The Sheffield Wednesday man on fans' wish list and a fear-of-losing list

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Alan Biggs on the importance of one man in the short and longer term at Sheffield Wednesday

When it comes to transfers, every fan has a wish list and a fear-of-losing list. One man at Sheffield Wednesday is on both. And it’s not a player.

Either openly or subconsciously, I’d guess for many supporters keeping Danny Rohl long term would supersede who the Owls sign in this transfer window.

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Not that he’ll be off in January, just that the youngest manager in the English pro game looks destined to attract an alarming degree of attention. Which brings to the surface the greatest dread of Wednesdayites everywhere and you see a good number expressing it.

Personally, I reckon the 34-year-old former Southampton, Bayern Munich and German national team coach will be going nowhere soon He’s building a reputation rather than protecting one and I’d guess he’ll feel he can go a long way with his ambitions at Hillsborough. Where else at this stage of his career - and this his first management job - could Rohl have found a club of similar size and support? Where else could he have met with such overwhelming acclaim? And to a degree that looks to have surprised him?

This is a guy who lost five of his first six matches. Overall, even, his record is modest at face value - seven wins, eight losses and a draw. Until you reflect on the absolute chaos he walked into. While it’s true Rohl found a degree of favour by comparison with the unpopularity of his hapless predecessor Xisco Munoz, he has changed the whole feel of a floundering football club. Performances have been generally better than results and by that measure the former will inevitably convert into the latter, as is happening now.

Wednesday and Rohl took a big gamble on each other. It’s now up to the club not to leave what happens next to chance. Yes, Dejphon Chansiri deserves due credit for plucking this appointment from much self-inflicted wreckage. Let’s not forget, either, the wisdom of providing Röhl with the experience of Chris Powell and Henrik Pedersen. But equally, everyone around S6 will hope there is no return of the owner’s maverick ways to spoil something so good. And I must admit to some reservations, as per a recent column, that Rohl does not appear to have a budget as such, more a piecemeal arrangement on the merits of each deal.

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In a short time, the German has very much earned being trusted to steer the club the club through this transfer window and beyond. We don’t know the details of his contract but if he secures Championship status from such a precarious position, a new deal has to be far and away top of the S6 agenda.

Yes, there will be glances towards him at home and abroad. You can’t stop that because there is a market for managers as well as players. But, again, a club of Wednesday’s size constructing a push at the other end of the Championship in front of 30,000 crowds would take some topping for any young coach.

That will undoubtedly be the image in Rohl’s mind, even at this point, having attracted an incredible level of appreciation, adulation even, for his early efforts.

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