Leon Wobschall – How Hull City and Nigel Adkins went their separate ways

Hull City manager Nigel Adkins: Will leave at end of month.
Hull City manager Nigel Adkins: Will leave at end of month.
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IT takes quite something for arguably the most positive man in football to say ‘enough is enough’.

READ MORE - Nigel Adkins leaves Tigers with ‘heavy heart’

Adkins plainly deserved more after securing Hull’s Championship status in a fraught 2017-18 campaign when the Tigers were listing dangerously towards League One.

Leon Wobschall

A striking facet of Nigel Adkins’s managerial reign at Hull City was that his glass always seemed to be steadfastly half full whatever the situation.

But the reservoir of positivity has finally been drained with the effects of what promises to be another stagnant close-season at the KCOM Stadium finally taking its toll upon Adkins.

His decision to part company with the club is thoroughly damning in its own way and speaks volumes about the malaise and sense of drift at the ailing East Yorkshire outfit.

Adkins may be a vibrant force of nature, but he is plainly no-one’s fool either, with the drip-drip effect of working at a procrastinating, listless club crying out for new direction, dynamism and drive in the corridors of power forcing him to take the decision to leave when his current contract ends on June 30.

Adkins’s leaving statement was typically dignified, but his final message delivered in it was also crystal-clear, unequivocal and somewhat telling.

It simply read: ‘Together everyone achieves more.’

It pointed to a troubled club lacking in direction, unity and alignment with the manager.

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Adkins plainly deserved more after securing Hull’s Championship status in a fraught 2017-18 campaign when the Tigers were listing dangerously towards League One when the 54-year-old arrived in December, 2017.

His consolidation work in another tough season in 2018-19 – one which saw Hull briefly flirt with the play-offs at one point and Adkins pick up the manager-of-the-month award for December – was also worthy of bouquets, given the off-the-field situation at the club where uncertainty has reigned for the past three years.

It is during the summer that the problems have been most stark in recent times out east.

Tardy recruitment, cost-cutting and the departure of key players have formed the depressing narrative ever since Steve Bruce decided he had had enough and walked in July, 2016.

The subsequent next two summers saw a long list of leading stars leave the club – from Harry Maguire, Curtis Davies, Andy Robertson, Ahmed Elmohamady and Sam Clucas in the 2017 close season to the likes of Seb Larsson, Allan McGregor, Michael Dawson and Abel Hernandez last year.

The current close-season cycle sadly promises more of the same, with the smart money being on Jarrod Bowen, Kamil Grosicki and Markus Henriksen leaving by the time that the new season gets underway.

For someone who spoke about his ambition and belief that he was coming into the prime of his managerial career when he revealed he was considering the offer of fresh terms in late March, having to pick up the pieces again after the exits of key players was something that Adkins justifiably did not wish to countenance – and why should he?

Certainly not without proper backing in the transfer market, which is unlikely to be forthcoming in the current environment to replenish a squad which looks painfully thin in some key areas.

Attention now turns to Adkins’s successor, with the club intent on moving quickly to bring in his replacement, with a target reportedly identified to bring in before the Tigers reconvene for pre-season training towards the end of this month.

The likes of ex-Tigers favourite Steve McClaren, Darren Moore, Danny Cowley and Gary Rowett have already been linked as Hull seek to secure their eighth different manager in eight years.

Given the current financial parameters at the club, it is difficult to envisage any of those names or others being able to do a better job than Adkins, who will be granted a fulsome show of respect from the Tigers faithful on his next visit to the KCOM Stadium.