Why I felt for Hull’s manager on deadline day

Away from the more high profile spectrum of transfer deadline day there was one Premier League manager who was trying to bring in a singular player who would have really addressed a weakness within his side however was unable to do so after the deal collapsed late on in the day. This Premier League manager was none other than Hull City’s Steve Bruce who after seeing his side unable to take any of their chances away at Manchester City, was intent on bringing a goalscorer into the club. His main target was West Bromwich Albion’s Shane Long and quite quickly into the day a fee of around £5million was agreed with the Albion, however what quite happened next appears unclear.

Reports from The Daily Mail have suggested that Steve Bruce had organised a private plane to take Shane Long away from Dublin, where he was stationed with the Irish national team, to Yorkshire and from there he would travel to the club’s training ground for a medical. By all accounts all this went ahead without a hitch only for West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke to change his mind at around 10pm which caused the deal to collapse. Looking back this may have been around the time which West Bromwich had found out Romelu Lukaku had chosen to join Everton on loan rather than the Baggies and Clarke wasn’t keen to head into the season a striker light.

Despite managing to bring forward Mohamed Nagy, or Gedo as he is more widely known, to the club Steve Bruce is still said to be furious with the circumstances which led to the Shane Long transfer collapsing. I feel for Steve Bruce in this instance because there was nothing more he could have done. The player seemed keen to move, West Brom seemed keen to let the player leave so as not to lose him for nothing when his contract expires next summer however the proverbial rug was pulled from beneath Bruce at the eleventh hour.

It has been plainly evident Hull City are somewhat light in the forward department with Yannick Sagbo and Danny Graham being the club’s main strikers. Danny Graham looks to have settled in well at the KC Stadium and was a constant threat against Manchester City however he needs support and with Yannick Sagbo suspended for a further two matches following his attempted head-butt on Norwich skipper Russell Martin, he is likely to be forced to play up front on his own for the next few matches.

Shane Long is by no means a twenty goal a season striker like Steve Bruce jokingly said he wanted to bring in when in front of the BBC Match of the Day cameras last Saturday evening however he is undoubtedly a goalscorer. Having registered eight goals in each of his last two seasons at West Brom there is little doubt he would provide adequate support to Danny Graham and Sagbo.

You feel Shane Long would have really added a cutting edge to Hull City in an attacking sense as when you put him in a position in the penalty area with the ball at his feet more often than not you would back the Irish forward to find the net. This is exactly what a club looking to stave off relegation needs, especially in their first season in the Premier League and you have to understand Steve Bruce’s disappointment at this deal not going over the line.

This would have been the perfect signing for Hull, it would have addressed a clear problem within their side and wasn’t overly expensive, especially not for a club entering the Premier League at a time where participants are receiving the highest ever payment for television rights. When you look at the way Sone Aluko struggled to find the net against Manchester City you have to believe that Shane Long would have probably put that chance away and in the Premier League as Kevin Keegan once said as Manchester City manager “You may only get one half chance in a match in this League but you have to make sure you take them.”

Hull City now have to get through to January with a central front three of Gedo, Sagbo and Graham. Yes there will be contributions from George Boyd and Sone Aluko however I still don’t think there will be enough goals collectively there to keep Hull in a stable position in the Premier League table. I may well be proven wrong over the course of the next four months until the January window opens however I cannot see Hull City scoring enough goals. Shane Long whilst not a twenty goal a season marksman as previously mentioned he would have added goals at key times and taken the pressure of the rest of the forward line, I feel for Steve Bruce as he could have done nothing more to secure the signature of Long and wish him the best of luck in getting his current forward line improving in front of goal.


9 Comments on "Why I felt for Hull’s manager on deadline day"

  1. We might never know the truth behind this transfer saga, but it’s telling that Hull’s MD hasn’t been critical of WBA. Steve Bruce has been very vocal, but those in charge of the deal not so. Your MD stated that we kept you informed that the deal was contingent on our own transfer activity, which is fair enough. Whether you subsequently changed the payment terms, I guess we’ll never know. Sounds a little bit like mud slinging on our part.

    These things happen and I do wish Hull every success for the season.

  2. Chris,
    Not sure when you wrote your blog but I presume it was before WBA published their statement about the events on deadline day. Richard Garlick made it quite clear that the deal would have gone ahead regardless of who the Albion were signing had it not been for the fact that Hull, having agreed a fee, at the last moment said that they could no longer afford this and wanted Shane at a lower price.
    Given those circumstances it is unsurprising that West Brom refused to sanction the deal; trying it on in this way is clearly unacceptable and WBA may well have felt that this was sharp practice.
    The West Brom report was published on the official club site and Hull, as far as I am aware, have made no attempt to challenge it’s veracity. Given these circumstances Steve Bruce may well be furious but he needs to direct his anger in the direction of his own club.

    • Chris Winterburn | September 8, 2013 at 12:14 am | Reply

      You’re right Peter I wrote this before that statement was made available, it is a really odd situation but maybe the Gedo deal took more out of Hull’s budget than they thought at the beginning of the day. If that is true however the West Brom were well within their rights to cancel the deal.

  3. Now Albion have released their statement does it not fully explain what happened.Why would the baggies first say one of their best players could go then change their mind. Anyone who has ever watched our chairman in action will understand he does not get pushed around or come out of any transfer without the club getting the best of the deal.
    Hull tried to get the fee reduced at the 11th hour that was never going to work sadly in all this it’s hard to see how long will remain at the baggies beyond the next window

    • Chris Winterburn | September 8, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply

      I think there could be potential for a more than decent partnership between Anichebe and Long, Anichebe is an absolutely handful in the air and can just knock aerial balls down for Long to finish in dangerous areas, exactly like Drogba used to do for Lampard.

      • Chris – The problem is he can’t finish. Having started late in the game, Long is one of the most technically deficient strikers in the Prem. Great heart, decent speed, work rate and fantastic in the air, he has an awful technique. He needs to be playing week in week out to even get to the stage where he can control the ball. Unfortunately, he’s very injury prone so he rarely hits these heights. You should see him in shooting practice before the game. Absolutely comical. Hasn’t a clue how to strike a ball properly!

        It’s difficult to fault a man who, before this season, gave his all in every game. But if Albion have ambitions to move forward, then a lot of Albion fans have question marks about whether Long is the man to lead the line.

        • Have to disgaree, whilst perhaps not a natural finisher however “one the the most the techincally deficient” strikers in the premier leaugue is way off the mark. Anichebe is certainly poorer in this respect.

          Long’s biggest issue have been a series of injuries that have set him back, plus the form of Lukaku at the back end of last season. His goals to starts ratio isn’t bad.

          My personal view was how can WBA move forward when you sell your best players.

          • Hi Baggiebird, I stand by my statement. Well at least until I see how technically deficient Anichibe is first hand. I agree that Long has suffered because of injuries, but I would never call him a natural finisher. He’s a very good and capable player when in full flight, but a natural footballer he isn’t.

            Just my humble opinion of course….

  4. Also,although Shanes contract ends in the summer,the club have a further year option if they wish,so effectively,he won’t be leaving for nothing in the summer if he doesn’t sign another contract

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