Meet the team

Prepararing to life in the EPL with Huddersfield Town

In my previous article I wrote about my first two years in charge at Huddersfield Town, a quick recap of how we’ve been successfully promoted to the EPL after losing the playoff final in my first season and ruling the Championship in season two; this time after the first market window I was able to leave almost untouched the transfer kitty offered by the board.

Selling Erik Janza to Aston Villa for 8.5 M surely helped in that sense, I signed him for 1.2 M last year so I was glad to make such a huge profit.

I decided to keep the spine of the team together and add some players only where they were highly needed, of course my club wage structure has been revised, my best players asked for new deals: Bunn, Coady, Traustason and Billing had their salaries almost redoubled.

11.4 M spent this summer

Ten new players arrived in the summer but Alvaro Medran (free) and Marcel Buchel were already part of last season squad, I simply signed them on a permanent basis.

I’d like to spend some words on my three more expensive signings:

  • Florian Thauvin: a coup at this price, 23 yrs old and still improving, he could play in many roles, he’ll be employed on the left flank in my formation
  • Lukas Spendlhofer: strong central defender from Inter, probably overpaid, but I was looking for a fast centre back, he becomes my 2nd top earner with 975k per year.
  • James Tarvernier: unconvincing, I wanted a home-grown right back and didn’t find anything better at that price, he will rotate with Zimmermann and shouldn’t be first choice.

Looking back at my previous transfer campaigns I’m satisfied with my spending/earning ratio as it’s quite balanced over the years.

Hudderfield Town transfer activity from 2014 to 2016

Unsurprisingly not every player signed will immediately feature in my starting XI, now there are 25 players in my first team, 2 for every role plus 3 utility players.

Staring XI, season 2016–17

Bunn-Wells are still my first choice up front, they scored 115 goals overall in two Championship seasons, I think they deserve a chance in the EPL as they showed to work well together.

In the midfield line there’s my top signing, Thauvin will need some time to suit the left wide midfielder role, anyway I’m confident he will become a creative force for the team.

Two new men should be part of the defensive line, if Stevens is not a big upgrade over Janza, Spendlhofer could do better than Murray Wallace in that role.

Some comparative screens taken from the game could make things clearer regarding our ranking in the EPL this season.

Odds…

What these screens show is that we should bravely fight trying to avoid the relegation, as we have very poor decision, work rate and teamwork, surprisingly the board and media predictions keep talking about a mid table finish for Huddersfield, as far as I know my job is at risk and probably I overrated my squad a little bit.

Continues….

For more updates follow my Twitter account: @Armchair_Gaffer

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