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Take It To The Next Level, Alan

Take It To The Next Level, Alan

Honeymoon period - the phase early in a long-term relationship with a person that is characterized by greater than typical joy and lesser than typical friction.

Some thoughts on the introduction of Alan Irvine to the Hillsborough hot seat:

At times, when you look at the managerial merry-go-round, you wonder if all that chopping and changing is worth it. When you're Manchester City, with money to burn and the Champions League a priority, when things aren't going well you can willfully cast aside your manager without a second thought and shell out for a new one. Hang on a minute though - Mark Hughes was dumped on the day City beat Sunderland, and the be-scarfed Roberto Mancini's first three league games were against Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn, plus a date with Middlesborough in the Cup. It could have been a lot tougher for him, couldn't it?

Wouldn't Sparky have done just as well? Why make a change and spend all that contract payoff cash when you're set to get nine points from three of the Premier League's lesser lights anyway and reclaim your place in the top six with little effort?

At Wednesday, I can see similarities. Yup, I know we were on the horror run from hell and ultimately Brian Laws had to be responsible for that. But relief surely was around the corner - January's winnable games against Barnsley, Posh, Scunthorpe and Plymouth. An upcoming February schedule including matches against Reading, Ipswich and Doncaster. Points were going to come from those games anyway.. weren't they? Plus any 'bonus' points we picked up from the tougher games by good luck or sheer hard work.

From what I read and hear, Alan Irvine is a straight-talking no-nonsense character who has reminded the players of their responsibilities and how to keep their shape, especially when defending. But they're the same players. Irvine can't simply wave a magic wand overnight and turn them into champions. Is a change of manager all it takes - a fresh outlook, a quick kick up the backside, some targets set, a chance for our boys to impress the new gaffer?

The dividing line between success and failure IS very fine in this division. There's Middlesborough, in 9th place, two scrappy 2-1 wins (since that's what we seem to be good at lately), six measly points, and a massive ten places above us. Something to aim for and something achievable, surely.

With four wins out of five since he got the job, I think we're rapidly becoming Alan Irvine fans. I'm glad we have a man at the helm who has real experience of managing in the Championship. But would we have been in the same position with Brian at the club? The sign of a real difference in the Wednesday squad will come for me when we're competing well and nicking points from games like our next challenge - away at high-flying Forest - or the dreadfully difficult March we have coming up - Leicester, West Brom, Swansea.

As a cautious Owls fan who doesn't always look on the bright side, that's when I'll be really sure Alan Irvine has made a big difference.

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Writer:Auckland Owl
Date:Wednesday February 3 2010
Time: 8:00AM

Comments

0
good read, and I agree, we have got to step it up!
BIG TONY
03/02/2010 10:14:00
0
The real test will be where we are this time next year under Irvine he seems to be doing good job but without backing from the board and some money to spend it wont be playoffs. The defence needs sorting still i just wish LS would have give him little bit to spend. Good luck to Irvine i like him was unsure at first but he seems straight talking guy uto
Bodsy owl
03/02/2010 10:19:00
0
Good points but would BL have got those results against the likes of Plymouth, Barnsley etc. After all, we lost at home to Reading (with SM), away at Derby and scrapped a draw with Ipswich, all teams around us. I agree it's too early to laud AI as the saviour but I believe he has got us points on the board BL wouldn't have.
ModgeOwl
03/02/2010 17:23:00
0
i agree modgeowl feel that it was time for a change as BL would definetly have got 4 wins out of 5. i feel that although we are still very far off from how we should be playing we have looked a lot more determined and resilient since AI has come in. Also AI is more straight speaking and doesn't cover up problems such as BL. keep it going and UTO.
Wednesdayforlife
03/02/2010 17:50:00
0
Sorry but those winnable games would not have been winnable under Laws. If you don't believe look at what's happening at Burnley (who I now believe are doomed to relegation). Peversely we are much better off for the change of management. We should have beaten Posh away but barely escaped with 1-1 draw under BL, Barnsley were played off the pitch but came back in the second half to draw 2-2 under BL, yes we beat Scunny which AL failed to do and we beat Plymouth under BL and yes your point about the fixture list is well made but would BL have won 4 out of five in January after the way things had gone in the first half of the season? I'm sorry but BL's biggest mistake was the signing of Purse then making him captain. In one stroke the balance and harmony of the team was thrown into jeopardy. Now AI has to use these players to gain survival. He has made a good start but, you are right, sterner tests lay ahead. At least the team and the fans believe again, if nothing else that is an achievement that would have been beyond BL this season.
robc
04/02/2010 15:20:00
0
That should have been AI not AL, sorry Mr Irvine. At least I didn't get all sweary Auck.
robc
04/02/2010 15:23:00
0
Got to agree with Robc. Any suggestion that Laws would have got these recent results or performances out of these players is just based on nothing. AI has given the players belief that Laws couldn't no matter how much he kept on banging on about it. I think a fairer question would be - would we have found ourselves in the relegation zone if we had Alan Irvine from the start of the season? I don't think so.
baldowl
04/02/2010 16:37:00
0
robc is 1005 acurate in his view. When BL was given Burnley I had a wager on them to go down, the price has since hardened and so the bookies see them as a cert to go down too. I was a supporter of BL and ignored others who claimed he was atctically naive but in hindsight this was definitely true.
caversham
04/02/2010 17:43:00
0
Thanks for your views, guys. Just wanted to provoke some discussion. As I said, I'm glad Alan is here.
Auckland Owl
04/02/2010 19:04:00
0
To be fair to BL Man utd Chelsea in his first few games has been tough. Confidence can alter a teams performance or a players look at Clarke & Purse, not saying that we would have had the wins or confidence if BL was still in charge
vic mobley
04/02/2010 20:03:00
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