Something has to change over the festive period: Jon Newsome's Sheffield Wednesday column
So the press conference that Carlos Carvalhal gave before the visit of Wolves last Friday was quite baffling to me.
It was basically him laying out the success that he feels he has had over the last two seasons and then a new reason, or excuse, as to why the team are not doing so well at the minute.
Unfortunately for me it just highlighted the desperation from a manager who is ever so quickly losing the backing of the supporters. The reason I say this is because I, like most people don’t buy into the host of excuses that have been laid out by him for the predicament we are in.
I am sure I am speaking for the majority of fans when I say that all people want to hear are some truths, and maybe a few home truths at that. If people can see that you are giving your all, trying your very best and its not working out, then there is a chance you will be given a bit of slack.
Unfortunately, the list of excuses that has been produced so far this season is nothing short of ridiculous, and further to that an insult to people’s football intelligence.
It’s the fixture build up, the injured players, the referees, the fans.....come on, lets get real here. Of course every one of those reasons may have some bearing on performances be it small or large, no one is denying that but, how about the bits that have been left out? How about the real reasons? How about the constant persistence in playing a 4-4- 2 with the wide men tucking in and our full backs playing higher up the pitch than the strikers at times? How about the constant slow, non-penetrative start we make to most games, constantly passing the ball backwards and sideways? How about when we do eventually have a go, which is usually when we have either gone behind or it’s the last 20 minutes, why we can’t see that this can work if we ply with more urgency? How about the reluctance to play forward, to create space and width and try and create an abundance of chances throughout the game instead of the odd one if we are lucky?
I could go on and on and on to be honest and yet here we are, just about to enter the busiest period of the season with probably one of the most disillusioned atmospheres around the club that I have ever encountered. The ironic thing is that to a man I truly believe that we all want or wanted the current regime to succeed. Why wouldn’t we, or I?
When we were languishing in the old third division a few years ago the football was horrendous, the results weren’t much better, but our expectation levels
were the same. If it improved at all it was a real bonus, but we knew what we were gong to get and we got on with it.
In the last two and a half seasons the football club and particularly the chairman Mr Chansiri has spent a colossal amount of money trying to improve the standard of players at the club. The expectation level has risen because of this, and to get to the play off final and then the semi final last year shouldn’t be under valued by any means, but wasn’t that the plan? Wasn’t it rolled out as a three-year plan, which should by my reckoning culminate this coming May. Yet what has been served up this season, and in my opinion quite a lot of last season is a team that looks shackled and bereft in confidence. They don’t look like they have a plan in how to go about the game, how to win it, especially offensively.
Football really isn’t that difficult a game. It is very seldom that the team that creates the most chances loses a game, obviously it happens and that’s why we love the game but I am a firm believer that you try and do to the opposition what you don’t want doing to yourself ie. You put them under pressure, you create chances by creating space and width and you play with as higher tempo as you can.
We have the players; this I have no doubt about. They have shown it in passages throughout the last couple of seasons that when they are ‘on it’ they can give anyone a game. The problem is we aren’t ‘on it’ for anywhere near long enough in games. The worrying part for me is that nothing ever seems to change. Now this can only be for one of two reasons;
A, The manager doesn’t see there is a problem with how we play
B, The manager is too stubborn to admit that it isn’t working and change his philosophy
Either way something has to change doesn’t it? Can we continue doing what we are doing and hope that something changes? I don’t think so.
Against the table toppers Wolves last week I suspect the changes were forced due to injuries but I did feel we did a bit better defensively but at the end of the day we still got beat.
The visit of a struggling Middlesbrough side this coming Saturday is another barometer and test. The perfect opportunity to come out firing, hit them like a
tornado, get at them and make them think that it is going to be a really tough afternoons work.
What team he picks is pure guesswork as I write this but in the past we have head all about the benefits of having a big squad with plenty of players. Surely over the Christmas period this is when it should come into its own?
Whatever happens I hope you all have a great festive period and hopefully it will be vastly improved with some positive results and performances.