Alan Biggs: Sheffield Wednesday need signings to get players out of their comfort zone

Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal.....Pic Steve Ellis
Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal.....Pic Steve Ellis
0
Have your say

I write about Sheffield Wednesday on a Wednesday as usual. Hopefully Thursday will provide some sort of catalyst for a club and team needing a spark.

This regime’s emphasis has been on signing quality players of good character with essentially British traits whether foreign or not.

Look through the players who have started regularly this season and I think you’ll find a good professional in every case; 100% triers with a genuine affinity to the club.

Doubtless you can probe deeper into the squad and find much of the same. It’s been a foundation of the last two seasons.

But sometimes, in whatever field of work, we all need an outside stimulus. Just occasionally we need to feel under threat. Not because we don’t give the job our best but because competition, and even a touch of insecurity, can drag out that extra something we might not have thought we had.

Whatever that extra something is, Wednesday, individually and collectively, are producing it all too rarely at the moment.

I hope that by the time the window closes tonight there will have been some significant shift in the squad - including players out if that brings players in, and not only because of FFP.

There is no suggestion of anyone slacking. It’s more a suspicion about the sub-conscious effect on all of us when the environment becomes comfortable, arguably too comfortable. Carlos Carvalhal makes a point of creating an enjoyable one. That’s great and not the point at issue.

Neither is any lack of competition a factor. How could it be with some 30 odd players in the senior squad?

But the core of this has been largely unaltered for the best part of two years. That’s a very long time in football.

Most of the players therein are substantially paid on medium-to-long contracts. Importantly, they have not seen any of their team-mates sold or moved on, only more players added on attractive contracts.

No-one is advocating change for change’s sake but the Owls, in my opinion, have passed the point where total continuity is a good thing.

The chemistry is no longer working as it did. People need bringing back to the boil. There has to be some heat for that to happen.

I don’t say it can’t be generated from within in the absence of a mini shake-up but right now Wednesday bear an ominous similarity to last season’s Norwich City who largely kept a team that had been up to the Premier League and came down again. They were favourites but flopped and, in losing his job, manager Alex Neil admitted the squad had needed an overhaul.

I’m not sure Carlos Carvalhal has had the power to effect something like that because he does not have overall control of transfers. So blaming a head coach with a fine overall record is simplistic and unfair. A review of the club’s transfer trading structure in order to join up the dots between deals is, I believe, a must for the future. For the present, let’s see some fire coming back, however it is kindled.

Talking of which, the Owls’ 150th anniversary dinner at Pond’s Forge on Monday casts a blazing light on one of football’s most famous clubs and one the game needs back at its top table.