Vital Football

Latest Sheffield Wednesday News

Blast From The Past - 1995

Blast From The Past - 1995

David Pleat's task at Hillsborough in the mid 90s was to build on the taste of the big time delivered by Trevor Francis and kickstart the club from mid-table - he came with a reputation for providing attractive footballing sides.

Owls fans will acknowledge this period as the start of a long decline and a permanently swinging managerial exit door, but Pleat's first season in 1995/6 had one particular moment to savour.

His £1.6m acquisition of Belgian international Marc Degryse from Anderlecht seemed an astute buy (57 caps plus 22 international goals, Degryse had played in two World Cups) and a midfield lacking the departing Chris Bart-Williams (£2.5m to Forest) was bolstered by Mark Pembridge (£900k from Derby). Expectations were high as always, but it was a tough start to the season (then title contenders Newcastle and Liverpool, plus reigning champions Blackburn) and performances were mixed. Worryingly, in the 2-0 away defeat at Leeds at the end of September, The Guardian was to note '..Wednesday had committed the unforgivable sin of abandoning all hope.'

Little of note followed (a double over Coventry garnering much needed points) until the return Leeds fixture at Hillsborough on December 16th, which goes down as one of the legendary Owls performances - all that had gone before that season was consigned to history with the kind of free-flowing attacking display Pleat was hired to engineer.

Wednesday were a goal up after 5 minutes (Degryse heading in Lee Briscoe's cross) and added the second on 18 minutes, Guy Whittingham ending a fine four man move. Degryse bagged another, finishing off a clever Waddle set piece. 25 minutes gone and it looked like a rout was on the cards, until an untidy effort from Sweden's biggest export, Tomas Brolin, temporarily stopped the rot for Leeds.

United came out for the second half with renewed vigour, but Mark Bright's header with 22 minutes gone was the game clincher. David Hirst's late double, either side of a consolation for Rod Wallace, was vintage stuff in what was probably his last truly effective season for the Owls.

David Pleat must have felt like he'd turned a corner with only his fifth Wednesday victory in eighteen League games: 'We got the breaks today,' he said. 'We worked very well for our goals and they were beauties; I mean, those goals go in the cabinet, where you can get them out and show them to your kids.'

Two new signings were in the offing and Pleat was wondering how he could fit them in to a team that could win 6-2. The hope was that they were the catalyst for a major revival - £2.5m striker Darko Kovacevic and £2m defender Dejan Stefanovic from Red Star Belgrade. 'Ones that got away', perhaps. Each man would play his best football only on leaving Wednesday, Kovacevic in particular becoming a massive success with Real Sociedad in La Liga. The Owls finished that season a disappointing 15th.

Petrescu had already been sold, Waddle was to go at the start of the subsequent campaign, the master in decline. Although a Carbone-driven squad would give the Owls a seventh place finish in 96/97, it was Pleat's last hurrah. Inconsistency, defensive frailty and the destabilising effect of the mercurial Paolo Di Canio would cost him dear.

But Leeds heaviest defeat in seven years (at that time) was the sparkling highlight of David Pleat's tenure as manager at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman; Nolan, Atherton, Walker, Briscoe; Nicol; Degryse, Waddle, Whittingham (Hyde, h-t); Hirst, Bright. Substitutes not used: Sinton, Watts.

Goals: Degryse 2, Hirst 2, Whittingham, Bright

Leeds United: Lukic; Kelly (Wallace, h-t), Wetherall, Palmer, Jobson, Dorigo; Couzens, McAllister, Speed; Yeboah (Deane, 64), Brolin. Substitute not used: Worthington.

Goals: Brolin, Wallace.

Referee: R Hart (Darlington).

Attendance: 24,573



For the very latest Championship odds

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

Writer:Auckland Owl
Date:Sunday July 5 2009
Time: 9:00AM

Comments

0
nice article. Those were the days... I'd love to see us back in the prem. So many exciting games and moments. No disrespect to the championship but being in the prem is what its all about.
Norman
05/07/2009 13:01:00
0
Is this the season pfl was referring to when he said that Pleat spent 30m in 1 season? ...clown!
johnnywalker69
06/07/2009 15:19:00
0
I doubt it was 30m the entire time he was there, though off the top of my head I can count 20m. Players were sold too: Bart, Petrescu etc.. I wouldn't take issue with spending money, it's spending money and getting no benefit that's the problem.
Auckland Owl
06/07/2009 22:03:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Articles

Top Championship Google Searches 2016/17

Newcastle United topped Google searches for 2016/17 with Aston Villa following in second place, but which other clubs featured in the top ten.

Twitter Reaction: Retained List

We look at your tweets following the release of the retained list, for the players coming to the end of their current deals.

Season Tickets Back On Sale

We look at the news that STs are back on sale for the 2017/18 campaign.

New EFL Radio Deal Starts 2017/18

The Football League confirmed yesterday that a new three year deal with Talksport and the BBC had been signed to increase radio broadcast coverage from next season.

Archived Vital Wednesday Articles

Vital Wednesday articles from

Site Journalists

Ed Jepson
Editor email
Profile
Tom Sellers
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Are you happy Carlos is staying at S6?
Suggested By: Vital Wednesday
Yes!87%
Indifferent feelings11%
New man by Christmas2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Newcastle 46 29 7 10 94 45
P Brighton 46 28 9 9 93 34
3 Reading 46 26 7 13 85 4
4 Sheff Wed 46 24 9 13 81 15
5 Huddersfield 46 25 6 15 81 -2
6 Fulham 46 22 14 10 80 28
7 Leeds Utd 46 22 9 15 75 14
8 Norwich 46 20 10 16 70 16
9 Derby County 46 18 13 15 67 4
10 Brentford 46 18 10 18 64 10
11 Preston 46 16 14 16 62 1
12 Cardiff 46 17 11 18 62 -1
13 Aston Villa 46 16 14 16 62 -1
14 Barnsley 46 15 13 18 58 -3
15 Wolves 46 16 10 20 58 -4
16 Ipswich 46 13 16 17 55 -10
17 Bristol City 46 15 9 22 54 -6
18 Q.P.R. 46 15 8 23 53 -14
19 Birmingham 46 13 14 19 53 -19
20 Burton 46 13 13 20 52 -14
21 Forest 46 14 9 23 51 -10
R Blackburn 46 12 15 19 51 -12
R Wigan 46 10 12 24 42 -17
R Rotherham 46 5 8 33 23 -58
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Results (view all)

Sheffield Wednesday Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.dooleys left leg6
2.swfcjambo4
3.tonyone1
4.brinsworthowl1
The Vital Football Members League