Team: Sheffield Wednesday
What's going right?
Following an incredible end to last season (when we got promoted after the blunts choked) this season has been really tough for Wednesdayites who were on a real high. What is going right? The fact that we are in the Championship at the expense of our dear and permanently unfortunate neighbours. Back in March we were 5 points behind having played two games more than United. We didn't lose again and got promoted in front of 39,000 at Hillsborough on a day that will live with all Wednesdayites forever. The fact that we are back in the Championship should be celebrated all season as long as we don't get relegated!
Like a lot of fans my expectations for this season were probably set too high on a wave of optimism but our support has kept behind the team despite some bad performances and horrific runs. We have recently started to show flickers of improvement with back to back wins. In recent times we have been really streaky so hopefully another run of wins iis approaching to get us out of trouble. No Wednesdayite could stomach another relegation.
Having Ross Barkley on loan was a bright spot and it is clear that he will have a big future in the top flight and probably for England.
We brought in around 12 new players in the summer including a lot of experienced championship level players. The new recruits are proving to be no better than the promotion winning side whom the manager has just reverted back to. The promotion winning x11 were pushed aside way too easily at the start of the season and you have to feel that any momentum and team spirit evaporated quite quickly.
The biggest single problem is that we don't have a proven Championship goal scorer which should have been the absolute priority in the summer. Most clubs (even Barnsley) have got one and we have made a real mess by not addressing this. We put all of our money into Jay Bothroyd who (based on his Cardiff form) came with high expectations. He has been a true flop and his apparent lack of interest has made him a target of the boo boys and girls. A solitary goal from him simply isn't a good enough return and some of his 140 character messages have been ill advised.
Got the right manager?
Considering our Chairman's reputation I am shocked that our form since August has been tolerated and in frustration I have quietly called for him to go. I think the lack of viable proven managers who could take over and Jones’ pedigree means that we should probably stick with him and hope we have got just enough to stay up. His recruitment has been really poor which is really concerning as we we need to get players in and out during January. He lost his right hand man (Terry Burton) in the summer but he has just brought in another experienced coach and this will hopefully help in the background. We have been routinely sacking managers for the last twenty years and we are not a better club as a result. I hope Jones turns it around because he is a good bloke but ultimately “in Milan we trust”.
Probably our right back Lewis Buxton who is now one of the longest serving players. Chris O'Grady and Jose Semedo always put in shifts with the later becoming a cult figure in Sheffield 6. A couple of young midfielders Rhys McCabe and Paul Corry are showing great promise for the future.
Who would you like to sell in January?
Martin Taylor should be shipped back to Watford on the first train in January. He has not added anything to the squad and looks devoid of any confidence. Joe Mattock, Chris Maguire, Giles Coke, Necj Pecnic should all be moved on. The worrying thing is that 4 of those players were signed in the last window.
Who do you want to sign?
Richard Chaplow from Southampton, Danny Batth from Wolves, Luke Freeman from Stevenage, Simeon Jackson from Norwich and getting Ross Barkley back would give us a great shot at not only staying up but being comfortable.
Best chant so far?
"Feed the dingles....let them know it's Christmas time" at Oakwell. Not original but there hasn’t been a great deal to sing about away from home which hasn’t been self-deprecating.
Best opposition player / team you've seen this season?
Strangely considering the amount of games we have lost I haven't been blown away by anyone this season. Leicester didn't give us a sniff all game and always looked a threat. We also caught Blackpool on one of their good days with Tom Ince standing out by a fair distance.. Watford's Forestieri embarrassed us by himself on a particularly depressing Tuesday night in November.
Biggest **** of the season
The game against Le**s people will remember for some despicable chanting (both sides), an idiot hitting our goalie and an atmosphere which was an 80s throwbacks. Leeds fans have a reputation and none of what went on in the stands surprised me. I also wasn't surprised by the antics of Neil Warnock when after the game but he cemented his reputation as the biggest **** of any season.. Saying Chris Kirkland ‘went down easy’, getting his players to applaud an away support in a powderkeg of a situation was plain stupid. This was an away support who had invaded the pitch, chanted about Saville and ripped up seats. Well done Neil. All of this is on top of employing Diouf and Brown, two of the most horrible players I have ever known. The return fixture in April will be an interesting occasion.
End of season prediction
Smoking a cigar in 16th and a rubbish 4th round FA Cup draw.