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Post Derby Day Gloom?

Post Derby Day Gloom?

Getting stick from your work mates or school mates this morning after the Derby defeat? Look no further than new Vital Sheffield Wednesday contributor David to lift those spirits!...

The Sheffield derby match left me with that all too familiar numb feeling that accompanies any Wednesday defeat. The disappointment was heightened by the knowledge that we were well beaten, even allowing for the late rally that briefly threatened an equaliser. Whilst our city rivals now look destined for automatic promotion, only a fight to avoid a swift return to League One awaits the blue half of Sheffield.

It is difficult to see Wednesday being able to break out of the bottom six or seven, as even after a good mini run a winless streak seems to follow. Fortunately the bottom three teams, Crewe, Brighton and Millwall routinely avoid winning, though I am not necessarily assuming this will continue to the end of the season. It would not be unusual for one of the bottom three to make a good fight of it and start to pick up late points. If this happens then which of the other teams near the bottom are most likely to be relegated?

Leicester appear to be heading away from the relegation zone, though the recent improvement in results following the departure of Craig Levein could peter out. Derby and Southampton have gained downward momentum and could end up being one of those teams that manage to achieve a surprising relegation. Hull have held their own all season, never really breaking free from the lower reaches of the table, but also never really getting sucked in to danger at the bottom. I am assuming this will continue.

So what of Wednesday? The current table shows we are fourth from bottom and so the next most likely to get relegated. However, I have always liked statistics and current form guides and have found some to cheer my spirits. Looking at the last nine games, since the defeat to Wolves, Wednesday have comfortably the best record of the teams seeking to avoid the drop.

During this nine game period Wednesday have won four games. In comparison, over the same period Crewe are without a win, whilst Brighton, Derby and Southampton have managed a single victory each. Millwall have registered two wins, with Leicester being the most successful of our rivals in picking up three wins, all of which have come in the last five games. Incidentally, Stoke have dropped from a play-off contending ninth place to sixteenth over this period and have failed to win, though they have only played seven league games.

Wednesday's only real target between now and the end of the season is Championship survival. Even in the aftermath of derby day defeat there is reason for cautious optimism, as Wednesday are winning more frequently than our fellow strugglers. I hope that you find this thought cheering and that the statistics do not lie.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday February 20 2006
Time: 10:10AM


You should be OK! I hope you are because you don't want to have to go down and start over! Sheff Weds belong in the higher divisions. At Luton our 'average place' in the football leaague system is about where we are now - top half of the 'second division'. We've had dalliances with the top flight but have never had the ground, support or resources to sustain it for more than 5 or 6 years at a time. Weds have all the infrstructure for Premier Football, they just need the board to invest a bit more in the playing side. I think the manager is one of the best, but he can't wave a wand over players who are not good enough to challenge for top league positions, and make them into stars.
20/02/2006 10:18:00
Your biggest problem will be the nervousness which would come should Millwall or Brighton start winning and drag you further back into mire. When it happened to Leicester they couldn't pick up a result from anywhere and even though the board didn't want to sack the Levein they were forced to in the end (so you did us a favour really when you beat us!). The big thing for your boss is to make sure he fashions a win from somewhere BEFORE you get dragged down that other notch. While someone at the bottom usually does improve I've seen nothing from the teams in the relegation places to suggest any of them could put a dramatic run together and of those just outside the bottom three, Derby would seem to be in most turmoil and therefore most vulnerable. But you need to get that one win further away from trouble as quick as you can.
20/02/2006 13:34:00
I don't think any team has a divine right to be in the higher divisions - and that's part of the problem with SWFC as a club and as a fanbase. Just avoiding the drop will be a mini success this season, despite what most Wednesday fans say. It's teams like Luton who deserve to be up there - top class manager who builds a team from scratch and transforms them. Unfortunately money plays a big part in football today, and we are probably in League One as far as financial stability goes.
20/02/2006 19:54:00
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