Xisco Munoz impresses on first day at Sheffield Wednesday... Dejphon Chansiri not so much

Well, the introduction of Xisco Munoz as Sheffield Wednesday boss could have gone better, that’s for sure... though, certainly through no fault of his own.
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Xisco, as he told us we can call him, sat confidently on the top table of the press conference, looking like a man more than prepared for the task at hand, both here in front of the media and in taking charge of the Owls. Then his new employer spoke, at great length, soon after the media briefing began and you could have forgiven the Spaniard for doing a runner up Penistone Road there and then.

Asked by a reporter from a national broadcaster, who are pushing to a different audience than those on the beat locally, whether he could understand the surprise that people felt - in the Owls fanbase and the wider ‘football public’ - when Darren Moore left a few weeks ago, chairman Dejphon Chansiri went on a long-winded rant. Almost 12 minutes of it.

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It began with, “actually, I already explained in my statement [last week]...” and frankly it could have done with ending right there. Instead, the focus turned to negativity on social media and then eventually, and again at great length, on former Wednesday midfielder Carlton Palmer who has been hugely critical of Chansiri online, since his mate Moore headed for the Hillsborough exit. “Not my legend,” said the chairman.

It was uncomfortable and cringeworthy and you can’t have helped but feel sorry for Munoz as he sat silently and a little awkwardly through every excruciating minute.

Chansiri has every right to defend himself, particularly if he feels like he’s being unfairly treated and the ever-opinionated Palmer’s not letting go would be enough to frustrate even the most patient man, in this instance.

However, this was neither the time, nor the place. Chansiri wasnt prodded and poked for an answer. He wasn’t barracked until he gave in. The question was asked (twice, but only because the chairman asked the reporter to repeat it) and could have quite easily been batted away with a response that suggested what’s done is done and it’s now time to look forward.

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Calling out a popular former player over a difference of opinion, in a press conference to unveil your new manager, is a terrible look from a PR perspective. Telling him to come and speak to him face-to-face and to ‘be a man’ like he’s setting up the early stages of a WWE feud that will finish off at Wrestlemania, should not happen at what is essentially a new dawn for the club.

Instead it took the man to his left, on his first day in the job to project the notion that all at the club need to forget the events of the past few weeks. And he did so impressively.

“Right now, as the President [Chansiri] explained, we need change,” said Munoz, thumping the table as he did so. “New era. I don’t want to speak about what happened three weeks ago. Now I start my era, we start a job and we need to put the focus on every task we have. We are a massive club, we have the massive fans and we need positive things.

“It’s important to forget what happened before, everyone knows what happened before, or not, it doesn’t matter. What’s important for me right now is to start speaking about what we want, what we need and what we try to get for the future. This is our focus.”

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Sheffied Wednesday fans should be feeling positive about the new arrival. He’s charismatic and energetic and enthusiastic and on first impressions could be very popular on S6.

Here’s hoping that he’s the one doing all the talking during his, hopefully, long and successful reign.

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