Under-achieving Sheffield Wednesday players must grasp the opportunity of a fresh start under Jos Luhukay

Some wanted a big name. Others wanted someone with experience of English football. Some wanted a man who knows the club. And some simply wanted the new boss to be British.

Monday, 8th January 2018, 12:10 am
Updated Monday, 8th January 2018, 4:40 am
Jos Luhukay was there to watch his new team on Saturday at Carlisle

What Sheffield Wednesday fans ended up with is an unknown Dutchman who has spent all of his managerial career in Germany.

The appointment of Jos Luhukay as replacement for Carlos Carvalhal at Hillsborough was a surprise to say the least but being predictable is not something that Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri can ever be accused of.

Jos Luhukay was there to watch his new team on Saturday at Carlisle

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Yes, having a knowledge of the game on these shores can be hugely beneficial, not least in the Championship with it's unique challenges, but that no longer appears to matter a great deal.

For every failure like Leonid Slutsky at Hull City, there's a Marco Silva (at the same club), a David Wagner, a Nuno Espírito Santo ... a Carlos Carvalhal, even.

Those four came to England with no experience of the Championship and have done alright since.

What Luhukay has to offer, we can only wait and find out but the least he deserves is a chance to win around the doubters and prove he's able to transfer his successes in Germany to one of the toughest divisions in Europe.

New boss Jos Luhukay with owner Dejphon Chansiri

When put in front of the media for the first time, the new man will today offer his own interpretation as to why Chansiri called upon him to pick up the reins at a club enveloped by a cloud for much of this season, having been previously drenched in sunshine.

After that, though, the spotlight should really be taken off Luhukay and focused on those on the pitch.

This Sheffield Wednesday team have failed this campaign. Regardless of the preposterous injury list that has no doubt hampered their cause, the season has been littered with dreadful displays and chronic under-achievement.

However, the slate has been wiped clean. Now, those same players who harboured so much expectation - largely due to the fact that they are, almost to a man, very good footballers - yet didn't deliver, have an opportunity to forget what has gone on in the past and make themselves key figures in a new era on S6.

Jos Luhukay was confirmed as new Sheffield Wednesday boss on Friday

Luhukay has got something of a free hit for the remainder of the season. Unless things spiral into unequivocal chaos and Wednesday find themselves relegated - which could happen but is somewhat unlikely - the 54 year-old can watch and assess and experiment with what he's got available to him, safe in the knowledge that presuming they stay up, the sins of the past are not of his doing.

The majority of the players don't have that safety net. Now, they are playing for their futures.

Lee Bullen recently refuted the question that the current squad is too comfortable but watching on from the outside, it seems a fair assumption to make.

If Luhukay is the disciplinarian that we are led to believe he is, then that comfort will be snatched away.

Sheffield Wednesday players show their despair during the defeat to struggling Bolton earlier this season

Should they end up leaving this club, many of these players will never get the opportunity to play for one the size of Sheffield Wednesday again. They won't run out in front of crowds as big as those that pile into Hillsborough, or be cheered on by the hugely-vociferous following that travels up and down the country in such impressive numbers.

Here they have the chance, in what remains of this season, to prove that they are indeed worthy of representing such a club. To do that they must impress the new manager and that will mean performing far beyond what they have churned out thus far.

The onus is all on them and should they find themselves outside of Luhukay's plans come the summer, then really they'll only have themselves to blame, having spurned the fresh opportunity that now greets them.

It might be too late to make a silk purse out of this sow's ear of a season, but they can at least add some much-needed sparkle to it. Failure to do so and the make up of next season's squad could look decidedly different.

New boss Jos Luhukay
Jos Luhukay will speak with the media for the first time on Monday afternoon
Jos Luhukay was there to watch his new team on Saturday at Carlisle
New boss Jos Luhukay with owner Dejphon Chansiri
Jos Luhukay was confirmed as new Sheffield Wednesday boss on Friday
Sheffield Wednesday players show their despair during the defeat to struggling Bolton earlier this season
New boss Jos Luhukay
Jos Luhukay will speak with the media for the first time on Monday afternoon