‘Fans expect the best’: Sheffield Wednesday supporter Lord Blunkett writes open letter to Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal

Lord Blunkett
Lord Blunkett
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Dear Carlos, Congratulations on your reappointment and confirmation as Sheffield Wednesday’s head coach and therefore the manager of the team.

All of us as fans owe the chairman Dejphon Chansiri a debt of gratitude both for his commitment to and investment in, Sheffield Wednesday. His continuing belief that we can make the Premier League is a relief and extremely encouraging.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

I have not met a fan who is not grateful to you also for what you have achieved so far, not least in getting the Owls into the play-offs two seasons running and for your obvious personal commitment and dedication.

I have, however, a few observations, having talked to fans and having regularly attended games home and away over the many years that I have supported Sheffield Wednesday – now over 65 years since I attended my first game.

So, what does a blind guy know about motivating and running a team? Well quite a lot in general terms. I’ve had to do it most of my life.

Even as the leader of Sheffield City Council I had the temerity to question a planning decision having examined a model of a proposed development.

People laughed at me then but when it was finished, they stopped laughing.

My thoughts are these:
A great team of people at Hillsborough. The backup staff are in my view first class and I’m glad they are staying.

There is a very good and talented group of players. Are they playing as a team? Do they instinctively know what moves others will be making, where they’re expected to be and what they can expect from their teammates?

Was Einstein right when he said that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?
When things are not working on the pitch is it best to change them?

At Huddersfield in the first leg of the play-offs was there not a transformation in the last few minutes of the game when Winnall came on with Rhodes?
Did the momentum and potential to score step up a beat? What does that tell us?
Why did we have so little possession in the last three matches?

Who is commanding the centre and therefore which team is commanding the play?
And you suffered as we all did in the penalty shoot-out.
Nerves are something to be understood and overcome.

I’ve been there. I’ve had to take the most difficult decisions anyone could ever take in relation to counterterrorism at the highest level of government.
I know what nerves feel like and I sympathise. But if you’re paid more in a week then most people in Sheffield earn in a year, fans expect the best.

Good luck in the coming season. So many people in Sheffield pay so much to cheer on the team. They expect that Sheffield Wednesday will come out for the first half and not just the second. That is not an unreasonable request is it?
Yours in friendship and as a lifelong supporter,
Lord David Blunkett