Sheffield Wednesday: Why any new Owls player needs to be a ‘showman’

Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri celebrates
Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri celebrates
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Who they are and how many there will be, remains to be seen but new players coming in at Sheffield Wednesday this season have been warned that they have to be ‘showmen’.

The opinion comes from a man who recognises that the squad around Hillsborough during his spell on S6 didn’t have the level of quality currently available - they got by on their battling qualities.

Jon Paul McGovern

Jon Paul McGovern

However, according to Jon-Paul McGovern, one of the heroes of the Owls’ 2005 promotion campaign, just working hard is not enough to get by at the Sheffield Wednesday of 2017.

“The working class city thing that Sheffield has and the feeling that the fans have, that all changes when you start paying big money for players and rightly so,” said McGovern

“Every team needs workers and every team should have workers but you are paying the extra to have that bit of extra quality to take you a step up and so the idea of just working hard isn’t good enough any more, because of the fees that are involved.”

He added: It’s unbelievable to think of the money that’s kicking about just now and the expectation levels are always going to go up as a result of that, and you need to be able to handle that.

Jon Paul McGovern with Lee Bullen

Jon Paul McGovern with Lee Bullen

“When you come into Sheffield Wednesday you have to stand up and go ‘I’m going to be a showman here, I’m going to show people what I can do, because this is a big club and they expect that’.”

It’s not just Wednesday who have improved immeasurably since McGovern was wearing the blue and white.

The 36 year-old has watched in awe at the rise in standard and the strength of the Championship as a whole in recent years.

And that perhaps serves as a warning to Sheffield United, where McGovern spent a short spell on loan early in his career,

Jon Paul McGovern and Glenn Whelan celebrating their play off success

Jon Paul McGovern and Glenn Whelan celebrating their play off success

“The Championship is almost two leagues now,” he says.

“The top half challenging for promotion and the bottom just trying to stay there and fight.

“The jump from League One to the Championship is as great as the jump for Championship to the Premier’s huge. Everything about it is humongous.”

Despite that level of competition, McGovern believes that even now, with no further additions to the squad, the Owls would be on course to chase promotion back to the Premier League.

The Scot, though, says that just a few signings would have them up there challenging for a top two place.

“It’s about getting those little bits of recruitment together, piecing everything together and there’s no reason why the current managers and coaching staff with everything they’ve got and the resources they’ve got that they can’t go straight to the Premier League,” claimed McGovern.

“If they didn’t add any more now, they’d end up in the same position, they are a top six team as things stand.

“Your manager is only as good as your group in terms of the recruitment and I think they’ll bring in a couple more, probably defensively is where it’s needed most.

“Add a few more and you are talking about going straight up.”

There has been some talk of late, surrounding the possibility of Carvalhal changing formation to play with three central defenders instead of his usual four at the back.

While McGovern doesn’t see that as a bad thing, he emphasises that the Portuguese would have to get his dealings right in the transfer market before any switch could come about.

“Chelsea have just won the Premier League with three at the back but formations only matter when you have the players in place,” he added

“You cant play 3-5-2 if you have three slow centre backs and can’t get about the pitch, so you look at them and think, well that’s all I’ve got but there’s funding there to get the players you actually need, exactly who you need.

“Choose the formation and stick with it and don’t blame it. If that’s what you believe , go for it and trust it will work for you.”