Alex Miller: It’s over to Joey Pelupessy to repay the faith shown in him by Garry Monk and Sheffield Wednesday
When discussing the future of his Sheffield Wednesday, Garry Monk has said more about what needs to change in the air at the club than on the grass.
It’s been all about attitude, hunger, desire; three attributes that in his mind the club has lost. The squad at Sheffield Wednesday has gone stale, he’s suggested, and it’s been too comfortable for too long.
In locking down a long-term goalkeeper in Cameron Dawson back in January, Monk spoke of igniting those attributes within those that were already at the club. Morgan Fox is another he believes has shown the fight required to be a part of his long-term vision for the club, the ageing Steven Fletcher too.
But what of Joey Pelupessy, who we now know will stay on at Wednesday into the 2020/21 season after The Star revealed the Owls had taken out a one-year extension on his contract?
He’d admit himself that he’s a player with limitations and one that – to put it gently – he is unlikely to win any fan-voted awards. Rightly or wrongly the Dutchman, Jos Luhukay’s first signing at Wednesday, has become something of a poster boy among many sections of the fanbase for a post-Carlos period of underachievement at the club.
But through the fog of instant reaction on social media, there’s an argument to suggest it makes sense. Pelupessy is a positive chap, he is hungry and he has a desire some of his teammates are lacking. The Star understands that he is one of the fittest players on the staff and that he is one of the keenest trainers.
If Monk’s immediate priority is to drive forward a squad with those three attributes at the forefront; attitude, hunger and desire, then a negotiation-free, open-and-shut option on Pelupessy was perhaps an easier decision to make than some would welcome.
And perhaps, as we enter the uncertainty of post-pandemic business, that’s partly it. Pelupessy’s extension option ran out sometime in May. Monk and various other Championship colleagues have already spoken about the turmoil the coronavirus crisis will throw on the transfer market in the coming weeks and months – Pelupessy’s deal was an easy one to tick off the list.
It is a ballsy move, though. Garry Monk will know of Pelupessy’s divisive reputation on the terraces. The flavour of that initial social media reaction was inevitable – Pelupessy’s detractors have been vocal in lamenting his re-signing as a lack of ambition, a ‘show of where the club is’ in the transfer market.
With dissenting voices already bubbling under since the club’s meltdown south in the table since the turn of the year, Monk has again put faith in his ability to turn things around ahead of what would have been an easier, more popular decision.
Unlike many on the list of Sheffield Wednesday players whose contracts are weedling away, Pelupessy is understood to be affordable in terms of wages and in the club’s mind clearly represents a solid squad option.
Garry Monk has made it pretty clear that this was his call. It’s now over to Joey Pelupessy to repay that faith.