I don’t care WHY they play well… Could Sheffield Wednesday’s contract chaos work in their favour? – Joe Crann’s column

A big end to this season is in everyone’s interests – regardless of whether players have a Sheffield Wednesday future or not.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 6:00 pm

The Owls now have seven games left to save their Championship status, and while it’s still a remarkably tall order, the 5-0 thumping of Cardiff City has certainly given everybody something to hold onto heading into the business end of the 2020/21 campaign.

It’s been a season to forget in so, so many ways… There’s been a load of horrible results, far too many horrendous performances, and the fact that no fans have been allowed in has just made it all feel so soulless.

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But Monday was different. Granted, there aren’t many games to choose from if we’re talking about enjoyable matches, but that one just rocketed to the top of the list.

It wasn’t just the result, it was the manner of it. The goals scored, the clean sheet, the mentality showcased. I was as good a team performance as you’ll see at this level.

And because of that, plenty (myself included) have been asking where this has been all season…

There were so many good individual performances on the day, and some of the best performers were those that – as things stand – will no longer be Sheffield Wednesday players come July 1st.

Sheffield Wednesday's Jordan Rhodes, Adam Reach and Tom Lees are all out of contract. (Isaac Parkin/PA Wire)

You see, there’s a contract chaos that has been brought about by a number of different factors… Some of it feels short-sighted, some is circumstantial, and some of it is pragmatic.

Whatever reason each player’s situation falls under, the fact is that eight of the players who featured in Monday’s thumping don’t currently have deals beyond the end of this season.

With that in mind, there have been calls of ‘they’re only playing for a new contract now’ or ‘it’s just because they want to put themselves in the shop window’.

And my argument is this… At this point, I genuinely couldn’t care less why any player is playing well – as long as they are.

Ideally, it’s because Darren Moore’s way of working is coming to fruition, and the upturn in recent weeks is purely down to professional pride and a desire to keep Wednesday in the Championship.

But if a player decides to up the ante now because he’s moving on and wants to hit the ground running, so be it. If he’s suddenly realised he doesn’t want a relegation on his CV, no worries. If they see these last few games as a shop window and an opportunity to land a big payday elsewhere? Good luck to them.

As long as it keeps Wednesday up.

What’s done is done this season, and so many of these players won’t be here for 2021/22. But if any ulterior motives they may have helps keep SWFC in the Championship, then I‘m absolutely ok with that.

I’d obviously prefer it if some of our better players weren’t on the brink of leaving Hillsborough for free, however it’s time to embrace to situation and turn the negatives into positives for a few weeks.

Because right now, they’re all Wednesday, aren’t they…

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