How will Hull boss Leonid Slutsky fare in English football?by Mike Holden / 07 August 2017, 14:59Tweet
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) looks at what we can expect from Leonid Slutsky and Hull during the 2017/18 Championship season.
Hull fans endured a shambles of a season that started with the untimely resignation of Steve Bruce in late July, continued with the saga of whether caretaker Mike Phelan would be offered a permanent deal, and ended with relegation. There was real promise when Marco Silva arrived in January but it turned out he was only using the job as a stepping stone to showcase his ability and he departed for Watford in the summer. Now the Allams have rolled the dice on Russian explorer Leonid Slutsky.
Slutsky is an intriguing character, an instantly likeable man who is very curious and open-minded about England and its football culture. He seems genuinely overwhelmed and delighted just to be here. Early interviews suggest he is rather analytical, always taking stock whenever he encounters a new experience and applying the findings to refine a richly-detailed bigger picture. From that, we should assume his leadership approach is measured, counting on specialist expertise in most fields, and his decisions are generally well thought-out in advance.
"For a lot of the players, it is not the first time Hull have been relegated and I hope we can use that experience to our success and have really successful season. Now I am happy and satisfied with how each player reacts to my requirements and I think we have the same targets. I read the interview with Michael Dawson about (my first session) being maybe the hardest training session in his career and it’s true. I’m really happy that all players are in good condition and professional."
The Tigers are looking short of depth and quality having lost several key players over the summer and their preparations have been tough in many respects. There’s still time for some issues to be addressed before the end of August but it’s hard to imagine them doing the amount of business need to make up for lost ground. The hope for Slutsky is that these mitigating circumstances are taken into account if the season becomes an ordeal and he’s able to put down a solid platform for next term.
Prediction: bottom half