I’m very tempted to write this article as if I were Zanka. In order to do that I’d need to start with a couple of half-arsed sentences, offer absolutely nothing in the middle and for the conclusion kick my laptop in the head.
Can you tell that the Dane’s shoddy performance at Newcastle annoyed me? Sadly, despite his absolute dereliction of duty Zanka was not the worst performer in a Town shirt on Saturday. The winner of that accolade is up for some debate with a number of players
throwing their hat into the ring for the ‘shittiest performance of the season award’.
On Friday I previewed the Newcastle game in uncharacteristically high spirits. In the wake of the performance against Arsenal I was confident of Town grabbing a win away to Newcastle.
After about 7 minutes of play at St. James Park I realised just how foolish I had been. The pattern of the game was obvious. Town would pass, pass, pass and pass before losing the ball and being hit by an incisive Newcastle counter attack.
Even before Tommy Smith was given his marching orders, Town were fortunate not to be behind in the game. Newcastle looked capable of scoring every time they crossed the half-way line.
Speaking of the Tommy Smith red card, it was impossible to avoid the knee jerk reactions from Town fans on social media after the decision. Seemingly we had been robbed by poor officiating once again. That however, was not the case.
Smith was late with his tackle, missed the ball and instead planted his studs on his opponents. His red card was wholly deserved, but in my opinion we cannot blame him. Jan Siewert had clearly instructed the team to play with a high-line and that’s what did for Smith.
After repeated warnings of a breakaway Town persisted with the high-line which ultimately left Smith exposed and contributed to his red card. That defensive approach wasn’t just asking for trouble, it was downright demanding it.
I get it, it’s hard to get yourself up for a Huddersfield Town game now. Sometimes I dream of doing something other than watching Town. In fact I often fantasise about sitting at home and repeatedly kicking myself in the balls rather than taking my seat in the stadium.
If I find it hard to get up for Town games now then I can hardly blame the players for feeling the same right? Wrong. The Town players are being paid very well for turning up every weekend and playing for this team.
Therefore there should be no excuse for the type of gutless performances turned in by players like Zanka. The Dane is already dreaming of a return to Copenhagen and that shows in his performances of late.
Last season he was often liable for a mistake, but it could never be said that he wasn’t giving his all. In recent months however he has given up the ghost and is symptomatic of what is wrong with the team at the moment.
Regardless of the platitudes uttered by Siewert in his pre-match press conferences this team is gone. Relegation is certified and the player’s performances are reflecting that. There are not too many games left to go and unfortunately a number of players cannot be arsed.
For me that’s unforgiveable. A journey to Newcastle will have cost the average fan £100, and to be treated to performances like Zanka’s is disgraceful. Hopefully we will not see performances like this for the remainder of the campaign, but we are not too optimistic about that.
Of course not, don’t be bloody stupid. The only reason I have bothered to include this as a sub section is that it was tweeted by a number of fans before, during and after the Newcastle game. Frustration is understandable at this moment in time, understandably so when Laurent Depoitre is handed a starting berth.
However let’s not forget the sheer size of the task facing Siewert at the moment. As an inexperienced manager he could barely have asked for a worse situation than the one that faced him when he first joined Huddersfield Town.
The Terriers are on course to be considered as one of the worst teams in Premier League history. The players are bereft of confidence, relegation is all but confirmed and the players at his disposal are quite simply not up to it.
So let’s give this guy some time, let’s accept that he will make mistakes and get things wrong from time to time. Unfortunately we cannot judge Siewert on anything that happens this season, our fate is already sealed.
His true test will come next season when he has to change the mentality of these players and gear them up for a promotion push in the Championship. With that last sentence we’re up to the 800 word mark and that’s more than enough for the Newcastle review.
For the sake of my own sanity I cannot go on writing about that performance so I shall bid you adieu. Until the next time, UTT.