Huddersfield Town had their first season in the Premier League during the 2017/2018 year. Pundits wrote the Terriers off before a ball had been kicked and they were one of the favourites for relegation immediately back to the EFL Championship.
Huddersfield Town Season Preview
Last Time Out
Huddersfield had not read the script. They had nothing to lose and everything to prove when the Terriers travelled to Crystal Palace for the first game. Steve Mounié scored a brace in a 3-0 win and Huddersfield were off to the best possible start. The Yorkshire side even sat top of the table for a short spell.
Another highlight of the Terriers’ first season was the win against Manchester United in October. Not only did this hand the Red Devils their first league defeat of the season, but Town goalkeeper Jonas Lössl gained his first assist with a long ball that was misjudged by the away team. Laurent Depoitre took full advantage and the home side were 2-0 up before half-time.
The Terriers suffered some agonising defeats, away to Swansea just one example, starting the drop down the table. The pundits had still written off the Terriers and were expecting them to fall into the relegation zone.
With three games left Huddersfield were still just above the drop, but the run in was going to be difficult. Games away to Manchester City (who were, by now, the Champions), Chelsea and home to Arsenal. At this point in the journey, to avoid being forced into the bottom three, Town needed two points from these games.
An amazing 0-0 draw with Manchester City and a 1-1 draw with Chelsea saw the Terriers survive with a game to spare. Losing to Arsenal at home on the final day of the season meant nothing. The players and fans were in party mood as they were already safe.
Player to Watch
Huddersfield Town have made some interesting signings over the summer. In what has been described as ‘second season syndrome’, the Terriers will be hoping to avoid the drop again.
The player to watch for the Terriers this season is Ramadan Sobhi. Signed from Stoke City for a fee thought to be around £5.7m, the winger will be looking to increase his goal tally. Under the guidance of head coach David Wagner Sobhi should blossom into the player he wants to be. The 21-year-old Egyptian has been dubbed the ‘Egyptian Messi’ yet was barely given any match time with Stoke. Sobhi is an exciting player with the right work ethic that fitted with the Terriers. The season should be a good one for the youngster.
When David Wagner first arrived at Huddersfield Town, it raised a few eyebrows. With no experience of English football, the German had seemed a surprising choice. Without setting any limits for the players and the team, the long-term goal was promotion to the Premier League.
No one believed that Town could get there, often written off by the pundits. Wagner brought something new to the Terriers. November 5th 2015 was when the ‘crazy German’ first arrived. At the end of 2016/2017 season, the Terriers had secured promotion by way of the play-offs. Much earlier than anyone thought remotely possible, the Yorkshire team were back in the top flight.
Shrewd signings by Wagner helped get the team there, more shrewd signings over the summer of 2017 including breaking the transfer record for the club (previously £1.8m) with the signings of Aaron Mooy from Manchester City and Depoitre & Mounié for around £10m each. These signings and some on loan agreements helped keep the Terriers in the top flight.
Moving forward, Wagner is determined to keep the Terriers in the Premier League, once again making some shrewd signings. Obliterating the previous club record on transfer fees he brought in Terence Kongolo from AS Monaco. The defender had enjoyed his time on loan at the end of the season and had informed his parent club he would move unless they could guarantee first team.
Without that guarantee, Kongolo jumped at the chance to return to Yorkshire as a permanent move. Wagner does not waste money, he will not spend over the odds for a player. If the player he wants is demanding too much or the fee is too great the German will look elsewhere.
Once again, without a ball even being kicked, the Terriers are once again favourites for the drop. Everyone is talking about ‘second season syndrome’ in regards to Huddersfield and this is the now-common phrase that is used to describe a downturn in fortunes for a football club in the second season after its promotion.
Huddersfield will be looking to avoid this. The aim will be to establish themselves in the top flight. The longer-term goal will be trying to replicate Burnley and finish in the top six and earn a spot in Europe.
Huddersfield Town will finish mid-table, around 11th, and once again prove the pundits wrong.