Pin this up on your wall, Sheffield Wednesday – the entire world thinks you will fail

Football. Bloody hell.
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We all know the records, we all know the points total. A truly remarkable season in so many ways. Except, probably, the only way that counts.

The cold, brutal reality is that if Sheffield Wednesday don’t manage to do something a bit mad on Thursday evening, if they aren’t promoted at Wembley on May 29, the mission will have failed.

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And here’s the thing; Darren and co. Nobody thinks you can do it.

Shell shocked at the final whisle after a 4-0 defeat. LtoR.Barry Bannan,Aden Flint,Liam Palmer,Will Vaulks    Pic Steve EllisShell shocked at the final whisle after a 4-0 defeat. LtoR.Barry Bannan,Aden Flint,Liam Palmer,Will Vaulks    Pic Steve Ellis
Shell shocked at the final whisle after a 4-0 defeat. LtoR.Barry Bannan,Aden Flint,Liam Palmer,Will Vaulks Pic Steve Ellis

Though one or two glasses have crept from half-empty to half-full over the last few days, there’s a feeling in the fanbase that they’ll turn up in their vast numbers to S6 in blind hope rather than in any scintilla of genuine expectation.

In the press box, who have almost to a man taken a ‘half-full’ approach to its coverage even in the most perilous of March-and-April title meltdowns throughout the season, it’s a similar story.

On TalkSport, on 5Live, in the nationals. The theme is of bemusement at how a club in Wednesday’s position not long ago could fizzle and fit its way to the position they now find themselves in – needing a four-goal win just to force extra time on a club that finished 19 (NINETEEN) points behind them in the real-season table.

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Opposition supporters? They’re revelling in it of course, those from across the city satisfied beyond belief at what is likely to be the sweetest of Sheffield doubles.

Despite an upturn in form at the very back end of the campaign, the nature of the goals conceded both in the last couple of months and indeed on Friday evening at London Road show a side that cannot be trusted to defend. The attacking swagger that made it possible to get jobs done has dripped from the side as the season entered its ‘suit-up’ section.

Darren Moore, The Star and anyone else seems justified in our pointing out of those records, or the fact that in literally any other season in the history of all three EFL divisions, Wednesday’s 2022/23 record would have been enough to go up fairly handsomely. It provides context to the magnitude of the season itself.

Injuries to key men at key times, the odd refereeing decision, the enormity of Plymouth and Ipswich, January, this and that. There’s no argument that bad luck hasn’t tapped the Owls on the shoulder this season. Once or twice it’s broken their collarbone. But excuses are worth little.

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The faces are the same, but the fact is that this side is not the one that went 23 matches unbeaten, that beat Newcastle and set those clean sheet records.

Make no mistake, every Wednesday figure in there so desperately wants it to happen. It would be a night to compare with Chelsea 91, United 79, Arsenal 15, Brighton a year later; surpass them even.

We all want it to happen. But after weeks of wibble-wobble, the nature of Friday night’s capitulation has turned even the most ‘half-full’ to a state of bewildered confusion, in many places rabid anger. Brutal as it sounds, there is little to no recent evidence that Wednesday will even get close to achieving the scoreline required.

We all want it to happen, we just don’t think it will.

So stick this up in the changing room. The entire world has written you off. Please, please, please prove it wrong.