Sheffield Wednesday: Mixed midfield band is sweet music for Carlos

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal

It is fair to say Carlos Carvalhal likes a metaphor.

And speaking to the assembled media yesterday lunch-time ahead of their Capital One Cup fourth round showdown with Arsenal, the personable Portuguese added another pearler to his growing collection.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

When discussing the midfield options at his disposal, Carvalhal said: “It is an important part of the team.Midfielders are the ones who control the game but without a good defence and attackers to support them they can do nothing

“In an orchestra they can have saxophone, piano, can’t have 11 people playing piano or 11 people on drums.

“After they follow the music sometimes the players, like musicians, do better than what is written on the paper.

“This is a game where the creative part is very important.”


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As the conductor, Carvalhal constantly looks at the bigger picture. It would mean everything to the Braga-born head coach to build a dynasty at Hillsborough similar to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

He stressed: “I wish to stay here a long time because I am happy here.

“I am enjoying myself but I know that coaches are like survivors so we must prepare for the next game. That is the education I’ve had at Portuguese clubs.

“It is probably why Portuguese coaches are so strong as we are fighting for survival all the time. You know if you draw two games and lose another one you will be fired. My instinct is to prepare for the next match like it is a final. I am not thinking about one month or one year.

“We are in the process. Arsene [Wenger] has been in the job 19 years and I have had three months working with the team. We have 15 new players. We are trying to improve the team but we can do better in the future.”

Optimism is high at Hillsborough following an eight-match unbeaten run but Carvalhal has stressed “eight to 10 teams” are better placed to push to finish in the Championship top-six. Chairman Dejphon Chansiri has set Carvalhal the challenge of leading Wednesday back into the Premier League within the next two seasons. It is a big ask but one that does not look out of reach following an impressive sequence of results.

“We have changed a lot of things in three months and are much better than at the beginning,” he said. “Expectations are more high at the moment but all the time we are trying to keep our feet on the floor.”

It promises to be a special evening as Owls welcome Arsenal to Hillsborough for the first time in 15 years. Both sides reached the final of the FA and League Cups back in 1993, with Gunners prevailing on both occasions.

It is understood Chansiri has flown in from Thailand to watch tonight’s televised encounter.

“I’m very happy for the chairman because he deserves success here,” said Carvalhal. “He is doing everything for the club. I’m very happy for him that we will have a full stadium.

“It is nights like Arsenal why he bought the club. We are in football to enjoy these kind of moments. I’m looking forward to the game. We don’t feel any pressure. We have nothing to lose.”

For Carvalhal, he thinks Owls have a “10% chance” of causing an upset.

“It is not very much but it is better than zero,” said Carvalhal, who could leave out Glenn Loovens and Sam Hutchinson as well as Keiren Westwood.

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