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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

So much for progression, writes Will van de Noort.

Promised a finish in the top six, the only pushing for the play-offs that Sheffield Wednesday will be doing is in the third tier of English football.

It's difficult to know what to expect; last time the Owls were relegated to this level they finished just three points from the drop zone.

They approached League One with naivety, saw it as a novelty. After all, they were Sheffield Wednesday, one of the most famous teams in the land. It was only a few years since their fall from the place many believed to be their rightful place - the top flight of English football.

The same attitude almost certainly won't be in place as the Owls take on League One next season.

It's a long ten years since Wednesday's relegation from the Premier League, and the long-suffering fans have had very little to cheer about, with the exception of a memorable play-off final victory in the very league that they will be in come August.

But what can Wednesday fans expect this time around?

One thing is for sure, there are definitely positives for Wednesday to observe. Although Southampton will remain - and will undoubtedly be one of the favourites to secure promotion - Norwich and Leeds have both secured automatic promotion.

Another positive for the Owls to look at is that the teams that came down with them are not the strongest - both Peterborough and Plymouth will be aiming for the play offs but are unlikely to achieve much more than that.

Not to mention the fact that Wednesday have already proven that they can beat those two teams this season, taking ten points from a possible twelve off their relegation counterparts.

Trips to Huish Park and the Fitness First Stadium may not sound attractive, but Wednesday will be strong favourites in these encounters - an experience that the Owls are not used to.

Just as Norwich and Leicester did, Wednesday could use League One as a springboard, to improve their squad, start winning games and confidently take on the third tier.

And of course, with Leicester competing in the play-offs this season, it would suggest that the 'one step back, two steps forward' strategy may well have long-term benefits too.

Of course there will be difficulties for Wednesday to overcome - for instance, they will be seen as the 'cup final game' for most of the other 23 teams - but if the Owls can use their stature to attract some decent out-of-contract players in the summer, and keep some of their stars, it really could be our season.

If Marcus Tudgay is capable of 14 Championship goals, and is happy to stay, he could well set this league alight, while the Owls know that they have a safe pair of hands in Lee Grant, should he choose to pledge his future at Hillsborough.

It will not be easy, but I have full faith in Alan Irvine, the squad and whoever he chooses to sign to turn this great ship around, and put it back on course to where it belongs.

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

Writer:Nick
Date:Thursday May 13 2010
Time: 11:43AM

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Comments

0
I certainly hope so. If AI stays and brings in his own players rather than the dross he was left i think he will lead us straight back, with the right work ethic and strong mentality it can be done. WEDNESDAY TIL I DIE!!!!!!!!!! UP THE OWLS!!!!!!!
PenrithOwl
13/05/2010 12:15:00
0
Here here!
10goalpayne
13/05/2010 14:10:00
0
I'm beginning to lose my faith in AI. His tactics were poor towards the end of the season and just plain bad in the Palace game. He goes immediately to try and bring back Varney who wasn't good enough last season. I'm not a happy chap at the mo.
robc
13/05/2010 14:35:00
0
good article!
Wednesdayforlife
13/05/2010 17:09:00
0
Varney's quality. He didn't produce because he was surrounded by substandard quality and substandard mentalities. Once we've rebuilt he'd be a quality acquisition if he'd even consider joining us permenantly.
Carbone's Padawan
13/05/2010 19:22:00
0
varney is a good player, he was played out of position to allow Tudgay to lead the line. Sell Tudgay and play Varney up front, he'll get a ton of goals
Hirsty's Shinpads
13/05/2010 22:06:00
0
I agree - there's nowt wrong with Varney and I hope we get him.
CLIFFANDJ
14/05/2010 07:31:00
0
Great read, well said will!
NicNac
14/05/2010 09:26:00
0
Varney is a good player in the right league. Fortunately we haven't yet dropped down that many leagues, although with his touch in front of goal we may still. We have made our first signing of the year from Leeds United. Can't remember his name but apparantly he used to drive the team bus. So a good signing cos he knows where all the grounds are. I agree with Robc. Optimism is good but mindless optimism is counter productive. With so many new signings to integrate its gonna be mighty tough next year. Remember the Turner revolution last time! I agree we will come back stronger this time, but I'm not sure it will be next year. Of course, dare i use the word, investment will change everything. Don't blame AI though hes got a really difficlt jo to do.
Radon Barrier
14/05/2010 11:54:00
0
So surprise surprise no new investment after turning the offer dwn of club 9 due to their demands.So no money for players so lets hold on to our seats for another long season/s in the 3rd tier.
ollyowl70
14/05/2010 12:08:00
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