Sheffield Wednesday: Team man Semedo plays key Owls role
When called upon, Jose Semedo is the Owls' midfield '˜enforcer'.
And, as Wednesday chief Carlos Carvalhal is quick to point out, the 31-year-old continues to be a powerful presence in the dressing room.
First-team football has been at a premium for Semedo in 2016. He has only featured three times, making just one start in the club’s FA Cup defeat to Shrewsbury Town at the end of January.
Competition for places is fierce in the centre of Carvalhal’s midfield, with Semedo failing to make the cut in the Owls’ last seven match-day squads. When Wednesday made the long journey to promotion rivals Brighton earlier this month, Semedo was among the travelling party but missed out on a place on the substitutes bench. Given his lack of match action, it would have been understandable had Semedo become frustrated by the situation.
But Carvalhal is full of praise for Semedo’s attitude throughout a testing year.
“Semedo has not been named on the team-sheet over the last few weeks but he travels with the team all the time,” Carvalhal told The Star. “He is in our 19 and is a player who always works with the same face and in the same way.
“Semedo never sulks and works very hard to help the team because he’s a player who loves Sheffield Wednesday.
“He works very hard, is a fantastic professional and gives a lot of energy to his colleagues.”
It is pretty clear why head coach Carvalhal holds Semedo in such high regard.
“In Portugal, we call it mística which means mystique,” said the Owls head coach. “It is when you have players in the dressing room who lead by example.
“Porto now don’t have mística and are not winning. Porto have been the best club in the last 15 to 20 years in Portugal because they have had important players in the dressing room like Fernando Couto, Jorge Costa and Vitor Baia.
“People know they will probably not play too much but they are players who give examples inside the dressing room to others. It is very important you have these type of players in your dressing rooms. They might not be playing but they push the other players very hard.
“Not every player can do this. Players usually have a big ego but they put the collective first before themselves and Jose puts the team before himself. He is doing absolutely fantastic. He is important to me as Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Glenn Loovens and all the other players.”