Debut defeat for Jan Siewert: Huddersfield Town 0 Everton 1

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New Huddersfield Town manager Jan Siewert started his reign with a 1-0 home loss to mid-table Everton last night. Siewert’s brain will be working overtime to comprehend what happened last night whilst plotting a way to improve his side.


New Era, Same Problems


One week in Portugal isn’t going to be enough to change everything about this Huddersfield side that frustrates supporters. Siewert’s selection last night showed his differing philosophy to the previous manager – starting with two out and out wingers.


Town looked to press more than they have in recent weeks and also played a more direct style of football. When Jonas Lossl received the ball he looked to reach Steve Mounie in the final third, rather than playing a short pass into his own defence.


Lossl’s distribution was good, but what he did with his feet was let down by his hands – limply saving a Richarlison shot which rebounded to the Brazilian who tucked the ball into the Town net.


That came in the opening minutes of the game and ensured the worst possible start to the game for the new look Terriers. Confidence seemed to drain almost immediately and those in blue & white looked terrified on the ball.


However Town recovered and worked themselves into the game, but were still plagued by their old misgivings. Despite a man advantage and a barrage of pressure in the final half hour, Town failed to beat Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.


Elias Kachunga could count himself very unlucky not to score, as Pickford pulled off a sensational save to beat his goal bound header away. For the other attackers, luck had nothing to do with their profligacy in front of goal.



Steve Mounie – The worst striker in Premier League history?


Okay, that might be a bit of a sensational subtitle, but the sentiment remains. Steve Mounie’s shambolic performance last night guaranteed that his name will forever be involved in the ‘worst striker in Premier League history’ debate.


In the first-half Steve strode meaningfully towards the Everton goal, as the defence opened up in front of him he drilled a shot…wide. He didn’t really drill it either, he dragged it wide without even threatening the ‘keeper.


In the second-half, Steve finally got himself onto a dangerous cross into the box, and then guided his header 5 yards wide. That, so we are told, is the type of chance that Steve thrives on, which is nothing but worrying.


Steve’s crowning moment came in the closing stages of the game, there was a game of pinball in the Everton box that culminated with the ball falling to Jason Puncheon. 8 or 9 yards from goal, Puncheon wound up his left foot and the net seemed destined to bulge.


Then, with his back to goal, Steve decided NO! NOT NOW JASON, NOW IS MY TIME! From a much worse position, Steve took it upon himself to claim the ball, in doing so he tackled Jason Puncheon and immediately extinguished any chance of a goal.


Not only does that highlight Steve’s complete lack of intuition in the penalty area, but it also condemned us to defeat. Can you imagine how quickly the rest of the team’s confidence crumbles when that happens?


A bit of luck falls your way, you look destined to score and then all of a sudden, your ‘star striker’ appears from nowhere to execute a perfect last-ditch tackle. I sincerely hope Digne forfeits his win bonus and gives it to Steve instead, as he did much more than the Everton man to win the game for the Toffees.


If you think I’m being reactionary here with my criticism of Steve, I’ll just point you in the direction of the Beninese strikers open goal miss against Manchester City. His fluffed lines against Liverpool, his near 1,500 minutes without a competitive goal and that’s without even having to think.



Thank God for Mooy


It seems almost certain that Aaron Mooy will leave the club in the summer, once relegation to the Championship is confirmed. A player of his quality and skill can’t possibly be playing in England’s second tier next season.


I for one, sincerely hope that he will defy the odds and stay with Huddersfield Town. Mooy is without doubt, the best player I have ever seen in a Huddersfield Town shirt. After his introduction last night, the performance of the team increased unbelievably.


It’s as if his technical brilliance on the pitch shames others into trying harder, just so they can keep up with him. Had Mooy have played in our last 8 or so games, we would surely be higher up the table than we are.


By coming on as a sub last night, Mooy helped to prove the difference he makes to the team. Hopefully he stays fit for the remainder of the season, and helps us end this horror show of a campaign on a high.



Recruitment


When David Wagner arrived in Huddersfield, he did so with a contact book as long as your arm. That list of contacts allowed him to bring in some phenomenally talented players such as Christopher Schindler, Chris Lowe and Aaron Mooy.


Since promotion to the Premier League however, the recruitment at the club has been incredibly poor. It seems Wagner’s contact book was exhausted and the sourcing of players was subcontracted to a series of inept directors of football.


Although there have been 1 or 2 good signings since promotion to the Premier League, the majority have been terrible. Adama Diakhaby, Steve Mounie, Ramadan Sobhi, Danny Williams, Florent Hadergjonaj and more.


None of the players listed above have done a good job at the club, let alone excelled. Diakhaby looks like a lost boy – Digne’s foul on him last night at least saved him the trauma of having to beat Pickford one-on-one.


Steve Mounie – see above. Ramadan Sobhi, does he even actually exist? Danny Williams has given us little more than selfies of himself ‘recovering’ in the gym and Florent Hadergjonaj could not cross the road, never mind the ball.


Summary


Ahh it’s depressing, it really is. But perhaps last night was so much more depressing because it felt like we had a chance. Pickford denied us with an excellent save and Mounie did the same with a magnificent defensive challenge on Puncheon.


We deserved more than we got last night, there were small shoots of recovery in the performance and Mooy is back. We can be thankful for those three things at least. Until the next time, UTT.

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