The Premier League is the richest league in the world, it’s where all the eyes are and subsequently, where all the money is. That’s why it’s branded the Promised Land and why teams do all they can to scratch & claw their way into the division. Huddersfield Town is currently in their second consecutive season in the league but If they’re to stay beyond this season, there’re a couple of tactical tweaks they must make.
Here are three tactical tweaks Huddersfield need to avoid relegation.
To their credit, the Terriers have shown much promise in the past 18 months, showcasing a brave brand of football. Over the weekend they went to the home of the highly acclaimed Wolverhampton Wanderers and dealt them a 2-0 blow. However, the Terriers only sit one point above the relegation zone, therefore change must be embraced.
In the Premier League this season, the Terriers have only averaged 47.7% possession, such a cautious approach reflects their position in the table. Ten points from 13 games with only two wins suggest David Wagner’s team are not imposing themselves on games enough. To buck that trend, Huddersfield needs to embrace a more possession-based style of play. Philip Billing is the key to this style of play. The 22-year-old is a giant presence in the middle of the pitch for Huddersfield, occupying the anchor role.
All good passing teams have a holding midfielder that dictates play from the middle. Billing has already shown signs this season that he could take on that dictator role, boasting an 82.4% passing accuracy average through his 13 PL starts. A switch of emphasis to playing more possession-based football would allow Billing to continue his impressive progress on the ball.
With Aaron Mooy in the #10 position and positioning himself between the lines, Billing would have a constant target ahead of him, thus allowing the Terriers to transition quicker up the pitch.
Emphasis on Attack
Alongside a more possession-based approach, Wagner must instruct his players to be more on the offensive. Controlling the game without the intention of overloading the opposition negates the point of possession and leads to dreaded u-shape passing. In 13 Premier League games, the Terriers have only scored eight goals, the joint lowest in the league.
Clearly, an improvement in attack must be made. That doesn’t have to just come through reinforcements in January, instead, Wagner could choose to work with what he has and diversify his tactical approach.
Huddersfield has become renowned for deploying a rigid 3-5-1-1 formation that seeks to completely stifle opposing teams in the midfield. With only two wins to their name, evidently, this approach hasn’t yielded the desired results. Meaning tactical fluidity is needed to help Huddersfield’s in-game management and adaptability.
If away to a top six side, Wagner’s 3-5-1-1 could be deployed but if a more offensive style is needed, that could easily be switched to an intense 3-4-3. In games where Huddersfield would like to solely dominate possession, a 4-2-3-1 could be used to help them commit more men forward. With these tactical tweaks, Huddersfield could firmly establish themselves as a lower mid-table side with ambitions of going further in future years.