It seems like a lifetime ago when perennial strugglers Huddersfield Town were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history under David Wagner, with the odds stacked against them back in 2017.
The Terriers were living a dream as they survived their first season in the big time amongst the elite, they even picked up a win over Manchester United and earned points away from home against Chelsea and Manchester City. What has led to a horrific demise where they sit in the Championship’s relegation zone without a win to their name and they cannot find a manager with an interest in picking up this mess?
David Wagner left the West Yorkshire club back in January by mutual consent as the German needed a break from the goings on and stresses that his role must have entailed. Jan Siewert was brought in as his replacement from Borussia Dortmund II probably in the naivety that lightening would strike twice. This couldn’t have been further from the case as Huddersfield were sent crashing back to the Championship at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
Before all that though, if things weren’t looking grim already, a big cause of the recent downfall occurred as former Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle sold the club to a friend in Phil Hodgkinson who has zero experience or know-how when it comes to running a football club. Hodgkinson oversaw the relegation period as well as a disastrous summer which was such a crucial time for the club if they were to mount a serious push for a return to the Premier League this season.
The summer was poor, very poor. And that is putting it lightly. Hodgkinson kept Jan Siewert in his job and allowed him to oversee pre-season before taking the club into the new campaign. Incredibly, Jan Siewert was sacked just two weeks into the new season. I mean, it wasn’t undeserved. But, why was he allowed to oversee the whole summer and a crucial rebuilding process when his sacking was inevitable. A new face should have been brought in at the end of the last campaign and provided with the entire summer to implement their own ideas and have an impact on a squad of players with zero morale.
With Huddersfield Town sat second bottom of the Championship, a side without the experience of a win since February and a squad full of players used to losing week in week out. Who is going to be the man to take on this dreaded task?
We are currently in the midst of an international break and this provides Huddersfield Town with another ideal time to appoint a new manager. But, yet again, no serious action. In fairness though, it must be difficult to find anyone remotely interested in this poisoned chalice. Huddersfield contacted Lincoln City (the side who knocked them out of this year’s Carabao Cup) in the hope of poaching Danny Cowley and they agreed a compensation fee. That’s all well and good, but Cowley rejected the opportunity and a £1.5million-a-year deal. I mean, who can blame him? This time next season, the two clubs could have swapped divisions.
Lee Bowyer is another manager who would have been a great appointment for Huddersfield, but we keep going back to the same question. Why would he want it? He recently became odds-on for the job and it looked like Town had found their man. However, with Charlton undefeated and sat second in the Championship, he seemingly changed his mind about moving up north.
With Danny Cowley and Lee Bowyer ruling themselves out of the running to take over at the John Smith’s Stadium, the latest men to become odds-on for the job are current Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel and Nigel Adkins who is out of a job after leaving Hull. Stendel has since drifted out to 9/4 and Nigel Adkins is now the heavy favourite at 4/9. I would say there is ZERO value in backing someone odds-on to take this job as Lee Bowyer was slashed as short as 1/3 before distancing himself from the vacancy and Stendel looked like being the man before his odds started to drift.
The ‘Next permanent Huddersfield manager’ market is going to be a difficult one to predict given the complexities involved but I think Phil Parkinson might be a good bet and worth a few quid at 12/1. The 51-year-old is currently out of a job after leaving Bolton, therefore there wouldn’t be any compensation payments needed which will be music to the ears of owner Phil Hodgkinson who has already demonstrated his reluctancy of departing with his money. However, this is also the case with Nigel Adkins who has fallen as short as 4/9 so we will have to see how that plays out.