The last month has been rather eventful for Huddersfield. We ended a club-record losing streak, our beloved Head Coach left the club by mutual consent, Jan Sievert arrived as his replacement and we actually scored a goal! Here is an overview of recent events, a look ahead to our next fixture and a brief summary of Huddersfield FPL assets.
Cardiff 0-0 Town
Town controlled the game, limiting Cardiff to just three off-target efforts on goal but were unable to find the breakthrough. The major talking point was the referee’s decision to award Huddersfield a penalty, only to change his mind after pressure from the Cardiff players. This unusual situation seemingly could only happen to one team in the Premier League and I believe it was the final straw for David Wagner, who resigned after the game.
This was my first chance to see loanee Jason Puncheon in action and he looks to have instantly gelled into the team. Despite having played just nine minutes for his parent club all season, he looks sharp and adds some much-needed creativity to the side.
Hudsonfield 0-3 Man City
Following the shock departure of David Wagner, Under 23 coach Mark Hudson had the unenviable task of rallying the team for this difficult home encounter. With a different formation and six changes to the starting XI, he didn’t shy away from the challenge and made several crowd-pleasing alterations.
An early deflected goal for the visitors made it an easy afternoon for City but they weren’t at their best and the Terriers at least made them have to work for the three points. A string of 15 or so passes late in the game was met with olés from the home supporters, showing that the team’s efforts are still appreciated despite the poor results.
Town 0-1 Everton
Just three minutes into Jan Siewert’s first game as Head Coach, the Terriers were in the all-too-familiar position of being a goal down. It was an even match but once again, fine margins left us with nothing to show for it. Aaron Mooy returned from a month-long injury, coming on early in the second half and put in a solid performance. We created chances but Jordan Pickford pulled off a few great saves to secure the points.
Adama Diakhaby and Juninho Bacuna have received a lot of criticism from Huddersfield fans (me included) but they impressed in this game and linked up well to create the best chance of the match. They are both still young and have relatively little first-team experience but show a willingness to learn and the ability to implement the new coach’s ideas. With the right nurturing, they could become important players for Huddersfield.
Chelsea 5-0 Town
It is pot luck which Chelsea will turn up these days but in keeping with the rest of our season, we got the short straw and faced a backlash from their recent 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth.
Hazard was like a man possessed and even when he was being repeatedly fouled he seemed unstoppable. His attitude is in stark contrast to people like Wilfried Zaha and he just got on with the game rather than moaning about it.
Phillip Billing returned from injury and had the first of Huddersfield’s two shots on target in this one-sided match. A major strength to his game is that he isn’t afraid to try a long range effort.
Town 1-2 Arsenal
For the second home game in a row, we fell behind early to a deflected shot. This one however should have been a fairly routine save and has to go down as another clanger from backup keeper Ben Hamer. Jonas Lossl was out through illness but should be back for the trip to Newcastle on Saturday. The second goal was unstoppable and came right before half time.
Arsenal were fairly poor throughout and Huddersfield pretty much dominated the second half, carving open multiple good chances. There was a different feel to this match and it was the first time I have seen Jan Siewert’s ideas really influence the team’s performance. The atmosphere was electric and despite suffering another defeat, there was plenty to be optimistic about.
Diakhaby was deservedly awarded man of the match and his shot in the final minute led to Huddersfield’s first goal in 597 minutes of football, albeit via a Kolasinac own goal. Another player of note was new signing Karlan Grant, who came on for a cameo in the 83rd minute and showed some attacking threat. Laurent Depoitre has looked sluggish all season but was more like the Lolo of last season when he came off the bench and came agonisingly close to scoring.
Up next: Newcastle (A)
Newcastle are still very much involved in a relegation scrap and I have a feeling Huddersfield could pile more pressure on them in this fixture. The two teams are of a similar standard in my opinion and we have improved in recent weeks. With only pride left to play for, I hope we can approach the game without pressure and grind out our first win since November.
There isn’t much to look at from Huddersfield but there are a few bargains to add to your bench and see you through the blank gameweeks 27, 31 and 33. Huddersfield have no blanks and don’t face a top six side for the next seven matches.
Jonas Lossl (4.4) is our top point-scorer and has the most points in the game for his price. If you are looking for a budget defender, Christopher Schindler (4.2) is the cheapest playing option for Town and would be my pick regardless of price.
Jason Puncheon (4.2) is the obvious choice if you are looking at attacking options. As cheap as midfielders come, he seems nailed on to start and gets in attacking positions. The forwards are to be avoided but if you were inclined to go for a mad punt, Karlan Grant (5.0) has looked good in his two cameo appearances. With 14 League 1 goals this season, his confidence will be high. Psychology is so important in football and it’s not implausible to think he could bag a fe