What football's coronavirus shutdown means for under-pressure Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk

The suspension of football due to the threat of coronavirus has left managers and players with a bit more time on their hands to contemplate how things have been going on the pitch.

Sunday, 15th March 2020, 6:52 pm

For those at Sheffield Wednesday, that might involve a lot of deep soul-searching. You’d certainly hope it would, at least.

With no action taking place, the football world has for the past few days been littered with debates over all aspects of the game, with many of them kicking off with ‘what does this mean for….?’

Among those questions is the potential impact of the (hopefully) temporary break in play on a manager or team whose form has been, let’s say, patchy.

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Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk with Lee Bullen (left) and Neil Thompson alongside him. Pic Steve Ellis

Does it give them a little breathing space, an opportunity to gather their thoughts, work on a new tactical approach and reap the benefits of extra time on the training pitch that the highly-competitive, hugely-demanding schedule of English football?

Or does it leave a cloud hanging over them? The denying of a chance to quickly put things right and allow the bad feeling coming from the stands to fester and perhaps grow.

Much like everything that’s been going on over the past few days, there’s no real answer.

Owls boss Garry Monk probably doesn’t know himself and won’t do until his team take to the field once again, which hopefully isn’t too far beyond the original return date of April 3 set by the EFL on Friday morning.

Sheffield Wednesday legend Chris Waddle

He’s already admitted to feeling frustrated that the work that he does in training, which is apparently taken on board with enthusiasm by the squad, yet not translated into their performances.

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Does that therefore mean that he is just going to face extra time for his hard work to go unrewarded?

Or perhaps, the fact that there are no games taking place means that confidence can be regained by a team who for the most appear to be sapped of morale the moment they pull on the shirt and walk out onto the pitch.

Former Wednesday winger Chris Waddle has his own theory and he believes the break would be detrimental to a team and a manager feeling the heat.

“You have to get the fixtures played because at the end of the day you train all week and do things off the park but it's on a Saturday or a matchday when you send the team out you want them to perform,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“He probably doesn't need this break at the minute. They are on a bad run.

“He needs to turn it around quickly and there's still a possibility of the play-offs. For me the fifth and sixth places are up for grabs, I don't think anyone is consistent enough apart from the top three or four.

“It needs three or four wins but they have done it before. They have the ability to do that.”