Sometimes it’s not entirely about what a course of action DOES, it’s what it SIGNIFIES.
No-one can be sure that Jordan Rhodes will make the difference for Sheffield Wednesday this season. Or even next.
But signing him is a sure statement of the lengths the owner is prepared to go to take his club to the Premier League.
And preferably within the timescale of Dejphon Chansiri’s initial two-year promotion pledge, which I have always believed was a motivating force behind the seemingly interminable transfer saga that went into extra time in midweek.
It was messy, to put it mildly. And in the same vein, let’s acknowledge that more has to change about Wednesday’s performances than just having a man on the pitch with a second-to-none record of converting chances at this level.
First, those chances have to be created – more than currently.
Even Rhodes misses. I saw him spurn a glut of chances for Middlesbrough in one game around this time last year and he wasn’t ring rusty then, having just joined from Blackburn.
Now he’s having to hit the ground off a standing start, having barely played this season. Which is why I’d argue this signing is about the future, not necessarily immediate.
Some fans are less than enamoured of it and you can understand their view considering faults in the supply line and other arguable needs, like a covering centre back.
But answer me this: is there a more guaranteed goal scorer in the Championship? A career tally of 188 at just short of his 27th birthday (this Sunday) appears to answer that one.
Right age, right temperament, not afraid to miss.
In it emotionally and for the long term with his father Andy as the Owls’ goalkeeping coach.
Behind all the smoke and mirrors, this column has long been convinced that head coach Carlos Carvalhal was single-minded in his pursuit of Rhodes. He never said so, but then he never said not.
For all that, I think Owls fans need to be patient over Rhodes – if not quite so patient over the team itself, because there should be enough quality to do better than scramble a 2-2 draw at Bristol City.
Wigan away tomorrow should be another win, not draw, game for the Owls.
Rhodes will start to be integrated but his best opening trick could be to spark a response from those he is pressuring – and to get the side as a whole more pro-active in terms of creating opportunities.
It represents some turnaround for Wednesday, the club, to pull off a prestigious coup like Rhodes against much opposition.
Now that statement needs amplifying on the field. They have the manager, coaches and players to do it.