Jos Luhukay is probably only a couple of defeats away from being called clueless. By somebody. So we’d better tread warily here.
And it would be dishonest not to admit that I joined those on social media querying his last line-up – and latest successful one. But the difference between questioning and disparaging is huge. Besides, it’s time Sheffield Wednesday’s head coach was accorded the respect he deserves. And trust.
That last bit is the key, the point at which supporters (and journalists) concede that a manager knows what he’s doing. And that he knows better than them. Which is mostly true anyway.
I think Luhukay passed that point when his side hit sixth in the Championship by winning at Bristol City. That it was done with an eyebrow-raising line-up made it even more a landmark moment.
It is impossible to say what is realistically expected of him inside the club but, looking from outside, I’d call this over-achievement considering the various difficulties faced by the Dutchman since took over.
Which was only nine months ago, let’s remember (six months in playing terms). We all have our own ideas of the capabilities of this squad, one that still needs trimming, but for my money top ten represents the manager holding his own.
Anything above – and you can’t rule it out in talent terms – is in credit for me. So Luhukay is doing an excellent job at this point.
His unpredictability, in respect of both selection and tactics, is proving a strength rather than a weakness.
If we can’t guess his line-up, how can the opposition?
Tony Pulis will be doing some serious head-scratching as his Middlesbrough side head for Hillsborough tomorrow. Of course, it does appear from a recent address to supporters that only promotion this season can guarantee to prevent financial fair play issues biting again.
So this has to be the aim.
But Luhukay has no control over that other than to give it his best shot. Strikes me he is doing just that – and also that he should only be judged on the yardstick of being competitive.