Terriers fans haven’t had a great time in the past three years and their confidence is lower than ever as they head into an extremely important preseason.
We won’t get a good idea of the outlook for Huddersfield Town until the season kicks off properly in August, of course, and there isn’t much the summer months can do to win over a disillusioned fan base that desperately wants to see. his team do well.
But for what it’s worth, here are five of the boxes clubs need to tick this summer in an attempt to convince some of those on the fence about membership renewals.
Make an exciting signing
It’s not a position that we generally advocate particularly: if you’re signing off just to try and win a popularity contest, you’re setting yourself up to be home to a bunch of expensive misfits.
But there’s a palpable feeling that Town fans need someone who will capture the imagination and set an ambitious tone for the season ahead.
Jordan Rhodes’ potential return may tick that box for some, but others won’t be convinced given his poor form in front of goal over the past five years. A big Premier League loan or the rot of two of those Brazilians connected since December would help fans dream – and you can’t underestimate the importance of that.
Add depth early
Ahead of those glamorous signings, however, Town must make sure Carlos Corberan has the players he needs in the event of another injury crisis next season.
We know it’s bad form, but we’re going to repeat a stat we recently dug in here: “Town’s first XI is pretty decent, but having to play five, six or seven backup players at a time was a nightmare. .
“Ten outfielders have played at least 50% of the minutes in Town’s 12 games this season: Naby Sarr, Jonathan Hogg, Pipa, Juninho Bacuna, Harry Toffolo, Lewis O’Brien, Fraizer Campbell, Isaac Mbenza, Carel Eiting and Josh Koroma. We’re also going to add the next player on the list, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, just to give us a second center-back.
“In the 10 games that Town started nine or ten of those 11 outfielders, they took 20 points (2 per game… obviously). When they started seven or eight of those 11 players, that immediately drops to just 19 points in 21 games (or 0.90 points per game). And when they could only play between four and six of those 11 players, they only took 10 points in 15 games (0.67 points per game). “
The winning roster strongly hinted that new players will be called upon to offer depth – we can’t imagine they would have left Demeaco Duhaney or so many center-backs otherwise.
While the replacement save options they bring aren’t very exciting individually, if that adds up to a stronger set, fans will enter the new season with the confidence that a worst-case scenario on the fitness front will not plunge them. in another relegation battle. The sooner they get there, the better.
Get the right new kit
This is a question we hesitated on, as it seems a bit trivial, but the football fandom is not rational and these things make a difference. Kits are part of the fabric of the game… in fact, they’re literally the fabric of the game, when you think about it.
You’re never going to please everyone with a kit, but something clever and classy to spark a little bit of residual pride could pique interest and help mentally draw a line under a pretty miserable season.
Equally silly, but while we’re on the subject … getting the right number of players would help that feeling of passing from last season. Getting Duane Holmes away from number 9 is an obvious starting point …
Make a statement in preseason friendlies
Much like the point ‘make an exciting signing’, that’s not really a point for us: we don’t think you can read anything in preseason friendlies.
These summer games are really there for fitness purposes only and never have anything to do with what you can expect when the season begins. A reminder, if necessary, that Jan Siewert’s team were undefeated in the summer of 2019.
That said, a few sleek displays certainly wouldn’t hurt, especially if they pave the way for a new tactical approach or a deployment of personnel. A few goals from new signings wouldn’t hurt either.
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One of the big criticisms from fans last season was the feeling that the club had not kept them properly informed during the summer and that too many questions remained unanswered.
Many of those issues – the club’s financial security, the kit sponsor, the Canalside redevelopment – have been put aside now, but other issues will surely emerge over a normal-length summer and the club must stay. in the top. as best they can.
Much like last summer, Town will have a hard time being completely transparent about everything, especially when it comes to transfers – it could have a negative effect on their negotiations.
But maintaining the regular updates they’ve posted through their club’s website since February and communicating through the press (hi!) And post-friendly talks with players and coaches would go a long way in helping fans get the hang of it. feeling in control of what is happening. in their club and why.