Remember remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot. This is the day in 1605 when Guy Fawkes failed in his attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Every year this is commemorated by bonfires and fireworks. However, Huddersfield Town fans have another reason to mark the date.
It is the date when David Wagner became the head coach. November 5th 2015, Terriers chairman Dean Hoyle took a risk. Appointing the ex-head coach of Borussia Dortmund II to a club in the English second tier, who had no experience of English football.
The self confessed ‘Crazy German’ had left the German team and was rumoured to be heading to team up again with his best friend Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. However, the German instead went to Yorkshire to bring his style and flair to the EFL Championship.
How far Huddersfield Town have come under David Wagner
When Wagner took over the helm in November 2015, Huddersfield were struggling, as they had done for the previous few seasons. The Terriers had finished in the bottom half of the EFL Championship with finishing positions of around 16th.
Wagner was announced as the new head coach on 5th November 2015 with his first match in charge four days later. The team he inherited could not progress much up the table and the German finished his first season in charge with Town in 19th in the league and avoiding relegation.
Wagner had been given instructions that the club had to transfer. Bottom half finishes in the Championship were not good enough, and certainly not what the chairman, fans and players ultimately wanted. The dream was Premier League football and it was a dream with no time-frame.
No one could have seen what was coming, but Huddersfield Town were about to embark on a very remarkable journey.
What Wagner did during 2016/17 pre-season was a surprise for the team, including those who had been brought in on loan. The German took the entire first team to an island just off Sweden. Without home comforts, including mobile phones, the team were forced to bond to survive.
If the needed food, they had to catch it and then cook it themselves, something probably many of them had never had to do before. The group bonded and were all working together to same end.
The new identity and work ethic was also evident on the pitch. Going from bottom half in the Championship, the Terriers were playing so much better and were behind the Wagner style.
On November 7th Huddersfield Town were sitting in third position in the Championship, having actually been in the top spot, and were in contention for an automatic promotion spot to the Premier League.
This was something new to the fans, having been outside of English top flight football for 45 years. The fans were starting to dream and dream big. The Terriers were closing in on what would be something huge in their history, and top flight football looked like it come become a reality.
Having defied the pundits in the 2016/17 season, who had Huddersfield as favourites for relegation from the Championship, Wagner took the team into dreamland. Gaining promotion to the Premier League in the play-off final in May, Huddersfield were now in the Premier League and their opponents would be the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.
The German celebrated his second anniversary weekend with a victory over West Bromwich Albion at the John Smith Stadium. The Terriers are currently sitting in 10th in the Premier League, and are playing to stay in the top flight.
Once again, the pundits started the season with Town favourites to go straight back down, however so far, sitting mid table, that still looks like it may not be happening. Huddersfield fans will be hoping that their team stay up. However, should the pundits be right and Town go back down this season, they have still come a long way in such a short period of time
Huddersfield Town have so far only lost one match at home, and that was to Spurs. Wagner changed how the team played in their very next home match, which was against Manchester United, and the Terriers defeated the travelling team to take their biggest scalp so far in the first season in the Premier League.
Ask any Town fan where they thought they’d be this time last year, you’d have had a variety of answers. Most would have admitted to dreaming about being in the top half of the Premier League, but that dream is a reality and it’s all down to one ‘Crazy German’ and a chairman willing to take a risk.