We've nothing to lose - just go for it for a change: Jon Newsome's Sheffield Wednesday Column
The air of despondency and negativity towards the way in which we have been playing for a quite a long period of time is quite obvious for anyone to see.
On the back of these poor performances have been some really poor results and it is really difficult to try and write a positive column week in, week out when quite frankly there is hardly anything positive to write about.
As I have said in the past, I really do not want to criticise individuals, as I do not feel that is what this column is about, or indeed is my place to do so. It is to try and give an ex-players view on circumstances as they are.
When the results are going your way then it is an easy ship to sail as such. The players are full of confidence; they approach each game with enthusiasm and can’t wait for the next match day to come along. The squad players cause no real issues as they just have to get their heads down, keep working hard and hope that they get a chance at some point, all the time knowing that they can’t really complain because the results are there for all to see.
Unfortunately that isn’t the case down at S6 right now and the mood in the camp will be one of many emotions. Doubt will be one of them.
The players' confidence will be low, they will question their own decision making, probably be questioning the manager's decision making and all this breeds an element of mistrust and doubt. The players who aren’t getting much match time will be kicking their heels, maybe knocking on the manager's door and wanting to know when they will get a chance. This adds more pressure and the need for individual man-management on Carlos and his staff and before too long if you aren’t careful you are in a downward spiral and in danger of spiraling out of control.
If I’m totally honest I don’t think the club and the spirit is far off this at the moment. Performances are pretty much the same game-by-game, the manager has tried various options with the change of personnel but to no avail. Carvalhal has come under criticism for his reluctance to set his team up to ‘have a go’ and his reasons or as some would see it, excuses for such a bad run of form are not washing with the fans or the media.
The team keep on making poor defensive errors at critical times in games. We have conceded far too many goals and have really struggled to create chances at the other end. All in all this is not a good recipe for winning football matches.
The question is what do you do to get out of it?
First of all there has to be an acknowledgement why the form and performances have been so poor. Only once this is done can a possible answer be sought. Sticking your head in the proverbial sand isn’t and hasn’t achieved anything thus far, and by the way, this is not just aimed at the manager but the whole staff. I’m not privy to the management teams' relationships with each other but you would like to think that there is a collective togetherness and honesty where different points of view can be listened to and possibly taken on board. Otherwise what is the point in being there?
What ever happens, the sheer reluctance to take a game by the scruff of the neck from the first whistle is there for all to see. As I said last week, I really do not see what the manager and team have to lose, especially this Friday against league leaders Wolves. When we play with some urgency, tempo, call it what you will, we look like we can create chances and score goals. This is never in doubt, and the reason it is never in doubt is because we have good players. Where the problem lies is that these good players, and the team they have played in, have underperformed.
If we can turn it on in patches, but spend a large part of the game not playing with this urgency the question has to be asked, why? Why do we consistently have to chase games or on the odd occasion that we go in front then sit back and invite the opposition on to us?
I hear ‘keeping possession’ sometimes thrown out as a reason. Possession is great, the opposition cannot score when you have the ball, I agree, but there has to be a purpose to your possession. There has to be an end product, a plan to try and be creative and win the game. We simply don’t do that enough and especially this season we have been caught out, and possibly found out.
Friday night’s game will be a tough one; Wolves are flying, scoring goals and winning games. I will watch with interest to firstly see how we set our team up and secondly how we go about the game, right from the first whistle. The pressure is now on to produce a big performance and get a big result against this season's table toppers.