It was possibly the dullest game of the season, only beaten by the previous 0-0 draw between the sides at the John Smith’s Stadium earlier this season. Yet the 0-0 draw away to Cardiff brought us something we had almost forgotten the look of – a point.
The point leaves us in the same position as we were prior to the game, when most thought that we still had a small glimmer of hope when it comes to survival. So what does that mean? Is relegation nailed on? Is there a chance we could scrape Premier League survival? Read on to find out the answers to those questions and more.
Is the game up?
Prior to this fixture, David Wagner and most pundits suggested that nothing other than a win would do for Huddersfield Town. To kick-start a miraculous great escape Town HAD to beat Cardiff.
A win would have left the Terriers on 13 points from 22 games, 5 points behind 17th placed Cardiff City. That would have left Town with a glimmer of hope, albeit one that would be short-lived with fixtures against Manchester City, Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal to come.
Beating Cardiff would have merely served to postpone the inevitable, to give us false hope.
With our upcoming fixtures in mind, 4 successive losses look more probable than improbable. Failing to beat Cardiff wasn’t the disaster that it has been reported to be.
Look at it objectively. Imagine that Newcastle were bottom of the table on 11 points, having halted a 9-game losing run with a 0-0 draw away to Cardiff. Imagine now that Town were in 18th position, just 1 point from safety.
You’d be saying that Town could stay up. That it was between Town Cardiff and Southampton for the final relegation spot. Newcastle are already gone, Fulham don’t show any signs of turning their form around, so 18th is a three-way battle.
Town are gone, that’s pretty much a reality. Let’s not get too downbeat about it from now on.
Who is to blame?
David Wagner, Olaf Rebbe, the players, the coaching staff and to some extent Dean Hoyle are all to blame for our current predicament. So is the structure of English football. Town don’t realistically have enough status or money to be surviving in the Premier League. It’s sad, but it’s true.
However there is another place to focus our blame on and that’s the refereeing association. On Saturday referee Lee Mason awarded Town a penalty after Florent Hadergjonaj was impeded in the box.
Moments later Mason reversed his decision following advice from his linesman. On reflection and further viewing, it appeared that Mason was initially correct to award the penalty. That meant that Town had been denied an opportunity to gain a valuable 3 points by a poor decision from the officials.
It’s not the first time that Town have been dogged by ‘dodgy’ refereeing decisions this season, below are just a few examples;
· Steve Mounie red card
· Alex Pritchard penalty claim – Brighton
· Alex Pritchard’s goal against Liverpool
Let’s for a moment imagine that the referees had made the correct calls in every game so far this season. For the sake of argument, we’ll imagine that every penalty awarded to Town was scored and that the result was derived from the moment that a Town player was incorrectly dismissed.
Had the correct decisions been made in games against Spurs, Liverpool, Brighton, Cardiff, Bournemouth and Arsenal then Town would have had 12 more points. That would leave David Wagner’s side on 23 points.
Level with Brighton who would themselves have gained 3 less points. Positionally that’s the difference between 20th in the Premier League and 14th – a pretty big difference. Obviously those results may still not have gone in Town’s favour, but it would have been nice if the referees had given us that opportunity.
Who leaves in the summer?
Relegation guarantees one thing – loss of jobs. Not just those of the backroom staff, cleaners, chefs etc but of the players as well. Whether that be through their own choice or the managements.
Town will lose players this season when relegation is confirmed, that is guaranteed. But who will be on their way. Below is our list along with the reasons for their possible departures, let us know in the comments section what you think.
Zanka – Return to Copenhagen
Kongolo – Transfer to mid-table Premier League club
Durm – End of contract
Billing – Transfer to mid-table Premier League club
Pritchard – Transfer to cash-rich Championship club
Mbenza/Diakhaby – Return to France
Depoitre – Transfer to SPL
Mounie – Return to France
Notice we haven’t included Mooy or Schindler on that list, purely because we can’t bring ourselves to do it. Their respective qualities are undoubted and they are sure to have a number of suitors at other clubs, hopefully their loyalty to Huddersfield Town will see them stick around in the summer.
Anyway that’s enough from us today. Next up for Town is the visit of Manchester City which at the moment, doesn’t look like it will be much fun. However stranger things than a Town win have happened before and David Wagner does indeed love a miracle. Until the next time, UTT.