Following Neil Warnock's surprise sacking, there has been much speculation over the next manager to be sacked. All eyes have been clapped on Alan Irvine at West Brom; however, Steve Bruce cannot be far behind. After last season's bitterly disappointing FA Cup final defeat, as well as spending lavishly in the summer, Hull were expected to make inroads into the Premier League hierarchy but have failed to do so.
Another season of struggle and turmoil beckons for Bruce and his Tigers; throughout 2014 they have only won 7 times and picked up 30 points in the last 38 Premier League games - a tally that would have relegated them in any Premier league season.
Central to Hull's struggles has been a lack of creativity. They have only scored 18 goals in 19 games - the fourth worst total in the league, and they have only averaged 9.9 shots on goal per game - the worst total in the league. Most worryingly, of their 19 games, Hull have not scored in 8 of them - a run that in their last 11 games.
Of the 11 transfers Bruce made in the summer, five have failed to make more than 10 league appearances: Robert Snodgrass (sustained long term injury), Tom Ince (loaned out to Nottingham Forrest), Harry Maguire, Brian Lenihan (loaned out to Blackpool), and Hatem Ben Arfa (loan rumoured to be cut short). Add in Gaston Ramirez and you have six players who have failed to contribute meaningfully to Hull's season.
Aside from Lenihan and Maguire, all of the aforementioned are attacking players and their failure is representative of Bruce's inability to set up his side in an attacking manner. Another one of Bruce's summer signings was Abel Hernandez who broke Hull's transfer record. Nonetheless, Hernandez has only scored 3 goals and is clearly being hampered by Hull's lack of creativity. He has only managed an average of 0.1 dribbles per game this season, indicating he is a striker incapable of creating chances for himself; however, with Hull set up the way they are, he will not receive the service remedy his weaknesses.
Creativity was a problem for Hull last season as they only scored 38 league goals - the fourth worst tally in the league. Furthermore, Hull only averaged 11.3 shots per game - again the fourth worst tally in the league. A chronic lack of creativity is clearly holding Hull back and considering how much Bruce spent in the summer in trying to fix the problem, perhaps he is not the man to take them forward.
*Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.