Only two days ago Mike Phelan found himself "looking forward" to the challenges ahead after being named the permanent manager of Hull City. He may well be reconsidering his thoughts after his side came unstuck against a rampant Bournemouth team.
One side dominate the middle of the park
VAVEL anticipated that the game would be won and lost in midfield and that was certainly the case on Saturday afternoon. Hull bolstered their perceived strength in midfield as Harry Maguire returned to the squad in defence following a long injury, allowing Jake Livermore to push forward into a more advance role. Yet the Tigers were completely outclassed by a Bournemouth central midfield trio that included Jack Wilshere, Harry Arter and Andrew Surman.
The hosts shared the possession equally with their visitors but certainly did a lot more with the ball. All three of the Bournemouth engine room recorded passing success rates above 90%, whilst their Hull counterparts continuously gave the ball away. Livermore set the precedent within the opening 60 seconds as Jordan Ibe was only thwarted by a last ditch block from Curtis Davies and that set the foundations for the entire afternoon.
Stanislas and Ibe enjoy a fruitful day
The meeting was one of contrasting mentalities. Hull looked towards the direct route as full-backs Ahmed Elmohamady and Andrew Robertson delivered crosses from deep postilions with little effect. The tactic ultimately isolated their more advanced players, Robert Snodgrass and Shaun Maloney. The former showed his frustration when he bundled Callum Wilson over in the box, allowing Junior Stanislas the opportunity to grab an important third goal on half-time.
It was Stanislas and fellow wide player Jordan Ibe who caused all the problems for Hull as their central midfielders continuously fed the duo. Elmohamady was aware that Ibe would always try to cut inside on his stronger right foot but the Hull full-back could not get close to the trickery and pace of the left winger. Stanislas roamed from his position on a more regular occurrence and no Hull player was able to pick him up in the pockets of space that appeared. Stanislas was to play a part in four of the six Bournemouth goals.
Gaps in defence
The greatest concern for Mike Phelan is quite possibly the amount of space his defence afforded the attacking Bournemouth players. Although there was an element of bad luck for the opener, nobody was on hand to pick up Charlie Daniels. There could be no excuses for the second goal as Steve Cook floated between Elmohamady and Maguire to plant a free header into the back of the net from a Stanislas free-kick. Callum Wilson also benefited from poor Hull defending later in the game as he met a Josh King cross to nod home the fifth goal from an unmarked position.
In truth, it was all far too easy from a Bournemouth side who started the game with just one more point than Hull. Phelan certainly has plenty of work to do on the training ground this week.