With the 2017/18 season drawing to a close, Peter Johnson reviews David Meyler’s time in East Yorkshire, one of the few players from the Bruce era who is still part of the set up at the KCOM.
If David Meyler departs Hull City at the end of this season then he takes with him countless memories of a glorious career with the men in black and amber.
Whilst he often divides opinion amongst City fans, he was a fundamental part of the Steve Bruce era and made a huge contribution to our flirtation with football’s big time. Two promotions to the Premier League including a Wembley play off final in 2016, the 2014 Wembley FA Cup Semi Final and Final and a brief taste of European football. And of course he scored at Wembley in the Semi-Final. All at a time when his international career with the Republic of Ireland also blossomed to the point where he took over the captaincy. He did ok I reckon.
Whilst not renowned as a goalscorer, some of his goals will live long in the memory of Hull City fans and will always be a big part of of a colourful and unprecedented period in our history. It’s arguably not the strongest part of his game but he scored some crucial goals during his time with us and seemed a player inspired by the big occasion.
We like a trier in Hull. Meyler is a scrapper. His midfield role is rarely a glamorous one, chasing, tackling, closing down, organising and distributing, looking to win possession and build attacks. Rather like Ian Ashbee in Phil Brown’s Hull City side, Meyler’s attributes were not always clearly visible to some fans but he has been a superb team man and would be much missed. If he leaves he will be the last of Bruce’s sizeable Irish contingent to do so and along with the likes of Brady, Quinn and the legendary McShane, this popular group of lads from the Emerald Isle will always be fondly remembered by City fans.
David arrived at Hull City on loan from Sunderland in November 2012. He scored his first goal away at Watford later that month and was signed by Steve Bruce early in 2013. His 5 years at the KCOM have been eventful and largely very successful, yet he probably first achieved national fame following his infamous touchline skirmish with Alan Pardew when the Newcastle manager headbutted Meyler during the game at the KCOM on 1 March 2014.
Whilst he has been a consistent performer, for many Hull City fans the 2013/14 season will rank as Meyler’s finest spell. His first Premier League goal came in the historic first PL win over Liverpool in December 2013, but my personal favourite Meyler memory came just a few days after the Pardew incident when he scored a vital and memorable goal in the FA Cup Quarter Final win at home to Sunderland, running to the corner flag after he scored to head butt it and mock the incident with the Newcastle boss. A great moment in a wonderful win for Hull City which was the starter for 2 trips to Wembley Stadium in just a few weeks for the Tiger Nation.
David Meyler is only 28 and has a lot to offer any football club. He is a seasoned professional and proven performer at both Premier League and Championship level with a wealth of experience for both club and country. He should of course be given a new contract but given the current state of our football club, it may not happen. Like so many before him he has applied himself admirably even in the Ehab induced ‘post Bruce fallout’ he has stuck it out and given his all. But whatever is said publicly the crazy antics of the dreadful Allams must have been tough to work with over the last few years and Meyler may long for a move to a happier and more settled environment. Who can blame him. He probably deserves a testimonial for surviving the Allam era this long.
A final point to mention is that Meyler has been one of the first Hull City players to become well known for his social media presence. His Twitter account remains active, interesting and informative and during one of the recent ‘silences of the Allams’ he arguably became Hull City’s most effective communication outlet, providing a useful insight at a time when the gulf between owners and fans was widening fast. Yet his tweets remain sensible and professional, with a touch of Irish humour often included.
So when you think about the greatest Hull City players of all time you might not straight away think of David Meyler but if you draw up a list of Hull City all time favourites and greats then ask yourself this, did they captain Hull City? Captain their country? Score in a Premier League win over Liverpool? Play and score in a Wembley FA Cup Semi-Final for Hull City? Play in a Wembley FA Cup Final for Hull City? have 3 seasons and 70 appearances for Hull City in the Premier League? Play in Europe with Hull City?
David Meyler did.
So will he stay or will he go? I’d like to see him stay. Either way I’d like to thank him for everything he’s done at our football club. A great professional on and off the pitch, all the best for the future and let’s hope you play many more games for the Republic of Ireland and inspire them to more success.
Without doubt David Meyler, you’ve done Cork proud.
Peter Johnson is Editor of Hull City Fans Group Tigerlink and is a Director of the Hull City Supporters Trust (HCST).
This article first appeared in FanaticHull Issue 35 – to buy it see our online shop here