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05th Feb 2017

Paul Merson and Phil Thompson reminded of their comments about Marco Silva after Hull beat Liverpool

"He’s not got a clue".

Mike Wright

There are a few truism that seem to get taught on the first day of pundit school.

First is that managers need ‘Premier League experience’ to cut it in the English top tier. Then they must memorise the outrageous travesty that promising English managers are not getting a fair crack at top jobs.

Especially those from the lower leagues, where Premier League experience abounds.

So when Hull baffling chose a young manager, who was neither English nor had Premier League experience on his CV, to try and engineer their escape from relegation, there was understandably going to be a reaction.

It came principally from Sky Sports’ Paul Merson and Phil Thompson, who could not hide their fury at Hull’s refusal to run their club on tenuous punditry cliché.

This outrageous situation was compounded by the Humberside club’s parlous situation.

When Marco Silva was appointed at the beginning of January Hull was rock bottom of the Premier League with no wins in the last 10.

And all this guy had on his CV was three seasons with Portuguese side Estoril (who he guided to promotion from the Portuguese second division at the first time of asking), a trophy-winning season with Sporting Lisbon and then a title-winning season with Olympiacos in Greece.

It’s almost as if the Hull board wanted to be relegated.

However January has not quite gone according to the punditry-cliché script. Of the four Premier League fixtures the 39-year-old has been in charge for Hull have won two beating Swansea and Liverpool and earned a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

His only Premier League defeat has come at the hands of run-away league leaders, Chelsea.

Yesterday’s 2-0 win against Liverpool just underscored the progress Hull have made under his tutelage.

And although Hull are still a point away from safety, some of those hoary punditry truisms lobbed around when he took the job are starting to look a bit daft.

In fact one Twitter smart arse decided to remind Merson and Thompson of exactly what they had to say about the Hull boss on his appointment.

Paul Merson was the first to give his verdict on Silva’s pre-Hull achievements:

“I could win the league with Olympiakos. I am not even joking. They’ve won it 107 times and it’s only been going 106 years. 44, 43 times they’ve won it.

“You know this is a good job as well, Hull are a good team, it’s a great stadium, some very good players you know and… what does he know about Hull? What does he know about the Premier League? What does he know?”

Phil Thompson then chimed in:

“It is quite astonishing that they have plumped for someone like this. I totally agree, it is baffling when there are a lot of people out there who know about the Premier League, know what’s required to dig in. He’s not got a clue. He’s [received] manna from heaven to be given this job on his CV.”

Thompson later added:

“From League One, League Two, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to come in there? Who know about the league, who know what’s required here. He doesn’t know what’s required here. That is the difference.”

To be fair to the Sky Sports duo, at least they can still point to bang-up job English manager and Premier League veteran Big Sam is doing for Crystal Palace…

… ah.