For this season’s finale, we’ve been chatting, again, to Sky Sports’ presenter, David Garrido – Wednesday fan extraordinaire – who has offered us his thoughts on where it all went wrong for the Owls and what’s next for the nicer, bluer half of Sheffield…
So, you’re locked in the battle for 15th, we’re battling it out for 12th. Wasn’t supposed to be like this was it! After going close twice in recent seasons must be very disappointing. The locals restless? What’s changed?
David: The locals are actually less restless than they have been… earlier in the season, the atmosphere really wasn’t great before and immediately after we changed manager. I think it’s hard for a group of players to be able to go again a third time after two play-off campaigns – it’s difficult to maintain the intensity, although that’s not an excuse. Plus, we’ve been ravaged by injuries to the whole squad, especially key players like Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Barry Bannan, Tom Lees, Keiren Westwood… it’s not been fun.
We know that feeling!
Carlos Carvalhal v Jos Luhukay. Discuss.
I’ve got to know Carlos quite well and am still in touch with him, and he’s perhaps the most expressive, animated manager I have ever come across. And yes, he loves an analogy! Jos seems quieter, doesn’t gesticulate anywhere near as much but I’m told he’s also good to work with and a nice guy.
Must admit, some of Carlos’ analogies will eventually acquire legendary status.
How do their styles of football differ?
Jos’ style is more pragmatic than Carlos, but he seems more flexible in formation. We’ve seen 5-3-2, 3-5-2, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 under Jos this season, where Carlos started 4-2-3-1 and then stuck with 4-4-2 from there on in. It was generally very good football to watch under Carlos and I think whereas this season has been a disappointment, there’ve been flashes of that style returning under Jos, but that has coincided with the return of players like Bannan and Forestieri.
There was no way injuries to quality players like Bannan and Forestieri *wouldn’t* have an impact to be honest, David.
What needs to happen over the summer for the Owls to be challenging again next season?
We need a few new faces, we do need to freshen up the dressing room, so that hopefully that new blood combined with some key players nailing their colours to the mast and proving their quality will get us back up into that top six.
I notice Ross Wallace is on his way. Expecting other big names to depart? Your old mate Forestieri? Sounds like he’s been on fire since he returned from injury.
Glenn Loovens is the other player who hasn’t been offered a new contract, but he leaves with our best wishes because he has been an exemplary captain and a calming influence. Likewise, Ross is a character who always gave his all and provided Wednesday fans with some amazing goals and truly memorable moments. I think there’ll be a few more, but hopefully Fernando won’t be one of them – he doesn’t want to leave and has never wanted to leave the club. But it depends on how he feels in the summer and what the club’s ambitions are.
I know you’re a big Forestieri man … always struck me as a bit of a Wes Hoolahan-type player (there’s no greater compliment).
On a lighter note, your thoughts on ‘the band?’ There was a time when, I gathered, even Wednesday fans were tiring of them. Love ’em or hate ’em? You realise there’ll be folk out there hoping they’ll end the summer in a Siberian salt mine!
I have never minded the band. I always thought they made us different as a set of fans, actually more liked up and down the country because we brought a good atmosphere with us. Not a problem for me.
Fair enough … I have to be honest though, they get on my t!ts 🙂
Anyway, thoughts on The Blades? You okay with them finishing above you… in the same way Ipswich could yet finish above us?
Are they in the playoffs? No? Totally fine with me 😉
What do you make of Chris Wilder? To coin a Norfolk phrase, we think he’s a rumun. (he doesn’t like us one little bit, especially our bus driver ….. long story).
I’ll tell you a story about Chris Wilder. I was at Hillsborough for the derby earlier this year… I was in the tunnel, chatting with Danny Higginbotham who was one of the pundits for Sky – and of course is ex-Sheffield United himself. Wilder suddenly comes down the tunnel, and I offer to shake his hand and say, “Good luck, Chris…” – and he does shake my hand but says: “But you don’t really mean that, do you?!” As it happened, they didn’t really need any luck, as we produced a truly shocking defensive display and lost 4-2… ah well, that’s what I get for being polite!
The only bit that surprises me about that is the fact he actually *did* shake your hand in the first place!
What have you made of City’s (limited) progress this season?
I just put it down to the madness of the Championship. There are teams like Preston and Millwall above us, fighting for playoffs… and maybe one of them might take their chance if they get there. But if you have a good project, if it’s consistent, if the powers that be have patience, if the players buy in and really want it…you’ll be back up there. And so might we. Hopefully.
Yep… I’ll go with that. Patience is certainly needed. The problem really comes when calling it a project becomes just an excuse for not making progress. For now, we’re happy to go with ‘project’.
Out of curiosity (and changing the subject), what do you think of England’s chances of not bombing in Russia? Will you be going over as part of Sky’s team?
Nope, I’ll be watching from the comfort of my front room – Sky Sports News presenters don’t get to go on gigs like those very often! But it’s okay – I was privileged enough to cover the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and that did me just fine. England? Quarter-finals at best. I’m supporting Colombia, remember? Quarters for us too.
Of course! No prizes for guessing who you’d support in an England/Colombia game.
Finally, for what it’s worth, score prediction for Sunday?
4-0 Wednesday. Jokes. But I think we could win it. 2-1.
Hard to disagree with that… although I’ll go 2-2 for no other reason than to be different.
Many thanks to David… always appreciated. Let’s hope we can at least match the result of that lot. For them to leapfrog us on the final day would be… errrr, painful.