It is exactly four months since I wrote a piece that looked to debunk the media myths surrounding Town’s summer transfer window.
For anyone with a basic understanding of David Wagner and Huddersfield Town, the approach taken in the summer was far from a surprise. If anything, it was a tried and tested method.
However, that last piece demonstrated that whilst the rise to the Premier League would bring much change, we as fans would have to grow used to lazy journalism.
For those Premier League-centric ‘journalists’, a basic understanding of David Wagner and Huddersfield Town was very much their undoing.
Naïvely, I forgot the likes of Garth Crooks existed who makes his first appearance today and I’m sure it will be far from his last.
If you didn’t know who Garth Crooks was already, he is an ex-professional who, when faced with the crossroads of turning to either management and coaching or media-related work after his retirement, he opted for the latter.
Although, more famously, he is known for almost falling asleep on live television.
Having been confined to the red button on Saturday afternoons and the rare appearance on Match of the Day 2, most of Garth Crook’s exposure comes from his weekly column.
Often littered with unusual similes and banal analysis, Garth Crooks is given the opportunity to present his Premier League team of the week.
A place where already, he has drawn comparisons between Marcus Rashford and a Great White Shark and also ranted about Tiemoue Bakayoko’s unprofessional conduct… because he dyed his hair blue.
This week, his attention turned to Rajiv van La Parra. The Dutchman’s performance that I described as coming of age was also picked up by Garth Crooks.
To begin with, I was surprisingly in agreement with the former Tottenham Hotspur centre-forward:
“I couldn’t possibly select my TOTW without including what must be a candidate for the goal of the season. Rajiv van La Parra’s match-winner against West Brom was such a glorious effort I could watch it a thousand times and not get bored.
“I had to see the strike from the camera angle behind the goal to really appreciate the quality of the finish – it gives you a much greater appreciation of how La Parra collects the ball, takes a look at the target, lines up the shot and executes it with such excellent precision.
“Ben Foster could only watch the ball fly past him into the top left-hand corner of the net”.
In a weekend of close encounters, Rajiv van La Parra’s sumptuous strike was by far the goal of the weekend and like Garth Crooks, I could watch it a thousand times and not get bored.
Like Garth says, the quality of the finish by van La Parra to have the technique and application to bend that into the top corner really does deserve appreciation.
However, where it was going so well for the BBC pundit, it was about to go so wrong. First, his summary of the game as a whole is questionable to say the least:
“West Brom were unlucky to lose against the Terriers, and had it not been for Jonas Lossl they wouldn’t have done. The Huddersfield goalkeeper was superb in the final minutes of the match”.
Yes, Jonas Lossl made two superb saves in the final minutes of the match to ensure that Town entered the international break on the back of consecutive home victories.
But to say that West Brom were unlucky to lose is simply ridiculous. Tony Pulis’ team selection which included a flat back five and three holding midfielders was an indication of West Brom’s ambition and that was from the very start to play for a point.
Even when Christopher Schindler was sent off for two bookable offences, the threat that West Brom posed was one dimensional and Town dealt with it extremely comfortably until stoppage time.
Although Jonas Lossl’s double save at the death was outstanding, it should not take away from the fact that Town outplayed, outfought and outworked West Bromwich Albion over the course of ninety minutes.
However, if you thought Garth Crook’s summation of the game was bad, wait until you read his summation of Town’s start to life in the Premier League:
“David Wagner and his boys are having one hell of a ride at the moment, buoyed by their marvellous fans. How long it continues depends on the ambitions of the club. Staying in the Premier League can be extremely expensive, but the rewards can be immense. Huddersfield clearly have the right man at the helm – the question I would pose is: Do they have the right men in the boardroom?”
I could discuss how Crooks has belittled Town’s excellent start to the season as merely ‘one hell of a ride’ but I will jump to the crux of why I chose to write this piece.
“Do they have the right men in the boardroom?”
To be fair to Garth Crooks, this question wouldn’t look out of place at most Premier League clubs. Turmoil in the higher echelons of Premier League clubs is increasingly becoming common place but not at Huddersfield Town.
It’s not difficult to work out that Garth Crooks is talking indirectly about Dean Hoyle.
If he was genuinely talking about the board then he would know that the terminology “right men in the boardroom” wouldn’t be sufficient considering Town’s longest-serving board member is Ann Hough.
Returning to Garth Crooks’ questioning of Dean Hoyle, it really does seem farcical considering the considerable role that Dean Hoyle played in Town’s meteoric rise to the Premier League.
From appointing David Wagner who Crooks proclaims to be the right man at the helm to supporting him financially when the club spent nearly £40 million in the summer as they prepared for life in the Premier League, Hoyle’s impact has been immeasurable.
He is also an owner who offered affordable, attractive Premier League football when he could’ve easily charged double or even triple and still had a sold-out stadium.
Going even further, probably way beyond Garth Crook’s knowledge of Huddersfield, he is a man who has overseen two promotions and almost single-handedly supported the club financially from their journey in League 1 to their present day status in the Premier League.
And yet… Garth Crooks questions the ambition of the boardroom. Laughable.
It is pretty obvious that Garth Crooks pulled out a open-ended statement from his book of clichés which he thought could apply to Town and ultimately, he has been found out.
However, it goes beyond that, it is just a further demonstration of the lazy journalism that Town have been subject to since their promotion to the Premier League and sadly, it will continue and we will be subjected to it.