David Wagner is out as Huddersfield Town manager.
The German coach has seen his side lose eight of their last nine Premier League games as the Terriers are rock bottom of the table and eight points from safety with 16 games to go.
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His charisma, passion and connection with the fans will be missed as the former U.S. men’s national team striker masterminded Huddersfield’s return to the top-flight for the first time since 1972.
Huddersfield chairman and owner Dean Hoyle confirmed that the club and Wagner had agreed he would depart by mutual consent.
“I’d like to begin by thanking David for all he has achieved at Huddersfield over the last three-and-a-half years,” Hoyle said. “His achievements will rightly put him up there in Town history alongside great names like Herbert Chapman and Mick Buxton. As I had said previously, I had no intention of sacking David this season. Subsequently David – being the great man he is – came to us and made it clear that he needs a break from the rigours of football management.
“We discussed making that change immediately, but he also made it clear that he would give his all for the rest of this season before departing in the summer if we preferred. After a long discussion we all felt that David staying at the Club until the end of the season was best, but we’ve kept discussions open and we all now feel that the time is right to part ways. I know the term mutual consent is often a byword for the manager being sacked in professional football, but this is a truly joint decision. David has genuine love fo Huddersfield rand his foremost concern in our talks has been to establish what is best for the club.”
Wagner, 47, arrived at Huddersfield in November 2015 and transformed a struggling second-tier team to one which finished in the Championship playoffs in the 2016-17 season and then sealed their first-ever promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs in May 2017.
Huddersfield then upset the odds to stay in the Premier League in the 2017-18 season, as Wagner worked wonders on a tiny budget to keep them in the top-flight.
Wagner’s final game in charge proved to be a controversial 0-0 draw at relegation rivals Cardiff City, as the Terriers were awarded a penalty kick in the second half but referee Lee Mason then reversed his decision after consulting his linesman.
The Terriers face Manchester City on Sunday (Watch live, 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) and their former center back and current member of the coaching staff, Mark Hudson, will take charge for that game as Huddersfield look to who can take charge next.
Sam Allardyce is the bookmakers favorite to become the next Huddersfield manager and although he has previous in keeping teams in the Premier League, this is a huge challenge to take on.
Scoring goals has been a massive problem for the Terriers this season, as they’ve won just two of their 22 games so far and are the lowest scorers in the PL with just 13 goals scored.
Still, Wagner’s departure has not been met kindly by plenty of Huddersfield fans who may have believed he was the right man to start preparing them for a promotion push next season as their relegation from the Premier League seems almost inevitable.
Wagner worked miracles to get Huddersfield in the top-flight in the first place and that will never be forgotten in the Yorkshire town.
Huddersfield need an even bigger miracle if they’re going to stay in the Premier League this season.