After the 1-1 draw at Barnsley, I had the temerity to suggest on Twitter that things aren’t all doom and gloom at Hillsborough. That a draw away in a local derby against a team in the top half of the table wasn’t a bad result. That being in the top six should be seen as a good thing.
Conceding an equaliser so late on was obviously a massive disappointment but even more disappointing was the reaction to the manager after the game. In my opinion, Carlos Carvalhal shouldn’t see his job come under pressure because of the current run of results. Certainly not right now. The time for analysis should come at the end of the season.
Right now, all Wednesdayites need to stick together if we are to have any chance of reaching the promised land of the Premier League. After Fulham’s win at Rotherham, we have slipped out of the top six but the fact remains that overall Sheffield Wednesday are in a much better shape than when Carvalhal was appointed as manager, and very importantly, than at any stage in the past 20 years. Over that time we have all seen the struggles both on and off the pitch and finally in the last couple of years we’ve had something to shout about again; some cause for optimism.
Last season was in fact the highest finish since relegation from the Premier League in 2000.
So why all the negativity? Sure, Carvalhal has spent a lot of money. Sure, the new signings haven’t all gelled. Yep, the football isn’t as entertaining or free flowing as last season. But if it was easy everyone could do it.
It certainly doesn’t make him clueless like some people would like to make out. He’s obviously an excellent manager, probably the best one we’ve had in 20 years based on results alone, and has brought passion, empathy, experience and charisma to the role.
When I suggested the above on Twitter, it was politely put to me that perhaps I should stick to squash and that my football knowledge is not up to much, but I do know high level sport and the fact is Sheffield Wednesday will not achieve promotion to the Premier League unless this negativity ends. We don’t have a chance.
I totally understand the mentality of a fan who says ‘I pay my money every week so therefore I deserve to criticise all I like’. That is fine. I get it.
However, I implore everyone to stick together and create an atmosphere to intimidate opposing teams not help them.
At the moment, teams come to Hillsborough planning to frustrate because they know that if Wednesday are not ahead by half-time that the team and the fans will get edgy.
Let’s be positive, let’s be patient and then we can reassess at the end of the season. If change has to be made, the time is surely then not now.
Look at Derby; they have turned themselves in to a laughing stock. The search for that elusive promotion has led to five management changes in just over two seasons.
One minute Steve McLaren is the saviour and it was a mistake to sack him, then four months later he is sacked again.
Look at Birmingham; above Wednesday one minute, change their manager and nowhere to be seen the next. The grass is not always greener.
Leeds have changed their manager seemingly dozens of times in the past few seasons. They now seem to have stumbled almost by accident across a good manager in Garry Monk, but nobody can argue they’ve gone about their business in the correct manner over the past few years.
Sure, a management change can always bring short term gains, Leicester are currently a good example of that, but the fact Claudio Ranieri was under pressure in the first place was ridiculous to say the least.
Perhaps all of this is symptomatic of modern football and Carvalhal being under pressure is the norm. Nothing to see here. But let’s be bigger than that.
So what if we are in the Championship next season? If we are, we will start the season as one of the favourites for promotion, with consistency of preparation, solid finances and the years in the doldrums of League One in the very distant past. There might even be a Sheffield derby to get excited about.
I might be being unrealistic or looking through rose tinted glasses but let’s get behind the team. Let’s stay positive. Let’s be together as Sheffield Wednesday. And let’s see if Carvalhal really did have a dream.