Alan Biggs: Sheffield Wednesday are missing something this season...and it's a blessing!
Minus 12 points is hardly the desired way to start a season but at least, in some respects, it’s a blessed relief not to have to discuss Sheffield Wednesday’s “promotion prospects.”
That’s with respect to anyone who still rates those “prospects” and with apologies for lacking the supreme optimism to share!
But, in seeking some alternative positivity, this column is looking at it as a sort of “take a season off” opportunity.
Of course, clubs of Wednesday’s stature will always be expected to push for the Premier League and 20 years is far too long an absence.
However, it is that fixation which has, in a manner of speaking, landed the Owls in this fix.
After several years of heavy spending, the club is being forced to attempt to bridge the gap a different way and that may be no bad thing in the long term.
And at least “long term” can be mentioned again, rather than the focus always being on one heavily-financed season followed by another.
Allowing that making up the deficit to avoid relegation is itself an onerous first priority, no-one is realistically building up the club other than for it to be in a position to compete in future.
I think that can be a process to be relished in its own way. There is nothing more satisfying than successfully fighting adversity - and the journey can be as enjoyable as the eventual destination.
That all-important sense of unity, lacking in recent times, can come from all this. Everyone is aware of the importance of Wednesday being one team together again, on and off the field.
Providing the fans see a spirited, enthusiastic and united dressing room, they’ll forgive the stumbles that are inevitable in a transition process.
And for once, mid-table is quite a noble aspiration. Achieve that and next season we will be talking differently.
But, for now, a sense of realism and an appetite for a new start under a newly constructed management team which has to be given time and leeway to gel, regardless of the personal popularity politics surrounding the manager.
Recruitment looks to have been very much led by Garry Monk and, within a scaled down budget, I think it’s been good.
Like many others, my reservation is the lack of a forceful physical presence up front, a line leader. Who is going to score the goals? Fair and obvious question.
No question the Owls are short up front ahead of the window closing. But it’s being worked on and there is a sense of purpose about the club as a whole that suggests to me a mid-table placing that, for once, would be a cause for celebration!
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