I'm tired of excuses that skirt around the real issues: Jon Newsome's Sheffield Wednesday Column
I've got to be honest; its all getting a bit monotonous now isn't it?
We started slowly, showed no desire to go and attack the opposition (this time a very poor Hull City) conceded and went behind, came out like a different side the second half, nearly won it but defended badly and ended in a draw! Oh, and the referee apparently cost us points!
I am sure there are quite a number of ways of carving it up but I just wonder how many times this has roughly epitomised most of the games this season, and some of last season.
Before the game Carlos Carvalhal had come out and said that one of the issues was the atmosphere in the stadium wasn’t conducive to the players playing well or expressing themselves. Sorry, I think that is absolute nonsense and furthermore I think as the manager of the football club he is walking on thin ice in what comes across as trying to apportion some of the blame onto the supporters
Take the Sheffield derby for an example? We got battered in the first 45 minutes, gave absolutely nothing for the fans to shout about and then managed to nick a goal back just before half time. When they came out for the second half the ground was buzzing, the anticipation was there and the fans, even at 1-2 down were right behind the team. The roof nearly came off when we equalised and then the bubble was burst with two further goals from our bitter rivals. If there was ever a game when the supporters were going to turn on you then losing, at home to United, and losing emphatically, then this would be the day. No, I didn’t see the crowd turn, in fact I thought I witnessed them being extremely positive, especially bearing in mind what they had just seen.
Was it any different on Saturday? No, I don’t think so. The dreary, pedestrian first half typified what the majority of supporters are complaining about. When we had a go in the second half and played with some urgency and desperation then all of a sudden the crowd are on their feet and the atmosphere is exactly what it should be.
For far too many games we have played well in small patches. The annoying bit is that because we have good players, when we do play with some urgency and are trying to win the game and score goals, instead of just keeping possession, we can often tear teams apart. Obviously you can’t play the whole 90 minutes just throwing caution to the wind and going hell for leather because there is also the defensive side of the game, but there has to be, and can be, a happy medium. Currently it seems that it is one or the other, and the other, desperate gung-ho football comes in small patches nearing the end of the match.
Now I’ve got that off my chest I also don’t buy this major issue that the manager is making about referees and them supposedly costing us all these points. I agree that there have been a couple of penalty issues that haven’t gone our way but I also witnessed us being on the right side of a couple of very favourable decisions down at Ipswich. I’m a firm believer that they usually equal themselves out over the course of a season. If your season is defined by the odd refereeing decision then personally I think you are clutching at straws. Furthermore, who’s to say, if we had been awarded these penalties, that we would have scored them anyway? Personally I would concentrate more of my time and efforts working out how to create a more positive, forward-thinking team.
Don’t get me wrong here - because I know whilst writing this there will be the backlash from some people - I do not want the manager or the club to fail, not at all. I would love for us to have been successful so far this season and flying high in the league. Unfortunately we aren’t but the worrying part of it for me is simply the performances. Can I actually sit here, with an honest view on the club and say that we deserve to be in a better position than we are right now? No I don’t think I can. I hope, like I have hoped for the last number of months that the team and manager can turn the corner and ram it down my throat but I really wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t say what I really think.
I am not one for calling out managers or players, I have been on the receiving end of that in the past and it is not my style at all and this really isn’t what I am doing here, but, I also can’t ignore the repetitive and continuous excuses regarding this season's performances that basically skirt around the real issue.
The ironic cheers when we had our first couple of shots on goal on Saturday aren’t great for anybody really but I can fully understand and appreciate the absolute frustration of the supporters right now that led to this happening. Surely, there is nothing to lose now, draws are no longer any good really and wins are what are required. We are soon entering the busiest part of the season and if we can start to put some performances and wins together who knows where we will end up. What I do know is that its worth giving it a try!