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'Unacceptable' But For How Long?

'Unacceptable' But For How Long?

Sheffield Wednesday's performance at home to West Brom was branded unacceptable by Brian Laws, so how long before something changes?

It's not the first time that Laws has used this word to describe a Wednesday performance this season. The inept displays at Watford and Derby were deemed to be unacceptable too by Laws, who despite this has remained loyal to a large number of players involved in these games.

James O'Connor has received criticism during his Wednesday career. The midfielder's goalscoring contribution is minimal (only one goal in 53 appearances) and his 'all-action style' has been more 'headless chicken' in recent weeks.

Lewis Buxton at full-back looked shaky. A switch to centre-back in recent weeks saw him look more solid, but him and Richard Hinds were at fault yesterday.

Tommy Spurr isn't immune from criticism either. Just because he's one of our own doesn't mean he can put in below par performances and get away with it. However, a lack of alternatives at left-back could see Spurr keep his place.

Etienne Esajas, Sean McAllister and Mark Beevers have done little wrong under Laws. Yet they can't get a regular game. Is it a case of Laws sticking with his signings, or his favourites?

N.B: Buxton, Hinds and O'Connor were Laws' signings.

Esajas is without a doubt our most gifted footballer. A number of long-distance wonder strikes, and free-kicks will live long in many Owls fan's memories, but is his all-round contribution not good enough for Laws?

McAllister is a similar player to O'Connor. However, his goal threat is a lot more potent.

Mark Beevers' potential is undoubted, but the defender has struggled to hold down a place this season. Why?

Darren Purse was dropped after a disastrous start to his Wednesday career: perhaps it's time for him to prove his leadership qualities and prove to the fans that he is the sort of player we thought we'd signed.

The loan arrivals of Tom Soares and Warren Feeney means Laws has more options, but will he continue to keep the faith with the likes of Hinds, Buxton and O'Connor?

It's easy to pick out scapegoats, but Wednesday are on a bad run, and the fans becoming more and more irate. The likes of Buxton and O'Connor have been in the team all season. They have been involved in 'unacceptable performances' before. How can Laws play 'three strikes and you're out' with Purse, but give his pet cats of O'Connor and Buxton nine lives?

Wednesday need a win. Laws needs a win. Will a win come without changes?

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

Date:Monday November 30 2009
Time: 11:00AM


there may be trouble ahead.
Radon Barrier
30/11/2009 11:14:00
potter is another for me shocking over the last few weeks
30/11/2009 12:21:00
Good Article. I was as disappointed as any other fan from the wekend. Was pretty miserable as Wood scored on his debut for cov, united got a last min winner against Bristol and we of course got thumped 4-0. As far as I am aware we have a pretty decent record against west brom and despite our form i fancied a close game even if we lost. I think that a lot of people are gonna get on law's back now and if we lose to reading what then??? I would say this though. I understand that a lot of us our paying fans and we are allowed to voice an opinion but does anyone really know what goes on behind the scenes at Wednesday? who of you knows about the responsibilities of running a championship football club, the daily tasks of a football manager and the physiological impact of something as small as a media story that could affect an entire first team. I am not defending the players here but i would like to say that although picking a team seems a very simple thing to do once a week it is not as simple as that. I don't mean to be patronizing about this but given the current state of the club I dont think anyone in our clubs budget could do any better. Certainly not any of the fans! How do we know that the players who aren't playing have the appetite to play regularly. Maybe they are bad trainers. maybe there are other unknown reasons why the players we think should play aren't playing. The fact is , that as football is now more of a business than a game because of the money at stake its high pressure to succeed. I think laws needs a bit more support from the fans and the booing isn't gonna help on a Saturday.
30/11/2009 12:23:00
The battle against relegation starts this Saturday I am afraid. We have shown in the last few games that we are a very poor side really. That said; I'm not one of those shouting for Laws to be sacked just yet. Lets give him to the end of December to try and turn things round - after all who could we bring in who could do better until there has been investment in the club? We have some very winable games coming up starting with Reading next Saturday. I do think though that we will be much closer to the relegation places than the play off places at the end of the season.
30/11/2009 12:25:00
And Nick I agree - booing the side isn't helping.
30/11/2009 12:27:00
For replies ot the above please send e-mail to Brian Laws care of Nick_Swift. Having said that, I think a great deal of what you say is 100% correct, but it naturally raises more questions than it answers. I have been a firm supporter of BL and I continue to have faith, but if your speculation is correct and some of our more gifted players are lacking commitment, then we have to ask who is repsonsible for motivation. Strafford says we should judge Laws on the last 12 months, well up until then we were making progress. Ever since he took over as chairman, we have had more hot air than ever and we seem ot have gone backwards on the pitch. Unfortunately, I am starting to believe that if BL has lost the ability ot get the players working together then maybe it is time for a change. If we are forced down this road it will be a crying shame. I still think that he is a good manger and he offered us reaql hope, but it seems to me that he is in an impossible position.
30/11/2009 12:35:00
I have been an admirer of BL since hes been at wednesday, he has slowly but surely cemented us as a solid championship side. But lately i have been really disapointed by everything that has been going on at the club, i think signings have been poor and rushed into, performances have been well below par and results have been even worse. I hate to jump on the 'hate wagon' but i do feel that the longer we keep BL in charge we will keep on doing 'ok' which for me is unacceptable. Of course everybody would like to see S6 at the top of the league, which takes time, but i really did believe that we have had our best chance this season than any other. I'd like to see a new manager leading the team, who has proven experience of results and getting the best out of his players.
30/11/2009 12:45:00
I think Laws has lost it completely as I keep saying and I am not the only one saying that. No I couldn't do a better job but Like the above comment I am very disapointed with whats been happeing at Hillsborough lately. I thought we were a cemented mid table maybe in chase for a play off place as this league can be very tight. But I am afraid from what I've seen under Laws this year its a relegation battle. And yes its not nice having boos but fans pay to come and watch this rubbish and they have a right to voice their opinion. Its professional football apparently and the players should know and certianly the manager that at the moment none of its good enough.
30/11/2009 12:53:00
I don't really know what the answer is but I have seen a pattern over the years (not just in our club) where a manager comes in, does well then after a a year, 2 years results don't go his way for one reason or another and then the board make a management change. Not to mention the money it costs to pay off the manager, but what is the point of getting a new manager in if he is potentially only gonna give us the result we need for another year then we get on his back. Whose to say that Laws wont turn this round?? I think he needs more time but the real thing here is money. other clubs through money at the divisions when they need to change there results. It either works or it doesn't. I would like to see laws judged when he has a bit of money to spend in maybe January or even the summer. the risk is that we could go down, but until there is investment in our business we can attract players of the caliber of wood, brunt, whelan etc. we need to accept that if we don't go down this season it is a good season. we are a small club in terms of money to spend and thats all that matters. we need to pull together and count down the points we need to be safe this season. 50 I believe.
30/11/2009 13:29:00
Here we go again. As a club we have a problem, our support is split on this issue. I first voiced my doubts as to BL when he signed Purse in the summer. These doubts grew all the time BL persisted with Purse (it was far more than three strikes, Nick, Purse has only played three decent games for us, not entirely his fault as BL threw him in when he was clearly not match fit). I think you may have hit on one of the problems though, BL clearly has favourites and is stubborn in his team selection. If things don't change soon we could be in real trouble. I will not call this belief a "Hate Wagon", I do not hate Brian Laws, I actually quite like the man and want him to succeed BUT I just don't think Brian Laws is up to the job. Our financial situation makes things difficult yes but are we the only club on a tight budget? Our chairman wanted 16000 season tickets sold, he got 14,500. Not great but that's 2000 more than the previous season. That's a positive that we should take and build on. I won't join in the unfair attacks on Mr Strafford, I believe he is trying to take the club forward under very difficult circumstances. If the team were performing better there wouldn't be a problem. That's the nub of the problem, the team. Do you honestly think that Brian Laws is the man to take us further? Or has he taken us as far as he can? Questions and a viewpoint is all I can offer. Our chairman is the man who has to answer them, he may soon be faced with making a very difficult decision. The chairman has tried to forge a team ethic between himself and his manager. Sometimes you have to be ruthless to succeed. Is Mr Strafford ruthless enough? We may find out soon.
30/11/2009 13:40:00
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