Sheffield Wednesday column: Why 2018 was the Owls’ annus horribilis

Owls Lee Bullen at the end of the Burton Albion defeat on January 1, 2018.....Pic Steve Ellis
Owls Lee Bullen at the end of the Burton Albion defeat on January 1, 2018.....Pic Steve Ellis
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All those of a Sheffield Wednesday persuasion will be glad to see the back of 2018.

The year started with a dismal 3-0 defeat at home to Burton Albion.

That performance was as poor as you are likely to see and was perhaps only usurped by the collapse at home to Norwich City in November.

All in all, it has been a sobering 12 months for the club.

The positives on the field this year have been few and far between.

The win at Aston Villa catches the eye, as do the hammerings of Preston and Norwich late into last season.

Also, let's not forget the blooding of many youngsters. Hopefully that will stand the club in good stead going forward.

But on the whole, it has been woefully below-par.

Wednesday's league record in 2018 reads played 44, won 14, drawn 12 and lost 18.

That equates to 54 points from 44 matches and represents, over the course of a season, a finish in the mid to lower regions of the table.

It probably sums up the reign of Jos Luhukay, who was finally axed last week after what felt like a lifetime of calls for his head.

Off the pitch things haven't been much better either.

The relationship between the club and its supporters has deteriorated as the year has gone on.

This came to a halt earlier this month when chairman Dejphon Chansiri placed the club up for sale.

It followed a number of incidents which Chansiri spoke about during the recent fans' forum involving altercations between supporters and his family.

Let's not forget too that there was the transfer embargo that the club operated under for four months - with many fans unhappy at the lack of communication from the club regarding the issue.

Only in the past week have relations appeared to soften.

The sacking of Luhukay was unanimously praised by the supporters and has acted to bring them together.

Also, the re-integration of senior players who were frozen out under the previous regime has got supporters back on-side.

The atmosphere in the last two games has been a world away from the low-key despondency that had set in during the final days of the Luhukay era.

Hopefully Wednesday can end a forgettable 2018 on a high at the Hawthorns this weekend.

Then comes the hard work of trying to make the next 12 months a darn sight more memorable.