Huddersfield 1-5 Fulham
Absolutely delighted to back in the John Smiths Stadium for the first time in 533 days. It has been a long time away. From the point of view of access to the stadium nothing much had changed. Unfortunately when it came to the performance nothing much had changed either.
We started with Ward and Koroma up front which when playing one of the stronger sides of the division surprised me, I would have thought we would pack the midfield more to be competitive and get more of the ball. Koroma is also more affective when coming in off the left side of the pitch and as our most proficient attacking force against surprised that we were not playing to his strengths.
There was an early sign of what was to come as we backed off Onomah giving him space to get an early shot away which Schofield turned behind. We had the ball in the back of net shortly afterwards but this was ruled out for offside. I’ve yet to see the replay however it wasn’t long before Fulham were gifted the lead. Schofield made a hash of a overhit backpass and presented Mitrovic with an open goal. In fairness to Schofield the goal should not have stood as it had clearly gone out of play. I was directly in line with the touchline and due to the overhit backpass the linesman was well behind the play so just guessed. If only we had VAR. Onomah scored their second due to Fulham showing their strength on a corner when we flapped in defence. In fairness though the lads did not let their heads go and got their deserved goal through Matty Pearson from a corner only for us to show our defensive frailties again and let Cavalho in for an instant reply. At 3-1 and approaching half time you could clearly see that the Town players heads had gone.
Second half -The ineffective pair of Vallejo and Ward were replaced with High and Campbell. Unfortunatley though that was the only thing that had changed as Fulham continued where they left off on top. High tried to probe, Campbell offered nothing more than Ward had. Holmes was finally replaced after having his stroll on the pitch. Sarr stayed on although he looked even slower than last season. Colwill who was one of the bright sparkes brought down Harry Wilson with less than 20 minutes to go and the ex-Liverpool lad violently reacted earning himself a straight red. That prompted Marco Silva to bring on Ivan Cavaleiro (who it had been rumoured we were looking to sign when we had our stint in the prem) and go direct when they had the ball. With us pushing forward Cavaleiro exploited the space to finish well twice before the referee saved us from any further embarrasment.
On the whole great to be back, performance was good in patches but so much was wrong. Fulham weren’t that great but they won the midfield and took their chances.
Individual performance review to follow.
Brentford 2-0 Arsenal.
The Bees kicked off the premier league season, and what a feelgood performance they put in. Classy performance on the pitch, class from Thomas Frank posing for snaps with young fans at the end of the game, class from the fans in applauding Arsenals’ young Bukayo Saka in support of his efforts for the footballing nation in the summer. Brentford certainly deserved the 3 points, although at 1-0 Arsenal were creating opportunities and Brentford were failing just like Arsenal to take theirs, it did feel for a period that the failure to go 2 up might come back and bite them, but full credit for the team performance as they saw the game out.
For Town fans like me this felt a lot like the summer of 2017, a lot of hope, good performances in the premier league, a togetherness through the players, backroom staff and fans. For us as we know it fell apart in the end, for Brentford only time will tell but good luck to them.
Previous Town player watch – Emile Smith-Rowe, ok we only had him on loan. He was one of probably 2 Arsenal players that stood out for the right reasons. On the ball he was bright and looking to break through the lines at all times, off the ball he was creating space and making himself available. A constant threat to the opposition. I liked Smith-Rowe when he was with us and feel that the lad plays the game in the right manner, just getting on with his game and his teams performance. I wish him good luck for the season and his future in the game.
League One as always difficult to predict but here goes: –
The Championship as always promises to be competitive and I might be totally out with these:-
West Brom and Bournemouth I expect to lead the way, but I can see the strength in depth of West Brom seeing them over the line. Fulham, Swansea, Stoke and Boro’ for the play offs. Stoke perhaps a surprising choice but after several seasons of poor starts, I feel that if they get it together early on they could surprise many. No immediate return for United but an improved season for Forest with Cardiff and Blackburn challenging. Obviously biased but I would say that Town will have a comfortable mid-table season with Luton, Barnsley, QPR and Millwall also having decent seasons with Hull and Coventry safe from relegation. Despite the financial problems at Reading they are too good to go down, but Preston and Birmingham I can see struggling and Bristol City continuing their poor form of last season. Derby look short in depth and of the filed antics will not help but Blackpool and Peterborough I feel will occupy the bottom 2 spots.
With the transfer window yet to shut player movements could considerably affect my thoughts on where sides will finish this term, but going on the basis what we already have: –
I don’t think there is much to chose from the top 6 in all honesty, however the recent capture of Lukaku is the reason why I would tip Chelsea. I don’t really feel that City have replaced Aguero and will miss him but I’ll stick my neck out and say that they will just pip their Manchester neighbours to second. Liverpool, Tottenham, Leicester and Arsenal I don’t really feel that they have consistency at the moment to mount a title challenge. West Ham, Leeds and Everton can be capable of the odd surprise result but I see a safe mid-table season for them. Watford, Palace, Newcastle and Burnley I can see them all having troubling spells but a mixture of experience and strength in depth will see them through. A change of management won’t help Wolves and the loss of Ings will be felt by Southampton, but I can’t see Norwich, Brighton or Brentford avoiding the drop.
Bournemouth and West Brom kicked off the Championship season with a share of the points. I have to say both sides were impressive, and the result was a fair one in the end. Billing continued his goalscoring form of late last season and ex-Town man Karlan Grant showed glimpses of what he can provide. On the basis of this one showing both sides will do very well this term.
West Brom were strong physically and we have not shown that degree of toughness for some time which would be a concern when we play them. They liked to pack the 6-yard box on corners which Schofield struggled with last season, although he lacked support and may not be first choice keeper this term.
Bournemouth struggled with the West Brom corners planted in the 6-yard box and whilst they came off second best in the physical battle they moved the ball quickly and showed lots of pace. We have struggled against such movement and unless we have improved, again We will not fair well against them.
Derby 1 – 1 TOWN
A share of the spoils which normally I would be pleased with away at Pride Park, but due to the turmoil at Derby and the fact that we dominated this was a prime opportunity to take all 3 points. Having said that an early season point on our travels and with our plans being thrown out with O’Brien, Nicholls, Toffolo and Ruffels unavailable due to testing positive for Covid it could have been a lot worse. Corberan tested positive as well and therefore was unable to be on the touchline too.
Nabby Sarr scoring our equaliser shortly after conceding a scrambled goal was a good quick response. He turned in a cross from the ever improving Sorba Thomas, who is fast becoming a crowd favourite.
Charlton 0 – 0 Sheffield Wednesday
Wednesday lost Paterson early on to a head injury which was not an ideal start for them. Both sides lacked quality in the final third but looked solid otherwise and loo likely to not leak too many goals. I would expect both sides to do well this season in the batle for the play offs/promotion.. Bannan as always was the figurehead for Wednesday and looks like he is still a cut above League 1 standard.
Ex-Town player watch – Interestingly Wednesday used Jaden Brown in a more advanced left sided role supporting the front man. I always liked Jaden at Town but after his first season with us he failed to kick on, possibly hinded by the managerial merry-go-round.
I created this site to share my thoughts on Huddersfield Town and to a greater extent Football as a whole.
I am a lifelong Terrier fan having experienced the highs and the lows. My first game, at Leeds Road that I attended was in September 1982 with Town beating Orient 6-0 with goals from Stanton (2), Lillis, Russell, Sutton and Pugh on his debut. With a game like that it was a no-brainer that I was hooked.
Having enjoyed, or endured football in all 4 top flight leagues over the years I decided that I would share my ramblings with anyone who cares to the read them. These will be mostly Huddersfield Town related but I am sure I will dip into other football related topics from time to time.
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