Hull City: Grant McCann’s time as Tigers’ head coach set to end
It has been on the cards for weeks and was trailed by a Turkish journalist on Sunday night, but Grant McCann’s time as Hull City’ coach is expected to end today.
McCann took training yesterday after last week’s victories over promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers and Bournemouth extended the gap to the Championship relegation zone to 10 points. Even with Regan Slater, a midfielder McCann loaned from Sheffield United last season, expected to join permanently, new owner Acun Ilicali seems to have made his mind up McCann will not be part of his set-up.
McCann made it known there was no communication with Ilicali until a very brief chat after Wednesday’s win over Blackburn.
Former Rangers striker Shota Arveladze is set to replace him and incoming director of football Tan Kesler is said to be in talks with Turkish-based former Premier League players including Galatasaray’s Ryan Babel and DeAndre Yedlin, a Kesler client when he was an agent.
Fenerbahche’s Allayhar Sayyadmanesh continues to be linked but Fatih Karagumruk striker Aleksandar Pesic has publicly said thanks but no thanks to an offer from Ilicali, who completed his takeover on Wednesday.
Hull are set to sign Slater, despite him being a McCann target.
Last week midfielder George Honeyman praised McCann for shielding the squad as the proposed takeover dragged on.
“If you ask anyone in that dressing room, they want the manager to stay,” he said. “The manager and his staff have been amazing in a really tough time for them with the uncertainty. There must have been uncertainty in his mind but we as players have not felt that at all because of how he has shielded us from it.”
McCann joined in 2019 after taking Doncaster Rovers to the League One play-offs. He ended it with Hull challenging for the Championship play-offs only for Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki, who between them had scored two thirds of the club’s league goals at that stage, to be sold on deadline day.
Bowen’s move to West Ham United was completed after the deadline, preventing the £20m being reinvested. Hull’s form collapsed and they finished bottom.
Against the wishes of most fans McCann was kept on to build a title-winning League One squad despite a transfer embargo which did not allow transfer fees.
Again unable to buy players in the summer, Hull won this season’s opening game 4-1 at Preston North End but it proved the blip in an otherwise poor start.
McCann always insisted performances were better than results and when Ryan Longman recovered from Covid-19 and knock-on injuries, Honeyman’s season belatedly got underway after surgery and McCann changed formation, results picked up.
Georgian Arveladze began his coaching career as assistant to Louis van Gaal, Ronald Koeman then Dick Advocaat at AZ Alkmaar. He had five years managing in Turkey before a spell at Maccabi Tel Aviv saw him qualify for the Europa League in his first season before being sacked for failing to get out of the group in his second.
His last job was in charge of Uzbekistan’s leading club, Pakhtakor Tashkent, winning two titles, two Uzbekistan Cups and a league cup in a five-year spell which ended at Christmas 2020.