By Joe Harker
Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner has parted ways with the club by mutual consent. They were bottom of the Premier League and had won just one of their last 10 games in the competition. Wagner's final game was a 0-0 draw against Cardiff City, a team Huddersfield desperately needed to take points off if they were going to have a chance of surviving relegation.
Wagner had brought Huddersfield up to the Premier League via the Championship play offs and impressed many when he kept them up last season, finishing in sixteenth place. However, keeping the club away from relegation was always going to be an incredibly difficult task in the long run and few will think less of Wagner for not being able to steer Huddersfield clear of danger for a second time. He got them up and kept them up, an incredible achievement.
Before the draw against Cardiff, Wagner said he retained the faith of the board and his future at the club depended on "how I feel responsibility". Club owner Dean Hoyle said he wouldn't consider sacking Wagner even if Huddersfield were relegated, suggesting the decision to part ways was Wagner's.
Perhaps he thought he had done all he could at Huddersfield and stepped aside to give someone else a chance of saving them. In his parting statement Wagner said he would continue to support the club from afar. He genuinely appears to want the club to succeed whether he is part of it or not, stepping aside not to duck responsibility but to take it.
Sky Sports reports that Wagner's replacement will be unveiled on Sunday, after their game against Manchester City. Former club captain and current under 23s coach Mark Hudson will take charge of first team affairs until them. With an appointment scheduled for the weekend Huddersfield may already have Wagner's replacement in mind.
Fans of the club are devastated to see the manager leave. Wagner was adored by the supporters and he brought them new levels of success by getting them into the top division of English football for the first time since 1972. He was also a likeable personality
Miguel Delaney of The Independent suggests Wagner's story at Huddersfield is one of stellar overachievement that should have been impossible. Considering the resources he had to work with it is hard to argue.
He took over a Championship club with one of the lowest wage bills in the division and took them to the Premier League where they were the financially weakest club in relative terms ever to play in the competition. Keeping them up in their first season was another piece of brilliance.
There is no shame in being unable to maintain such a high level of excellence forever, nor in acknowledging the situation and stepping aside to give someone else a chance. How did he do? Brilliantly.