Sheffield Wednesday got their man, now for eight more - Alan Biggs
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Actually make that eight things – by my reckoning the minimum number of new players needed to be competitive back in the Championship under new boss Xisco Munoz.
And the unsurprisingly protracted manager search – ended by the hiring of the ex-Watford head coach – has underlined just how relatively well placed Wednesday were a mere few weeks ago.
Stability and continuity are rare and precious prizes lost whatever the circumstances. It’s not easy-come easy-go where those are concerned.
Now it has to be regained under a previous promotion winner in the Championship but one who will have to earn the same level of trust as his predecessor. I hope he does in a very challenging environment.
And so to the where and who of Wednesday‘s need to strengthen, starting with a back line that was stretched to the limit last season.
With the unlucky Ben Heneghan released and Aden Flint’s loan ended, Wednesday need at least two for this position – plus a seasoned keeper to challenge Cameron Dawson following David Stockdale’s departure.
So that’s three on the recruitment list for starters, although it’s great to have Reece James back in the building and Ciaran Brennan will stake a centre back claim after returning from his loan at Swindon.
Playing wing-backs as before? Make that two more then. For all Liam Palmer’s and Callum Paterson’s versatility, the right side is a wide open gap for a new first choice after Jack Hunt’s exit.
Marvin Johnson has held down the left side role but you’d want strong competition. We’re up to five now.
Central midfield? In great hands with Barry Bannan, George Byers and Will Vaulks. Ideally you’d want a couple more after the unlamented departure of the erratic Fisayo Dele-Bashiru. Seven.
Up front? Michael Smith and Lee Gregory know the Championship well, but both are over 30. With Mallik Wilks’ record so sketchy, not least with injuries, you’d want a pacy addition. We’re up to eight.
Where Josh Windass fits in, either as a striker or a number 10, is a puzzle – except that he is a must-pick for me. Maybe his role will be on a horses-for-courses basis.
The common requirement for all positions is relative youth and speed to complement an experienced group. But at least Wednesday are fitting in around rather than all the pieces being thrown in the air.
Finally, for the record, I still think Darren Moore’s departure is a shame – for the club most of all – and no account of the circumstances changes my view on that, or on the man himself.
I can’t imagine anyone who knows Moore would regard him as greedy or unreasonable and there are two sides to every story, perhaps including the level of wage he was on when he left.
I’m not sure I’ve met a more honourable person in football.
But thankfully now a line can be drawn. Enough has been said and it’s beyond time to move on. With plenty to do – and quickly.