The Chalkboard: Huddersfield must learn from transfer mistakes under David Wagner

Huddersfield’s failings on the pitch this season can easily be attributed to their errors off the pitch before the campaign even began.

In an interview with the Examiner, Town’s chief executive Julian Winter revealed that a lack of communication between the manager and the board led to an ineffective transfer window.

Wasted transfers

The main takeaway from the interview was that David Wagner had been provided with signings that didn’t suit the style of play he wanted to utilise going forward.

The men in charge of transfers at the John Smith’s Stadium recruited based on the system that kept the Terriers up in the 2017/18 season. Their main targets were fast, tricky wingers that would be able to provide service for target men such as Steve Mounie and Laurent Depoitre.

Unfortunately for the board, Wagner was planning on changing his style of play, and failure to communicate that with the higher-ups meant that he was left with a group of players who didn’t suit his philosophy going forward.

Winter said: “From a football perspective we had the idea of doing what we do better and recruiting players into that system.

“David (Wagner) decided to change the system, and I think we lost a little bit of our identity if I am honest with you.”

Can’t make the same mistakes

It is an absolute shambles that nobody from the transfer team liaised with Wagner ahead of Town’s second season in the Premier League.

It was a case of square pegs in round holes once the season kicked off and from that point onwards the Yorkshire club were doomed.

They can’t afford to repeat this error ahead of Jan Siewert’s first full season in charge. They must have a meeting as soon as possible with the German and establish what he wants to do on the pitch, then go out and make signings to accommodate that system.

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There’s no use in signing players who don’t fit a system, no matter how good they may be. It is amateurish for Huddersfield to have made such a schoolboy error, and they must now change their ways as they prepare for life back in the Championship.