The Wednesday Way
Last season we were everyone's team to beat. Let's all have a great time at Hillsborough, one of the biggest stadiums (and crowds) some of the players had seen. Everyone wanted to beat us on their patch, and humiliate us on our own.
Now in our second season down in the depths of the third tier, this stint at least, I'm hoping that most of the teams will have got used to us. Not so shiny, not so new, just another third division club.
Other teams can be forgiven for thinking like that. The way last season ended, and our overall finishing position, hardly had us shining out as a beacon of footballing prowess. I am hoping they are used to us for one simple reason.
It's the Wednesday way.
We were one of the favourites for promotion, or even the league title last season. I've never seen Wednesday perform to the best of our abilities when we're the scalp, the favourite. We always seem to do better as underdogs.
Pundits can predict what they like; we all know they're hardly ever right. I`m hoping the other clubs in this league, their fans and their management, will be concentrating on the likes of Charlton, Huddersfield, Preston, and dare I say it, Sheffield United.
Gary Megson has cleared out many of Irvine`s signings, leaving room to add some of his own. The likes of Jose Semedo and David Prutton give us both attacking flair and hard work in the middle of the park. Plus it was nice to get one over Charlton! Signing Rob Jones permanently and bringing Danny Batth back, until January at least, makes us much more solid at the back too.
The only problem we seem to have is goals, or lack of them. The strikers we currently have are: Clinton Morrison and Gary Madine. That's it. No offence to either of them, but we're not going to win the league with 2 forwards on the books. Madine has shown promise so far, and I'm hoping against hope it comes together for Clinton this time out. But neither of them have shown that clinical nature, that cutting edge, that something extra any club needs to get promoted.
And that`s not even taking into account the wings. With JJ out for probably a month already, we have no pace out wide. There were times last season when Teale was our only attacking outlet (when JJ was unsurprisingly side-lined through injury). He's gone and we're left with Sedgwick, I think even he would admit he`s not one of the fastest players on the pitch.
So where does this leave us? So far we look tough to beat, solid, but lacking firepower and pace. It seems to have been the case for...well for as long as I've been watching Wednesday anyway! Maybe it's because we hero worship the excellent (David Hirst) and vilify the lazy (Leon Clarke). Maybe it's just a simple case of money, strikers always demand higher transfer fees and higher wages. Whatever the reason, we haven't been able to permanently attract an out and out goal scorer to S6 for quite a number of years.
I hope Megson's got something up his sleeve. I hope it's all a ruse, that this was Meggos' plan all along and he's just waiting for the right time to make an offer. Come on Gary; let`s show this division what we're about. And another Sheffield Double wouldn't go amiss either.