin of the Georgian’s short stay. Always likeable, the sacking still felt inevitable, although it’s up for debate about how much if any control he had with the ins and outs of that summer.

2nd Leonid Slutsky

Speaking of those who may not have had control over the ins and outs, I give you the smiley faced, 10p slot playing Russian who was given a particularly short shrift in 2017.

After relegation from the Premier League and at the height of the protests towards the owners in stepped former national manager Lenny Sluts. It’s hard to say there were high expectations as a number of successful players left that summer. Andy Roberton, Harry Maguire and Sam Clucas were all moved on for a pretty penny.

Not exactly our greatest transfer window featured some names with high expectation but pretty uninspired performances. The Hull City Hall of Fame won’t be nominating Stephen Kingsley, Jon Toral or Nouha Dicko anytime soon. We also dipped into the loan market with three Chelsea players, and again to no great acclaim, Michael Hector was a calamity, Ola Aina was able but raw and at times na├»ve, whilst Fikayo Tomori would go onto big things, but that wasn’t very apparent seven years ago.

There were moments, like with most managers where things looked on the up, notably the 6-1 pounding of Birmingham City at home, but the atmosphere was often sour in the KC with the acrimonious relationship with the Allam family hitting new lows and the 3-2 loss at home to Nottingham Forest saw more protests in the north stand that overshadowed another hit and miss performance.

A seven game run without a win ensued and not even a last minute equaliser by Michael “I’ll sulk at the Holiday Inn Nottingham until I get my move” Dawson could save the likeable Russian. Nigel Adkins was in the crowd at Hillsborough with a bowl of muesli and that was pretty much that. Dasvidaniya Lenny.

1st Marco Silva

Ironic really that I know I’ll get a hard time for putting a bloke first who got us relegated (technically) yet he’s far and away the best foreign manager to lead this club in my eyes and I’d guess plenty of you too.

Marco really took over a hot mess. The most dysfunctional off-season ever from the club that had plenty of high bars to jump in terms of chaos, led inevitably where it was always going to, the bottom three of the Premier League. Despite the opening day heroics against champions Leicester and some valiant performances afterwards City were in free fall.

Exit Mike Phelan and enter the Portuguese heartthrob himself. With little time to spare Marco recruited quickly at the end of the January window and brought in some real crackers. Andre Ranocchia, Kamil Grosicki, Lazar Markovic and Oumar Niasse were all quick improvements over what we’d seen in the first half of the season and suddenly there was a bit of hope.

Performances were on the upturn and a 3-1 win at home to Bournemouth in MS’s first game announced that this City team weren’t going to go quietly. At home we were at times sensational and wins against Liverpool, West Ham, Swansea, Middlesborough and Watford suggested that we could dig ourselves out of this sizeable hole.

However, there were two problems. One, the zonal marking system never seemed to work and we shipped goals from set pieces, two we just couldn’t replicate the form away from home. A smash and grab loss at home to Sunderland, mainly based on the heroics of Jordan Pickford essentially was the hammer blow and it was over in reality before the away game at Crystal Palace on the penultimate week.

It’s a cliche I know, but it’s the hope that kills you and Marco Silva gave us that when essentially none was to be had. We were exciting and attacking again, and whilst the rollercoaster ride wouldn’t lead to survival, it was a commendable effort considering the baggage he inherited. Silva has gone on to success, particularly at Fulham and if Tiger Tim is as canny and knowledgeable as Marco… we might just be ok next year.

Thanks for reading folks. UTT.