Goals galore as Huddersfield adapt to Corberán style - Interview
Friday, 4th Dec 2020 12:15 by Clive Whittingham
After pivoting out of Cowley pragmatism and into the brave new world of Carlos Corberán over a truncated pre-season Huddersfield were many pundits tip for a struggle, but Brady Frost from the Takes That Chance Podcast has been pleasantly surprised so far.
How have you started the season?
Better than I expected, we’re midtable currently and are comfortably so at the moment, despite a worse squad than last season in my opinion so I can’t complain. What’s been frustrating is the inconsistency, we can beat Middlesbrough 3-2 when going into the game Boro had the best defensive record in the league and then lose 2-1 to Birmingham when we had equalised with five minutes left. The biggest compliment I can give this team is that we’re probably one of the more entertaining teams in the league, we leak goals and can score a couple too, but you’re tearing your hair out as a fan.
Huddersfield league results so far…
What have you made of the new manager, bit of a left-field appointment?
With the context that Carlos Corberán has never been a first-team manager in England, I think he’s done really well so far. The club’s reasoning was to bring a better style of play to the team and I think we have seen that with the entertaining matches so far. Before the win against Middlesbrough, I’d say the Corberán novelty factor seemed to have worn off. That’s not a criticism of the manager, more the harsh reality setting in that Huddersfield’s squad is going to struggle to stand the rigours of a 46 game Championship season. The December run-in looks tough and with a game every three or four days at the moment if he gets through that and we’re still safe and we can see a progression on the pitch, then he’s done a great job.
Has the much talked about the change in the style of play been as sweeping as predicted so far?
In the short space of time, we’ve already seen a bit of trademark goal where it starts from our goalkeeper, we play it out from the back, have a couple of passes progressing up the pitch and before you know it, we score. We’ve not seen it consistently, but it’s certainly something to hang your hat on as a fan. For the past four years, we’ve struggled to create chances and particularly this season when teams go very defensive we really can’t break them down. The style is much better than it has been, even if we’ve suffered from defensive errors when playing it out from the back. I’m sure it’ll improve as the players get used to the system and Corberán gets more players that he wants to suit his style.
How was your summer transfer window in the end?
The transfer business has been ok. We signed former player Danny Ward from Cardiff, who only started for the first time against Cardiff in midweek due to injury. Our right-back Pipa, who we signed from Espanyol has been sensational and has been injured recently and we’ve sorely missed him. He’s doing stepovers and I can’t think of the last time I saw a Huddersfield player do that. Defender Naby Sarr, who joined from Charlton is a Jekyll and Hyde player, great one game, absolutely shocking the next, but he can play the ball out from the back well. We’ve also signed goalkeeper Joel Pereira on loan from Manchester United, who was on loan at Hearts last season and did terribly, judging the responses from Hearts fans. He came in for the Stoke game where we lost 4-3 and he was probably at fault for two of the goals if you’re being brutal and was straight out of the side after. We’ve signed a defensive midfielder, who hasn’t played yet and we’re sorely lacking a winger which needs to be addressed in January. So we’ll see, it’s still a bit early days to judge people’s time at the club so far.
Ins >>> Pipa, 22, RB, Espanyol, £630k >>> Danny Ward, 28, CF, Cardiff, Free >>> Naby Sarr, 27, CB, Charlton, Free >>> Alex Vallejo, 28, DM, Unattached, Free >>> Joel Pereira, 24, GK, Man Utd, Loan >>> Carol Eiting, 22, DM, Ajax, Loan
Outs >>> Karlan Grant, 23, CF, West Brom, £14m >>> Steve Mounie 25, CF, Brest, £4.3m >>> Ramadan Sobhi, 23, LW, Pyramids FC (Egypt, not kidding), £4.3m >>> Terence Kongolo, 26, CB, Fulham, £3.9m >>> Jon Goren-Stankovic, 24, CB, Sturm Graz, Free >>> Herbert Bockhorn, 25, RB, Bochum, Free >>> Reece Brown, 24, CM, Peterborough, Loan >>> Joal Coleman, 24, GK, Fleetwood, Loan >>> Elias Kachunga, 28, CF, Sheff Wed, Free >>> Danny Simpson, 33, RB, Released >>> Collin Quaner, 29, CF, Released
Where is the team strong and weak?
Huddersfield are entertaining and frustrating in equal measure, but here they are 15 games in, sixteenth in the table, five wins, three draws, seven losses, the epitome of midtable. They can put on a show and win 3-0 against Millwall, they can put in a shocker and lose 3-0 to Cardiff. We’re defensively weak at the back and we’ve seen in the Cardiff match that if you press us, you’ll force mistakes from our centre backs. Our weakness at the moment seems to be that we have to work so hard to score goals but concede them so easily.
Our strengths seem to be some of our attacking play, Josh Koroma and Issac Mbenza were nowhere near the first team last season but now they’re probably the first names on the team sheet at the moment and both can provide a match-winning moment.
If you’re a neutral to Town games, at this moment it’s hard to look elsewhere for a team in the Championship that’s going to give a match that’s more exciting than Huddersfield. Defensive disasters at one end and goals at the other, you’re cursing at the TV as a supporter but attracting plenty of admirers in the league.
How do you think your season will go?
We’re currently 16th and initially, I said we’d be in a relegation scrap at the start. So if we finish anywhere between 12-16th, I’d take that if we show progress and the club has something to build on for the season after. I look at teams like Norwich for example and see how Daniel Farke didn’t click until his second season in charge and think it could be the same for Huddersfield.
We’ve seen more stylish football under Corberan, but the same frustrations of individual errors and inconsistency remain. The new style of football means it will take time for the players to adapt and it’s clear the club is going to bring more young players through, so it’s going to be a season where we will have to be patient.
We’ve already had some eye-catching unexpected wins that helped boost the feel-good factor around the club like Swansea and Middlesbrough but we just need to get into the New Year still comfortably mid-table.
The Twitter @brady0894, @takesthatchance, @loftforwords
Pictures – Action Images
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