Huddersfield Town's 2017: An unexpected, yet historic, year to remember for the Terriers

David Wagner's side have enjoyed one of the best years in the club's long history in 2017, so let's take a look back at the good, and not so good moments of this year just gone.

Huddersfield Town's 2017: An unexpected, yet historic, year to remember for the Terriers
Credit: Catherine Ivill - AMA (Getty Images)

It's been a banner year for Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers have achieved what most originally thought was impossible: promotion to the Premier League.

Halfway through the 2017-18 season, their first top-flight campaign in club history has the Yorkshire club in 11th place, on course for a second season in the Premier League.

JOHN LUPO (@gatorschampions)

Results of the Year - A Great Start to Life in the Premier League

The Terriers started life in the Premier League with a brilliant 3-0 away win at Crystal Palace courtesy of a Steve Mounié brace. Their defence was solid as a rock, not giving up a goal until a 2-0 loss to West Ham United.

After a four-match winless run, David Wagner's men produced one of the most memorable results of the season, a 2-1 victory over Manchester United with goals coming from Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre.

Another poor run of form, capped by a 2-0 loss to Everton has been followed by a run of points in five of their last six games with their first away win since that triumph at Selhurst Park, with a 4-1 thumping of Watford.

Player of the Year - Christopher Schindler

Christopher Schindler has been a rock in the Huddersfield defence, helping the Terriers keep seven clean sheets while being named Player of The Month three times, Aaron Mooy has been the creative, influential force in the midfield while Jonas Lössl has provided a solid presence in the Terriers' net.

 

 

MOLLIE FIRTH (@MFirth26)

Most Disappointing Player of the Year - Kasey Palmer

I think this is quite difficult to say, but ‘disappointing’ doesn’t necessarily mean the worst player, and so, taking that into consideration, I think that Kasey Palmer has probably been the most disappointing player for Town in 2017.

The Chelsea loanee joined the Terriers at the start of the 2016/17 campaign and instantly made an impact, scoring with the second touch of the ball on his debut against Brentford on 6th August 2016.

However, the young talent suffered with a hamstring injury which kept him out for much of the second half of the season. He did however replace Izzy Brown at the Championship Play-Off Final in May, with around twenty minutes to go, but wasn’t able to make much impact on the game.

After signing a contract extension with Chelsea in July, Palmer re-joined the West Yorkshire club for another season-long loan. He made his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace on the first day of the season, but has since only made another 4 appearances in all competitions, after returning from England Under 21 duties with the reoccurring hamstring issue.

The youngster, however, is now back fit but isn’t being selected for David Wagner’s squad, which is allowing rumours to circulate that he will be returning to his parent club in January.

I think another mention should go to Steve Mounié. The record signing may have scored four goals so far this season, but many fans will have expected more from the Benin international, who now has tough competition from Belgian Laurent Depoitre. Mounié suffered an injury early in the season, which left him out for a few months, as he took much longer to return than initially expected.

Moment(s) of the Year - Premier League Promotion/Huddersfield Town 2-1 Manchester United

On 29th May 2017, Huddersfield Town played Reading in the EFL Championship Play-Off Final, which meant that the winner would play in the Premier League the following season.

The game was very close, with Town’s loanee Izzy Brown having the most clear-cut chance of the game in the opening 10 minutes, where he fired wide in front of an open net from two yards out. The game went into extra time, but after 120 minutes, the score remained 0–0.

The game went into penalties, and the pressure once again lay on Liverpool loanee Danny Ward in net after he saved Fernando Forestieri’s penalty at Hillsborough in the semi-finals the week before to ensure Town went to Wembley.

Defender Michael Hefele put pressure on David Wagner’s men as he missed their second penalty, but Reading’s Liam Moore blazed it over the bar, and keeper Ward saved Jordan Obita’s poor effort. With Town’s final penalty to go the scores were level at 3 – 3, Schindler was preparing to take a spot-kick said to be worth £180 million.

Almost 40,000 Town fans were up from their seats as they watched the German defender boot the ball straight past Ali Al-Habsi and into the back of the net. Huddersfield Town had been promoted to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history, and celebrations were not done by halves.

As Reading fans rushed for the exits, Huddersfield fans kept on singing and celebrating, with feelings of joy and pride for their beloved Huddersfield Town.

Another special mention must go to Huddersfield’s win against Manchester United at the John Smith’s Stadium back in October. The two clubs had not met in the League for around 50 years, and it was another 10 on top of that since Huddersfield Town had beaten one of the world’s best.

However, when that final whistle blew, after goals from Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre, many a Town fan will have been elated and will have had that small Wembley feeling that they experienced earlier in the year.

 

 

TOM HEATH (@TomHeathReferee)

Worst Moment of the Year - Huddersfield Town 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur

It’s difficult to pick the worst moment in what has been a fantastic year for Huddersfield. The 4-0 loss to Tottenham stands out as the moment when the Terriers got their first Premier League lesson.

David Wagner decided to go into the game with the same high-pressing tactic that had been used all year, with wing-back’s bombing forward, a dominant Spurs quickly tore the system apart with Harry Kane scoring within nine minutes.

Huddersfield ended the game with only one shot on target and 40% possession, a damning set of statistics that proves Town never really put up a fight on the day.

This particular game taught a massive lesson to newly promoted Huddersfield, they realised they would need to adapt their tactics to face the best teams in the Premier League.

Sure enough, only three weeks later when José Mourinho brought his Manchester United side to the John Smith’s stadium, Huddersfield won 2-1. A sign that Wagner was able to turn the worst moment in 2017 into a positive and adapt the way Huddersfield would play in the top division.

What 2018 Holds - Premier League safety

Huddersfield will only be looking up the table as we roll over into 2018, they currently sit in 11th position with a six-point gap to the relegation zone.

But confidence is flowing through the team, that was favourite for relegation from the Championship in 2016 and once again favourite for the drop this season. Wagner has assembled a squad that believe they can take on any challenge so they’ll be re-assessing their targets and looking for a mid-table finish.

Premier League stability is what all promoted teams crave and Huddersfield are no different, out of all the teams that came up they look most likely to stay up. The owner, Dean Hoyle, has suggested he will give the manager extra funds to further improve the squad in January in an effort to ensure the club remain in the big time.

Looking further ahead into 2018, should the Terriers manage to remain in the Premier League they will hope for another great start to the season to put themselves out of danger of relegation. The future certainly looks bright for this Huddersfield team who will be hoping 2018 can be as good as 2017.