Alan Biggs at Large: Sheffield Wednesday can't afford even one more of these horror shows

One game, that’s all it takes at a big club playing below its level, to threaten to bring the roof in.

By Alan Biggs
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 6:00 am
Darren Moore, Sheffield Wednesday. Getty Images.
Darren Moore, Sheffield Wednesday. Getty Images.

Make it two, with back to back defeats, and the whole foundations are shaking.

Even a 12 match unbeaten run, previously the longest in the English professional game, does not offer sufficient protection against crashing 5-0 to a rival.

And you can forget a near-three week lay-off as mitigation, even if it has put the team off its stroke.

It wasn’t the defeat that alarmed but the manner of it in the case of Sheffield Wednesday’s collapse to Sunderland, a team they had beaten 3-0 at Hillsborough, albeit a flattering margin.

Rightly or wrongly, a weak mentality is a natural suspicion and a damaging one that, following a second defeat at Shrewsbury, has to be eradicated before it takes root.

Although losing a couple of games doesn’t end promotion ambitions, far from it in reality, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Owls can’t afford even one more of these horror shows.

Because what it erodes is the precious quality of belief; belief in the manager, belief in the players.

This can take a long time to build up, as in the case of the steady unbeaten run, and a very short time to destroy.

A “terrible performance”, as Darren Moore himself branded the one at Sunderland, simply should not happen if a team has reached a certain standard.

More than anything, it removes trust in the manager. I’ve defended him more than most.He made good signings last summer and, having clawed together a winning unit, it has always been in the club’s best interests that he succeeds.

But Moore is short of credit in the bank after last season’s relegation and you fear the forces that will be unleashed if Wednesday do not bounce back very quickly will overwhelm any argument for patience and stability.

While the clamour from some is totally understandable, I don’t believe a sacking solves anything quickly given that these are Moore’s players and a rebuild can’t be done in a month even if it could be afforded, which is highly doubtful.

But those charges in whom Moore has placed trust need to step up big time now. No-one can say the manager is not vulnerable or argue convincingly that this should not be the case.I’ve been prepared to grant two seasons but, as it stands, ninth place with this squad is a considerable under-achievement. It has to be top six minimum.

As much as gaining points, which are never a given however well you play, everyone in that dressing room needs to restore public confidence.

And mine, having tipped the Owls for automatic promotion, based on their improving performance levels up to the New Year!

So I’m glad the nice guy, as he genuinely is, has been getting angry.

These players have repeatedly talked themselves up, saying they will be failures if promotion is not achieved. In that, they are right.

Time to walk the walk - because they won’t be the ones faced with walking the plank if they don’t.