Huddersfield Town have continued where they left off last season in all the wrong ways, and much of their failure is due to the man in the hot-seat – Jan Siewert.
The German joined in January and so far has just one win from 17 matches. There were mitigating circumstances for that though; he had taken over a team low on confidence and rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, and clearly the players at his disposal were not good enough for top-flight football.
The Championship, therefore, would have provided the German with a better opportunity to showcase his managerial ability, both in the transfer market and in improved performances and results.
However, so far there has been nothing of the sort, and instead The Terriers seem to have not progressed at all; in playing style, performance, and results.
If there is cause for concern amongst the fanbase then it is not premature but a natural response. After all, they have had to endure negative football and constant defeat over the past 12 months, and have scored just 11 goals under Siewert.
They are winless this season and have yet to score a goal not from the penalty spot, and although the 36-year-old has set-up more adventurously with a 4-3-3 formation, Town’s style has not been fluid nor expansive, and they remain too predictable in attack.
There are several reasons for that, but the main reason is the lack of support for the main striker – currently Karlan Grant. Against Derby and QPR they failed to get enough bodies into the box time and time again, and that means there was nothing for players to target, either from crosses or through the middle.
Another aspect of Town’s play that is holding them back is Siewert’s insistence on playing Terence Kongolo at left-back. Not only is the Dutchman better suited to a central role, but his limited ability going forward means he slows down attacks and lacks the quality to create chances in the same way Barry Douglas or Rico Henry do for their sides.
Kongolo isn’t the only player being used out of position. Alex Pritchard has proved throughout his career that he is an effective attacking midfielder, and he could be the solution to Huddersfield’s lack of creativity.
Siewert, however, desires a compact midfield three with each player sharing a defensive responsibility, which means Pritchard is thrust onto the flank where he is confined to one area of the pitch, and he lacks the pace and flair a player like Rajiv Van La Parra could offer on the wing.
Huddersfield have good players throughout the team. They lack creativity but that issue could be reduced if Siewert was willing to be more adventurous, and perhaps play two strikers in order to prevent Grant becoming isolated.
A win could change a great deal, as the team is clearly low on confidence, but if the former Borussia Dortmund II manager can’t turn things around quickly, then the Huddersfield board should seriously consider a change.