Huddersfield Town vs Plymouth

Competition: FA Cup Round 3

Date: 09/01/2021

Score: 2-3

Ground: John Smith Stadium

5 Conclusions from the Game

1. Midfield needs reinforcing in January!

Town played a midfield three of Daly, Austerfield and Duhaney while in possession and it didn't work! I think it was less about the system and more about the personnel, players weren't offering for the ball and not allowing the transition from defence into attack. I think the club need to sign another central midfielder in January as I don't think Austerfield is ready yet, Daly needs a loan move abroad or maybe to League 1 or 2 and Duhaney looked a bit lost at times (and he is right back). Scott High has returned from his loan at Shrewsbury, but I think he will probably go back out on loan to gain more experience.
I think if someone like Lewis O'Brien or Hogg was playing then it would have taken the pressure off the other two midfielders. Given that neither of them was available due to being rested, it should show that Town is in need of another option to bolster their midfield ranks.

2. The first time we have seen Carlos' preferred playstyle in action.

352 in possession and 433 out of possession is the end goal for Carlos for the way in which he wants his team to play. Today we saw this in action as Corberan has had the B team and Academy setting up the teams to play in this philosophy all season - something he has not done with the first team fully yet. This is partly due to the sheer number of games played in a short space of time and the club is still going through a transition phase, Carlos hasn't been able to bring many of his own players in yet. As a result of this he has had to adapt his style to get the best out of what he has. While you may feel underwhelmed with the football as it felt like at some points we couldn't get out of our half, the midfield was weak and this was one of the first times many of these players played in a game of this magnitude.
I have included below the way the team set up with and without the ball.

Town in Possesion on the left, vs how they set up out of Possesion on the right.

3. Olagunju and Jones were impressive.

Two players that you may not have heard of before tuning into today were Mustapha Olagunju and Patrick Jones, although they both had made matchday squads previously in the Championship this season. I was very impressed with both of them, Jones made a brilliant driving run, before an expert pull back for Phillips which looked to be a certain goal, but for a brilliant save from the Plymouth keeper! Jones then put in a fabulous corner for Crichlow to head home. I thought Town could have used his pace better, but for someone who is only just 17, I was very impressed with his performance. Jones made 3 key passes, which was the most of any player on the pitch. Olagunju also played well in my opinion and although he potentially could have been sent off (which would have been very harsh). I thought he played very comfortably considering as it was his first professional start. He made 5 tackles, which was the most on the pitch, while also making 4 clearances and interceptions.
I would be disappointed not to see either of them again before the end of the season as I was impressed with them both today.

4. Vallejo grew into the game.

Having only featured twice in the Championship before today for Town and having been brought into to cover for Hogg in the hectic winter schedule, I thought it was going to be another Herbert Bockhorn signing. After a shaky start and playing as a defensive midfielder without the ball and a central defender with the ball, things were looking bleak for the Spaniard. He showed off some good close touch dribbling to get himself out of a few situations and although he did make quite a few errors, I thought he had an ok game.

5. Please give Aaron Rowe more than 10 minutes next game!

It is nearly 2 years since Aaron Rowe came onto the scene under Jan Siewert, but the youngster has had to battle his way back into the first-team plans at Huddersfield, transitioning from a winger to a full back in the process. As he said in his post-match interview, he is right-footed, but his left foot is also very strong, as shown by his wonder goal to put Town 2-1 up just past the half-hour mark. His defending is still improving, but I think he is the perfect understudy to Pipa for the rest of the season while also being there as another attacking option. The Bournemouth defeat seemed to tarnish the whole squad that played that day, but he showed today that he can produce moments of magic in a first-team game and not just in a B team game.

Town Team:

Starting 11: Ben Hamer, Aaron Rowe, Mustapha Olagunju (77' Brahima Diarra), Romoney Crichlow, Jadon Brown (77' Ben Jackson), Josh Austerfield (83' Etienne Camara), Alex Vallejo, Demeaco Duhaney, Patrick Jones (71' Rolando Aarons), Matty Daly (83' Myles Bright), Kieran Phillips
Subs: Ryan Schofield, Etienne Camara, Brahima Diarra, Rolando Aarons, Sam Sharrock-Peplow, Kit Elliott, Ben Jackson, Loick Ayina, Myles Bright
Formation: 433

Match Statistics

Huddersfield Town: Plymouth:
Possession %: 58 42
Total Shots: 10 10
On Target: 3 4
Tackles: 18 17
Pass Accuracy %: 83 79
Fouls: 14 7
Yellow Cards: 2 0
Red Cards: - -

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