PRESS | Carlos hopes to continue good run

PRESS | Carlos hopes to continue good run

The first half of today’s press conference was spent mainly staring into space. 


The chair that should have been filled by one of our first team squad remained empty. He’d forgotten to turn up. Oh well. These things happen. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but it’s not a good look on the day the BBC published its annual Price of Football survey.

Following this unexpected 45-minute opportunity to digest the findings, these can be summarised as: based on buying one pie, a tea and a programme, Wednesday fans could be spending around £1,035 following the Owls at home this season. Only one club in the Championship (Norwich) charges more for its season tickets. And just to rub it in, “It would take 8 fans spending like you to cover an average Championship player’s weekly salary.”

Before my head pops with the stats, the head coach turns up. Carlos is on time. Good Carlos.

Carlos has a watch

The hiatus of the international break has taken some of the sting out of the debates that were raging before it. Carlos will likely have appreciated keeping his head down while the dust settled over his social media /fans comments after the Villa match. These have been taken as anything from ‘fair enough’ to an ‘affront to all fans’.

As others have said, apart from anything else Carvalhal is communicating in his second (maybe third) language. Nuances will be lost, offence may be taken.

This isn’t a new thing. Carlos has consistently said his irritation is with twitterers who stay at home and resort to insult rather than those who come to games and pass fair comment. “Social media makes a lot of noise, [but] social media is not in the stadium”, he said a couple of weeks ago.

Even last season he attributed a temporary loss of form to confidence being sapped by social media negativity towards some players. (We all assumed one of them was Bannan).

Given the history, why are the head coach’s views now being leapt on to stoke up vitriol and indignation?

Perhaps because, under the immense stress of expectation, Carvalhal temporarily added fans – some fans – to his list of reasons for the team’s somewhat shaky start. Tsk. Back in the olden days, Trevor Francis blaming the fans for a god-awful home loss against Wimbledon’s crazy gang was one that manager’s final acts.

But Carvalhal isn’t Francis. Until recently, no press conference has been complete without Carlos praising the power and influence of the fans, home and away. Today he is back on track.

“I say thank you to all our fans… I believe that the support will be massive on Saturday.”

Perhaps a week off, watching various men’s football teams demonstrate the skills gap between the British Isles and the rest of Europe, has served as a useful cooling down period for coach and fans alike.


Let’s start again


Today, Carlos is radiating new hair, new specs and renewed energy for the fight ahead.

Today there is the mildest side swipe at referees and their random application of the rules – restricting himself to “we should have five more points.”

If the criticisms of his team selections rankle he spends some time explaining his tactics rather than going on the warpath. There is nothing new in what he says, but he clearly feels it is worth repeating: Wednesday’s buying strategy under Carvalhal has been to pick up players in the doldrums; players who have shown skills and talent but for one reason or another have gone off the boil for a season or two.

“We are not persons that just look to the last five minutes of life,” he says.

The list of those who weren’t getting first team football at their former clubs includes Hooper, Reach, Bannan, Rhodes. Forestieri.

Surely only the most blinkered of the Clueless Carlos fanbase would argue that the pivotal and growing contribution of these players is down to fluke rather than good scouting and coaching.

Carvalhal’s view is that his preferred playing style is finally gaining traction throughout the squad, naming Rhodes as the latest successful graduate in the school of Carlos.

On the evidence of the past four games, something is going right. Will it be enough to win over the sceptics and keep the clappers happy?

Welcome to the school of Carlos





When your team goes into the international break on the back of two much needed wins, the next game will be filed under either ‘the benefits of extra time on the training pitch’, or ‘the curse of breaking up momentum’.

Carlos believes momentum is with his team and has been building since the ten-man loss to Derby. Four games, one loss, one draw, two wins. It’s not quite a streak but we could be looking back on it as a turning point. Maybe.

Bristol City may have other thoughts. Last season, Tammy Abraham put in a mesmerising performance for the visitors in a five-goal thriller with two sendings off. Abraham has moved on; the Robins have moved up.

According to Carvalhal, they “are in fourth position and they deserve it.” He admires their playing style, noting the strength at set pieces, and also praises Lee Johnson as a manager – making a point that coaching flair can be homegrown as well as imported.

Lee Johnson – flair

With the Owls currently three points of the play-off places and ten points away from automatic Nirvana, Carlos underplays the importance of a home win before a string of tough fixtures culminating with current leaders Wolves visiting S6 in mid-December.

The novelty of a 3 pm kick off will be one talking point. The following 90 minutes will tell their own story. And all will be forgiven if the player who forgot about his press conference on Thursday turns in a match-winning performance on Saturday.

We paid £11.53 per home goal last season (that survey again). Bristol City fans only paid £9.06. What can it all mean?

Don’t ask me. All I know is this match feels crazily important.




.OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE



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