Sheffield Wednesday should start preparing for life in the Premiership IMMEDIATELY!
No. Wait. Please don’t send round the men in white coats just yet. There’s a logic to that assertion. And here it is.
I’ve been studying the list of remaining fixtures. Not just Wednesday, but all of the challengers for that precious fifth and sixth spots.
And on my back-of-a fag-packet formula the Owls will finish fifth!
Here’s how. For the purposes of my crystal ball gazing I analysed the run-ins of Derby (currently fifth), Wednesday (sixth) Ipswich, Cardiff and Birmingham.
I’ve assumed that the top four are untouchable and will remain the same.
And that the teams below ninth place already have too much to do to challenge for the Play Off positions.
I awarded points thus. Each time you play a team below you, three points. Each time you play a team above, you get nowt.
The exception is that if you play any of your play-off rivals you share the spoils. Simples.
On that basis Sheffield Wednesday will achieve 80 points, with Ipswich and Cardiff fighting it out for the final sixth place spot on 78 points each. Derby and Birmingham would each get 76 points.
Now, if only sport, or indeed life, was that simple. No one ever got rich betting on the outcome of football matches. And there are hundreds of unknown, unforeseeable factors that could affect the fortunes of any club on any given day.
Who for instance could have predicted the manager of Middlesbrough walking out on his team before the crucial run in? Or the vagaries of (ahem) referees; Neil Warnock; injuries; the weather; players’ nightclub activities; biorhythms or just plain luck.
Form comes and goes. And it’s the most competitive league in the world. Anyone can beat anyone. Remember Wednesday’s dismal performances against bottom clubs – at Charlton and MK Dons, and at home to Rotherham.
Hold on, I hear you say. But at the top of this article you said ‘start preparing for the Premiership!’
Of course. if we finished fifth we’d have to beat two of the sides above us to win promotion. No mean task. We’d fancy ourselves, but the result would be in the lap of the gods.
I said ‘PREPARE.’ The club can’t wait for a win at Wembley in May before thinking about life back in the elite.
They need to sort out ticket pricing policy, ground improvements players’ contracts, upgrading wages and yes, identifying players that would enable us to give it a go in the top tier should my fantasy come true.
If Elvis can dream, then so can I. It promises to be an exciting few weeks. Can our tickers stand it?