Time for Sheffield Wednesday to get on with what they’ve got. Which is plenty. In quality as well as numbers.
Yes, I have to agree with those who were disappointed overall with the windows trading and wonder whether there was enough to truly reinvigorate the squad.
The apparent need for an injection of pace went unanswered. And I do genuinely think the club’s recruitment model would benefit from a review to gain maximum return from as committed and ambitious an owner as Hillsborough has ever known.
But a positive will always beat a negative. It’s better to focus on what you have rather than what you don’t.
| As formidable an array of strikers as any in the Championship.
| Probably the best goalkeeper in Keiren Westwood.
| Proven back line performers augmented by the belated but welcome addition of two new centre backs.
| Quality, experience and depth all across midfield with Jacob Butterfield recruited in a loan swap for Sam Winnall.
Add to that a manager with a successful record at the helm who, tellingly, was warmly acclaimed at the club’s 150th birthday bash this week. On paper, his squad lacks for very little.
The key now is adding up the sum of parts to represent its true value, which should be a minimum of a push for the top six. There remains no reason why that can’t be achieved given that the previous two campaigns also began sluggishly.
Where this one is considerably more difficult, after another unconvincing start, is that manager and team must generate their own impetus amid heightened expectations.
Understandably, a largely still very supportive crowd has become more critical. It will give more of a shove - once it sees an improvement rolling.
System and selections don’t matter as much as signs of intent, although
I’m not alone in seeing those high calibre midfield options (boundless when Sam Hutchinson and Kieran Lee are fit) and favouring a switch at some stage to 3-5-2.
There is now enough centre back cover to operate it. And would Hutchinson, as an accomplished passer who can bring the ball out of defence, be ideal to underpin such a system?
Whatever, Wednesday surely do have most of the right pieces.
Carlos Carvalhal will believe that more than anyone in what for him is a pivotal season.
And, much as we’re all managers out here, you have to respect that he is infinitely better qualified and knows more than we do about each player and what makes them tick.
That includes Fernando Forestieri. To me, from outside, you either play him or sell him.
Neither has happened and if, as strongly rumoured, there was a bid of anything like £12m on the table (up to four times what the Owls paid) then I can’t fathom why it wasn’t accepted and reinvested (with no loss of face whatsoever).
As it stands, let’s hope Forestieri is soon fit and contributing again.
Cheerleading is not part of a journalist’s job, despite what some misguided fans might think. But social media grumblings are rarely an accurate gauge of the mood of the majority and let’s hope
Hillsborough can generate the right atmosphere on and off the field to get the season going, starting against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
And (this bit for the players) starting from the start!