It feels like yesterday that Huddersfield Town were mixing it with the big guns in the Premier League. The Terriers’ two-year stay in the top flight was a breath of fresh air, with manager David Wagner working miracles to both win promotion and secure Premier League safety.
But now, after two seasons back in the Championship, it’s fair to say that Huddersfield supporters have been brought back down to earth. No longer candidates for promotion in the Championship odds, Huddersfield finished their season in a lowly 20th position, avoiding relegation by six points. It’s difficult to know how to assess Huddersfield’s campaign, so let’s dig deeper and analyse things in more detail.
Of course, Wagner is no longer the man at the helm, with the German coach having left his post towards the end of Huddersfield’s second season in the Premier League. This season, 38-year-old Carlos Corberán was the man tasked with improving Huddersfield’s fortunes after Danny Cowley left the club.
It’s fair to say that Corberán has not quite found the winning formula at Huddersfield, but the Spanish coach is still young and one would hope he’d be afforded another season to try and prove himself. It’s difficult to manage expectations at Huddersfield given that they were recently in the Premier League, when a few years before that Championship survival would have been seen as a solid achievement.
Huddersfield’s standout performer this season has been Josh Koroma. The 22-year-old notched eight goals in the Championship, and is beginning to prove that he has the potential to do great things in the division for years to come. Koroma made his name at Leyton Orient with consistent fine form, and he’ll be hoping to improve further next season.
At the other end of the age spectrum is Frazier Campbell, who chipped in with seven Championship goals this season at the age of 33. Campbell has been there and done it all levels of English football, and it’s that mix of experienced and youthful players that has seen Huddersfield avoid getting too deeply embroiled in the Championship relegation odds from Betfair.
How things unfolded
The unfortunate thing for Huddersfield this season is that they let a decent start to the Championship campaign descend into a fight to avoid the drop. Three wins from their opening six games was a steady platform on which to build, and by the halfway mark, Huddersfield had won nine of their 23 league games, losing nine and drawing five. That’s mid-table form, the kind that has the potential to support a possible play-off push in the second half of the season, but sadly for Corberán and his side, it didn’t work out that way.
Huddersfield managed just three victories in the latter part of the campaign, and if not for their decent beginning to the season, relegation would have surely awaited the Terriers. The team reached rock bottom in losing 7-0 to Norwich City in April, and even on the days where Huddersfield put in more spirited showings, they couldn’t find a way to turn draws into victories. A vital win away at Nottingham Forest with five games to go meant they had a bit of breathing space in terms of the relegation battle, but it’s clear that there are plenty of lessons to be learned from this season as Huddersfield Town seek to build for the future.