How often can a fairy tale be rewritten? Huddersfield Town has a hard time in the Premier League in the second season. But coach David Wagner is not worried – and simply wants to ignore the last place in the league.
In the Premier League stadiums it’s common for many spectators not to wait for the final whistle. They make their way home beforehand, regardless of the score, in order not to get caught in the traffic chaos. At Huddersfield Town, this peculiarity has not yet prevailed. That was to be seen and heard again on the weekend against Tottenham Hotspur.
There were only a few minutes left to play, the winner was already determined. Tottenham led 2-0, but it should stay that way. Nevertheless, none of the 24,000 spectators left their seats. “Blue and white army”, sang the whole stadium with perseverance. The sound of almost 24,000 gossip boards set the rhythm. The opposing coach Mauricio Pochettino spoke afterwards of “the best atmosphere in England”, and Huddersfields coach David Wagner interpreted the unbroken euphoria of the audience as a compliment for his team. “No fan would support his team so passionately if the players hadn’t given their all,” he said.
There’s nothing wrong with the home game atmosphere and the fighting spirit of Wagner’s pros. Nevertheless, Huddersfield’s second season in the Premier League has been complicated so far, following his fairytale rise last year and similarly fairytale class retention.
After seven games, the team are still waiting for a win (like Newcastle and Cardiff) and are last in the standings. This is not particularly surprising. England’s media have unanimously chosen Huddersfield as their relegation candidate.
Little goes together in the attack
The squad has become even better this summer, at least in theory. Only one regular left the club, offensive midfielder Tom Ince. Among others, the team was strengthened by the Egyptian World Cup participant Ramadan Sobhi, who came from Stoke City.
But Huddersfield has transferred a problem from last season to the new campaign, namely harmlessness in attack. In the pre-season, the team (along with relegated Swansea) scored the fewest goals in the league. Even the last in the league West Bromwich Albion scored more often. Huddersfield scored only three times this season. The team has been waiting for a goal in front of their own crowd for six games – across the seasons.
The waiting almost came to an end against Tottenham. Huddersfield kept up well in the domestic gossip inferno and had several decent opportunities, the best of which was a volley shot from striker Laurent Depoitre to the bottom of the bar. For coach Wagner, it’s only a matter of time before his team collect their first win. “If we continue to play like this, we will be rewarded at some point, I have no doubt about that,” he says.
Wagner hides the results
In his opinion, it would be a mistake to compare the two seasons – the previous one and the new one. If you do, however, everyone will notice that Huddersfield has had droughts in the class preservation season as well. That’s true, four defeats in a row, five defeats in a row – it all happened.
However, Wagner’s team had the art to win whenever it was really necessary. In the new season, it would slowly be time for such a victory. Wagner’s recipe for this: simply ignore the frustrating results. “We have to make ourselves independent of the points and the table and just focus on our work,” he says.
One player who is supposed to help Huddersfield write the next sequel to his own fairy tale is Erik Durm. The German ex-national player, who is allowed to call himself world champion as a member of the 2014 travel group to Brazil (without playing in the tournament four years ago), has had to deal with all kinds of injuries in the recent past and was out of action last season at Borussia Dortmund.
In England he wants to get his career going again and played against Tottenham for the second time in a row. Like coach Wagner, with whom he has already worked in Dortmund for the second team, he is also hopeful that it will soon work out with the first victory. “We are a good opponent against every team and can score points in every game,” he says. Take a look at Superior Casino to see more about them.
Durm has experience with precarious table situations. He was there when the BVB slipped to last place in the Bundesliga in the 2014/2015 season. At the end the club was seventh.