RAMBLE | Barnsley v Wednesday

RAMBLE | Barnsley v Wednesday

I love watching my team.

I hope that I’ll always love watching Wednesday and that I never lose the passion and optimism.

Despite our terrible injury list, our awful form and league position, I couldn’t wait for the trip to Oakwell.

I really enjoy our trips to Oakwell, it’s a proper ground with character and history – not like many of the modern, lego stadiums that are now commonplace in the Championship.

All the superstitions suggested that Barnsley would beat us as they were one of those teams on a dire run of form and were sure to be treated to three points by the ever generous Sheffield Wednesday.

I felt differently though, the ever senseless logic of a Wednesdayite was telling me that we’d do alright.

 

PRE MATCH

 

I parked up in Barnsley just after half ten and made a steady walk down to Oakwell.

I picked up a beautiful double bacon cheeseburger whilst en route to the ground and it was heavenly. The perfect breakfast.

I arrived at the ground around quarter to eleven and the stewards were all stood around having a lovely chinwag.

This carried on for at least half an hour whilst an ever-growing crowd of Owls stood shivering in the cold; eventually they opened the gates, searched one in every twelve people and we headed into the ground to grab a beer.

The team news came in and from the players available it was probably the best starting eleven that we could have named.

It was interesting to see that the Wednesday Twitter account put the team names out in a 442 formation but, as many people predicted, Jones in fact played as one of the central defenders and it was a 532.

 

THE MATCH

 

The match kicked off and it was a relatively even start, Barnsley perhaps looking the brighter side.

They looked like they’d have a lot of joy if they kept targeting our left hand side as Fox failed to make a single tackle and might as well have been invisible.

The poor bloke isn’t the best footballer but he’s always put a shift in and worked hard but now he’s getting worse game by game, with his confidence completely shot.

The game was fairly end to end and we managed to win a couple of corners – one of which created a good opportunity for us.

Reach battles for possession

A corner was put into the box and flicked on to Freddy Venancio at the back post – he failed to hit the target with his header finding the side netting and a fair amount of Wednesdayites thought it had found the back of the net.

As I turned to my mate to say that Freddy has got to be hitting the target, I was thrilled to see that the linesman was flagging for offside.

Barnsley were starting to apply pressure but we were breaking away fairly well on the counter, with Palmer being our main outlet and using his pace to attack down the right hand side.

The Dingles attacked again and we managed to counter-attack, Joao doing brilliantly to get onto a ball over the top. I didn’t think he’d be able to get onto it but he did great to control it and looked like he was about to shoot when he went flying to the floor.

Instantly, I thought he’d dived.

There might have been a bit of contact from the defender but he definitely made a meal out of it and could have stayed on his feet.

The referee blew his whistle. It seemed to take an eternity for him to decide whether he was going to book Joao for diving or award the penalty… he gave the penalty!

Atdhe took the ball off Joao and stepped up to take the penalty… and scored, hitting it just to the right of centre. 1-0!

1-0 Wednesday

The away end went crazy with a couple of blue flares being let off – inevitable after the bizarre searching strategy of the Barnsley stewards.

Atdhe managed to get himself booked for his “excessive celebrations” after dispatching his penalty but we weren’t fussed – we’d taken the lead for the first time in the league in 2018!

Big celebrations in the away end

As the Wednesdayites continued to sing “Here’s to you Atdhe Nuhiu…” Barnsley went on the attack.

Less than three minutes after our goal, the Wednesday defence parted for McBurnie as though he was Moses. Unchallenged, the debutant strolled past about six of our players and then hit a fine finish into Wildsmith’s far corner. 1-1.

McBurnie ran to the corner flag, excited the natives and managed to avoid a booking. Lovely consistent refereeing.

After their equaliser, Barnsley really were on top and looked likely to get another before the halftime break.

Wildsmith made a couple of fantastic saves to keep us clinging on and we made it to halftime with the score level.

Wildsmith: back on form

The second half offered very little positives to report on from a Wednesday perspective but here goes: Wildsmith performed great again and made another couple of quality saves; Palmer did excellent getting up and down on the right; Thorniley had another super game and plays like he’s got a much older head and again we managed to give some of our youngsters some game time.

Looking at it in a different light… Fans continued to argue, fall out amongst themselves and almost come to blows in the away end.

Did we look like scoring? No. We had one shot on target in the entire 90 minutes and that was Atdhe’s penalty.

 

FULL TIME – Barnsley 1-1 Wednesday

 

Our defence still looks fragile despite Jos’s best efforts to tighten us up.

We still haven’t beaten any of the teams near the bottom of the Championship – as the local journalists are all very quick in wanting to remind us.

Do we look like securing a win against any of our upcoming opponents? No. Not without some of our injured players coming back. One of the positive pieces of news to come out of S6 today was that Hooper is hopefully only around two weeks away from a comeback. How we’ve missed him and his goals.

We face a real test against Derby County on Tuesday and I’m worried about the reaction and atmosphere that will be in the stands if we go a goal or two down early on.

Hopefully Derby will find everything we do an inspiration and try to clone that too, they love everything that we do after all and try to steal it – if they could aspire to be like our injured team for Tuesday then that’d be really helpful.

Jordan Thorniley impressed again

I’m seriously worried.

I love watching my team and I’ll be at Hillsborough on Tuesday and Saturday, as always. I’ll remain for the entirety of each game, as always. I’ll get behind my team and cheer them on, as always.

But I’m worried and I can’t hide that. I don’t believe for one minute that this current crop of players has enough about them to get themselves out of a relegation battle.

I’ve seen plenty of people commenting online that we’ll be fine and that there’s at least three teams worse than us, that may be true but if the teams below us start winning then we’re in serious trouble.

If we plod along in denial, especially given our current form, then I think we’ll find ourselves going down.

That would be an absolute tragedy, but a very Sheffield Wednesday way of celebrating 150 years.

Let’s get behind the boys on Tuesday night. It doesn’t help to jump on their backs or criticise and heckle them.

We know that a lot of the players that play on Tuesday wouldn’t normally, but they’re the ones who will be giving it their all for the shirt and that’s all we can ask of them.

I love watching my team.

Charlie
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @thesharpey

Images: SWFC, unless stated.


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