PRESS | Angela relishes further Carlos meetings

PRESS | Angela relishes further Carlos meetings

My name is Angela and I have sworn off ‘the thing’ since 17th May.

Not a sniff of the friendlies, not a drop of transfer gossip.

As we trudged away from Hillsborough to the soundtrack of Huddersfield’s elation 70 some days ago, I swore to make a new start.

Saturdays would be dedicated to self-improvement; mid-week evenings would be pie-free.

Spend June watching a live stream of the new pitch growing? No more!

Follow Facebook links to mock ups of what the new home, away, third, anniversary adult ‘n’ kid kit ‘might’ look like? Not me!

After intensive counselling, I even agreed to take a holiday in the first week of the season. I know!

Apart from a slight slip-up when the fixtures were announced – and who could resist the sugary treat of Sheffield derby dates and our opponents on the last day of the season – my summer so far has been the equivalent of sitting smugly next to a pile of vegetables and a nutribullet.

But now the going gets tough. It’s not a question of whether I’ll get sucked in again, but how long my resistance will hold.

Preston away – Angela’s final abstinence

The idea that there is an antidote to years of following Wednesday… it’s not going to happen, really, is it?

Let’s say the summer has been a chance to flush our systems of disappointment and leave our hope glands squeaky clean. And now we’re back on the full-fat footie.

So. That August holiday means I won’t be here for the first press conference of the season (in case any of John Terry’s light-fingered Instagram followers are reading, we’ve got a house-sitter).

Before the OwlsAlive press passes resume then, how about a quick game of Press Pass bingo?

For as sure as Carlos Carvalhal is the most successful manager in the club’s 150 years, the head coach and his players are certain to trot out some old favourites in 2017/18.

 

 

Pudil: first to mention top two last year – Image: Dom Howson/Twitter

“We need to go one better than last season”

This was played on a loop in 2016/17.

‘One better’ meant getting to the play-off final and winning.

Talk of automatic promotion bubbled up just before Christmas (Pudil was the first to say it out loud at a press conference).

But we weren’t able to capitalise on other teams slipping up. For Wembley in 2016, read the play-off semi in 2017. Both were disappointing but also show how far we have come in a short space of time.

Once a pipe dream, automatic promotion must be a credible target this season.

 

“We are completely focused on the game tomorrow. Nothing else. We didn’t prepare absolutely nothing more than the game tomorrow…”

The play-off hangover seemed to hit the more experienced, as in older, players hard.

Loovens is one who seemed very aware of his career’s ticking clock as the missed opportunity of 2016 hovered over the team and the crowd last season.

On occasions, the next game seemed to be competing for attention with nerves, uncertainty and that golden prize just out of reach.

Despite another excellent year of clean sheets, the captain and his defence looked weary as winter turned to spring.

 

Can Carlos make us unpredictable again?

“Teams have worked out how we play; we’re not a surprise anymore”

This was the stock response to queries about the apparent change in playing style – more rugged, not as free flowing, fewer goals, less confidence, players out of position.

Can Carlos coach his team, and coax the crowd, back into that wonderful belief that anything is possible?

He’ll no doubt be hoping to start the season on a better note than 2016’s Forestieri Norwich-gate episode.

We can do without the ‘best player in the Championship’ missing buses (or penalties for that matter).

 

“The three relegated teams are the favourites – they have the financial advantage”

Last August, Carlos kicked off this favourite topic with “I’m not here to discuss the organization of English football! I’m just a simple coach but if you ask the other 22 coaches, they will be more happy if they have the same conditions as these three clubs.”

That argument sounded a bit more convincing when it was about Norwich, Villa and Newcastle.

Bruce, presumably recalling one of the many occasions he did Wednesday over

Still, only Newcastle made the cut and bounced straight back, though Villa now seem in a better position under the evil nemesis that is Steve Bruce.

Will Carlos really argue that Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull are the teams to beat?

 

“If it was like the supermarket…”

Underpinning all financial references will be the head coach’s insistence that the Owls can’t buy their way into the Premier League.

“If it was like the supermarket I take the credit card and say I want this, this, this.

Time for Jordan to deliver

“I know what I want.

“If it was easy I would go there and buy what I want but the rules are different… we are in the market in a different way and with responsibility.”

Jordan Rhodes was an exception, on a canny deal.

We all hope that investment pays off now Our Andy’s Our Jordan has built up his match fitness.

He was certainly the most articulate and engaging player put before the press last season – let’s hope he gets a chance to let his shooting boots do the talking this year.

Meanwhile, we are collecting more of the hardworking, fit-to-play-two-games-a-week-in-all-weathers type of players we saw more of as last season wore on.

 

“I can’t tell you… I will not mention here because I don’t want also to give information to outside, to our opponents. You must understand.”

As each press conference starts with a question about team selection, expect 46 variants of a stonewall, poker faced response with the occasional morsel of injury or fitness news thrown in to stop the assembled press from nodding off.

 

Flat caps: mandatory

“Everything will be oreyt”

Carlos will continue to explore the English language as spoken in Yorkshire.

How long before his team selection is compared to the ingredients of a popular Mediterranean dish?

Has he learnt the word for dislocation? Even if he has, it’s more fun when – as in Joe Wildsmith’s shoulder – he describes it as “it go outside and afterwards they must put it back inside again like the Lego.”

 

New for 2017/18 – The Tussle for Hair Supremacy

You know what it’s like. You’re tired, cold, you’ve come straight from work and the match isn’t much to write home about. What is a fan to do but fixate on a complete irrelevance?

Last season I reported that a straight male friend remarked in the pub pre-match, “Hasn’t Hutch got lovely hair?” Everyone nodded in agreement. Everyone.

Expect the ennui of 2017/18 to be peppered with emotionally charged, alcohol-lubricated references to the relative merits of new boy George Boyd’s luscious locks and Our Sam’s coiffure.

 

And so it begins

 

2016/17 was the year of the Hutch crush, so let’s brace ourselves to jump off the wagon with a reality check from the man himself:

“I think every game in this league is so hard, it doesn’t matter who you play. You’ve got to give 100% or you get punished…”

But then, to paraphrase the late Robin Williams, “Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t handle watching Wednesday.”

Punishment is scheduled to commence at fifteen hundred hours on Saturday the fifth of August. Good luck, my friends. It’ll be more fun than a colonic irrigation.

OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

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Angela

Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive and @ABGalvin


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