I dream of getting back to the Premier League, but this season could prove to be a classic and historic one for either or both Sheffield clubs, and the fact that we are in the battle together adds that extra bit of spice. The banter is flying around Sheffield at the moment, and I think most people are enjoying it. I think its better supporting Sheffield Wednesday as opposed to being a Blackburn Rovers or Bolton Wanderers fan at the moment.
One of the things that does annoy me is when Sheffield Wednesday are labelled a long ball team. I accept, we are a physical team and we play to our strengths, but we have players that can pass and we play good passing and effective football at times. If we can use a long throw like a corner and pose a goal threat, we should take advantage of that. I think we have the right mix of play that gives you the best opportunity to win promotion. We can’t argue about the entertainment value this season. We had the eight goal thriller against Huddersfield, watched by a bumper 28,000 plus crowd, which was an incredible game. The goal we scored against Walsall in defeat was a classic counter attack where we ran the ball the length of the pitch before a perfect cross was headed home. Having seen the majority of our games and in particular in recent weeks, I would refute any claim that we don’t play football.
The big talking point at the moment surrounding the club is whether we will manage to keep Ben Marshall until the end of the season. With his loan due to expire shortly, we are looking at an extended loan deal from parent club Stoke City, or somehow securing his signature permanently. Although it seems all parties want the same thing; that he stays with us until the end of the season, there are no guarantees. Marshall has been a key figure for us in the first half of the season, arguably the most influential; however we are certainly not a one man team. Our performance against West Ham in the cup, where Marshall was ineligible, proved that we can create chances and win games without him. I’m optimistic and hopeful that he stays with us until the end of the season, but with or without him I believe we can still maintain our challenge for automatic promotion.
The next two weeks could have a real impact on the promotion race. First Charlton come to Hillsborough and our unbeaten home record is on the line. A draw is a minimum if we want to maintain good prospects of clawing back the lead Charlton have. Seven days later our neighbours visit the Valley. If we both beat Charlton, it throws the race wide open. Wins for Charlton could mean its one automatic spot from four. Sitting in the wings are MK Dons and Huddersfield, who are definite contenders. Huddersfield are in a similar position to the Owls with clubs sniffing around prolific striker Jordan Rhodes. If they can keep him until the end of the season, they won’t be far off finishing in the top two.
As I said the Premier League is the place to be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life outside the top tier, especially winning promotion, which the Owls need to do!!
Up the Owls!
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The views expressed in Wednesdayite.com blog articles are those of the author and not necessarily the views of Wednesdayite, The Sheffield Wednesday Supporters Society Ltd, or anyone associated with the society.