Something’s got to give… Surely? – Joe Crann’s Sheffield Wednesday column after a week – and a bit – from hell

We spoke about 6/7 points from the three games that followed Brentford, four at least, to get us off minus points. Well, that didn’t happen, did it…

By Joe Crann
Saturday, 31st October 2020, 9:36 pm

After the Brentford game we spoke about not getting too carried away after a narrow defeat against arguably the top team in the league, we spoke of how the baby shouldn’t be thrown out with the bath water after what had been a promising start.

10 days later, even the most positive, optimistic Wednesdayites are worried – and with good reason.

In Luton Town, Rotherham United and Wycombe Wanderers, the Owls faced three teams who – though they have no divine right to beat – are sides that Garry Monk and his troops would’ve seen as potential point-getters.

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All three of them are expected to be in or around the bottom end of the Championship table, and probably among the teams that SWFC would be hoping to climb above in order to avoid the drop out of the Championship.

Just as we tried to temper the negative, we tried the same with the positive, too. After a few good results there was talk of clambering well up the table, when in actual fact – and I said this before the season even started – Wednesday’s first aim should be to finish 21st.

If you’d offered 21st place on goal difference at the start of the season, I think I’d have taken it. The situation is tough, Monk and his players know that it’s tough, which is why picking up zero points and scoring zero goals in the last three games is unacceptable.

Sheffield Wednesday have lost four Championship games in a row now. (Tess Derry/PA Wire)

Yes, there are so many factors at play here. Yes, there is something to be said about the fact that this new group of players needs time to gel, time to get used to each other. Time to figure things out. And yes, the injury situation has been drastically unlucky for the team – anybody would badly miss players like Dominic Iorfa, Massimo Luongo and Izzy Brown.

But at what point should Wednesdayites panic? It’s not even November yet, and the club is already eight points clear of even getting off the foot of the table, let alone out of the relegation zone (that’s 10 points away).

Take away the -12 and they’d still be 20th. I’m all for judging this group of players on this season (and honestly, up until the win over Birmingham City there was genuine reason to be quite impressed) however the points return over the last 10 days is an absolute hammer blow for a team that, as Monk has put it, shown a sense of ‘fragility’. It’s four defeats on the bounce for the first time since 2018.

But Dejphon Chansiri has thrown it all into Monk’s project. His technical team, his players, the kitchen sink. The new players signed, on paper, looked good. They looked like what the club needed.

But football isn’t played on paper, and on Saturday at Adams Park, a battling Wednesday side – I don’t think you can fault their effort to be honest – couldn’t find a key to unlock a Wycombe side that picked up 1.74 points per game in League One last season.

Football isn’t played on paper. And unfortunately, the table doesn’t lie.

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