The reboot: Is it ok to be excited yet? - Joe Crann’s Sheffield Wednesday column
Nobody wants to go down. Nobody wants the consequences that come with a relegation. But I won’t lie, I’m all aboard the Darren Moore train, and it’s time to see what he can do.
Put politely, the 2020/21 season was absolutely horrible. In so many ways. Sheffield Wednesday were poor on the pitch, there was drama galore off it, the whole campaign went by without any Wednesdayites present at any stage.
As far as I’m concerned, good riddance to it.
And now that the dust has settled, and news starts to filter through about what lies ahead, I’ll admit that I’m starting to get a little bit excited about what could possibly be on the horizon for the Owls.
Again, it’s important to note that nobody is being let off the hook here. If things don’t change off the pitch and performances don’t improve on it, then Wednesday are in for another horror campaign – and the dropping down of divisions will ultimately lead to people who had no way to affect results losing their jobs.
But from a football club perspective, League One could be exactly what this team needs.
It’ll force a reboot that has so desperately been needed. And not just a few players here and there. As things stand, Wednesday have a grand total of 12 senior players for next season – and then a bunch of eager U23s who will no doubt see this preseason as an opportunity to show Moore what they can do.
Dead weight can be shifted. A new culture can be installed. Hopefully the manager has carte blanche and allowed to do what he needs to do.
Because I’m excited to see the sort of players that the boss brings in over the summer. All of a sudden Wednesday aren’t near the bottom of the rung when it comes to landing players capable of winning promotion. They’re not battling your Norwich Citys and Watfords anymore.
If you’re a hungry young footballer who’s not quite at Championship level yet, there are few more tempting places to play your football next year than at Hillsborough – and starting on zero points will come in handy, too.
If you’re a Premier League manager who’s got a talented teenager who needs some first team football under his belt, working with somebody as respected as Darren Moore and playing for a club as famous as Sheffield Wednesday has got to be right up by the top of your list of possible destinations.
Yes, there is PLENTY to be sorted out off the field. And that’s something that Dejphon Chansiri has got to deal with. But I’m now genuinely looking forward to seeing what Moore, Jamie Smith and Paul Williams can put together with a transfer window and full preseason ahead of them.
The 2021/22 season has the potential – ‘potential’ being the key word here – to be the start of a new era for SWFC. With Moore at the helm, there’s certainly reason to be positive.
Relegation to League One in itself is nothing to be excited about. But it could well be the defibrillator needed to get some life back into the club.
It’ll be nice to try and win more than 12 games in a season as well.