Sky Sports called it the “Jordan Rhodes show” and it probably was as Huddersfield Town overcame a very poor Wycombe Wanderers on Friday night.
It’s quite apt that my first match report for this blog is on Wycombe as the last full match report I did on Huddersfield was when Town beat Wycombe 3-0 at the Galpharm back in August and let me just say Wycombe have got a hell of a lot worse since then.
As my former favourite Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas and well renowned football league expert Peter Beagrie (if you’re like Sheldon Cooper, the Beagrie comment is sarcasm) informed us, there were eight Premier League scouts at the game to most likely watch Jordan Rhodes including Harry Redknapp’s right hand men Joe Jordan and Clive Allen. Although right-back Jack Hunt has been scouted by a few Premier League clubs as well, including West Brom and Wigan.
Anyway to the game and The Jordan Rhodes show didn’t begin until the 19th minute. Town nearly took the lead after 10 minutes when Lee Novak’s 20 yard shot was well saved by Nikki Bull. However, from the resulting corner Oscar Gobern got in front of his man and scored a wonderfully directed header.
The Rhodes show (I’m sure there’s a pun in there) began on the 19th minute when right-back Jack Hunt put in a low cross which saw the Scotland international get ahead of James Tunnacliffe and Rhodes calmly slotted it home with an outstretched leg. Remarkably that was Hunt’s eighth assist of the season and he leads the assist charts along with two other terriers, Gary Roberts and Lee Novak.
Seven minutes later Rhodes had two when he used his power, pace and skill to score a magnificent goal. Novak lobbed the ball over and Rhodes got ahead of his man shrugged him off and megged the ‘keeper from a tight angle. That goal shows how much he has improved as a player over the past two years.
Half-time at Adams Park and it realistically should have been five or six. Gary Roberts had spurned a chance when one-on-one with bull and hit his shot narrowly over the bar whilst the goal machine should have had his hat-trick but his tame shot was easily cleared off the line.
After some inane “expert analysis” from Beagrie (he played for Bradford and never has much good to say about us so I thought I would return the compliment) Town came out and did what I haven’t seen in a long time, become ruthless.
Rhodes had his hat-trick after only 48 minutes when the referee decided to get in on the action and laid the ball off to Lee Novak who slotted the ball through for Rhodes, whose first attempt was saved by Bull but the rebound fell kindly for Rhodes to slot home. That was Jordan’s fifth hat-trick of the season for club and country, just amazing.
5-0 was the score just before the hour mark. Danny Ward who was rightfully recalled to side does what he does best and ran at players. Three were left in his wake and Bull could only parry Ward’s shot into the path of Rhodes to score his fourth. This was probably Ward’s best game since signing permanently for the club and I hope he can do what he did whilst he was on loan at Swindon two seasons ago, when he easily beat the man in front and put in quality balls.
As I was partying in my lounge with a cup of tea Jordan scored his fifth when Ward whipped a ball in for Rhodes to cleverly dink into the back of the net. This goal shows how Rhodes’ movement has improved and the deft touch for the finish shows what a fabulous striker we have.
It could have been 10-0 but the game petered out to finish 6-0 and we finally had put in a quality performance, something I have not seen for a fair while. This though still isn’t as good as the 6-0 mauling we gave to Wycombe 2 years prior or the 7-1 victory over Brighton in the same season.
Lee Clark was defensive as ever over the past poor form but as he said the performance was sensational especially Jordan Rhodes. What has even better was how well-spoken Rhodes was in his interview straight after the game and the only way I could love him anymore is if he answered the question regarding his future at the club.
However, despite fans from bigger teams believing we are a selling club Rhodes is going nowhere. Lee Clark has said Jordan will stay and that he is happy to stay here whilst our chairman has said Rhodes is not for sale at any price and the club rejected an enquiry made for Rhodes by West Ham last week.
It wasn’t all Rhodes though with Novak, Ward and Gobern all impressing showing there is depth in quality, although personally I have concerns about Lee Clarks comments about not needing to strengthen especially when we only have three centre-back and three strikers and Clark said only a few weeks previous that he was after two transfer targets.
All in all, a fantastic night for Huddersfield Town and Jordan Rhodes. But Peter Beagrie, Rhodes is quite comfortably worth more than your £3million evaluation. As Yazz said “The only way is up”.
Watch Jordan’s goals HERE