2015-16 was an odd season for Huddersfield Town, as they adopted a whole new footballing culture at the club, with the arrival of David Wagner and his philosophy. They did this fairly under the radar whilst securing Championship status for the fifth season. I take a look at the best bits of this campaign…
Dean Whitehead – ‘Deano’ has contributed massively all season, and it is fair to say that he carried the team prior to the sacking of Chris Powell. He has been like a rock infront of the back four, controlling many games with his range of passing and wholehearted tackling. Both Nahki Wells and Joel Lynch also deserve a mention for their outstanding contributions.
Philip Billing, Nottingham Forest (A) – Town went into this game aiming to end Forest’s 13 match unbeaten run, and succeeded in style. Wagner’s men blew away the City Ground crowd, and the 2-0 victory was sealed by a wonderful strike from the young Dane. It was a major victory for the club, and a milestone for the 19-year-old, as it was his first goal for the club. Hopefully the first of many. Harry Bunn’s strike against Bristol City is also worth a mention, however it was in vain as Town lost the game.
Leeds 1-4 Huddersfield – It is uncontested. In a season that was on the whole very uninspiring, this was a day to remember for Town fans. Nahki Wells missed an early penalty, before the hosts went 1-0 up, but after that, it was one-way traffic, with Hudson, Bunn, Matmour and Wells on target. The players and Wagner’s post-match celebration showed that it meant as much to the players and staff as the fans. Emphatic victories against Charlton, Bolton and Preston were also highlights.
Dean Whitehead – As previously stated, Whitehead was crucial to the survival of the club this season. I, amongst others criticised Chris Powell during his time at the club, but the decision to snap up the ex-Boro midfielder on a free transfer proved to be a master stroke. Despite him being 34 years old, Town fans will be hopeful he can continue to shine in a blue and white shirt for at least one or two more years. Martin Cranie has also done well, whilst the loan market proved to be crucial, with Paterson, Huws, Chilwell, Steer and Husband all being excellent during their stays. Rajiv Van la Parra has offered snippets as to what he can do, and fans will hope to see more of that next term.
Most Impressive Player:
Joe Lolley – To say this boy couldn’t get in the Scunthorpe team prior to David Wagner’s arrival at Huddersfield Town, it has been some transformation. Lolley had offered fans a taste of what he could do, but never given a run in the team – until now. He has flourished under David Wagner, playing in the three behind the striker. His excellent performances have been worthy of a new contract and it is likely that he will be a big part of Town’s future.
Change for next season:
Squad – David Wagner has done well so far, but with a VERY limited squad. If Dean Hoyle and co are true to their words and really do want to ‘have a go’ next season, investment is required. Some of the money acquired from the sales of key players in the past years needs to be reinvested, and real quality has to be added. I’m sure the board and the manager will get the right players through the door and be fully prepared for next season, and, along with the increase in crowds, it promises to be an exciting one.