Date:Saturday October 20 2012
Town`s academy graduate continues to impress in an attacking sense, though his defensive frailties continue to be his Achilles heel.
Adapting the formation - Many fans and pundits alike, wondered whether Hunt would be pushed into a more advanced right midfield role this season, such was his attacking threat last year. This hasn`t materialised - instead, the youngster remains at right-back.
You could argue this to be a false role, in the sense that Hunt often spends more time in the opposition half than his own. Under Lee Clark, and more recently Simon Grayson, Hunt is allowed the freedom of the right flank. As much as he is a fullback on the team sheet, this merely acts as a mask to the role in which he actually plays.
In the 2011/12 campaign, Hunt struck up a good relationship with Scott Arfield. Brought up at Falkirk as a central midfielder, Arfield, although employed under Clark as a right sided midfielder, played naturally narrow in an unselfish role. This in turn created space down the right side, enabling Hunt to make overlapping runs and play to his strengths - something he acknowledged in a recent interview for the club programme. ''I thought my best form last season was when I was playing with either Scotty (Arfield) or Kallum Higginbotham, because they both like to tuck inside''.
His consistently impressive performances were merited with a place in League One's team of the year.
It's a similar story this season, though summer recruit Adam Clayton has been preferred to Arfield on the right of midfield, he plays an almost identical role to his predecessor.
Style of play - As hinted on, Hunt`s preferred role in the side is that of an attacking fullback - openly stating that he bases his game around Barcelona`s Dani Alves.
As you would expect then, he is more comfortable when in an advanced position rather than defending one one in his own half.
A feature of Hunt`s play is his direct running. When Town have possession, Hunt hugs the touchline and adopts his position on the vacant right wing. From here, with the space created by Clayton drifting infield, Hunt enjoys bursting forward and exploiting the space ahead of him. He`ll either cross early, depending on how many colleagues are in advanced positions - otherwise his energetic runs become prominent, as he attacks the opposing left-back at pace. His trickery on the ball combined with his ability to step off either foot, means he consistently causes havoc to the best defenders.
Even after Huddersfield`s exciting summer acquisitions, Hunt remains one of Huddersfield`s biggest attacking threats. In the opening six games of the season, he won his side four penalties.
It's essential that Hunt finds the balance between improving the defensive side of his game (which he acknowledges he must), whilst not cramping his raw attacking threat. After all, he epitomises the modern-day fullback.
At this early stage, his countless positives far outweigh the negatives, and greater things await for this promising youngster as he continues to mature as a footballer and hone is all round game.
England U21 boss Stuart Pearce is aware of Hunt's ability and has scouted him in person on a couple of occasions. It would seem the next logical step should he continue to gain the plaudits of local and national media alike.
Expect him to be the heartbeat at Huddersfield Town as they as a club, continue their sharp upturn in fortunes.
Written by Dave May.
Date:Saturday October 20 2012
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