Martin Smith: Sheffield clubs will not go down without a fight

What next for Wednesday?

Monday, 4th January 2021, 1:46 pm
Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri. Photo: Steve Ellis
Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri. Photo: Steve Ellis

A question that has been asked so many times already this week, this season, this century.

Players, managers, chairman and owners have come and gone since the Owls were relegated from the Premier League in 2000

In a frank and revealing two-hour press conference owner Dejphon Chansiri emotionally re-emphasised his commitment to Wednesday and his desire to take the club forward.

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You can’t fault his enthusiasm but he, like others before him, has yet to foster that elusive winning chemistry between manager, players and club.

There’s an article in the Athletic online magazine that talks about a first ever double-relegation in ‘Sheffield the city of football misery’.

No-one can complain about that particular epithet at the moment but surely the city isn’t going to go down (twice) without a scrap?

It’s still possible, if increasingly unlikely, for United to build a fight against relegation and if the tide turns there is no better man to capitalise on a change in fortune and momentum than Chris Wilder.

We can only speculate on the effect of the missing fans for both clubs in these last nine months.

Yes, it’s been the same for every club but Wednesday and United are traditionally two of the best and most vocally supported clubs in the country.

But Wednesday and Neil Thompson have made a brilliant start to the post-Pulis era with two wins from two after only one in the previous ten.

The so-called city of football misery is the city where organised football began.

It has seen worse, survived and prospered again.

As it will this time.

*It used to be sung on every ‘end’ on every ground, it was football’s anthem.

You’ll Never Walk Alone eventually became Liverpool’s song - though Celtic fans, among others, still sing it with full reverence.

Other fans made up their own words, mostly unrepeatable here, and a lot stopped singing it because it was synonymous with Liverpool.

The song was popularised in the 1960s by Gerry and the Pacemakers led by Liverpool fan Gerry Marsden who died on Sunday aged 78.

Oddly it was originally sung by Nettie Fowler (no known relation to Robbie) a character in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1945 musical ‘Carousel’.

No matter who your team is, though some will find this harder to swallow than others, Anfield (and Celtic Park) singing You’ll Never Walk Alone before a big game is still one of the most heart-warming, hairs-on-the-back-of-the neck moments in sport.