Light-hearted Sheffield Wednesday moment showed relief, togetherness and laughed off social media theories
With that in mind.. well, you know the rest by now. Let’s do exactly that.
Because there’s a chance that the moments after Sheffield Wednesday’s third goal in Easter Monday’s 3-0 win over Accrington Stanley offered a window into the mindset of the changing room at S6.
First things first, it’s worth poring over the nature of the goal. With Stanley two goals down and spread, Wednesday were able to go about their business going forward in a way that the ‘low block’ tactics of many struggling teams in recent months. And how they did that in the 72nd-minute.
Liam Palmer reacted first to win a tired Accrington ball and with his second touch a good one, bounded towards the Leppings Lane End. Firing into Lee Gregory’s feet, the veteran forward took a deft touch on the spin and laid it back to Barry Bannan, who bent it onto the instep of the onrushing Palmer with a single touch.
The chest-out nature of Palmer’s run one thing, the finish itself another. One touch, a look up, a stroke past the visiting keeper. Job done both in terms of the claiming of his fifth league goal of the season, job done in terms of securing his side’s first league win in just under a month.
Incisive passes, deft touches, overloads; this was an example of the sort of quality Bannan had been publicly pining for in that six-match winless run.
But it was the interaction between Bannan and Palmer in the celebration that caught the eye and raised a smile; a tongue-in-cheek faux boxing match that sent the defender to his back with teammates chuckling around him. It was in response to a push and a shove the pair shared in a moment of passion at Oxford a few days earlier.
Social media did its thing, spinning itself into a frenzy of footage and conspiracy theories about Middlewood meltdowns. In reality, it was clearly the half-momentary flare-up of two men who care deeply about a cause that was faltering; nothing more and nothing less. It happens.
That the pair made a joke of the incident gave an insight into just how insignificant their Kassam disagreement had been – the inference was that for all the noise outside, those within the camp were keeping a steady hand. Does that go for their recent form funk, too? “When all around you are losing their heads..” and all that.
After that? Palmer raced in front of the South Stand, motioned Hulk Hogan-style to those seated, punched the air and then the badge on his chest – once, twice, three times. The sense of relief was palpable.
Wednesday got their win. And with results elsewhere going their way, they went top of the League One table.
Theirs was a moment that showed Wednesday had grappled back a little control in the title race and laughed away notions of division within. What happens next? Who knows?