Yorkshire Derby Defeat: JP Trophy Exit

Yorkshire Derby Defeat: JP Trophy Exit

The Wednesday are out of the JPT after a penalty shootout defeat toBradford. The surprise prior to kick off was that 16 year old Obileye was lining up alongside Mark Beevers in the centre of the owls defence.

He was one of the players who were humiliated 14-0 to Alfreton in pre-season, which hopefully was not a bad sign for the night ahead.

It has been very clear this season that Gary Megson is not interested in cup matches this season.

He has his reasons and he clearly is happy for the team to lose the “unimportant” matches as long as we progress in the league. There is however reason to believe that his approach might have varied for the JPT match. Not least because the rules dictate that a club must play 6 players who either started last Saturday or will play against Charlton next Monday. Furthermore, given the team’s struggles on the road this season, this could have been an opportunity to get the team playing well and even dominating outside of Hillsborough.

With Weaver, Prutton and Semedo all starting in a cup game for the first time this season, it seemed as though Megon might have a different approach. However this was merely a means of bending the rules as the three were subbed early on and replaced with other reserves.

Technically no rules were broken.

This is missing the point however. This behaviour is arrogant and insulting. It is insulting to the competition and those that travelled to the game, even when they could have sat at home and watched it on television.

It is behaviour that gives out a message that the club think they are above the rules, which we can behave as want as long as it is technically correct. This is wrong. It is embarrassing. In light of the result it raises the question; what good does losing achieve?

There might be no more “cup distractions” to get in the way of progress in the league, but this is to ignore the advantages that a cup run can bring. Wednesday have played four games away from home, lost all four, conceded five and scored two. They have looked a shadow of the team that has played at home and it is THE problem we face at this early part of the season. A good performance and a win tonight could have bred confidence and brought momentum to the team’s form.

A team can make of the cup’s what they will. There is a choice. Be positive; use them to build a winning mentality and make winning a habit. Or there is negative choice. To assume that they are a waste of time and do what you can to avoid injury to key players and “get them out of the way”. It is clear the choice we made and Megson will be judged on the league. But what if the choice had been different?

What if the Blackburn game was taken seriously? They have struggled in the league, they are low on confidence and relegation is being talked of already. They might be a premier league side but they were there for the taking. Just imagine what a win at a premier league ground would have done for confidence and momentum? What message would it send out to our League One rivals? Instead we’re a soft target when we travel. A situation exacerbated by these results.

These arguments asideBradfordwere deserved winners who were unlucky to score, but for the cross bar, the form of Richard O’Donnell and the linesman not spotting that the ball had crossed the line, penalties would not have been required.

What the recent cup games have done is pile the pressure on Megson in the long term. He has thrown away his margin for error.

Megson has assumed that the league and the cups are entirely separate and that the cups do not matter.

This is a foolish and pessimistic assumption. It is to assume that there are no benefits to playing cup football.

But what are the benefits to losing?

What are the benefits to having other laugh at the club for bending the rules?

Maybe it is the same benefits to a team losing 14-0 toAlfretonTown?

Ultimately results will answer these questions, but it leaves a pessimistic and regressive feeling around the club.

This is not healthy.


Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @jpowls

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