Hopkin Looking To Curl One…

A regular blog dedicated to Crystal Palace Football Club through the eyes of a fanatical supporter, contemplating everything from results to the colour of Stuart O'Keefe's boot laces…

Archive for the tag “Robbie Brady”

It’s Nearly Over! Tom Ince Agrees Contract With Hull City

It seems that the Tom Ince saga is finally reaching a conclusion, with the winger having turned down the chance of moving Inter Milan in favour of, err, Hull City.

Whilst it may not be everyone’s preferred career path, the former Blackpool man appears to have set his heart on a move to the KC Stadium, where he will be greeted by the loving (if slightly chubby) arms of Steve Bruce and added to the club’s ever-more bloated wage bill.

Despite his controversial attempt to change Hull’s name last season, chairman Assem Alam is clearly keen to spread his wealth around this summer, with Ince looking to be the latest willing recipient of the Egyptian’s riches, after a contract between the two parties was agreed last night.

All that remains now, is for a compensation fee to be paid to Blackpool for Ince, which could well prove to be far from a formality. The Tangerines are likely to ask the tribunal to consider a figure of £8 million, based largely on the amount we paid them for the winger’s five month loan deal. Whether or not Hull will be willing to pay that much remains to be seen.

From our perspective, I can’t say I’m that sad to see him move on. Although he unquestionably has the ability to score a few goals and grab an assist here and there, he is far from the finished article so many casual observers would have you believe.

Arguably the biggest drawback to his game remains his upper-body strength, as proven by the frequency with which he was casually shouldered off the ball by opponents last season.

Should he spend some serious time in the gym over the next six months, Hull could well have a very useful player on their hands, but at £8 million, I don’t think there will be many Palace fans who are unhappy at missing out.

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Hull City V Crystal Palace: A Statistical Preview

All statistics are provided by the EA Sports Player Performance Index and not by the writers of HLTCO

Hull fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Southampton following which their manager Steve Bruce admitted that they were beaten by the better side on the day. A solitary goal from Yannick Sagbo will have been no consolation for Hull’s travelling support and they will be yearning for a vastly improved performance against Crystal Palace this weekend.

Hull defender Curtis Davies holds a particular distinction this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. No player has contributed more to his team’s defensive efforts that Davies, leading the league for total defensive contributions (successful tackles, blocks, interceptions, clearances) as he does with 155.

Steve Bruce will be looking for far more accuracy in front of goal from his players as the season progresses, with an inability to test opposition goalkeepers impeding their progress at present. Only one player in the Hull squad can boast a shot accuracy rate of greater than 50% (Robbie Brady – 80%), whilst their most active shooter, Sone Aluko, can only boast a shot accuracy rate of 45.5%. You can find last week’s scorer Yannick Sagbo at an industry best 28/13 to score at any time this weekend though with

Tom Huddlestone continues to provide a level of structure to the Hull midfield since signing from Tottenham. The imposing midfielder has racked up a solid 225 passes in the opponent’s half, at an average rate of one every 4.1 minutes he’s been on the park.

Managerless Crystal Palace managed to secure a vital point as they held Everton to a 0-0 at Selhurst Park last time out. The point will have been well-received but the Palace players will know that they had several chances to win the game and will no doubt be keen to make amends this weekend.

The Crystal Palace midfield have had to do a fair bit of work without the ball this season, with captain Mile Jedinak leading by example. He currently ranks joint third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total tackles won with 45, giving him a very solid success rate of 75%.

Indeed, the whole of the Palace squad have distinguished themselves so far this campaign, with a total of nine players having a tackle success rate of 75% or more for the season to date.

The Eagles may not have had much luck in front of goal this season, but that has not diminished Dean Moxey’s enthusiasm for taking the game to the opposition. He currently leads the Palace squad for dribble with 10 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

For rolling news and comment on everything happening at Crystal Palace FC, follow Hopkin Looking To Curl One… on twitter by clicking here.

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