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Owls Need A Motivator, Not Irvine

Over a month after Milan Mandaric claimed control of Sheffield Wednesday, the 'new era' which was heralded has thus far failed to materialise, and many Wednesday fans, myself included, have had to question the direction in which the club is heading, writes Will van de Noort.

Of course, this isn`t down to Mandaric - the vast majority of concerns that are being raised are directed at the under-pressure manager, Alan Irvine, who has failed to galvanise a Wednesday squad that, on paper, are clearly one of the best squads in the division.

Reda Johnson's late equaliser at home to Yeovil Town on Tuesday night fails to hide what is, in truth, a home draw against a side in the drop zone, who played a significant portion of the match with nine men.

Alan Irvine's record as Wednesday manager does not make for good reading. Even with last season not considered - he had inherited what was a poor squad from Brian Laws - Wednesday have lost more games than they have won in a league in which they were expected to mount a serious bid for promotion.

Wednesday find themselves in limbo between the play-offs and the drop
zone - and in a league as tight as League One, a continued run of poor form could see them engage in a relegation battle, rather than the promotion fight that fans were hoping for - or rather, expecting - at the start of the season.

Personally, I think it is time for Irvine to move on. He has had ample time to see his own squad 'gel' into the division, but if he is unable to galvanise what is a Championship-quality team in League One, then surely a fresh impetus is required. Mandaric, hardly renowned for his patience, will not sit back and let this club spend another season in the third tier.

As a resident in Exeter, a good five hours from Sheffield, I can't say I've experienced watching Wednesday on a regular basis this season. That said, the games I have been to have hardly been fruitful - the
5-1 reverse at Exeter emphasised to me that the Wednesday squad have no desire to play at this level, but also no desire to resurrect that problem - they can`t be bothered to play in League One, but they can't be bothered to win promotion to the Championship either.

Alan Irvine cuts an incredibly uncharismatic and bland figure, and for
me, what Wednesday need is a manager to get the side motivated, and get them to 'want' to play in this league and 'want' to get us

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The Journalist

Writer: Will van de Noort Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 27 2011

Time: 12:26PM

Your Comments

Nail Head
Good write up and totally agree.
Heard Paul Ince has been mentioned. What about man motivator judas for a third time,lol.
Yes agree with all the above time for Father Ted to pick up his bible and leave.I had high hopes for him especially when Preston fans where in uproar bout his departure and the glowing reports he got from Evertons manager etc,but his style of football is boring and playing players out of position no flare in side and why hes not playing Heffernan i dont understand.Like said in above report we have best team in division yet playing like we $hit scared and no one in team wanting to take control on pitch.
would not want Paul Ince. I don't rate him as a Manager at all I'm afraid. if Irvine were to leave I'd really like to see Mandaric work his magic and bring in a relatively high profile name if possible (given we're in league one). bit gutted for Irvine because despite his record I do still rate him - I just feel we're in a position now were we can't afford to waste anymore time on an approach that for us, clearly isn't working. I like Irvine but agree change is probably needed.
Carbone's Padawan
These are interesting points that you raise. Father Ted obviously prepares in detail for each game, although sometimes I wonder if he gives the players too much information for them to take in and understand? (Don Revies' infamous dossiers come to mind here) Things could turn round for him very quickly by the purchase of a ball winning vocal midfielder, who would have the experience and confidence to shout at the players to tell them when they are going wrong (Tuesday evening long balls in the box despite a two man advantage makes me wonder if anyone on the pitch ever thinks and hence this need for such a player). My question to all us fans is "who should we get in?"
Chris Hughton
IT would be a shame if he gets sack cos he his generally a hard working decent bloke but its just not happening for him,wudnt mind them bringing in a manager for irvine to work along side.And no i also wudnt like Paul Ince despite him turning Countys season around of late.We need a manager that can get the best out of his team.
I agree with Ollyowl. He seems like a hard working manager but cant get the best out of them. We have a great team compared to some in this league and should be thumping teams 4-0 not getting thumped!! Names in the hat time! who do we want? I agree with Hughton also maybe Hodgson fancies sometime out the limelight and a "project"??
poor article, pure opinion summed up entirely by the 2nd to last paragraph. surely someone can produce something more interesting than this!
Hirsty's Shinpads
Hodgson??? LOL!!! Sorry but I hardly think that we are going to get him are we......!!! The thing that really gets me as an Owls fan at the minute is how one week we can beat Bristol City, and play well, to then having 3 very sub-standard performances against teams that we should be beating and beating comprehensively (big word for a thursday I know). The problem is on the pitch and with the players, fair enough we have got a few new heads in there but they are professional footballers, they should be doing it its there job!!! I've seen more organisation and seen more players being vocal on a Sunday morning......
Good read will. Galvanising and motivating is exactly what we need, probably more so in this division than any other. Irvine doesn't give this. I can just imagine him sitting in his office drawing tactic after tactic and not much else. His time is up
If he's struggling to galvanise the team in League One then what hope do we have in The Championship should we ever get there?! Hirsty's Shinpads, what are you doing on here then if not to add your opinion? Surely all of this site is based upon opinion?!
MM has asked for unity, to get behind the team and the manager. I am with MM 100% whateber he decides
we are all here to add our opinions via these comments but the articles should be a bit more solid and fact based to give us something to discuss! when the lead article is an opinion of the author stating the manager should be sacked and finishes with 'but I rarely see the team play other than the thumping at Exeter' it is hardly an unbiased starting place is it?
Hirsty's Shinpads
his opinion might be right tho ; )
Hirsty's Shinpads
MM saved us from oblivion and commented on the fans being so warm towards him, now it's time to trust him and back him, if he's backing Irvine then so am I. A poor result Saturday then I think MM may reluctanty have to let AI go, a 5-0 win on the other hand may shut the boo boys up, til the next match at least!! There's nothing a boo boy hates more than not having anything to boo about!!
For the expectations we have as a club and the financial situation we have been in, i simply dont think he had enough experience to manage us, remember he only had a couple of years at preston as a number 1. Which ultimatly rules hughton out straight away for me, 1 year at newcastle in the championship with a premier league squad doesnt prove anything for me, he had argentina and former england internationals in their squad. Keegan wont be everybodys cup of tea i know, but he has had the expectation with newcastle and city, won promotions with both and fulham also. he would attract better players than most and even if he only stays a couple of seasons, he would leave us as a top half championship minimum. Plus, he would put bums back on seats. as much as i would like AI to step down the team will get my support as per usual. I myself never boo our own but i certainly dont object to supporters venting their displeasure after the final whistle, its the paying punters rights, not a fan of booing during the game though, doesnt help anybody, but again, thats peoples rights i suppose.
I agree TheDon1974, trouble is on this site you get called a boo boy if you call for Irvine's head, we are not allowed an opinion are we fed_up_owl, trouble is with some people on here thats all they do come on here telling us whats what and very rarely visit Hillsborough, well i come on here to let off a little steam cos i don't like doing it at the match, so if certain individuals on here don't like it tough. I also think it's a good read Will.
ecco owl
i can see where you are coming from with keegan but two things put me off him. firstly he doesn't have much in the way of tactical nous (having said that, that might not be such a bad thing as we are over complicating things) but secondly and more importantly the bloke is a quitter, i remember watching him fall off a bike on 'its a knockout' or something about 25 years ago and limping off the show moaning and wailing like a big jessie and even as kid i thought that was pretty feeble. he has then done the same in his managerial career when things haven't gone his way which leads me to beleive he'd last about 2 minutes with us!
Hirsty's Shinpads
Completely agree that Irvine should be gotten rid of. We have a team of pre-maddonnas who think they are too good for that division & have no ambition to play for Wednesday and simply dont care about the club or its tradition. The fact of the matter is we arent as big a club these days as people & players think & we think we have a devine right to win every game. News flash thats not the case, we are many teams especially in League 1s cup final because of what we where not what we are now, they want to beat us & we are currently letting them due to that poor mentality that we should win easily!
S35 Owl
Hirsty's Shinpands, i see what your saying but if we get a couple of years out of him i think it would be great, oh i could help but have a look for his bike incident, hope this brings back fond childhood memories.....
absolutely brilliant, even funnier now than it was then! he looked unsteady right from the off. thanks dezzy
Hirsty's Shinpads
Exeter isn't the only game I've seen all season, but to be fair, you are right, I don't get to many so I can't judge the week-in week-out performances. That said, sometimes you don't have to watch the whole game every week to be able to have an opinion. I'm not trying to sway you or anything with the article, that's just what I think, by all means send in your own opinion! Just because it is my opinion, doesn't mean it can't be discussed...
Good article, UP THE OWLS and get behind the manager and squad. Sheffield Wednesday striker Clinton Morrison has told BBC Radio Sheffield the players must take some blame for the recent dip in form. The Owls have dropped to tenth in League One after a winless start to 2011 and there have been calls for manager Alan Irvine to go. But Morrison believes the time is not right for a change of management. "We need to stick together, I do not think the right thing to do now is to say 'Let's sack the manager', he said. "We are still in the January transfer window and I think Irvine is going to try and bring in a few more players, so we have to back him." But the experienced striker, who has also played for Crystal Palace, Birmingham and Coventry City, said the players understood the fans' frustrations. "They pay their hard-earned money to see us and we are just not producing at the moment, it is not a nice place to be," he acknowledged. "But if we do not learn from our mistakes then we are never going to get out of this league," Morrison added.
will, i actually agree with what you are saying with the need for a motivator. it just seemed to me that the article was only going to go one way with regards to comments, being as it was already an opinion and most of the other articles on here are kind of fact based. like i put in another thread tho i reckon Reda Johnson would make a good centre midfielder, all the right attributes. we definately need an outfield captain as i thought we lacked leadership on tuesday night other than reynolds who tried to organise the defence and clinton morrison trying to sort JJ out when he came on
Hirsty's Shinpads
Fair enough mate, yes most of the articles are fact but surely it's good to get some opinions too, even if it is just summing up what a lot of people are feeling at the moment. I wasn't writing it to look for comments though, I'm just trying to get some writing practice under my belt, I'm only 17!
fair play then will, keep doing it then as it provokes debate. my point was it appeared more like a thread starter for the forum pages and the front pages are more news orientated?
Hirsty's Shinpads
IRvines no motivator, he's dull and quite simply boring, his a nice bloke but sends me to sleep just listening to him, he's monotone and lifeless..... Like his tactics. If mm backing him then fine, but is he really? he can't honestly think that this man is right For us. Anyway what ever happens I'm sure there will be more contreversy along the way!
I hope he turns it around, he has had no money to spend, 3 weeks of having a little to spend and we are expecting miracles, yes Ferguson was dull and boring and Man U fans wanted him out rest is history, if MM is backing him then we should and give him time, changing managers is not the answer. On Tuesday it was bad, very bad, nobody wanted the ball, there was no confidence and watching it I thought, yes this is poor, but we now have some decent players, and when they know what they are doing we should have a very good team, until MM makes a change lets all get behind the team, drive them on and hopefully a few goals at the weekend will bring a little confidence back, what is the alternative, after the years of misery we have had we should be postive and looking foward, lets not get a reputation for being fickle but a group of supporters who get behind the lads, MM is no mug and if its poor he will change it, but lets do our bit.
Donny Owl
We don't need Keegan, i have to agree he has no tactical brain on him at all, what puzzles me is why we have widened the pitch when we clearly have no pace consistentley throughout the squad . We need two good midfield players in the squad, a decent left winger who can cross a ball, we never get past the first man at the post when we have a corner, our left back position is terrible, just look at the last few games and every team is attacking us down this flank , they are doing their homework. Did anyone notice the left back for yoevil on Tuesday night ? he was awesome he reminded me of a des walker except he was a centre half, but wow did the Yoevil lad have speed ,vision and he could read the game fantastic, everytime we got the ball he moved into position to stop JJ and JJ couldn't even beat him for speed, thats why when clinton came on he moved JJ over to attack their right back, if irvine is so good why didnt he do this earlier ? cus jj was having no joy at all on the opposite side. He doesn't seem to know when to make substitutions. And lastly why did we pay 800.000 for Madine when Charlie Austin is going for 1.5 millon ? I just didn't see a 800.000 pound player out there at all, Reynolds has terrific speed we need one at left back now, Spurr cannot cross a ball he doesn't know when to release a ball either, we need action and quick, or yes we will be playing the blunts next year , but in league 1.
This keegan has no tactical brain rubbish is just a poor myth and a lazy insult to him. Ok, he didnt do well with england, but who has? He stormed through the league with fulham, he did the same with city and left them a solid mid-table team, how many newly promoted teams dont fight relegation? and his work at newcastle goes without saying, he also proved he can take an average championship player and turn him into a very good premier league player, watson, rob lee etc. Besides, havent we had enough of a manager who over thinks the tactital side of things? now im pretty certain we will beat hereford, lose to peterborough then sacked, i cant see the next few weeks going any different. And i know we wont go for keegan after that, he looks too cosy in his espn studio these days. Early days yet for madine, couldnt make it on tuesday due to work so not seen him yet, he could doing without the slapped ar5e face when he scores though.
Yet another opinion from someone on the 'peripheral' of our club. I would suggest that Will comes and watches the team and Irvines managerial ability at close hand before he casts judgement. The problem these days is that some people are easy to jump on the 'forum-band-waggon' by viewing some peoples sense of opinion on the net. It's lazy journalism and has no substance. The truth is this- Irvine assembled a team in the summer under severe constraints. The team was made up of several 'has-beens' & 'wannabee's' as well as one 'loanee'. It makes me laugh how the same section of fans who suggest that we have one of 'the best teams on paper' also propose that we need to be rid of the majority of our squad- it is a farce and fickle at best. There are several instances when Irvine has shown has 'motivational' qualities this season and got the players going- Charlton at home second half for one, and Bristol away 2nd half for another. For me it is not about replacing Irvine it is about getting better players into the club- because we need improving not on paper but out there on the field. Irvine is doing this and because of the inevitable change this brings- our club at this time is going through a transitional period. We need understand that the club will not turn into a success overnight- this takes time and we need to patient while it 'slowly' moves out of its dark age. For me, what Irvine needs is a 'leader' out on the pitch- he had that with our previous club captain- but for me Purse could no longer cut it at a playing level. Therefore, Irvine's immediate priority has to be a motivational player one who can organise and rally the troops in the heat of the battle. For his sake I would argue this needs to be sooner rather than latter. I will leave you with a quote from yesterdays daily mail which for me sums up Irvine and puts it all into perspective: 'Irvine, by all accounts is a very good coach and decent man doing a solid job in difficult circumstances.' Matt Barlow, Daily Mail 26th Jan 2011. Here, here!
Lawrie Maddens Hump
Sorry typo error- I would suggest that Will comes and watches the team and Irvines managerial ability at close hand before he casts judgement. should be.... I would suggest that Will comes and watches the team and Irvines managerial ability at close hand, on a regular basis, before he casts judgement.
Lawrie Maddens Hump
Lawrie Maddens Hump, to be fair, you mention about lazy journalism. Your beloved daily mail repoerted that he was being sacked yesterday morning and that he had said goodbye to the players, then in the afternoon he had still said goodbye to the players but was now saying he was staying, hardly think what some berk from BS paper thinks really matters.
So what your effectively saying is that, because I can't get to every game, my opinion is not valid? I'll pick up on a couple of things - firstly, I've never warmed to Irvine. From my standpoint (which is clearly not as good as yours), he seems to be all about tactics, and not about man-management. And yet, even though tactics would appear to be what he focuses on, he's failed to make that tick here. Secondly, you said that the same people want the players out, despite saying they were good on paper. Direct me to one bit of the article that says that I want us to sell players. It is one of the best teams in the division on paper, you can't deny that - players like the Morrison's, Mellor, Weaver have proved that they can cut it at a higher level. This site is about opinions - I can have mine, you can have yours - but that doesn't give you the right to show the article in a negative light, purely because that's not what you think yourself.
I completely understand where you're coming from mate, you make some good points - but for me, Irvine's time is up. And the site poll would suggest that the majority of Wednesday fans feel the same way - NOT that I'm just jumping on the bandwagon! Nice to see its provoked a bit of debate though!
@DEZZYP- good point well made. But to be fair I don't believe it was the same journalist (I could be mistaken though). The reason why I quoted this journalist, from the Daily Mail article was not because of my love for the paper- I feel it just considers the situation that Irvine has been working under- I think this has been forgotten since MM has come in- some fans want success and they want it now. In reality this is not going to happen and that's my point.
Lawrie Maddens Hump
Lawrie Maddens Hump, i get what you mean. After a decade of depressing results and performances we finally have something positive to look forward too, maybe peoples ambitions have become a bit too high, myself included. However, i am in the camp that he should leave, i think he just lacks that certain something to manage our club. Its got that feeling as when laws was coming to the end of his time he started making odd team choices and substitutions which 99% of the fans dont understand. I would love him to turn it around and shove all the bad things said about him down most of our throats but i just dont think he will.
@ will_swfc9- I agree entirely with your point that everyone is entitled to their opinion, that is the point of these forums and indeed football. My point is this if you are going to write a lead article for a website such as this it should be considered and be thought out and not based on your subjective views. It is true that the majority of the fans on this site and other sites feel that Irvine should be sacked. But I pose the question- of what percentage of these fans represent the total opinions of the SWFC fan base?, and to some extent what do these polls tell us anyway?- I am sure if you had taken the same poll with Man Utd fans prior Alex Fergusons first trophy the results would have been similar as Irvine's. The vast majority of fans which vote/post on forums like this, are the same fans that proclaim that wednesday have 'one of the best squads on paper in league 1' (whatever that means) only in the next breath to suggest that we need a total revamp of our playing squad- it makes me wonder. These are probably the same fans who after 15 minutes on tues night slaughter Madine only to label him a 'goal-machine' 30 mins later. Just like the new players Irvine needs time- he took charge of our club at the most difficult time in its history- he worked through this and for me has done a decent job considering. Our results at present could well be down to 'teething problems' due to an influx of new players- it is par for the course- as I said we will not become world beaters over night. I, for one, feel very much aggrieved at this continued 'witch-hunt' which is going on in the stands and on associated websities like this. I maybe thought that vital-SWFC had a little more about them, than to post opinions/articles which are heavily one sided. But maybe I was wrong.
Lawrie Maddens Hump
As for motivation which is the basis of your article- as I have pointed out Irvine can motivate and this has been evident on a number of occasions this season. Just because he does not rant and rave on the touchline does not suggest that he can not motivate his team. I would also argue that being able to motivate is not an exclusive characteristic of a successful manager. The best managers can motivate, granted, but I would say the biggest requirement, amongst others, for a successful manager in football is man-management. As I have stated previously I feel that wednesday need a motivator out there on the field- if Irvine can sign such a character I feel you may see our form improving..
Lawrie Maddens Hump
A lot of words written by many and far too manyt by a few. MM owns the club, its his money. When he has had enough, and onlky then will a change happen. Until that time. Get behind the team and manager 100%. Up the Owls
here here- fed_up_owl!!
Lawrie Maddens Hump
Don't get me wrong mate, I'd love for Irvine to prove me, and the other 70% of us that voted 'Yes' on the poll, wrong. I agree with Dezzyp in that he lacks a certain something - I've never been truly inspired by him. But, of course, that's my opinion, and everyone is perfectly entitled to their own! If he does prove me wrong, and he's here for 20 years and has made us Champions League winners, then believe you me, I will be the first to hold my hands up and say I was wrong!
Rubbish fed_up_owl, the fans will have a big say, did you see the attendance tuesday night.
ecco owl
The fans should get behind the manager, team and chairman 100% this is what he is saying- staying away is not the answer. Wednesday require stability- Irvine, therefore, should be given time- which is what MM is doing. Purse has all ready been forced out- and whilst I feel that he wasn't the player he was- the way it happened was bang out of order. Hillsborough is becoming a difficult place to watch football as well as play it- we the fans are, partly, the reason for this. We need to get behind the team like we did against Charlton second half- and generate the kind of atmosphere which encourages the team as opposed to shooting them down.
Lawrie Maddens Hump
He isn't a motivator or a leader, he's nice and that's it, those players need to be fired up and willing to do buisness, they're not and havnt been since early December, yes the players need to stand up and be counted but Irvine should be setting an example, he doesn't he's not a leader or inspirational, and that reflects on his tactics and our team!
That was exactly my point Owl25. The players aren't exempt from criticism - of course, it is their performances that are judged after the game. But if none of them are willing to stand up, then it's Irvine's job to get them fired up. A manager's job isn't all tactics and transfers. LMH, fans are going to react to results and performances - the atmosphere generated at Charlton was because we'd pulled it back to 2-2 and we're looking more likely to win the game. If we're 3 or 4 goals down to Leyton Orient, or grinding out a result against Yeovil, fans aren't going to react positively. It's unfortunate, but the atmosphere and the results correlate - one won't work without the other!
on tuesday regardless of anything else I certainly did not see a lack of motivation, effort or desire. at the final whistle the reaction of the players was akin to losing a cup final, all flat out on the pitch. the main gripe I had on tuesday was the lack of nous from the players when against 9 men. jermaine johnson was the worst offender for not sticking to his job of playing on the wing, not even being aware that he was taking corners and basically wanting to be the glory boy by scoring the winner. sedgewick was also being daft by pumping endless long balls into a crowded penalty area from the half way line
Hirsty's Shinpads
Roland Nilsson
@hirsty's shinpad- I agree totally, for me the biggest worry is Irvine's tactical astuteness. On Tuesday night when Yeovil went down to 9 men the players looked inept- surely it would have been better to have made the pitch as wide as possible (ie.hog both touchlines) and kept the ball better in an attempt to take advantage of the circumstances Instead the players proceeded to hoof the ball forward in desperation. Strange!
Lawrie Maddens Hump

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