From the outset, the appointment of Olaf Rebbe seems to fit Huddersfield Town as it is the latest in the string of brave and bold decisions.
It is clear to see that Rebbe is young, ambitious and with a point to prove. This is a description which has befitted many of Town’s signings over the past two seasons as well as David Wagner himself.
Undoubtedly, there’s an element of risk about this appointment, as there always is.
However, up until now, big risks have been taken and the club and the town as a whole have reaped the benefits of the brave decisions made by Dean Hoyle and latterly, David Wagner.
The appointment of Olaf Rebbe is no different. The mixed reception particularly from other parts of Europe seems to indicate that this is a bold and equally brave appointment.
Not only is Olaf Rebbe the second youngest ever Sporting Director in Bundesliga history but the circumstances in which Rebbe left Wolfsburg and the position that Die Wölfe are currently in also adds to the risk of this appointment.
However, whilst Wolfsburg resources far surpass Huddersfield Town, the stability and the upward trajectory that the club is on under David Wagner can only be a positive influence on Olaf Rebbe.
Rather than having to deal with internal politics or extreme external factors, Rebbe will have the rather more straightforward task of concentrating on the footballing side of things.
As mentioned by Town themselves, Rebbe’s role as sporting director will be to:
“work closely with Head Coach David Wagner and report to the Board on the recruitment of players and the monitoring of football operations such as scouting, analysis, sports science, and medicine.
“Rebbe will also work closely with Academy Manager Leigh Bromby to drive the development of the Club’s youth system in its new form”.
In this sense, Rebbe will bring a different perspective and fresh ideas as he acts as a foil for David Wagner. The latter role could be particularly crucial.
Whilst many of Rebbe’s critics cite his player recruitment as his major drawback, if he can help shape the Club’s youth system in a way in which more players filter through into the first team set-up, that alone could justify his appointment.
More broadly as we have seen in a new environment, away from intense scrutiny, players that were struggling to make an impression and were castigated in the peripheries of a match-day squad have been re-born at Town.
I see no reason why the same could not happen with Rebbe.
However, it is when looking at the much bigger picture that I see this appointment in a particularly positive light.
The much broader implication is that the arrival of Rebbe as a Sporting Director will see David Wagner sign a contract extension, extending his tenure as Town’s head coach.
For me, this is the crucial aspect of the appointment. Whilst Rebbe may have his critics, this appointment will particularly benefit one man: David Wagner.
Town’s willingness to match Wagner’s ambitions and to continue to build the club around him by appointing Rebbe is another cause for celebration, ahead of another summer of excitement.
Whilst I can fully understand some of the trepidation surrounding Rebbe and why this appointment has divided opinion, this appointment clearly has the blessing of both Dean Hoyle and David Wagner.
Considering how much judgement and due diligence they have shown over the past three seasons with the decisions made on and off the field, they deserve to have our full backing, as fans, over this appointment too.