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Oh To Be An Owls Boss!

Oh To Be An Owls Boss!

Hillsborough is packed with 20,000 football managers every other week - so why do so many Owls managers get things wrong? Carl Parkin discusses...


There is a reason most of us are not managers.

The reason is that we see things, and can see the obvious solution, whereas if you manage Sheffield Wednesday, the solution is to play somebody out of position, and completely ruin the whole setup of the team.

It seems that because one manager once by chance did a risky move, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions ever: that manager was Trevor Francis, and of course the player was Paul Warhurst who had one of the most amazing seasons in 1993.

Unfortunately since 1993 there seems to be a catalogue of completely stupid decisions by our many managers who come on the radio trying to justify changes that the average fan with a bit of football knowledge cannot understand.

Trevor Francis got lucky with Warhurst, but 2 years later he signed Guy Whittingham, and he started his campaign with us with 4 goals in 2 games, so with a record like that, there was only one obvious position that he could play for us, but of course Tricky Trev decided he was a midfielder, and Francis completely destroyed him.

The same manager bought Ian Taylor to replace Carlton Palmer, most of us thought it was a like for like signing, but Francis decided that he was going to play him as a right winger. Francis also acquired the amazing talent of 17 year old Chris Bart-Williams, and decided to stick him out on the left, even though most of us saw him as the successor to John Sheridan, and of course CBW got disheartened, and eventually went to Forest.

Enter David Pleat, and in 1995 we went top of the league after a stunning start with Richie Humphreys scoring a goal a game up front. This was not good enough for Pleat, and he decided to knock the stuffing out of Richie by playing him in midfield and at full-back. WHY???

Every single manager over the last few years seems to have continued doing this. Danny Wilson played £1 million striker Richard Cresswell as a winger, destroyed him, and sold him on the cheap. WHY????

Steven Haslam was England Youth captain, playing with Michael Owen. He was a good centre half, but all the Wednesday managers played him in midfield, where he was, well, rubbish, and we just completely ruined any potential he had.

Leigh Bromby was a brilliant right footed centre half, so we played him for a year at left-back, and of course he left for free, and is now in the Premiership with the Blades.

Paul Sturrock almost destroyed Chris Brunt last year, he stuck him on the right claiming some rubbish idea that he would cut in and score more, but Brian Laws has stuck him on the left again, and he is our top scorer: so much for Sturrock's brilliant ideas then.

But Mr Laws is not exempt from this. Most of us realise that Marcus Tudgay is the most dangerous of our strikers, yet with JJ & Wade Small out injured, Tudgay is being forced out on the right. It was being played as a winger that made him leave Derby in the first place.

I know we need someone on the right, but why don't we put our best players in their best position first, and them fill in with what is left?

We could stick David Graham out there, but why play our best striker out wide? Tudgay never gets round the back and crosses in, so what use he is out there: we could stick anyone in a Blue and White shirt out there.

Why is it always our manager tinkering like this? Charlton have injuries, and Rommedahl has been out most of the season, but they don't stick Darren Bent out there on the wing just to fill the gap, they know that he is their best chance of scoring goals, so he plays up front.

Does nobody out there know how an Owls manager picks the team? Is it not obvious to build 'The Spine' with your best centre half, best midfielder, and best striker, then fill in around that spine ?

Am I right ? Am I just using common sense and stating the obvious ?

No point applying for the job then?


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

Date:Wednesday March 14 2007
Time: 12:00PM

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talk about playing players out of position, Luton last night against us had a defender up front. helped us though and well done on beating colchester
14/03/2007 09:22:00
The most risky thing that Francis ever did was to tell his mate Platini that he "wouldn't sign Eric Cantona until he has seen him play on grass". WFT...Pro footballers dont do drugs Trevor. Well, maybe! I was at the Sheffiled Arena the night Cantona made his debut for the Owls, in a 5-a-side competition...boy was he good! Shame it was his one and only apprearance. Then to cap it all off he went and signed for Bradfords other team.
14/03/2007 12:22:00
Good article and something I become frustrated with week after week!
14/03/2007 12:30:00
tudgay & burton is our best partnership up fromt but i can see why tudgay plays on the right wen we have no winger fit! pace! and as for him never gettin in behind full backs and gettin crosses in, he did that a good few times against colchester last night and if it had not been for a last ditch tackle from their defender burton would have scored from a tudgay assist! if he was playin him there with johnson & small fit then you might have a point but in the odd games, due to injuries, i think he does well out there!!!
14/03/2007 15:05:00
I understand playing him there the odd game in an emergency, but like you say, he is 50% of our best strike parnership, so what is more important, scoring goals and winning games, or covering a position, and crossing balls to a less potent partnership ?
14/03/2007 19:24:00
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