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David Wagner’s chance to build a legacy


Hidden within the midst of the heavily globalised and equally commercialised land that is the Premier League lies Huddersfield Town.

A traditional football club at the heart of the community who, under the management of an enigmatic bespectacled German is competing against the crème de la crème.

Now the question is, amongst the contradictions and hypocrisies that the Premier League’s obsession with short-termism poses and with a contract extension on the table, may Huddersfield Town be David Wagner’s chance to build a legacy?

It is safe to say that David Wagner, Town’s first foreign head coach, has far surpassed any expectation that we as fans could’ve dreamed of.

Leading Town to the Premier League on a shoe-string budget, when mid-table mediocrity would’ve been more than welcomed, Wagner will undoubtedly go down in the history books as one of Town’s greatest managers.

However, looking at the bigger picture, it could be so much more, if our club can match his ambition.

Although, short-termism in the Premier League dominates, at Huddersfield Town, there is a sense that things are done differently.

Upon promotion, Dean Hoyle quickly went on record to say that even if Town were stranded at the bottom of the table with relegation being the only possible outcome, David Wagner’s job would not be at risk – a level of job security that depressingly looks out of place in the Premier League and modern football as a whole.

It was one of the many demonstrations that at Huddersfield Town, Wagner has the makings and foundations of a long-term project; an open-minded club with stability and room to grow and improve. A club that over the coming seasons could be moulded and ultimately become Wagner’s legacy, on and off the field.

Of course, with innovation, ingenuity and success comes attention and already we have seen many elite European clubs showing an interest in Wagner. With Wagner’s stock continuing to rise that interest is likely to intensify tenfold in the summer.

However, despite Wagner demonstrating his genius over the past two seasons, he is not a manager that thrives in a high-pressure short-term environment. He needs time. Time to impose his ideas and philosophy and with that, results will come.

Not only is time a precious commodity that he needs, he also needs a fan base and a set of players that are open to change and new ideas and none of that is guaranteed at Europe’s elite clubs.

That is why I get the sense that David Wagner understands that he has stumbled upon something special. From the adoration of the fans to the amicable relationship with the chairman, he is at a club which truly appreciates him.

A club that gave him the opportunity to become a growing household name and in return, he is the man that put this club of long history and tradition, back on the map.

Whilst David Wagner will be subject to interest by far bigger and more attractive clubs both in England and across Europe, his legacy will may remain in West Yorkshire.

A place where in the space of two years, the infectiously enthusiastic German breathed a breath of fresh air into this club and town as he led them back to the big time.  

However, whilst all of that will contribute towards his legacy, Wagner’s true legacy is already built. Every tear of happiness that we have shed, every moment of jubilation we have shared, that is his legacy.

No matter what happens in the near future, his legacy is simple, he made us fall back in love with the beautiful game.