The defeat yesterday to Bournemouth was a sobering experience.
It was one of many sobering experiences we’ve had to bear witness to this season. It also provided yet another reminder that in many ways, this is a Championship side in the Premier League and one that is out of its depth and out of ideas.
Yesterday, however, was particularly sobering as we saw any of the remaining ‘Terrier Spirit’ manifested under David Wagner and continued somewhat under Jan Siewert, extinguished.
In the position that Town are in where relegation is virtually inevitable, there should be nothing to lose. There is no reason to play within themselves or with fear.
And yet, the lifeless performance against Bournemouth was a clear regression from the narrow defeat to Arsenal and the last-gasp victory over Wolves.
Yesterday was confirmation simply that there is no fight left in this squad.
Systematically undermined and psychologically scarred by defeat week after week, we have now got a group of players that are a shadow of their former selves.
Whilst the platitudes continue to filter out of the camp that we must do better and demand more of ourselves, they are falling upon deaf ears.
The reality is that we watched a group of players take onto the field where any remaining spirit had faded away. They had simply given up.
The particularly damaging aspect of the tepid display came from some of the most senior players in that side, where neither the attitude nor the application was on show.
Rather than fully committed performances, responsibility was shirked, challenges were limp and the effort on show was half-hearted.
Passes were lazy, careless and at times bordering on the infantile in their execution. Whereas once upon a time, our defence held our performances together and covered up for our impotent forward-line, now they too have fallen into this trap of woefulness with the banality of their defending the glaring disappointment. Shanked clearances, failure to track runners and non-existent positioning has now become a feature of our performances rather than the rare exception.
The only positive from the game was the fact that Siewert reflected our anger and frustration in his post-match interview. That is how far the bar has dropped.
Whether this performance was due to confidence being completely drained or minds being elsewhere, it breaches any idea of what standard is deemed acceptable at Huddersfield Town.
What this performance also proved is that a significant turnover of personnel is needed in the summer.
Prior to this season, the main concern may have been Town’s most valuable assets being stolen away. However, it is very clear that the life-cycle of this squad is coming to its end.
The memories of the promotion winning season and the unlikely stay in the Premier League for more than one season will be remembered.
What is for certain is that this group of players, with the baggage of the past season and a half won’t be able to drop down to the Championship and immediately re-find their confidence.
Already, we’ve seen that Jan Siewert’s methods will differ massively from David Wagner and that change is coming.
Dipping into the academy, Siewert has provided Demeaco Dehaney and Aaron Rowe with senior debuts, with Matt Daly also patiently waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
Between now and the end of the season, I hope to see more of this.
If certain individuals no longer have the desire to play for the shirt and their minds are elsewhere, then offer the opportunity to those who do with the incentive of earning their right to be involved next season.