PRESS | Carlos: “everything will be oreyt”
Time to tone down on Twitter
Carlos Carvalhal and captain Glenn Loovens both touched on last week’s themes of positivity and social media in today’s press conference.
The Head Coach is in expansive mood and kicks off with some socio-economic reflections.
“Yorkshire is a place that felt a lot of injustice in the 80s; it felt a lot of unemployment; a lot of heartache.
“[People like this] are supporters.
“I don’t believe these kind of people, the genuine fans of Sheffield Wednesday, have ‘twitters’.
“We are doing our best to all the fans. To the people who have twitter, and the people who don’t: we are doing our best.”
For Loovens it’s simply a case of cutting the noise out of his life by staying off social media and not reading the back pages.
But Carlos is on a roll of accentuating the positive with some new stats.
Two seasons in to his term in S6 he has achieved the best points total of any Wednesday team in the last 50 years.
We are witnessing the third best win rate in the club’s 150-year history.
This is all pretty stirring stuff.
So why, even putting those of an inherently negative position to one side – “the moanings moaners” as Carlos calls them today – why is the general mood of the fan base something short of buoyant?
With twelve games to play, Wednesday could still achieve automatic promotion. Highly unlikely, but it is mathematically possible.
Reasons to be cheerful?
Never mind the best this in 50 years or that in 150; a little over five years ago, we were losing 5 nil at Stevenage. In League One.
And yet. We saw a lovely shiny thing last season and we want it back. Where is it?
From a player’s point of view, Loovens is clear Wednesday’s preferred free-flowing style is no longer a surprise to the opposition.
Home and away our opponents set up to stifle the midfield and force the team to build from the back. This means Westwood and his defence see more of the ball; it also risks resorting to the hoofs upfield that often simply lose possession.
And while Carlos has strengthened his squad, so have other promotion hopefuls.
The element of surprise we once enjoyed now lies with Leeds and Huddersfield. As the captain reflects, “This division is harder and harder to get out of.”
And yet. We are in touching distance of another play-off semi, possibly a final.
Is it the ‘possibly’ that lowers the mood?
Most non-moanings moaners recognise we were lucky to get to Wembley and were well beaten by Hull. The excitement of the occasion also carried the pain of not wanting to go through it again.
Next time, we all said, it will be automatic promotion. Hmm.
Rest and recovery
With no points from the last two games, the buffer between sixth place and the chasing pack is starting to look a bit less comfortable.
Carvalhal puts the consecutive losses down to playing five games in 15 days.
“This time we have one week to prepare everything: the strategy, the game, our players recover energy. So, I think we will be ready for a difficult game.”
Time to pull together
A quick scan of results following seven clear days of preparation this season shows 8 wins, 3 losses and 3 draws. Which somewhat supports his argument, if not quite as convincingly as I hoped when I was totting it up.
Carlos singles out Rhodes as a player who will benefit from the breather.
Loovens also points to Rhodes, stressing he needs “better service” if he’s to fulfil his goal machine potential. Plenty to work on during that week on the training pitch, then.
The financial clout of Newcastle, Norwich and Villa’s parachute payments was a regular theme in Carvalhal’s early season press conferences.
He touched on it again in passing today, describing Norwich as “one of the strongest sides in the competition… we know why.”
Glenn Loovens sees Norwich battling for “our spot” and observes “we can’t afford to lose three times in a row.”
Alex Neil’s team arrive at a pivotal moment for their play-off hopes.
Lying six points and two places behind the Owls, it’s a must win for them if they want to keep live the pre-season predictions of bouncing straight back to the Premiership.
The scene of our 0-0 draw in August
It’s hard to harbour any kind of grudge against Norwich.
A charming city.
A seemingly well-run, unshowy football club, with Delia ‘Let’s be havin yer’ Smith at the helm and the strictly rehabilitated Ed Balls as chairman.
Apart from the aberration of their kit designs over the years, what’s not to like?
Cast your mind back to a Saturday afternoon in August. Carrow Road, Norwich. The sun is shining, there is a light breeze. Perfect weather for an early season game between two teams tipped as promotion contenders.
But what’s this?
A chill wind blows across the flat lands of East Anglia from the hills of Sheffield.
A dark cloud obscures the sun. “Forestieri has refused to travel.” Remember?
Chastened by Carvalhal’s lecture on positivity last week, no-one at today’s press conference mentions the F word.
But the shadow cast by Nando downing tools in August – and arguably not yet picking them up again with the consistency we expect of him – hangs over this fixture.
Time to bury the past
Although the clouds have parted since then, it was a moment that took the shine off our season of hopeful expectation, and seemed to have knocked the stuffing out of our team – losing the next two games and scraping a draw at Brentford before getting back into winning ways.
Seven months later, what is the head coach’s forecast as we welcome the Canaries to S6 for the return fixture?
“We expect a lot of Norwich, but we must look to ourselves. I am very optimistic about Saturday.”
It’s a proverbial six-pointer.
Without any tribal grievances or history between the clubs, the match boils down to ‘Right Here, Right Now’ as Fatboy Slim might say to Nando.
Never mind the crowd surfing.
If ever there was a time for Forestieri to win back affection and restore the shine, this is it.
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