Just a short one as we start to get into the season. Last night, in beating Charlton, Huddersfield Town qualified for the third round of the League Cup for the first time since 2003 (they lost to Reading after beating Sunderland and Derby Co) and only the 10th time ever.
This summer has seen a number of changes in the attack at Huddersfield Town. Gone is Lee Novak, returned are James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford, and in their place come the motley crew of returning hero Jon Stead, person I thought was Stephen Fletcher Martin Paterson, perennial 'he looked really good against MK Dons' Kallum Higginbotham and corner-flag worrying James Vaughan (permanently this time).
The fixtures came out today and a great wailing and gnashing of teeth followed. Fans of certain clubs will bemoan difficult starts, other fans will bemoan difficult run-ins. All will have nightmare games (even Manchester Utd fans will find something to complain about) and that's where the focus will be today, with perhaps an afterthought to having an easy October, or a generous home game on Boxing Day.
Lee Novak is leaving Huddersfield Town at the end of the season. Mrs Marco will be upset, as he's her go-to guy when picking first scorers. I'm upset because he scored one of my favourite goals of recent times; it was a beautiful, slow-motion, lob at Brentford - as perfect in my mind as it could be. So he's moving on to pastures new. He's been a very good player for Huddersfield Town and I didn't want him to leave without being the focal point of at least one statistical post. So here's Lee Novak in numbers. I'd love to have got his stats from Gateshead (minute-by-minute particularly) but they were a bit hit and miss. He was prolific there, though.
Quick post with just two graphs today and a little description of what each one shows.
James Vaughan is clearly a very talented footballer; his 13 goals for Huddersfield Town this season have seen them climb to a position where the team are on the very brink of Championship survival. Vaughan's future, while on loan with the club from Norwich, is very much up in the air. The problem with Vaughan is obvious. He gets injured too often. When fit, when comfortable, he can score goals of all kinds; indeed, I don't remember the last Town player who had a 'trademark overhead kick', as I heard a Vaughan attempt described on a highlights show a few weeks back. He just seems to miss too many games to stay fit and comfortable for long.
We are at that time of the season when little letters are appearing next to football teams' names. It can be good "PGillingham" (though they want the 'C' that Glasgow Rangers are wearing) or, equally, it can be bad, as RBristol City have discovered this morning, as well as - sadly - RStockport County. Best wishes to fans of both of those teams. Hopefully they will taste the glory of CChester soon enough.
Its news to nobody the Championship is ludicrously tight at the moment, with the teams in lower mid-table being so close to one another that relegation spots resemble more a merry-go-round than an actual reflection of inability. I wanted to make a couple of very basic points about quite how tight it is this season.
I've never left a football match early. The traffic's never bothered me as I'm not a driver and, to be honest, I never really understood why those extra five minutes would be that important to anyone. Anyway, that's by the by. I'm not an early leaver.
We're getting to that point of the season where things are beginning to settle - Cardiff at the top being the most obvious example. That means we're at a point where teams have left trails behind them that we can follow. That's the point of this post.