Hoyland Corner… May 2017 - Owlsonline
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Hoyland Corner… May 2017

At the start of the season I was asked a question if it would be considered a failure if we didn’t go up… I did think long and hard about it before coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t. And I still stand by that now. However, I do realise that there will be people thinking that such a thought is absurd but how can the highest placed finish in the Football League since our demise from the Premier League be classed as failure is beyond me.

The amount of finances spent on players this season has been mooted as the reason why we should be guaranteed promotion. I raise you… Aston Villa. I mean even in another link with the Villains, some people suggested we should have their manager in situ at Hillsborough, last summer AND then again in the midst of this season.

People may point to recruitment not being that good, with Almen Abdi somewhat wrongly being pointed out as a failure and by SOME, not all, being a waste of money after one season into his contract at Wednesday. BUT. After one season of the Owl’s holding the signature of Kieran Lee, did anyone really expect him to be the star he’s become? And I’d argue that NO ONE would have expected it to come from a central midfield berth. So it’s far from impossible that Abdi could become a key player at our club.

The money spent, just look at it. Adam Reach was the focus after a rumoured club record breaking fee supposedly in the region of £5m. Because of the fee, some people I think thought he’s going to tear the Championship a new one, but when he didn’t… BLOODY WASTE OF MONEY… Now… Is he still a waste of money? He’s a vital part of our squad moving forward if you ask me. The fee is subjective from the view of the selling club, maximizing the profit, after all they are businesses too. Jordan Rhodes isn’t our player until the summer, although the deal is done and although he came with a ridiculous scoring record. His tally to date isn’t high, but his efforts are less questioned… Why so? He supposedly cost DOUBLE what Reach did?! Now I’m not questioning the worth of Rhodes, he’s quality and offers much more than what we originally seemed to bring him in for and I’ll admit, he’s a far better player than I gave him credit for in the past. But by the logic in the Reach transfer, and what people expected of him then why not the same of Rhodes? It seems like an ‘if the cap fits the agenda’ scenario to me sometimes.

Our manager/head coach, Carlos Carvalhal, has steered us into the top six for the second consecutive season. A feat unmatched by MANY more established and renowned managers, yet some of the vitriol aimed at him a few short months ago was awful in truth. THANKFULLY, he’s proved them wrong. Although should things not go our way over the next week then I’m certain that things will change again… But his impact at the club hasn't just been felt by the first team, it flows through the other teams at the club. His comment today to ITV: "To me Sheffield is Sheffield Wednesday," speaks volumes of his love and dedication to what he's built here.

Name and money or ‘status’ at your club gets you nothing in League positions. We’ve known that for too long, we’ve had the sleeping giant cliché hanging over us like a bad smell for decades now. Good management (across the gamut of the club), decent player recruitment and positivity from the fan base, all play a massive contributory factor in success at any football club or certainly have done with the way our club is run. We’re not scattergun in our approach, we have a youth system producing some quality players who others covet, how long is it since that happened on a regular basis??

Now, before people think I’ve gone all negative in starting this little musing with the ‘if we don’t’ comment. I’m not. I do think this is our time, our year, and I do think the players are more determined this time and certainly not here for the ride. I’m cautiously optimistic like I was last season, we feared Brighton more form what I remember than we do Huddersfield this year but that’s no reflection on the Terriers either.

They’ve had a tremendous season and I see them like I did us last year, no one expected or dreamt what’s possible other than themselves and their supporters. They’ve got a decent side, a smattering of good players and no doubt a decent team spirit with a decent manager (who yes, I’ll admit to criticising now and again). But I see Wednesday like Brighton. Learning from the lessons of 2015/16 and building on them.

We have a better squad, we have a confident bunch with a great team spirit and sense of unity. And we know what to expect. Huddersfield saw the playoffs in 2012 in League One, but not THIS Huddersfield Town side.

No one can truly say who’s going to win, but I’m confident we can make it this time. IF we don’t and that’s an IF I’ll be gutted but I urge a little sensibility from others too. Our journey back to the top flight started five years ago, since that day we’ve made huge strides forward and it doesn’t show signs of stopping. We’ll still hit stumbling blocks, of course we will. BUT regardless… We’re Sheffield Wednesday, we’re still on our way back.


Unread article 11/05/2017 at 16:25



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