Well it’s been an underwhelming start to the season to say the least. No win and an exit from the League cup at the hands of local rivals Rotherham United. Two points on the board as we head to the Middlesbrough. We have lost on every previous visit to the Riverside Stadium.
We have played well at times this season. Lapses in concentration at key times have cost us, but we haven’t had that bit of luck you sometimes need. We should have been awarded at least two penalties. I’m optimistic that over the next few weeks we’ll add that bit of quality from a Premier League club that could make all the difference. We are in desperate need of a striker who can put the ball in the back of the net. I’d welcome the return of Leroy Lita or lifelong Blade Billy Sharp. I’d also like to see some quality added in midfield. At least we have Reda Johnson back as our main goal scoring threat!? That added to the return of Jermaine Johnson for our trip up the A1, we have some cause for optimism.
My big concern at the moment is the negativity from last season will soon creep in. There have been rumblings of discontent so far, but if we don’t pick up points soon the discontent will inevitably grow. Our expectations as Wednesday fans exceed our current level. It’s looking increasingly like another battle to stay in the division, and that is probably the standard of our current squad. I was really disappointed we couldn’t get the win against Millwall, but it was only game four. There is plenty of football to be played in the coming months.
All this makes me think about how much I want the team to return to the Premier League, but at what cost? Hull City have changed their name. Cardiff City have changed the colour of their kit. Both secured victory in the Premier League last weekend. I don’t believe either set of fans was thinking about these changes at that moment. The atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium looked amazing. I wonder if their fans would have preferred a home game against Millwall and to be wearing blue.
It’s got me thinking about what changes I would be willing to accept if someone was to invest heavily in our club to take us back to the big time. I certainly don’t think I could handle us wearing a red kit. It is the colour of our biggest rival and goes against everything being an Owl stands for. I’m not sure any colour change would be acceptable. In the 60’s, we dropped our traditional stripes. People still say that was a bad move to this day! It does show that meddling with tradition has happened before
Changing our name? We could surely never lose the ‘Wednesday’ aspect, but could we be Wednesday Owls? Would that mean we could be taken away from Sheffield? I would always want us to play in the steel city. I’m proud to be from Sheffield and proud it is in the clubs name. I think our nickname would always need to exist. The Owls is another part of our history. There are some things you just can’t change. The unique aspect of having a day of the week in our name is special to me. It forms the basis of songs, catchphrases and banter with our rivals. I hope that such proposals never come into play.
If and when Milan Mandaric sells our club, I hope it is for the better and to someone who wants to invest in the community as well as the club. Keep the fans onside, and it will benefit all concerned.
I look at the owners of Manchester City, who are investing in the community as well as the team. This should be a pre-requisite for anybody buying a football club that is dear to tens of thousands of people. I have great sympathy for Coventry City fans expected to travel to Northampton when they have a perfectly good stadium siting empty. Look at what happened to Wimbledon. Different circumstances but the same outcome; a move away from home. The Newcastle United owner seems to do things just to antagonise the supporters. These issues can happen to any club at any time. It’s a sad aspect of modern football, where the influence and voice of fans is reducing.
The more I think about it, I would rather we maintain our traditions, even if that means we never return to the Premier League. That has to be a better option that selling out to some foreign billionaire who can change things on a whim. That said, if it were to happen, I’d still love and support the club. It’s in my blood.
Up the Owls!
Written by Carl Mullooly, We Are Going Up’s Sheffield Wednesday blogger
Carl tweets at @MulOwl