Sheffield Wednesday - Irvine Drives Fans Out Of Hillsborough
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Irvine Drives Fans Out Of Hillsborough

Alan Irvine's 'conservative' tactics and baffling team selections are starting to drive the fans away from Hillsborough.

The Owls boss has been up for some stick throughout this season from Wednesdayites thanks to lacklustre performances and defensive tactics.

And just as the club are desperate for as many fans as possible to come through the Hillsborough turnstiles to help with the much-publicised financial difficulties, the fans have had enough.

The 20,000-plus attendance at last night's Yorkshire derby clash against Huddersfield Town highlighted the fans lack of belief in their team and lack of 'value for money' from the football that's being played.

In a game that could, and should have been nearer to 30,000, against the Owls nearest rivals this season, only 20,000 walked through the turnstiles - helped by a following of at least 4,000 from Huddersfield.

Take away that away support and replace it with any other from League One and we'd have been looking at 16,000 max to watch a side that could have moved up to second in the table.

The harsh weather conditions didn't help matters, but that's no excuse for the lack of numbers.

The clash with the Terriers, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat, was just the biggest example of the fans' sapping interest in the club they love.

Even when Wednesday were winning earlier in the season the crowds were disappointingly low - crowds against Brighton and Carlisle United being two prime examples.

Of course, I'd take boring 1-0 victories every week if it meant a swift return back to the Championship - but that's not going to happen.

It came to the point last night when fans, regulars that I see every week at Hillsborough, were walking out after half-an-hour to go to the pub.

These regulars will soon be leaving Wednesday for good until the football and results change for the better, and it's a sad state to be in at the time that the fans are needed most.

I dread to think what the next league attendance at Hillsborough will be, but I'm guessing this season will see some of the lowest gates of the modern era.

Let's get one thing straight, the matters off the pitch are much more important to the club at present than those on-the-pitch, but that doesn't wholly excuse Irvine and the squad for the pathetic performances that we've had to put up with thus far this season.

Irvine has already failed in keeping Wednesday in the Championship, now he's on the verge of repeating his failings and missing out on the pre-season target - instant promotion.

I hope Alan proves me wrong.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 3 2010

Time: 2:03PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Doubt that, not when you consider the 10 point deduction, I think with that we may stay up (not holding my breath).... Get rid get shezza inn... Christ I was actually looking forward to this season a few months ago,,,,WTF.
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03/11/2010 14:35:00

Nick, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but your headline is a bit out of order. This headline is picked up on news websites such as Newsnow and you should show a bit more responsibility. Maybe the tactics employed by Irvine are not attracting floods of supporters, but to just seemingly proclaim that last night's low attendance was mainly down to the tactics is just plain wrong. A mid-week match, nearing Christmas, in the middle of a recession, crap weather, takeover falling through, third tier of the English league? I'm sorry, but this is never going to attract anything like the 30,000 you suggest. And I don't care that Huddersfield are our closest rivals - they are still not a major attraction to your average Wednesdayite. Look, you're entitled to your opinion about the manager and his tactics (and I'm not even disputing them), but you're running the risk of turning this site into an anti-Irvine zone. You can't just simply state something that you cannot prove to be true.
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03/11/2010 14:48:00

Have to agree with Dant'owl, not your best work nicky boy. Though i do agree the style of play is possibly the most negative i've ever seen at hillsborough, its certainly up there with the worst anyway. But there is plenty of reasons, as stated by Dant'owl above. But if im honest, i dont think many would be sorry to see AI leave at this point. But lets be honest, Irvine is only a small part of the puzzle, the board need to be the first out of the door, followed by AI, followed by half the squad. We havent even properly filled the stadium for the last few sheffield derbies so i think 30,000 for a midweek game against huddersfield is a little ambitious.
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03/11/2010 15:05:00

Cheers for the replies - I don't think it's out of order though tbh. Your points are all good ones, but I still believe the main reason our attendances are down so much is because of the tragic football that we're having to watch, and that boils down to the manager. I can't remember a time, even when we were last in this division, that I've not looked forward to going to Hillsborough. This was even at the start of the season when we were cruising, sort of. I'm not basing this on my own opinion though, I'm basing it on mates who have been coming with me for years but now who don't bother because the football's poor, and on people who sit around me week after week - some who are there all the time and others who I don't see again. Triggered, mainly, by some fans leaving yesterday after 25 minutes calling for Irvine's head and heading to the pub because it was more entertaining. It's an opinion, like you said, not a PR site for Wednesday so Irvine and the players should be up for a bit of criticism. The headline could have been a lot worse.
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03/11/2010 15:33:00

Just to compare, slightly, we got nearly 29,000 against Hull City at a similar time the last time we were in League One. This was a midweek game against a club in a similar vein to Huddersfield (in that it's a local game but not a big derby as such).
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03/11/2010 15:36:00

I think it's spot on. The sole reason for the poor attendances is the dour football produced by Irvine. It's soul destroying and even just listening to him on the radio bores me to tears. I can't imagine what it does to the players.
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03/11/2010 15:40:00

i didn`t go last night as the football is embarrassing. my sunday league team have twice as much footballing ethics as alan irvine. he can`t do his job. he is so bad my blood boils thinkling about it. longer he stays in worse it will get as the latter laws era
alcock dived
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03/11/2010 15:43:00

The shame of it is a) i dont think we can actually afford to get rid of him and b)what sort of nutjob would take the job ain our current state. not much quality around which wouldnt require compensation. Sadly i think talk of a replacement is premature, i can see him sticking around for a long while yet. Our board will stick with him to take the attention away from their failiure and investment and new board with new idea's is sadly a fading dream.
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03/11/2010 15:58:00

I am always looking to deffend managers not sure why sympathy, empathy, patience dont know, still to this day defend Brian Laws, Unfortunatly cant do it with AI, even with the squad we have I expected a difficult season in the third tier, a CB should have been recruited and we should be going balls out against every team at home.
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03/11/2010 16:24:00

Can't see there's much to lose by changing to a more attacking style of football, we're playing defensive, boring football and losing so wouldn't it be better to watch entertaining football, surely more chance of winning the odd game. The squad we've got should be****ing this league.
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03/11/2010 16:26:00

Division 4 here we come.....20,000 will be a good crowd against barnet and aldershot - irvines rubbish, players are rubbish, the footballs awful and the board need putting down - 5, 10, 15, 200 years talking to investors and no investment - they're waiting with their fingers crossed for some rich idiot to give em a payday - never gonna happen - bunch of wan*ers the lot of em....
Patrick Blondeau
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03/11/2010 17:36:00

I went last night and the football is good at times and god dam awful at others. There's about 10 minutes each half where the team look like they actually have some tactics, confidence and ability. The rest of the time I'm lost for words. Mistakes (like Darren Purse's) last night are not down to Irvine and in my opinion led to both their goals. What is down to Irvine is why the players have little creativity, flair and ambition to actually try to run at the opposition (JJ apart)... we knock the ball round slowly, there's little movement off the ball and don't even get me started on Potter taking 3 attempts to take a corner kick and not even reaching the near post 3 times in a row.. I never boo during the game because it kills confidence, but Ill boo at the end of the day given that I've spent 30 or so to watch 'my team' get outplayed again by Smalltown united...
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03/11/2010 17:56:00

I was almost reduced to tears last night, i was so distraught by the dreadfully shoddy display by our team last night. I have never called for a managers head but i think this is possible the worst team i've has the misfortunne to watch and I just cannot see Alan Irvine changing that. Even with Investment i wouldn't trust him
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03/11/2010 19:18:00

I was almost reduced to tears last night, i was so distraught by the dreadfully shoddy display by our team last night. I have never called for a managers head but i think this is possible the worst team i've has the misfortunne to watch and I just cannot see Alan Irvine changing that. Even with Investment i wouldn't trust him
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03/11/2010 19:18:00

Ai may be a good coach, but he's no manager that's for sure, I switch off when he comes on to talk, so god knows what it does to the players, and tactically, don't you think by giving the ball to Jj all the times has been Sussed out by now, we need to mix things up and we can't, we have no leader on or off the pitch so what chance have we got..... Custards last stand springs to mind!
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03/11/2010 19:38:00

AI has to go :/ nice guy but. we're so predictable and easy to play against. Long ball, long ball. We need someone who can take a corner aswell, front post every single time, 2/3rds of the time it doesnt even get there. we're supposed to have one of the best squads in the league, why we playing such dull football?
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03/11/2010 21:58:00

in hindsight, as delighted as i was with the signings in the summer, there must have been a reason morrison, heff, sedgwick and teale was released, they just simply wasnt good enough, most came from the championship but were'nt getting any games. its only weaver, jones and maybe coke who have done ok. our only threat is jj, which is poor. our club just needs to be torn up and start from scratch, from top to bottom.
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03/11/2010 22:33:00

AI's style of football is obviously too cautious and it just doesn't suit the type of players we have and doesn't bring out the best in them. This is not playing to our strengths but more to a style of football that AI clearly believes in. I don't think he is a terrible manager but I do think he is getting this wrong. I just hope he takes this on the chin and chnages his approach because I don't think there is a lot wrong but it could all be so different.
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04/11/2010 09:57:00

Its a shambles and AI has absolutely no idea. There were 4 coaches and the physio on the touchline at one stage the other night. Maybe 500,000 a year in wages (minimum). FOR WHAT?
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 10:43:00

i cant say much about whether irvine,s a good manager or not, look at fergie when he started at man u, he was slated for his style and looked like getting the boot, and if you think back there are loads of managers who have had a great 1st twelve months at a club, and ended up looking right d**k heads, but one thing i do know is that this is by far not the worst team we've had at hilsborough, but its the worst ive ever seen wednesday play, at the start of the season, i honestly thought we had a good chance of winning this league, now i serously think we might struggle whatever the outcome on the 17th, if we do get a point deduction i think we are done for if we carry on with the tactics we have at the minute, we are not the mighty sheffield wednesday anymore, if we ever were, but we are losing to teams who really shouldnt be on the same pitch as sheffield wednesday, there are hundreds of people to blame for that, not just AI, but i dont see that he is the guy who'se going to to put a buzz in the team, he's a boring, dour, wilkinson clone, crowds will continue to decline, i agree with all nick says, he must change, and change now
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04/11/2010 14:15:00


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