Comment: Smooth-talking Carvalhal makes superb first impression on Sheffield Wednesday debut

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal
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It is fair to say that Carlos Carvalhal had some winning over to do when he first landed at Hillsborough.

An unknown in English football with a patchy CV on the face of it, his appointment was met with concern and, frankly, bemusement. Was this really the man to guide Sheffield Wednesday back to the promised land of the Premier League?

Carlos Carvalhal and Dejphon Chansiri face the media

Carlos Carvalhal and Dejphon Chansiri face the media

But if he can replicate the first impression he made to the media when it comes to on-field activity, Carvalhal will have little trouble convincing the doubters he is the man for the job.

With several buttons undone on his crisp white shirt, the Portuguese turned on the Mediterranean charm.

In many ways, Carvalhal said all the right things, delivered via an impressive grasp of the English language.

There were a few clumsy uses of the M-word, referring to ‘our Massive fans,’ but the sentiment was there.

Getting Wednesdayites on side is Carvalhal’s first mission. Bringing excitement back to supporters will see crowds gradually grow and make Hillsborough a fearsome place to visit once more.

Forging a support as passionate and vocal as the fanbase of his previous club Besiktas is high on Carvalhal’s agenda. And to do that he has pledged to deliver entertaining, attacking football.

Perhaps most impressive about the 49-year-old’s first time in English football’s spotlight was the manner in which he sought to manage expectations.

He refused crowd-pleasing rhetoric and stayed firmly away from the promotion word.

When the inevitable questions came asking how he though Wednesday would fare next term, Carvalhal labelled his side as outsiders.

He made it clear that his project would take time with improving the side in both points and aesthetic terms was the main goal for the coming season.

Such restraint is admirable when it would have been so easy to stoke up excitement by claiming the top six is in reach next term.

He concluded his media duties for the day by sitting around a table with members of the written press.

Carvalhal spent half an hour talking all things football, addressing his philosophy – and his past.

It is clear he thinks he has rarely had a fair crack of the whip as a head coach and he is very enthusiastic about being handed the chance to make his mark.

The conversation was ended abruptly as he was called away by Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri but it was apparent he could have continued to talk football for the rest of the day.

In talking the talk, Carvalhal is an obvious winner.

Now comes the time to walk the walk.

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