Former Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Matt Glennon spoke to Huddersfield Hub about the Terriers in 2021 and reviewed the club’s year. As a summariser for BBC Radio Leeds and having watched almost every game over the past 12 months, who could be in a better position to review the last year?
The start of the year and end to the 2020/21 season
Huddersfield Town went into January low on confidence, low on bodies with injuries and in bad form. Having started the 2020/21 season well the Terriers had begun to slide down the table come the New Year. January was a hellish month for the club only picking up one point. They were also dumped out of the FA Cup by Plymouth.
On January Glennon said: “It was a terrible run of results. Unfortunately the manager had so many players out in his squad he was having to put young lads in that had hardly made a first team appearance. Whilst they did their best it was an extremely tough ask of the young lads.
“The squad, I remember, was not in a good place. We still had a hangover from the Premier League days where some players couldn’t be bothered or didn’t care about the club. Not all but there sadly was a minority.”
There were a number of additions in January that would go on to play big roles in the current Town team. Two of those signings were Duane Holmes and Sorba Thomas. Holmes signed from Derby and had previously played for the Terriers in his youth. He made his football league debut for Town all the way back in 2013.
Meanwhile Thomas had come from Boreham Wood in London. Initially slotting into the club’s B team, the Wales International has since risen to become one of the most important players in the Town side.
On Holmes and Thomas, Glennon said: “Duane has come in and put in some solid performances since joining the club. Sorba has come from nowhere and it just proves you can cast your net wide for players but sometimes you can find great players just down the road. After his sparkling start this season he’s just gone off of it a bit and needs to get that consistency into his game.”
The Terriers finished the 2020/21 season in 20th position, which was disappointing following the encouraging start boss Carlos Corberan had made in his first few months. Having ended the campaign on the back of some big scorelines against Town, many fans were asking if Corberan was the man to stick with.
Glennon added: “The end of the season was just a total nightmare really. I know people criticise Carlos for what happened but if you look back he was just having to patch a squad up week to week just to get by.”
The summer recruits
The club did stick with Corberan and made some astute signings in the summer including Lee Nicholls, Matty Pearson and Tom Lees. The Terriers had one of the worst defensive records in the whole Football League last season and so wanted to change that with these signings.
On those three signings in particular Glennon said: “I know Matty very well from our playing days at Halifax. He’s a very good professional, puts his all into every game and his performances have been magnificent, but I knew he would be a good signing for us.
“Lees came in and had a difficult pre-season but since getting a run of games he’s been phenomenal.
“Nicholls has been such a good buy, he’s come from MK Dons for not a lot of money. An experienced keeper who knows what to do, and he’s just been outstanding.
“Levi Colwill has been excellent, cool, calm and collected, he’s not made that many errors for a young lad. I wasn’t too impressed with him when he first came in but he’s just got better and better.
“Naby Sarr has had to be patient but when he has played he’s done well. The defence now is so much better, just look at the clean sheets.”
Another player that returned to the club in the summer was striker Jordan Rhodes. The man who in the 2011/12 season scored 40 goals and helped Town reach the play-off final against Sheffield United. The Terriers were promoted to the Championship.
However Rhodes’ journey with the club ended with him being sold to Blackburn Rovers for £8 million. He now returns to Town with divided opinion as his goals have dried up in recent years, particularly in spells at Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday.
Rhodes is regarded as a returning son. Although his second spell has been plagued by injury, many fans including Glennon hope to see the old Rhodes magic again.
On his return, Glennon said: “Jordan is a nice lad and a good footballer. He plays his best football when he’s happy and I think he’s happy being back at this club. I am looking forward to seeing him get out on the pitch. I think if we can get him crosses in the box I have no doubt he’ll score goals.”
Going forward on and off the pitch
Glennon is hoping that Corberan can continue his development at Town and is happy to see him still be in charge of the Terriers.
“Carlos can continue on for me, there is obviously a good footballing brain in there,” he said. “I’d just like him to be a bit less cautious. He’s developing as a young coach and although he’s made errors he’s learning from them. We aren’t doing too badly at the moment and it will be interesting to see where things go.”
Off the pitch things are a bit more tricky for Town as Phil Hodgkinson has seen nine of his companies go into administration. It seems as though previous chairman and still 25% shareholder Dean Hoyle has taken a more hands-on approach to club matters again.
Despite supporters’ concern, Glennon believes Town will sort things out.
He said: “I’m not worried about what’s happening, no one is really sure what’s going on bar the people involved. However I think we can be certain that both Dean and Phil are working hard to do the best they can for the club.”