Excitement surrounded the appointment of Jurgen Klopp’s friend David Wagner when he arrived at Huddersfield just before the international break, and with good reason.
While there is a certain degree of intrigue around the German, the early signs are promising for Huddersfield fans and comparisons to Aitor Karanka were made by experienced midfielder Dean Whitehead shortly after his appointment.
Whitehead was at Middlesbrough when Karanka came in and transformed the club into a club struggling in mid-table to a side that are many people’s favourites for promotion.
“I saw Aitor Karanka pretty much transform Middlesbrough, and I think the same can happen here.”
That’s what the former Sunderland midfielder said when asked for his thoughts on Huddersfield’s new Head Coach. As a Middlesbrough fan myself, I’m seeing a lot of things being said that were being reported when Karanka first joined Boro.
A number of Town players have spoken about the increased intensity of the training sessions and how much more Wagner demanded from his players.
This was a common thing in the media when Karanka arrived on Teesside, it seemed as though a new player was praising the impact of the new head coach on a weekly basis and that seems to be happening at Huddersfield now.
The target for the two clubs are slightly different, but there is no reason why Wagner can’t go on to replicate what Karanka has done with Boro.
Before this summer, the Spaniard used the players he had at his disposal and simply signed players from the money made from the player he sold. For example, Kike and Adam Clayton joined the club last season after Karanka sanctioned the departures of Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Emnes.
Wagner and Karanka’s approaches seem similar too. Both demand intensity in training sessions and they want their players to be disciplined and pressing throughout the game.
It won’t be a quick fix, it took Karanka time to establish Boro as a dominant force in the Championship and it seems a long time ago when his side went eight games without a goal.
But if Terriers’ fans are patient with their new boss and give him time to introduce his philosophy to the club, then there is no reason why they can’t go on to repeat what Boro have.
Huddersfield host Boro this weekend and it’ll interesting to see if their are any similarities between two in Wagner’s early days as boss.
Huddersfield fans do you agree? Have you been impressed with Wagner so far? Do you think that he can replicate Aitor Karanka? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!