Sheffield Wednesday - Heff Deserves His Chance With Owls
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Heff Deserves His Chance With Owls

Paul Heffernan was handed the famous number nine shirt when joining Wednesday during the summer, but he hasn't started a league game yet for the struggling Owls.

The Irish striker arrived at Hillsborough from Doncaster Rovers with a reputation for grabbing goals at a good rate at every club he's played at.

He wasn't going to 'rip the division apart' by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a good bet for netting goals on a regular basis for the Owls, especially in the third tier of English football.

So why has Owls boss Alan Irvine refused to start Heff in any league games this season, instead sticking with Marcus Tudgay, who's yet to score from open play this season, Clinton Morrison, who looks far from in peak condition, and Neil Mellor, who has quickly become a pretty useless cog in the side following his one-man demolition job of Hartlepool United.

It was quite understandable that Heffernan would be on the bench when Wednesday made such a good start to the season, even though the goals weren't flowing too freely (Hartlepool aside).

But a four-game run which has seen Wednesday struggle in front of goal should have seen Heffernan introduced.

He showed more in the short spell he had on the pitch as a substitute in last night's stalemate against Oldham Athletic than Tudgay and Morrison did collectively throughout the match.

Fair enough, that didn't take much given last night's showing, but it was enough to warrant a first league start of the season when Wednesday travel to Notts County this Saturday.

I'm guessing that Irvine won't agree with me on that one, though.

Instead we'll stick with Tudgay, a player who seems pretty much undroppable this season. A striker who doesn't score, great.

My money is on Mellor getting a recall too, one of Alan's 'favourites' by the looks of things so early in the season.

It's easy enough to call on those not having much of a say when things aren't going so well - anyone but those on the pitch will be some people's mentality.

But Heff deserves his chance at a first league start, why bring him to the club in the first place if we're paying him to sit on the bench week in, week out.

Let's give our number nine a chance to show that he really deserves that number nine shirt, and hopefully he'll fire us to a much-needed three points.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 29 2010

Time: 2:15PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
100% agree Nick..... time to give Heff a run in the side.
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29/09/2010 14:20:00

could not agree more - Like all those X-Factor contestants he looks like he really, really wants it!!!!!
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29/09/2010 14:28:00

nope, wont make any difference at all. its not the strikers who are the problem, its the defender punting long balls to the strikers who have no support. also the midfielders are like statues, dont support the strikers or protect the back four. morrison and mellor would have a bag full of goals already if we could actually create some chances. we should have sold tudgay when we had the chance, those who still think he's a good striker are in cloud cuckoo land. So while i think the heff should get a chance, it wont make bugger all difference.
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29/09/2010 15:28:00

You know, I just read the article on When Saturday Comes. Up to now, I have always thought that clubs like Wednesday will survive no matter what. I have believed that even if we go into administration someone will invest and we can move forward. I am starting to have real doubts. It frightens me to think that we could actually be the first club of our size to completely dissapear - for me that means no more football!
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29/09/2010 15:37:00

His got to be worth a fiver of anyones money,as the crap we have at present cannot hit a barn door between them
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29/09/2010 15:44:00

totally agree drop sedgewick at wkend put tudders on the right and put heff up top with morrison
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29/09/2010 16:00:00

I agree retford. Last night was the first time in a very long time that the midfield did not dissappear. We looked loads better with Potter out, Coke in the middle, and Millar from the start. I think Tugay would be better with his front to the goal. I would like to see Heff in the side partnering either striker, with Tugay - our most energetic box to box player - in the midfield running onto Heffs lay-offs. I wish we did this more anyway - shoot from the edge of the box I mean. I think it was 70 minutes last night before the first propoer edge of the box shot. Lets hope big Al stickes with a sensible midfield. Up the Owls
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29/09/2010 16:44:00

In my opinion Tudgay just isn't a striker. He seems to be far more effective playing wide and can still put in a defensive shift. Relynig on him for goals just seems like a waste of time, although it is true that this midfield just isn't strong enough or creative enough. With so many strikers fighting over two places, I would narrow that down to M&M and Heff and start using Tudgay on the wing, or sell him in January, assuming we still have a club at all.
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29/09/2010 17:16:00

Agree fully with Dezzyp Do not think Heffernan will make any difference. We have too many individuals north of 30 who no longer have the legs for a competitive game of football. Think Heffernan falls into this category, the glimpses I have seen of him. Last night was an improvement but we never presented a threat to goal all evening and in last 10 minutes half a dozen of the players were out on their feet. For the record I would play both Jones and Spurr down the left. With Spurr in midfield. Also would switch Tudgay to centre midfield alongside Coke, these two I believe are the only ones we have with energy for box to box play. I would try Palmer on the right side of midfield and play Morrison with Oliver or Modest up front. These are young quick energetic players who deserve a chance. If they are not deemed good enough to play in League one at 19 I would question what chance they have in the long term of a succesful career. There are exceptions but few and far between. One final point we had the pitch widened during the summer but game was condensed into 1/6 of the pitch for most of last night.
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29/09/2010 17:37:00

we have 3 senior centreforwards, heffernan, morrison and mellor and 2 of these need to start each match or we are short staffed up front. tudgay's preference must be to play as a striker although he blatantly isn't. irvine needs to find a solution to this as it has caused problems for 2 seasons now and cost laws his job and if he's not careful it will account for AI too
Hirsty's Shinpads
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29/09/2010 19:33:00

once again i come in peace.....the big question is 'Is irvine motivating his players'??? I've heard the guy on the radio unpteen times and he sends me to sleep, doesn't seem to get his point across effectively enough....and most of all he possesses no fear factor.....could irvine motivate ou? and would you be scared of a bollocking from him? my answers would be NO to both of them. If the players feel the same then no wonder results are as they are...Lets be fair since he took over his record is very very poor!!
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29/09/2010 19:59:00

ive just read we have been served another winding up order how the hell do we get out of this one then
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29/09/2010 21:59:00

can't understand why tudgay is automatically on the team sheet, week in, week out. it was the same under Laws... which player drives the bentley?
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29/09/2010 22:22:00

Yet again we face another winding up order by the H.M.R.C , when is it going to end.
ecco owl
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29/09/2010 23:12:00

Heffernan deserves his chance, need to be finding the back of the net more consistently and the players given the shirts at the moment just aren't doing it. Give him a chance, can't be any worse!
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30/09/2010 12:13:00

DEZZYP, your comments are exactly the same thoughts as mine. I'd like to see Heffernen in the side as the ball at least sticks to him. The defense as a unit isn't too bad (not letting in too many) but its the distribution from both centre halves that is the problem. All they do is bang it long and the ball comes straight back. Also I'd agree the midfield is poor but I'd probably say Coke is the exception. I have to say that in my opinion, the worst player is Teale. He looks like he is busy flying around the pitch but if you watch him closely, he can't tackle, cross, beat a man, shoot, control etc etc. Where's Johnson (or even esajas - he was no worse than this lot)?
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30/09/2010 12:17:00

Caversham agree with your left sided players but surely you mean Jones left wing Spurr LB. You'd think Oliver, Modest and Palmer will be used at some point this season. Starting XI v Notts C would be Weaver; Buxton,Purse,Beevers,Spurr; Tudgay,Coke,Miller,Jones; Heff,Morrison and have 3 youngsters on the bench
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30/09/2010 13:20:00

i dont understand the critisism mellor has been getting, he's played ok and the very few chances we have created for our strikers, it's only him who has popped a few in from open play. if we could actually create some chances, mellor would get a shed load, as would morrison. get tudgay in centre midfield, he has all the attributes to make a very good one.
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30/09/2010 14:44:00

Again bladesforlife1889 coming on here making sense
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30/09/2010 14:47:00

To b given the number 9 shirt and not play his daft.After a shocking sept were goals from the strikers were zero then heff derserves a shot tom and against his old club.
carlton owl
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01/10/2010 10:15:00

The Heffer played for Notts County a few years back and although at at times he looked to be rather unfAt he still looked to have the passion and desire in his boots to mix it with defenders. Surely we cannot afford to have a bench warmer from the FJ class of Startrek adverseries- and anyway its only October so the seats won't be cold enough to encourage piles!
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01/10/2010 21:47:00


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