As frustrating as it might be for Terriers’ fans right now, things are looking up in Huddersfield.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph‘s Rich Sharpe and the rest of the media shortly after Saturday’s 1-1 draw, Rovers manager Owen Coyle said: “That was a game that earlier in the season we would have lost by two or three goals, but we have come along way since then.”
However, the result was not really down to Blackburn’s recent improvement in form. Instead, it was more about Huddersfield yet again failing to take advantage of their domination – and when we say domination, we mean domination.
Just consider these figures: 67 percent possession, 29-9 in shots and 13-2 in corners. Of course, none of it matters, if you don’t lead in the most important category of all, i.e. goals scored.
This continues a recent theme of controlling games, but being unable to turn this into points. At least the draw against Blackburn represented an improvement on the two previous games.
Unfortunately for manager David Wagner and his players, the locals are getting restless. After a fantastic start to the season, which saw Huddersfield lead the Championship at the beginning of October, they have gone on a run of just five points from a possible 24.
As a result, they have dropped down to eighth place, and Terriers’ fans are concerned about what the rest of the season will hold for their team. There has been criticism of the style of play, saying Huddersfield needs to have a Plan B when things aren’t working.
Dealing with the latter point first, Plan B often means resorting to a 1980s’ Wimbledon or Arsenal-type approach, i.e. launching the ball up the field route one style, into the opposing 18-yard box. The problem with this is that Huddersfield don’t really have the type of big man needed up front to do this.
This leads us to the former point, in that there is nothing wrong with Wagner’s style of play. It’s more about the fact they are not being clinical enough in front of goal.
Certainly, with just nine combined goals by your forwards in 19 games, this isn’t going to get the job done. As a whole, the Terriers have scored just 21 times, which is second-fewest in the top half of the table.
With the January transfer window looming, Huddersfield will no doubt be looking for ways to improve the striker situation. (Although in that respect, fans should stop getting their hopes up about Jordan Rhodes potentially returning – it’s just not going to happen.)
Apart from that — and it’s easy to write this as an outsider — fans need to be patient and give Wagner time to work his magic. Consider that the team is much improved from last season, and is playing a style of football that is entertaining to watch.
Of course, the counter-argument from frustrated fans is that they’ve waited long enough, and this is perfectly understandable. It’s been 1972 since Huddersfield were last in the top flight and they are long overdue for a return to the big time.
Overall though, these are exciting times for the Terriers, with Wagner implementing his blueprint in all areas of the club. You can see the transformation gradually taking effect and it only promises to get better in West Yorkshire, so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Photo credit: YouTube – OfficialHTAFC
What’s your take on the Terriers’ recent performances? Are you optimistic about the team moving forward, or concerned they will fall off the pace in their challenge for promotion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.