Alan Biggs: Choose results or entertainment from next Sheffield Wednesday manager? Fans would be lucky to get both

What do you want, “good football” or good results? Clubs in Sheffield Wednesday’s position can rarely have both.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 12:42 pm

The preference can be more of a necessity. Pointers to Tony Pulis - and he may not get the job - signal that a highly successful pragmatist beats a chancy entertainer at the foot of the Championship.

But the irony of Pulis’s early emergence as managerial favourite is that supporter hostility to the sacked Garry Monk was aimed at “boring’ football as much as results.

While Monk could be said to be not dissimilar in style to Pulis, he’s actually more expansive.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Garry Monk has expressed “huge disappointment” at leaving Sheffield Wednesday after he was sacked on Monday. Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

For what it’s worth, I think the Owls could tick both boxes with a flourish by appointing Paul Cook. He has won with style at Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan.

Cook craves the job, too. But, as I write, there had been no approach to the infectiously engaging 53-year-old who won promotion at all three clubs.

Another popular fan choice, ex skipper Nigel Pearson, looks also to be out of the reckoning with, it seems, no mutual attraction at this time.

That leaves David Wagner, who did at Huddersfield (at Wednesday’s expense), the sort of job Hillsborough needs. For me, a highly credible candidate.

And then there’s former Owls player and current Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe, who emerged as a bookies’ favourite on Wednesday morning.

Among those also touted are Lee Johnson, Phil Neville, Sol Campbell and Danny Cowley, who was interviewed last time but is said to have wanted fuller control before alighting on Huddersfield.

What cost Monk is a lack of proven quality upfield. None of the four forwards he was able to bring in - Jack Marriott, Elias Kachunga, Josh Windass and Callum Paterson - is a regular scorer, though the latter two have impressed in other ways.

The service has been poor but playing often with two up and one behind is hardly negative by design.

Read More

Read More
“He’s a good fit..” Middlesbrough expert on Sheffield Wednesday-linked Tony Puli...

This is an appointment the Owls must get right, more for securing Championship status with this moderate squad than any hopes of the play-offs. Mid-table is more realistic.

Taken out of the current context, Wednesday’s last two performances were certainly not a reason for parting with the entire team management.

But the owner bowed to a rising groundswell that an overall record of 18 wins in 58 matches is sackable.

Only last week Dejphon Chansiri had insisted you cannot “mix seasons” by way of judgment.

Yet he seems to have concluded already that the recent four successive defeats were game over and he then refused to be swayed by the undoubted response.

Despite struggling to create and score, four points from two difficult home games was some improvement.

Ultimately only one view counted and I doubt - on results alone - Monk could argue. Neither could I, despite liking and respecting him from his past record and the fact he arrived at a tough transitional time to rush a change process that should have begun earlier

Right manager, wrong time comes to mind. Nowhere near in the “worst” category of the many I’ve known and absolutely correct to try to change the dressing room culture.

Even if the remaining six points of the twelve point penalty were refunded, the Owls would be only just outside the drop zone.

Mind you, what did anyone expect from home games with Bournemouth, previously unbeaten, and hard-nut Millwall?

Bet no-one thought four points. A well-earned win was followed by a predictable draw in which the Owls were the only team to test a goalkeeper.

Take everything else away and this would have been acceptable. But you couldn’t, of course

As for the next man in, if I could predict that I could have foreseen this week’s events. Only one man did.

Thank you for reading this article, one of dozens we publish every single day to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative coverage of YOUR club. This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to from the football team at The Star, please consider taking out a subscription to our new discounted sports-only package. You'll find all the details at https://www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions/sports.

Your support is much appreciated.

Chris Holt, Football Editor