RAMBLE | Wednesday 2 – 2 Stoke

RAMBLE | Wednesday 2 – 2 Stoke

Coming into this game against recently-relegated Stoke City, it would be fair to say that optimism levels have been raised around S6. Two new signings, tying down key men in Lucas Joao and Barry Bannan, three wins on the trot and the return of BBC Radio Sheffield have raised spirits somewhat, especially for someone who can’t attend many away games such as myself. Oh, and the additional (and obvious) anticipation for the return of Kosovo legend Atdhe Nuhiu after his goalscoring exploits over the international break…

When considering how to write what is to be my debut ramble for Owls Alive, I needed to think of something that really gives a flavour of my experience as a Wednesdayite. Clearly the choices are infinite, but I felt that the only way I could undertake such a mammoth task is through writing an ode to our Scottish Zidane, Barry Bannan. He who is all that is good about Wednesday on the pitch right now, embodying everything it takes to be a successful footballer – determined, passionate, never shirking responsibility and with a burning hatred of losing; he who has hair as graceful as his first touch; he who is a man defined not by his diminutive physical frame but by his enormous stature on the pitch. He, alongside Fessi (when he isn’t banned/injured) simply make Saturdays worth turning up for, and make Wednesday a team worth watching at a time when, and this wouldn’t be unfair to say, we don’t pull up any trees in terms of inventive football. Though the man regarded a ‘magician’ by Mr Charisma Gary Rowett may not really be able to pull up any trees, he managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat on Saturday.

Former Owl bags two

Not being able to make the game yesterday, Twitter was my only friend, and I must say that the notification received around 15:02pm was the not the one I was hoping for. GOAL Stoke. To say I spat my snifter of fine red wine on the floor is an understatement. We couldn’t have asked for a worse start and it was only going to get worse. Stoke came at Wednesday out of the blocks and the Premiership experience in their ranks was clearly paying off, at these times where Premier league experience really does show. The second goal just after the twentieth was a body blow and a real test of character for the Owls side chasing a statement win in our unlikely quest for promotion.

Perfection!

Enter Barry Bannan. How many times these last few weeks have we seen Barry Bannan turn a game in favour of the Owls? (These last few years for that matter?) Almost instantly after ex-Owl (lest we forget) Benik Afobe made it two, a delicious ball through from the wee Scotsman was knocked on by the not-so-wee Scotsman Steven Fletcher and was duly poked home by a man making his own mini revival in blue and white, Marco Matias. With all due respect to Stoke’s defence, Bannan’s vision and technique to pick out that pass proved yet again why he’s more than capable of being a Premier league player in disguise. The revival began. The crowd were back on side and things were looking up for the Owls. The second half saw the Owls fend off plenty of Stoke chances before that man Barry stepped up and curled in a beauty of a free kick off the post. The comeback was complete. While not the win we may have been hoping for, you can always think a draw against a 10+ year ex-Premier league side will always be welcomed, regardless of their current league standing. Not an ideal result but I’ll take it after the slow start.

Celebrations

As the adage goes, good things come in small packages.

Barry Bannan – never leave.

UTO.

Brad

Owls Alive

Email: owlsalive@gmail.com

Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @brad1867owl

Images: swfc.co.uk unless stated otherwise


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