It’s a funny old game

Jos Luhukay, Pic Steve Ellis
Jos Luhukay, Pic Steve Ellis
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S Collins

60 years an Owl, S5

It’s been a difficult couple of months at Hillsborough, culminating in manager Jos Luhukay getting sacked.

Interestingly, a month or so ago, I watched football pundits on TV discussing the way the top teams are playing, and they know more about the game than I do. They said that the top teams are playing an expansive pressing game that requires a lot of energy and stamina, along with attacking pace. That requires a lot of fitness from the players. They also mentioned the tactics of these teams, who would alter their line ups to give players a rest during busy periods, and make tactical changes to nullify the opposition.

Strange, when Luhukay mentioned that he wanted to play attractive football played out from the back, the fans complained that they were leaking goals.

He several times mentioned that the team was short of pace, and players being injured and not fit. He attempted to try to bring in younger less injury-prone players. He was vilified. He pointed out he took advice from the medical team to see if a player was fit to play. He got vilified for that too. Isn’t that the remit of the medical team, to advise the manager about a player’s fitness?

I would point out that this was something the owner also touched on at the Fans’ Forum. The fans wanted certain players back into the team, and once Luhukay was gone the fan’s favourite goalkeeper was restored. Great player, but sooner or later he needed to be replaced. So, far, after five matches, the goalkeeper has been left out twice for minor knocks and injuries.

Hutchinson has been unlucky with injuries and hence not playing. Having been recalled to the team, he played three matches and was injured in the fourth.

Perhaps the manager and the owner had a point? Luhukay made tactical changes and got vilified, he rested players and got vilified.

But it’s OK if you try that in the Pemier League. OK,the results were so far poor, but so were the results and performances last season, and he hardly had an opportunity to bring in new players, did he?

The Star’s Dom Howson has been quite critical about Luhukay, and I’ve just been reading Dom’s report on the Luton FA cup tie.

He mentioned that the team was flat, drab, weary, jaded, lacked creativity, the final pass was poor, and lacked pace. Basically, everything that Luhukay had been saying about the team.

Maybe Luhukay was a bit like a joiner whose employer doesn’t give him the tools he needs to do his job?

If the new manager has the same problem and gets money to spend on new tools, then I will have some sympathy with Luhukay.

He’d had some success in his managerial career, but was on a hiding to nothing when he was unable to strengthen Wednesday.

Let’s hope Bruce has some success pretty quickly. If the Owls continue to struggle the fans will be on his back too.

The fans should realise that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and Bruce may not be able to turn things around, and that applies to the owner too. Chansiri seems like a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, loves Wednesday and knows he has made mistakes and is being driven out by the foul-mouthed online trolls.

I would rather have a decent bloke owning the club than some corporate juggernaut with their fingers in several pies.

Perhaps the fans should ask Chansiri to change his mind about selling up?

One last comment from Dom Howson’s FA cup report: “On this evidence, Bruce will have his work cut out to revive their fortunes”. Fills you with confidence doesn’t it?

As Jimmy Greaves once said: “It’s a funny old game.”