So-called 'good football' can wait at Sheffield Wednesday - Alan Biggs
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As someone who’s as guilty of glibly using the term as anyone, maybe it’s a bit rich to be posing the question.
Sheffield Wednesday fans will have a chance to answer it in respect of their own team in the coming weeks, as it’s only now we can properly judge Xisco Munoz.
In doing so, they will inevitably bear in mind one of the criteria that led to the Spaniard’s appointment.
Owner Dejphon Chansiri said at the time: “He is ambitious, he’s hungry and he plays attacking (football).”
An indirect reference there, seemingly, to criticism of the style of Xisco’s predecessor and a declaration that this would change.
Absolutely no evidence so far that it has. After five games, only Middlesbrough in the Championship have scored fewer than Wednesday’s four goals.
That said, it’s only fair to make a judgment now that the new manager has a full complement, including his many signings. But it still leaves the question unanswered. What is good - or “attacking” - football.
Is it about entertaining, no matter the result? Or is it about winning? In the end, it’s surely about the latter. I’d guess most fans would take a hard-grinding 1-0 win over a 3-2 defeat any time and every time.
Long ball, short ball, passing from the back, none of it matters if the outcome is right.
Attractive football needs results to go with it as much as pragmatic football, even though tolerance for the first lasts longer. You can bore, or thrill, the pants off people in Wednesday’s current situation as long as the club gains a foothold in the Championship and progresses from there.
Just as Darren Moore got the job done in his own way across his two full seasons, so it would be unfair to saddle Xisco with any other expectation at this stage.
Based on the modest scale of the summer recruitment to come, it was naive of the owner to enter entertainment territory.
No-one particularly liked the way the Owls finally got their first point on the board in the goalless draw at Leeds. You’d hope the promise of something more enterprising comes back to the fore. However, Xisco won’t buy himself any more time with it unless he succeeds.
Yes, you can point to Tony Pulis’s short reign and say that the awful football - it truly was - didn’t help. Bottom line, though, he won only one of ten matches.
So how will Xisco go from here? Will he give free rein to his “philosophy” and hope to be more expressive? Or will he stick to the tighter, Moore-esque, triple centre-back style that makes Wednesday harder to beat?
I’d guess the latter for now. The good football - whatever that is - can come later.
And just maybe he has more of the right players to provide it with John Buckley and Jeff Hendrick joining the likes of Barry Bannan, George Byers and Josh Windass in the building.
But who wouldn’t take a 1-0 and a 1-1 across this week’s Hillsborough double-header?