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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Players need to bleed Blue and White

With the international break upon us, Vital Wednesday blogger Chris Mace takes a look at the Owls' season of struggles so far.

'Normal service is resumed.'

We're feeling pretty down in the dumps as Wednesdayites at the moment. All the hope and promise of last season has gone and we find ourselves in the relegation zone in the Championship. It's an all-too familiar place.

Eight seasons at this level in the last 12 years have yielded two relegations and four close escapes. We've returned to our rightful place as an under-performing Championship 'big boy' who are there for the taking, home or away. It's a tragedy that last season's 93 point winning squad has had so much money spent on it and ended up being so poor.

The players Jones has brought in are clearly talented footballers, and a definite improvement on last season's squad, but something is missing. The team certainly haven't gelled together yet, and this is making itself known with defensive lapses and games with a complete void of chances on goal in our favour.

We're missing players that have that little bit extra, that aren't just blessed with football skill, they have that hidden attribute that just makes them winners. I don't know how to describe what that attribute is, but it's along the lines of determination, tenacity, fight or backbone.

Megson signed a whole team of players that weren't necessarily the most talented footballers, but they were players who would bleed for Wednesday. Rob Jones is the best example in my mind. He certainly would have struggled in the Championship, but can you really say his replacements in Taylor and Gardner play with the kind of commitment he did? How many times last season did Jones go off for treatment to a gashed head or a smashed nose? It felt like it was every game near the start of last season.

What should our expectations be then? We were generally quite optimistic before the season started, and with good reason too. The momentum has gone though, and it's hard to see where our next win will come from. Wednesdayites are understandably upset as we've all had to come to terms with the fact that it looks like a long hard season of graft and near relegation again.

There's no doubt that the division seems much stronger this season compared to the last time we were here, and that's going to make our job much harder.

Jones is right when he says that we aren't far away. We're losing maches by the odd goal, and if that was happening once or twice then you could say it's down to bad luck, but losing seven games out of eight is worse than just luck.

It's far too early in the season to talk about changing the manager, but we need a big improvement quickly. If we're still down here by December then I can see Jones going, but for now we need wins. To do that we need a proper captain on the pitch and players that will bleed blue and white.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 10 2012

Time: 10:19AM

Your Comments

I don't think GM signed a whole team blessed with the admirable qualities you've listed above, Chris. I'd say he instilled those qualities into them, and by doing so he also brought out the best in the players he 'inherited'. He had an eye for a player too, which was shown in his choice of loanees recruited throughout the season, and attached a huge amount of importance to general fitness. There's no point going over old ground, the unfairness of his dismissal etc, but suffice it to say DJ 'acquired' a group that was already geared for the challenge ahead. The first five games this season continued the trend but if we're looking for reasons why it's all come unstuck then we need look no further than the manager. Injuries are one thing and referee decisions are another but some of the personal criticism we've heard was bang out of order. It's led to a rash of inexplicable team selections involving loan signings we did not need whilst players were being asked to perform out of position to cover for areas where strengthening was clearly required, ie full back. DJ has had the luxury of being able to wallow in last season's glory but now must accept responsibility for this season's slump. MM spoke up yesterday but merely trotted out all the same old excuses we've heard after each defeat. All the rest of us can do meanwhile is hope for the best and that's simply not good enough, is it?
OurMaurice
I don't think GM signed a whole team blessed with the admirable qualities you've listed above, Chris. I'd say he instilled those qualities into them, and by doing so he also brought out the best in the players he 'inherited'. He had an eye for a player too, which was shown in his choice of loanees recruited throughout the season, and attached a huge amount of importance to general fitness. There's no point going over old ground, the unfairness of his dismissal etc, but suffice it to say DJ 'acquired' a group that was already geared for the challenge ahead. The first five games this season continued the trend but if we're looking for reasons why it's all come unstuck then we need look no further than the manager. Injuries are one thing and referee decisions are another but some of the personal criticism we've heard was bang out of order. It's led to a rash of inexplicable team selections involving loan signings we did not need whilst players were being asked to perform out of position to cover for areas where strengthening was clearly required, ie full back. DJ has had the luxury of being able to wallow in last season's glory but now must accept responsibility for this season's slump. MM spoke up yesterday but merely trotted out all the same old excuses we've heard after each defeat. All the rest of us can do meanwhile is hope for the best and that's simply not good enough, is it?
OurMaurice
Good article Chris. Your views are the same as my own. I feel we have bought too many "development" players who will come good in time, rather than proven skilled players who can contribute right now. It's clear from watching the games that the lads are trying hard enough, but the big difference for me is our lack of goals scored in free play. I think Dave has one more match left to turn the corner, which would be good to see, as its against Leeds.
bluedog
Good article Chris. Your views are the same as my own. I feel we have bought too many "development" players who will come good in time, rather than proven skilled players who can contribute right now. It's clear from watching the games that the lads are trying hard enough, but the big difference for me is our lack of goals scored in free play. I think Dave has one more match left to turn the corner, which would be good to see, as its against Leeds.
bluedog
Whats wrong with Madine? he's not been given much of a chance, in the last 7 games he's probably only played 45 minutes, seem to remember it was pretty good up front with CoG, does he deserve a chance?
Brighton Owl
Whats wrong with Madine? he's not been given much of a chance, in the last 7 games he's probably only played 45 minutes, seem to remember it was pretty good up front with CoG, does he deserve a chance?
Brighton Owl
we've lost some games so we must find someone to blame, not again! I've listened to this rubbish for too many years and too many managers. we got promoted last season and made a good start to this season but make no mistake about this, we are not an established championship club and it was inevitable that we would hit a wall. we needed to sign new players this summer to have a chance of competing and we duly signed the type of players we could attract / afford. just because mm has cash does not mean he is going to pour it in willy nilly. remember we were the best part of 30m in debt when he bailed us out and if anyone thinks he is going to continue with the kind of financial mismanagement we have seen in the past is sadly mistaken. the club has to be a self sufficient business. I've heard some say we should have given last seasons squad a chance to prove themselves, seriously if we had failed to try and sign anyone this summer the outrage would have been immense. in my opinion megson was appointed to stabilise the playing squad and build a sound foundation and instil some pride, mission accomplished. megson's tactics though were fairly one dimensional and it was simply a matter of time before opponents found a way to subdue us. once this had happened our gary had served his time. jones is trying to shape a team to play a more dynamic style of football and this will not be achieved overnight. he has lost his right hand man and in any business this again takes time to restructure. stick with jones he will see us right.
Hirsty's Shinpads
we've lost some games so we must find someone to blame, not again! I've listened to this rubbish for too many years and too many managers. we got promoted last season and made a good start to this season but make no mistake about this, we are not an established championship club and it was inevitable that we would hit a wall. we needed to sign new players this summer to have a chance of competing and we duly signed the type of players we could attract / afford. just because mm has cash does not mean he is going to pour it in willy nilly. remember we were the best part of 30m in debt when he bailed us out and if anyone thinks he is going to continue with the kind of financial mismanagement we have seen in the past is sadly mistaken. the club has to be a self sufficient business. I've heard some say we should have given last seasons squad a chance to prove themselves, seriously if we had failed to try and sign anyone this summer the outrage would have been immense. in my opinion megson was appointed to stabilise the playing squad and build a sound foundation and instil some pride, mission accomplished. megson's tactics though were fairly one dimensional and it was simply a matter of time before opponents found a way to subdue us. once this had happened our gary had served his time. jones is trying to shape a team to play a more dynamic style of football and this will not be achieved overnight. he has lost his right hand man and in any business this again takes time to restructure. stick with jones he will see us right.
Hirsty's Shinpads
would be good to be like athletic bilbao though and only select local players who would bleed blue and white but we either haven't got the pool of talent or our academy couldn't unearth such gems, maybe bullen can find a few!
Hirsty's Shinpads
would be good to be like athletic bilbao though and only select local players who would bleed blue and white but we either haven't got the pool of talent or our academy couldn't unearth such gems, maybe bullen can find a few!
Hirsty's Shinpads
Cock On Hirsty agree with you all the way
andymac-scoresagoal
Cock On Hirsty agree with you all the way
andymac-scoresagoal
well said Hirsty
Megson_Out
well said Hirsty
Megson_Out
I've rarely agreed with some of the negative posts lately but all the above are very logical views. I think it is quite simple that once this squad gels it will do a good job in this division. I think we are missing 2 players. A passer in midfield and an opposite winger to Antonio. The defence will gel as I'm sure mattock is not showing anywhere near his potential and Buxton IS good enough for this division. The problem we have is that we don't control the midfield and they are under too much pressure. Our defence in 91 was good but it was brilliant because Sheridan made sure we held possession. Got to love jj but we need it for 90 minutes every game so we need another Marshall. What do you think ?
Waddle1993
I've rarely agreed with some of the negative posts lately but all the above are very logical views. I think it is quite simple that once this squad gels it will do a good job in this division. I think we are missing 2 players. A passer in midfield and an opposite winger to Antonio. The defence will gel as I'm sure mattock is not showing anywhere near his potential and Buxton IS good enough for this division. The problem we have is that we don't control the midfield and they are under too much pressure. Our defence in 91 was good but it was brilliant because Sheridan made sure we held possession. Got to love jj but we need it for 90 minutes every game so we need another Marshall. What do you think ?
Waddle1993
I think you are right Waddle. I have been JJ's biggest critic in the past but he seems different now, less selfish but marshall would be great. I find it very difficult to compare the '91 team to any of our recent teams. they were an exceptional group of players with several experienced internationals I mean a defence comprising of Nilsson, Pearson, Shirtliff, King/Worthington (what a combination down the left!) with back ups like Anderson & Harkes. top draw. then when you include midfielders like Palmer (who did everything), Sheridan, Wilson. Was a good time to be an Owl
Hirsty's Shinpads
I think you are right Waddle. I have been JJ's biggest critic in the past but he seems different now, less selfish but marshall would be great. I find it very difficult to compare the '91 team to any of our recent teams. they were an exceptional group of players with several experienced internationals I mean a defence comprising of Nilsson, Pearson, Shirtliff, King/Worthington (what a combination down the left!) with back ups like Anderson & Harkes. top draw. then when you include midfielders like Palmer (who did everything), Sheridan, Wilson. Was a good time to be an Owl
Hirsty's Shinpads
Thats right HS. Until that idiot Francis got hold of the team. Our worst manager EVER!!!!!!
Radon Barrier
Thats right HS. Until that idiot Francis got hold of the team. Our worst manager EVER!!!!!!
Radon Barrier
lol we've had this discussion before on francis radon and I thought he also did a good job. pleat was the man who sank the ship for me!
Hirsty's Shinpads
lol we've had this discussion before on francis radon and I thought he also did a good job. pleat was the man who sank the ship for me!
Hirsty's Shinpads
I think when Pleat left we were at the bottom of the league in cluding the Central League and Northen Intermediate Pleat was one of Dave Richards stooges used to get his FA role both a pair of T*****s who absolutely ruined us to the core Tricky Trevs Barmy Army
andymac-scoresagoal
I think when Pleat left we were at the bottom of the league in cluding the Central League and Northen Intermediate Pleat was one of Dave Richards stooges used to get his FA role both a pair of T*****s who absolutely ruined us to the core Tricky Trevs Barmy Army
andymac-scoresagoal
 

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