BLOG: One game at a time

BLOG: One game at a time

Owls Alive welcomes Dan Moxon to the team as he explains why Carvalhal’s call for calm should be taken to heart in a season of high expectations.

After last season’s performances, who can blame fans for getting excited for what might come in the year ahead?

Last year an unknown Portuguese coach took over a side in transition, with transfers coming in daily.

Some names we knew, some only the die-hard Football Manager types would have knowledge of.

The world was, seemingly, at our feet thanks to a new owner.

The most common phrase I heard was “a push for the playoffs”, which is exactly what we got, the season ending with a great home performance against Cardiff before defeating Brighton in the first leg of the playoffs.

The Sky Sports cameras captured the magical moment when the fans held up their mobile phone lights creating what looked like a beautiful night sky surrounding the pitch, lighting the path to Wembley.

On the way, there were plenty of other moments that had us all bouncing in the stands, starting with the last minute goal away at Brentford from Lucas Joao, who seemed to be finding his feet.

This lead to a period of utter bliss that culminated in a great away performance at Rotherham, and then that game against Arsenal.

Wednesday's humbling of Arsenal turned a few neutral heads

Wednesday’s humbling of Arsenal turned a few neutral heads

The excitement was like electricity, it could be seen wherever I went.

No matter where I traveled, whenever I would mention I was a Wednesday fan to people, their eyes lit up, talking about how a former mainstay in the Premier League seemed to be finally, as the song suggests, on their way back.

However, one man remained calm, repeating one phrase after every big victory: “one game at a time.”

Carlos seemed to be right with this mentality, because for all the great moments last season provided us, it seemed that just as things were building we would suddenly be knocked back, our unbeaten win stretching from September against Fulham all the way to the scoreless draw at Brighton was ended by struggling Charlton.

Carlos quickly endeared himself to the Wednesday faithful

Carlos quickly endeared himself to the Wednesday faithful

Our nearly flawless January was ruined by League 1 Shrewsbury in the FA cup. Our play-off run was delayed by a 4-1 loss to Bristol in April.

The biggest set-back of all we all will remember, 40000 Wednesdayites descending on the capital, only to find that the 11 people who mattered the most hadn’t come with us.

It hasn’t deterred us though, as the players get back into the swing of things with pre-season victories over Chesterfield and Benfica, the fans, in general, are sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for the opening day when we welcome recently relegated Aston Villa to Hillsborough.

There is an expectation that we will build on the successes of the previous season leading to what many hope to be the most memorable season in some fans lifetimes.

As much as I feel the optimism and hope that this will finally be our year to get back into the richest league in the world, I feel myself continually stopping to take a breath, before repeating the mantra I heard so many times last year, “one game at a time.”

Villa: first up at S6

Villa: first up at S6

So with everything we have witnessed since Chansiri took over as chairman, and his promise to be back in the Premier League to celebrate our 150th anniversary in the best way possible, my call to fans is to use their excitement and expectations in a positive way and make this season truly one to remember.

We cheer and applaud the team when they win, we stay positive and help them back up when they fall.

When we have a bad week at the office, we don’t let our heads drop, we pick ourselves up and go again the next.

We sing at the top of our lungs whether we are two goals up with minutes to go, or three goals down on a dreary afternoon three hours away.

Most importantly, we remember the phrase I have repeated several times, and Carvalhal repeated time and time again.

We’re Sheffield Wednesday, we’re on our way back… one game at a time.

Hopefully, that next game will be back in the promised land.

Dan Moxon
Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive and @danmoxon

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