Total Pageviews

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Huddersfield Town Preview

Much like our difficult start in our Premiership swansong in 2006/07 with Monica, our first four games this season are similarly difficult. An awkward promoted team first, an away derby next and then a revitalised Oldham lead by their new man Dickov. But we remain unbeaten and share top spot on 7 points with Carlisle, Oldham and Sheffield Wednesday.
And our next game this weekend gives us our second 37 year old opposing manager in successive games although the Terriers Lee Clark has been at it a bit longer than Dickov and has an even more impressive record with 40 wins in his 86 games in charge of Huddersfield, whom he took over in December 2008 after the Terriers had sacked Stan Ternent after a brief 6 month reign.

Clarks's boss is local businessman Dean Hoyle who took over as chairman in June 2009 and has apparently made money available.


Not quite the start that was expected of several teams this season, and that includes Huddersfield Town. An opening day 3-0 romp at the home of promoted League Two Champions Notts County was followed by a disappointing goalless draw at home to Tranmere, the first time since January that the Terriers had failed to score at home in a League game. And then after going 2 goals up away to the Posh last weekend that let in 4 goals in 23 disastrous minutes.

Their only other game was a 1-0 away win over Carlisle in the Carling which means they are still searching for their first goal at home and they'll be looking towards 22 year old winger Pilkington, currently on two goals and leading scorer Jordan Rhodes on 3 to get them come the weekend.

And apart from scoring the most goals at home last year, they only lost once, 1-3 against Norwich back in the middle of March.

The Opposition

Clark has been busy during the summer persuading the 30 year old Burnley Icelandic international Joey Gudjonsson to move to Tier Three. He only played 14 of Burnley's games in the top flight after 54 the season before, but after criticizing manager Laws on the internet back in April the only way was out. Clark's also snapped-up 31 year old full-back and Scottish international Gary Naysmith from Sheff. U. And with a policy geared towards youth he's also bought 21 year old Scott Arfield from Falkirk who is their third key signing during the summer. They also have 22 year old striker Joe Garner on loan from Notts Forest, who paid Carlisle over a million for his services in the summer of 2008. And up front in the last two games its been Garner and last seasons top scorer with 23, the 20 year old Jordan Rhodes.

So What Are They Saying?

Clark after their 0-0 home draw with Tranmere, "The team was poor - average at best a plus point it was a clean sheet. The two fullbacks played to their normal level. The team didn't enhance their reputation much. I didn't think we played with any intensity or any tempo. Tranmere came and did a good job. But with purpose we look a good side when we don't, we bring the opposition into play and give them a result like they did today."

And it gets better when you hear his remarks after last weekends defeat to Peterborough, "We stopped doing what we'd done previously to get us into a 2-0 lead, in total control, we stopped the intensity and tempo. We gave 4 absolutely disastrous goals away, we were very very poor. We lost our discipline, people weren't keeping their shape, weren't making decisions properly."


A little bit of history for our Parky who, on 4 April 2007, was due to be announced as the new manager Of Huddersfield Town. A press conference was scheduled to announce the appointment but just before the announcement Parky phoned the Club and told them he was staying with Charlton Athletic. Andy Ritchie was then appointed Huddersfield Town manager on 11 April 2007 but only stayed a year before being replaced by Ternent and then Clark.

And just to confirm his worth to the Addicks, Richard Murray added: "While Alan Pardew has done a fantastic job and grabbed most of the headlines, the role played by Phil since he joined the club in January shouldn't be under-estimated. He's played a key role in our recent good form, and I know he is determined to see that job through and ensure we remain in the Premiership." Well, we didn't but he's still here.

With 36 seasons together, we've played Huddersfield more times than anybody else in League One. And consequently we've had plenty of defeats up there, namely 16 in total. But with ten wins and 10 draws, there's other places we fear more.

The place now is a bit of a mouthful it being called the Galpharm Stadium after some healthcare company. Built in 1994 it was known as the McAlpine Stadium for the first 10 years after its builder but rather like selling your soul to the devil its name now is open to the higher bidder. How lucky we are to have the dear old Valley. In a nice, rather old fashioned way, most of the stadiums in Spain are named after people, although not often the name of the builder. Anyway, in our only game at this "new stadium" last season it finished a 1-1 draw, Kyel Reid equalising a Jordan Rhodes goal. The game before that at the McAlpine in 1999 we won 2-1 in the second win in our 12 game winning run having beaten Palarse 2-1, 3 days earlier. A injury to one of my favorites, Eddie Youds, at the McAlpine meant that it was his final game for the Addicks.

The Team

Another game against a former club for Pawel Abbott as it is for Akpo Sodje. Pawel only had a year at Oldham scoring 13 times but he had rather more success at the Terriers, playing 111 games and scoring 48 times in his three years there. As for Akpo he only played 7 games there before going out on loan but he'll remember Pawel as Akpo made his Terriers debut away at Port Vale on the day that Abbott got a hat-trick.

We'll see the return of Christian Dailly and Jose Semedo with Miguel Llera and Therry Racon standing down and the rest of the team will surely remain the same as there's really nobody else good enough to come in.

But there's one thing about last season that we need to improve. Our record against the other sides in the top 6 last season wasn't very encouraging with only 1 win (home to Huddersfield) in the 10 games although there was 7 draws and only 2 defeats whilst our away record against the top teams was also suspect with only 1 win, at MK Dons, against the top half of the table.

Parky only made one substitution against Oldham, Akpo on for Racon after 75 minutes and somehow didn't trust himself to make further changes. Against Peterborough, Huddersfield's young side - average age was 24, with seven players aged 23 or under - lost 4-2 after going 2-0 up. Perhaps Parky could have warned him because against Shrewsbury, when we lost 4-3 after being 3-0 ahead, our average age was very low at just 22.7, with 6 players 21 or under.

As for our chances, that may depend on how the Huddersfield full-backs cope with our two young wingers. The experienced 31 year old Naysmith will return at left-back after a one game suspension to give Wagstaff a hard game so perhaps its time to give more balls to Reid. But he'll be up against 23 year old Lee Peltier, ex of Liverpool for whom he's played in the Champions League against Galatasaray.

Anyway, here's the team, with ages

Elliot24; Francis25, Dailly 36, Doherty30, Jackson28, Wagstaff20, Semedo 25, McCormack26, Reid22, Martin 23, Abbott28. Average age 26...

A home team that haven't scored at home yet but were last seasons highest home scorers and they welcome us to the Galpharm thing having let in 4 goals in their last 46 minutes of football away at Peterborough. Maybe its that fact, or is it that the Galpharm doesn't sound particularly threatening but I just can't see a defeat on the horizon. Yes, I know that I thought we were going to lose the first two of the season but a draw against Oldham was an obvious outcome so this week the verdict is at worst a draw, say 1-1, but I'm hoping for a bit more.


Kings Hill Addick said...

Having beaten Leeds at The Valley in May that makes two wins against the top six, and we drew at both Elland Road and Carrow Road. I accept that it's not great and needs improving, but it's not quite as bad as just one win.

nelson said...

You're quite right, Kings Hill, there's me being all pessimistic again. Lets hope we can make a start at improving it still more come the weekend.

Kings Hill Addick said...

That would be nice, but I'd take a draw, which is what we got last season.

But if there's a win on the table, I'll rip your arm off!