Not even six years ago I was sat in a ICT lesson at high school when I noticed on the BBC website that fans favourite Peter Jackson had been sacked. Back then before the world of social media, other fans weren’t commenting on your team without knowing the full story and managers had less pressure as you didn’t have several thousand of your own fans tweeting “#JACKSONOUT”.
Instead that day I felt nothing but sympathy for Jackson, a hero amongst fans who had returned to a club who only had eight players on the books and a club who were financially close to ruin. Jackson took us up through the Division Three play-offs and nearly made the play-offs in our first season back in Division Two, the season after we did make the play-offs and narrowly lost to Barnsley, whilst managing to push Chelsea close in the FA Cup. This was all done on a shoe-string budget and you never heard other people except your own fans commenting on the sacking only a season after nearly taking us to the Championship.
You may think I have gone off on a wild tangent and I am completely ignoring the sacking of Simon Grayson, but I am instead complaining about social media and football. Yes it is a fantastic tool to talk to and meet fans from not only your own team but other clubs too. However, once again today I am seeing the dark side of Twitter.
Nearly a year ago when Lee Clark was sacked we saw Twitter outrage as the whole of the world was bemused by Chairman Dean Hoyle’s decision. The likes of Stan Collymore, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere declared that football had gone mad and fans from around the world threw insults at Huddersfield Town, Dean Hoyle and its fans, yet they didn’t know the full story.
Once again, all I see across Twitter is fans undoubtedly not “in the know” throwing insults at my football club. Things like “That’s what you get for sacking Lee Clark”, “Huddersfield sack Simon Grayson. How has sacking Lee Clark worked out for you lads”, “Wonder how much Huddersfield are regretting sacking Clark”, “Huddersfield Town… The latest team to join the crazy sacking trend”.
Obviously I have left out the more hateful and un-publishable comments, but to see these comments from other fans and even journalists annoys me. Huddersfield Town were more than justified in Lee Clark’s sacking through promotion, albeit through the play-offs, yet other football fans and again journalists are questioning Dean Hoyle’s decision to sack Simon Grayson.
To those football fans out there who question any club sacking a manager, always find out what the fans think and look at the results. Whilst Nigel Adkins sacking was astonishing not only to the normal football fan but many Southampton fans, Huddersfield Town’s decision to sack Grayson is nothing more than an understandable decision.
Grayson has gone 12 games without a win with declining performances and resorting to the wholly unattractive long ball game, it is not a shock as a Huddersfield Town fan that he has been sacked.
Whilst some Town fans never really wanted Grayson as manager due to the Leeds United connection, I was quite pleased, especially with his track record of getting clubs out of League One. However, in his time here the football has never set alight the John Smith’s Stadium crowd. Of course Town managed to finally get into the Championship after the exhausting penalty shoot-out, but some of the football played before that was dire and defeats and draws were peppered throughout the second half of the season.
The start of this season surprised many fans with impressive victories against Blackpool, Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves, along with some attractive football, but in the last three months the good feeling around the club and the football has fizzled out. A more telling fact than the current 12 games without a win is that Town haven’t come from behind to win a game this season. Along with that Grayson’s Huddersfield have only twice scored three or more goals since being promoted to the Championship and only four times in his tenure, the attractive football all fans strive to see was quite simply not there.
Game after game more Town fans turned against Grayson. The Christmas period was horrible for any fan to watch and ultimately the heavy defeats against Leicester and Watford were the tipping point for Chairman Dean Hoyle. In today’s statement made by the club one sentence told of why Grayson had gone and every fan agrees.
“Whilst we would all have hoped for even some modest signs of improvement to begin to emerge as the weeks have passed that has not been the case. This has made the position untenable.”
The last three months have been difficult for any Town fan, in fact I still find it hard to fathom how the same side the ripped Wolves to shreds in the first half of the fixture back in October has gone on this devastating run. Not only that, but the deterioration of the football from fast flowing moves to the dreaded hoofball all fans hate to pay and watch.
The question is who now comes in to try and stop the rot. Luckily this time Hoyle has made his decision when the transfer window is still open, so if Huddersfield Town do appoint a manager in the next week he may have time to try and improve a squad that already lacks in strength of depth.
Whoever the next man in charge of Huddersfield Town is, all you have to do is keep Town in this division. All we really want is to see attractive football, some passion and fight from the players and not to be rolled over like we have to Millwall, Leicester and Watford away. Is that really too much to ask?
And to the football fans and journalists on social media sites, namely Twitter. Please don’t criticise or insult Huddersfield Town or any other club for that matter when they sack their manager, without knowing the full details. I only hope what I’ve written here can help those who earlier commented on Grayson’s sacking understand why Hoyle has done so.
By Greg Marah@mrgregmarah