Huddersfield Town’s 5-0 loss away to Liverpool on Friday night wasn’t unexpected. In fact a host of bookmakers had shorter odds on the Reds scoring more than 4 goals than they had on Town hitting the back of the net once.
Pre-match expectations aside, that doesn’t make the result or the performance acceptable. Before the match the Anfield crowd paid tribute to Kop hero Tommy Smith who had recently passed away.
As the players linked arms around the centre circle one thing stood out from a Town perspective. Kongolo jumping around, warming his hands on his face as he struggled in the cold.
At the risk of sounding like an old pub man, what’s all that about? It’s late April, the temperature is nowhere near freezing and Kongolo is uncomfortable because he’s a little bit cold.
Watching that I feared that the team weren’t up for the fight. I shrugged it off though and gave Kongolo the benefit of the doubt – maybe it was colder out there than I actually thought…
15 seconds into the match and we were 1-0 down after taking our own kick-off. Stankovic received the ball in a deep position, turned with the agility of a freight train and scuffed a pass into the path of a Liverpool player.
The Reds scored and with that, the game was done, in just 15 seconds. The sight of a shivering Kongolo alerted me to the possibility that the Town players weren’t up for the game and Stankovic confirmed that 15 seconds into the game.
It was not a good night for Kongolo at all, and I suspect he never got as warm as he would have liked. If the movies are to be believed, the one thing that can help when you when you’re cold is snuggling up next to someone else.
Kongolo had ample opportunity to do that throughout the game but instead chose to stand on his own and neglect his man-marking duties – allowing Liverpool’s Sadio Mane to head home from close range.
Let’s move on from the Kongolo bashing. Not because it’s unfair, rather because there are at least half a dozen representatives of Huddersfield Town that deserve a larger share of the criticism.
The aforementioned Stankovic is another player that had a nightmare at Anfield. His poor passing was almost punished in the second-half once again, but luckily for the Slovenian his mistake only resulted in Mane heading the ball against the post.
Tommy Smith may have felt slightly embarrassed before kick-off. The Town defender shares his name with the defensive colossus that the Liverpool fans were paying respect to. With that in mind our Tommy Smith clearly felt that it was only appropriate to put in an appalling defensive display for Town – just in case anyone thought that the pair had shared footballing ability as well as a name.
Steve Mounie was yet again disgraceful. His game featured two highlights, the first of which was a scuffed shot from a well-worked corner. The second was a ‘burst of pace’ that saw him lose a foot race with several Liverpool defenders despite having a sizeable head start.
Town fans have long pondered whether Mounie has what it takes to compete in the Premier League. Now they should be asking if he has the quality to cut it in the Championship.
For what it’s worth, I don’t believe he has the quality to cut it in either – he is a bad footballer, bereft of technique, devoid of skill and severely lacking in footballing intelligence.
Despite these atrocious performances, the players mentioned above were not the biggest villains of the night. That particular mantle is reserved for Jan Siewert, our increasingly beleaguered head coach.
The German said after the match that he was “proud” of his players and that he was happy with the chances we created. Just to recap, Huddersfield Town lost 5-0 in that game, registering just one shot on target.
The goals conceded by Siewert’s team could be used by defensive coaches for years to come as the best examples of what happens if you defend in a half-arsed manner. Even Arsenal’s Mustafi would have been embarrassed to have played in our defence at Anfield!
Jan Siewert is a baffling man to understand. One minute he is criticising wantaway players and excluding them from the matchday squad. A few matches later he is welcoming one of them back with open arms.
During encouraging displays he spots the television cameras and dramatically explodes into a furious rage. After an appalling display he goes on camera and declares his ‘pride’ in his players.
For such a publically angry figure it was even more baffling to see Siewert leading the charge at full-time when it came to laughing and joking with the opposition. Everyone involved with Town on the evening should hang their heads in shame.
To finish, losing heavily to Liverpool was not an unexpected result. The manner of the loss, the reaction of the players and the comments of Siewert were unacceptable though. We have backed the team to the hilt this season, through disappointing result after disappointing result.
Now the players and the manager need to do their share of the work and give something back to the fans in the remaining fixtures. I for one however, highly doubt that will happen.