Martin Smith: Now is the time to back Garry Monk and let him turn around Sheffield Wednesday fortunes
Here we go again, in that no-man’s land - six points below the play-off places and six points above 17th, writes MARTIN SMITH.
Fans booing, team stuttering and a possible points deduction on the way over their controversial sale and leaseback of Hillsborough.
Life is tough at Sheffield Wednesday at the moment with much talk of summer clear-outs to freshen up a squad considered ‘stale’.
Admirable intentions, but why will this clear-out be any more effective than the last half-dozen?
Consecutive managers from Carlos Carvalhal on have searched in vain for the extra 10 per cent to take the Owls from play-off hopefuls to genuine promotion contenders.
The manager pays the price in the end. Garry Monk is already under pressure to deliver more consistency and intensity in performances.
The fans just want some decent football to cheer about.
But is it all down to him? Let's look at the stats. The last Owls boss to have a better win ratio than Monk is Gary Megson in 2011/12 (45.16 per cent).
Megson just beats Monk’s 43.75 per cent. Before Megson you have to go back to Howard Wilkinson (44.71) from 1983-88.
The figures are somewhat distorted by Monk only having been in charge for 16 games and the ‘new manager bounce’ honeymoon period makes up proportionately more of his record than any of his predecessors.
It might be boring and conservative but Wednesday have to stick with him and let him do his job.
Eighteen managers since Wilkinson - Ron Atkinson twice - have worse win ratios. Will he turn it round? Will he get the chance? The saga goes on.
*Blaine Pashley’s head wound video is all over social media.
The 16-year-old Owls fan has a horrific-looking gash caused, police admit, by an officer at Barnsley on Saturday. The sound of baton hitting skull is truly sickening.
An officer was also reported injured. According to their own guidelines police use of force should be: “absolutely necessary… reasonable and proportionate”.
A full police investigation is underway.