If you finish sixth and then fourth, you don’t kick out the building blocks to go higher;- Good manager and players, strong relationships throughout the club, dressing room behind coaches, rapport with owner, powerful connect with supporters.
All of these fundamentals could have been ruptured by a change of head coach.
All are still in place following the most routine of meetings between Carlos Carvalhal and Dejphon Chansiri, whose financial and emotional investment is the foundation of everything at Sheffield Wednesday right now.
Which is not to whitewash the formality of keeping Carvalhal.
If the refreshing lesson in continuity projected from Hillsborough is clear, then so is Wednesday having to learn from what left them agonisingly short last season.
A lack of pace in the team was widely identified a year ago and ultimately exposed by Huddersfield in a play-off semi-final twelve months later.
Recruitment in between times has been costly and largely ineffective.
It is not so much that the players signed were not good enough. Several of them somehow, for various reasons, failed to fit the plan so that Carvalhal resorted to practically the team of the previous promotion attempt.
This then leaves the club with a surfeit of players; 46 in the squad is way too many. You can have too much choice, not to mention the financial baggage. Many on the fringe will be hard to shift after being locked in to substantial long-term contracts. It’s a fine line between securing assets and not overloading.
A major overhaul would be next to impossible but then not necessary anyway. All the same, you’d expect Carvalhal to be addressing a few key areas. Is there enough strength in the full back positions, sufficient cover at centre back? Is there a dynamic quality going forward?
Also, drawing another lesson from Huddersfield, do Wednesday have as influential a central midfielder as Aaron Mooy, the man on loan from Manchester City who was simply outstanding at the heart of David Wagner’s side?
This shows the difference just one key signing can make. Huddersfield will have strong competition for Mooy this summer.
I would not be surprised if the Owls explored that situation, even at a reported £10m.
Certainly, there is every indication that Chansiri will again push the boundaries of Financial Fair Play to the limit to back his manager with a select range of signings.
Wednesday also need to be a more front-foot outfit next season. A third campaign can stretch tolerance for managers and Carvalhal will gain extra latitude from a more expansive approach. He is sensitive to the mood of supporters, only committing when it was clear the vast majority were still behind him.
All of this said, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Common sense prevails. I’m personally delighted Carvalhal is staying and sure most supporters feel the same. So much achieved, so much more to come.