Like a preseason friendly… - Sheffield Wednesday unforgivably limp, but somehow not down
Fans, and no doubt the Sheffield Wednesday technical team, will have been hoping for a bit of an Alamo-esque moment today. It was must win, so they needed to go for it.
What they got, however, was a laboured performance littered with individual errors that – ultimately – was only saved because Keiren Westwood managed to get a really strong hand on a first half penalty.
Nottingham Forest have nothing to play for, it was only professional pride that they were worried about, but they still looked the most threatening of two sides who ultimately looked like they were on the beach.
It was lethargic, it lacked urgency, and there was more preseason than season-saver about it from a Wednesday perspective. A lack of end product, an absence of quality chances – they’re at least based on actual ability.
But desire. A fire to win a game that could keep you in the Championship. That should be non-negotiable. If you couldn’t get fired up for this one, then I don’t know what you can get fired up for.
Jamie Smith said afterwards that it could be down to nerves, that maybe the occasion got to them, and there’s definitely some truth to that – Wednesday have hardly been the team for the big occasion this season, and it’s often been their mentality more than anything else that has let them down.
But it is absolutely unforgiveable to go into a game of that magnitude and not give every single ounce of yourself to try and get a result. That today didn’t feel like a team giving everything – it felt like a team resigned to their fate.
Then they had to wait Derby County – who only need a draw against Swansea City to send Wednesday down. They almost got what they needed, and took the lead, but Swansea turned it around and gave them another crack of the whip. Somehow.
Wednesday have been handed chance after chance to get out of the situation that they find themselves in, and time after time they’ve thrown away the opportunity.
Based on their performance against Forest, they deserve to go down. But the football God’s are smiling at them – for now – and it looks like they’ve somehow got another shot at redemption.