Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner celebrates two years with the club

Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner celebrates two years with the club

As the Terriers Head Coach celebrates two years at the helm of the unlikely promoted team, now is a good time to look back and see just how far Huddersfield Town have come under his leadership

Glenys Furness

November 5th 2015 will be remembered by Huddersfield Town for more than being the commemoration of the failed attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up the houses of parliament. It was the date that the club announced that the new Head Coach would be the first non-English manager in the history of the club. David Wagner, a self-proclaimed "Crazy German", had been tempted to English football by a second tier club.

When Wagner moved across the channel, he knew nothing of English football except that he had heard from his good friend Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. Having made the move himself previously, when Wagner left Borussia Dortmund II it was assumed that he would be joining his friend in England as his assistant, however, the German clearly had his own thoughts and wanted to run a team himself. Dean Hoyle, the Huddersfield Town Chairman (and lifelong fan) took a risk by appointing Wagner.

At the time of his appointment, the Terriers were languishing in 19th place in the EFL Championship, a position they remained in for the rest of the 2015-16 season. The Terriers had not finished higher than around 16th in their previous years in the division, but the chairman, along with all the other fans, had a dream. The fortunes of the club would need to be turned around to make that dream come true.

First full season

The 2016-17 campaign was the new German head coach's first full campaign and he knew he had to get the team to bond, having brought in new players during the transfer window, with some foreign players too, they all needed to be on the same page. How can you bond a team who do not know each other quickly? Wagner's answer was to take the whole lot of them to an uninhabited Swedish island, without any home comforts and no mobile phones. If they needed food, they had to catch a fish etc. Wagner also rotated who was paired with who, to ensure everyone was talking to everyone else. 

What seemed a crazy plan worked, even the on-loan players had gone along and everyone was one unit, all of the same belief and the same spirit. On the first anniversary of his appointment, the Terriers were sitting third in the Championship and were defying the odds. All the pundits had backed Town for relegation into the third tier, however, they were playing together well, playing a different brand of ball than before.

All of this led to the dramatic, heart-stopping events of May 29th 2017 at Wembley Stadium, thanks to Christopher Schindler scoring with the deciding penalty kick, Town were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history.

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Second anniversary

As November 5th arrived in 2017 the Terriers were out of the Championship and into the top flight. Once again the pundits have them favourites for relegation, but so far, Huddersfield Town are again defying the odds. Sitting in 10th in the table, in the top half, no pundits or fans alike had them anywhere near this point at the start of the season. According to many, the Terriers would lose their first game to Crystal Palace, but they didn't. Town have gone on to draw with Leicester City, get soundly beaten by Spurs and Liverpool. However, the biggest scalp so far for the Terriers has to have been the win against Manchester United - no-one predicted that one. 

Huddersfield Town are here to compete, not simply to make up the numbers, and it is all down to one man, one crazy German, who is beloved by everyone at the club - Happy second anniversary David Wagner, long may you stay in Yorkshire with Huddersfield Town.