Mutual consent. The sacred get out clause for any manager which of course sounds and looks better on your CV than a sacking, but for David Wagner it certainly came as no surprise when the popular German left the Premier League’s bottom club Huddersfield Town earlier this week.
Wagner will go down in the club’s history as one of their greatest manager’s having led the Terriers in the top division for the first time in over half a century but trying to compete against the oil rich and those who are well marketed across the world was always going to make this a tough challenge.
After defying the odds in their first season to finish outside the relegation zone and gaining plaudits for their resolve, second season syndrome is well and truly alive in West Yorkshire as Huddersfield find themselves with more than a mountain to climb to keep alive their Premier League status. The tone was set straight away with no wins from their first 10 games, almost a quarter of the season ebbed away without a win.
Currently eight points from safety and with only two league wins this season, Wagner and his team were always going to be up against it to repeat last season’s feat. The lack of a goal-scorer is evident in the lowly 13 goals they’ve scored this season whilst not keeping them out at the other end has meant goal difference is not currently on their side should they mount the most unlikely of escapes.
Whilst the game is awash with money and with it being especially prominent in the Premier League there is always that fine line for the smaller clubs as to whether they gamble their cash in the hope of remaining a part of the elite or it all goes belly up, and despite contracts being better structured than in the early days that almost crippled clubs such as Leeds and Bradford for good, it can still damage a club for years to come especially if they fail to unload players after relegation.
Without a win since the end of November, many might argue Wagner was either living on borrowed time or being given the time to turn things around, you can argue it could have been both. It doesn’t get any easier this coming weekend as they host the champions Manchester City, who are coming good once again on the heels of leaders Liverpool, along with Chelsea and Arsenal.
However, it was only last week where Wagner was sure he was still the man to arrest the slide and felt he had the support and backing of his chairman.
You can expect the usual names of David Moyes, Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce to be trotted out by the press as the man to save the club on a short-term basis, but with only 2 weeks left in the January window, time is in short supply for the Terriers to decide whether they spend some money in the vain hope to retain their top flight status or give in to the inevitable and prepare already for life in the Championship.
Whoever is next in the chair will find themselves in a ‘no lose’ situation and could possibly be the greatest escape ever if Huddersfield Town find themselves with Premier League status next season, but they’re going to have to fire a side lacking maybe in class and experience at this level and it might only be January, but the remainder of the campaign is looking bleak for Terriers fans.