5 reasons to keep Mark Robins

Huddersfield Town are now safe for another year of Championship football, and the planning for season can begin.

However, after a very poor finish to the season, questions are being asked about Mark Robins, and his ability to push the club forward.

As uninspiring as the second half of the season has been, I’m going to argue the case that Robins should stay, and present 5 reasons for this argument.

1) Things have improved on the pitch:
All season I’ve said that the team need to improve their tempo to really move the new passing style forward. However, at least they’ve been trying to play, and for a lot of the season they’ve played it very well.
It does need to be refined, and it needs a team who can really play the system, but it’s vastly preferable to the tedious knock it long to their defenders style played under Simon Grayson.

2) He’s not been afraid to make decisions or acknowledge his mistakes:
When the game is there for the taking Robins tends to throw an attacking player on, to give us the best chance of a victory.
When he’s signed the wrong player, he hasn’t stuck with them and wasted time on them, he’s sent them out on loan and worked to get them out of the club.
It might not be a quality that everyone appreciates but he clearly doesn’t want the wrong kind of player or anybody with a bad attitude.
It’s been risky, especially towards the end of the season, when Nakhi Wells was forced to play up front on his own, but Robins clearly won’t waste time on players he doesn’t want.

3) He’s given youth a chance:
When Peter Clarke got injured, everyone assumed that Robins would get a player on loan. Instead he went to the clubs youth set up, and promoted Tommy Smith to the first team. Smith prospered and really stood out, until he ran out of gas towards the end of the season.
Other young players have been given their chance under Robins, and I wholeheartedly approve using the academy over the loan market. It benefits our club in the long run, rather than offering a Chelsea youth team player a temporary escape from their seemingly inescapable youth system.
Players like Smith and Duane Holmes could potentially be first team regulars for years to come, so having a manager who’ll give them an opportunity is unquestionably a good thing.

4) He’s achieved his preseason aims.
The aim for this season was to push on from last season, and being safe with 2 games to go is progress, regardless of higher points tallies from last year.
If James Vaughan had avoided injury we would’ve been safe a month earlier and the improvements in play and it’s safe to say that things are slowly but surely getting better.

5) He’s close to getting entirely his own squad:

With a number of players out of contract in the summer, and Robins work over the season to remove the players who haven’t fitted in, we are now closer to seeing Mark Robins’ own squad. If more players of the calibre of Nakhi Wells come in then next season could see a huge improvement.

There have been mistakes, and maybe things haven’t been perfect, but gradual progression and not sacking a manager every season surely has to be positive.

Or you could sack him, and bring in Billy Davies, or something.


The end of season holiday special

You know a sitcom has run out of steam, and the writers out of ideas, when they send all the characters on holiday.

What once was fresh and original has now become cliched and dull. It’s all your favourite characters in shorts, drinking cocktails, and getting into scrapes involving swarthy foreigners.

Now this might seem stretched and tenuous, but at Huddersfield Town what was fresh and new, is now becoming dull and predictable, and it’s seemingly leading to us all ending up on the beach well before the season reaches it’s climax.

Mark Robins started this season with a team that was going to play exciting football, and finally transform the ethos at a club that lacked a clear footballing direction.

It was going to be exciting passing football, that would move us away from being relegation candidates.

It started well enough, with defenders attempting to pass from the back, and a fresh determination to play though the middle was adopted.

It was all fairly successful to begin with, as the Terriers picked up some good results, but the football lacked tempo and pace.

Teams who play that style well make three passes in the time it takes Peter Clarke to position his foot to clumsily sidefoot the ball near to Keith Southern.

The football hasn’t really improved since the beginning of the season, and although there have been fine performances, or good halves, but it’s all still a bit transitional.

Injuries haven’t helped matters, with the team looking infinitely better with the frequently absent James Vaughan, but for the last few months it’s all looked very tired and dull.

So that’s why we find ourselves stuck on the beach. We’re still trying, but not very hard anymore. The players look as if they’ve eaten too much of the continental breakfast, and are distracted by the slot machines.

The rest of the season looks destined to end with all the players in flip flops carrying a straw donkey around the midfield.

Whether the programme will be renewed for next season remains to be seen, but at the moment we look destined to add some long lost cousin to the whole thing and ruining it completely.