PRESS PASS | Carlos: Everybody calm down!”

PRESS PASS | Carlos: Everybody calm down!”

Carlos Carvalhal strides into the new media room, wearing his new SWFC hoodie and the same old grin.

He taps the new state of the art microphones plugged into the new broadcast quality sound system. “Hello, hello, one… two… three!”

He is sitting comfortably in his new leather chair on a platform behind a shiny steel ‘Consilio et Animis’ crest.

There are enough chairs for as many press who wish to assemble, there’s light and space, there’s even a coffee machine for goodness sake.

It’s all very 21st century and proper and must have cost a few bob.

It’s a statement of intent and expectation that says to SKY and the rest, ‘We’re Sheffield Wednesday, we’re on our way back.’

But before we get ahead of ourselves, in Carvalhal’s words “The first best enemy of the coaches is expectations.”

Facing the media with his boss today, David Jones knows all about raising hopes.

Twelve months ago, the midfielder with four promotions under his belt was introduced as a new signing who could help shake off the Wembley hangover and go one step better in 2016/17.

It’s all very Premier Class

At the time, the player who wore a Waddle 8 shirt as a young fan said that getting Wednesday back into the Premiership would be “amazing” and “brilliant.”

It didn’t quite happen like that.

Today, Jones admits two consecutive falls at the final hurdle have put the players under pressure to finish the job.

He calls it a natural progression.

“Expectation is justified.

“It’s something that we’ll have to deal with this season and I think we’ve got the squad to do that.”

 

Windows 2017

 

Blame the agents

Talk of the squad flags up our now traditional late summer huff and puff ritual and allows Carlos to share two more “best enemies of the coaches”: the transfer window staying open after the season has kicked off, and agents.

Not all agents, just the ones who “use tricks… to try to move players because they win money [if they move].”

Given the ructions it causes, who can blame CC for venting a little frustration and praying for that window to be slammed shut.

“After One of September players will be more focussed” he says. For the second year running.

Having allowed himself a little dig at the ‘50%’ of footballers who don’t think for themselves, “they do what the agents want them to do…”

He follows this up with, “if any player goes away I will cover the situation. This is my life.”

 

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

 

Meanwhile, Bannan’s new shiny black boots look like something from a back-to-school range.

Trading Nike for Clarks has also seen him in sparkling form and attracted the attentions of Hull.

The Venancio deal has been signed. Social media suggests the Portuguese could have featured against Fulham if only the club had accepted a signed Nando’s menu rather than all this legal contract / right to work nonsense. Tsk.

Excellent form

On all other transfer matters, CC keeps to his poker face policy.

He has said before that he doesn’t talk to agents.

He reinforces this division of coaching (that’s his job) and financial management (that’s Mr Chansiri’s job) today: “If you ask me the salary of players I don’t know … The Chairman is very clever and he will do fantastic deals with the players and the money.”

 

Performance, profit, and customer satisfaction

 

As the saying goes, it’s easy to be generous with someone else’s money.

And a fair few online Wednesdayites are generously sharing ideas for splashing Mr Chansiri’s cash at the moment, from relocating the ground to investing in a [insert your position], to a bulk purchase of iron-on stripes to rectify the new kit.

I wonder if there are equally lively forums advising him how to run his tuna business?

Having a bit of a grumble is all part of being a fan.

Have faith

But when an owner who is a) unfeasibly wealthy and b) unexpectedly committed, resorts to handing out a 4-page leaflet at the turnstiles to explain why he is not going to bankrupt the club, you’ve got to wonder whether we all need to step back, take a deep breath and consider where we are now versus, say, the days of Daves Allen or Richardson.

Dave A became so stressed and dyspeptic towards the end of his tenure he resorted to one of my favourite ‘Of course I’m the right man for the job’ quotes: “Don’t forget I saved Racing Pigeon magazine!”

It’s not a state of mind you would wish on anyone.

Copies of the DVD “Dave Allen – The Living Legend” including rare footage of his pigeon loft are available online for £9.99 by the way. This is true.

If there is a magazine for the tuna community, Mr Chansiri has not yet referenced it.

But he has shared his vision of Wednesday as a Premier League club, and laid out his strategy for getting there. He’s also created a sense of long-term personal engagement by saying at fans’ forums and elsewhere that he wants to create a legacy for his family.

In each of the two years of his tenure we have finished in play-off positions.

And while the deadline for the grand 150th birthday plan has been missed, there seems to be a clearer sense of direction and ambition in S6 than for many a year.

So why the gripes?

 

Reality check

 

Maybe the flip side of expressing ambition is raising that first best enemy again. Expectations.

Clueless? Obviously not

Unaccustomed to excitement of any kind, we blank out memories of just three years ago when mid-table mediocrity was a rather wild aspiration. Go into the last game of the season safe from relegation? Madness!

Surely it’s a bit premature to be referring to ‘Clueless Carlos’ and calling for the head of the man who in just two seasons has coached our team out of the doldrums in one of the toughest league competitions?

To quote Carvalhal, “If we go everyone together we can achieve something because we know exactly what we are doing. But it is important that everybody calm down together and stop with the fantasies.”

And in Jones’ words, the keys to meeting our ever-heightening expectations are: progression, consistency, patience, and taking our chances.

 

Saturday

 

“Sometimes we go to the opera, sometimes we go to a place that we must rock n roll. Usually the people have different clothes and different attitudes…

To rock n roll you must move more, you must dance you must go there and move a lot, understanding there will be a lot of noise.” That’s Carlos talking about Saturday’s match.

Jones: yet to play Burton

For rock n roll read Nigel Clough and Burton.

Under Cloughie Junior’s watchful and experienced eye, Burton’s Pirelli Stadium – bought at a miniature village closing down sale, capacity 6,000 sardines – is an intimidating place to visit.

Jones has never played there – this time last year he watched from the stands as a new boy.

Now he says he and his team mates are raring to go after the frustrations of midweek at Bolton.

And I guess we all hope Our Andy’s Our Jordan’s two goals on Tuesday signal the opening of floodgates for “the best finisher [Jones has] come across in recent years.”

Cast your mind back to August 2016.

After a winning start, the Owls were struggling. By the end of the month we’d managed just five points and were lying 19th in the table. We had also waved our goodbyes to the League Cup. In their first ever Championship season, Saturday’s hosts not only beat us 3-1 but also won praise for the way in which they did it.

Come May 2017, Burton survived the drop by just one point. Wednesday finished fourth.

I share this with you in the spirit of generating short-term wins along the way to applaud and encourage success.

The new media centre is great. The upgraded ladies’ loos by South Stand Entrance L are very encouraging. A win at the Pirelli could even spark a small celebration.

.OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

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Angela

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


3 Comments

  1. Enjoyed that Angela
    Well done !
    Martin

  2. Excellent article. More of the same please

  3. Well written article, very enjoyable read.

    JBA

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