Ahead of tomorrow night’s potential p-word clincher – but probably not – for the second time this season I have been chatting with James Marriott from the fine The Wednesday Week podcast. And what a top lad he is…
So… how’s the podcast going? Am guessing there has been plenty to talk about this season, including a late dart for the playoffs once Steve Bruce arrived? Until the Leeds game, it looked promising, right?
It has been quite a rollercoaster this season. It started badly, got worse, got even worse, and then suddenly got better – lots better. In fact, there’s been so much to talk about, I’ve actually launched two new podcasts this season (Owls About Stat which is more about the facts and figures… particularly the FFP situation and Singing the Blues which includes audio from Steve Bruce and a player each week).
I never truly believed in our playoff chances but considering the way things went up to January, even the idea of us being in with a sniff come the middle of April is quite remarkable. In the end, we’ve come up just short, but it gives us hope for next season when – frankly – there have been points where it’s looked like our only route of this division is the Ipswich way (snigger).
You must have pondered on what could have happened if Bruce hadn’t had his hiatus in the Windies before joining the club? Two or three more wins and this could have been an interesting time for you.
Of course – I’ve heard it said a lot in the last few weeks. Similarly, games where we’ve thrown away points in the dying minutes.
This season could have been something very different. But we all knew and absolutely accepted the deal with Steve and perhaps part of the reason he’s found success so quickly is down to the break that he took – not just a rest for himself, but I think the players will have looked at that and seen a man who is true to his word and that will have earned him a lot of respect.
Am guessing it was the right decision to depart with Jos Luhukay? Nothing to do with the tache presumably?
I can’t face talking about Jos Luhukay. He’s just been appointed Head Coach of the team I follow in Germany. He’s trying to ruin my life. I’ll sum up my thoughts on him in this blog post. (Clue: NOT positive)
In this week’s presser, Bruce has been bemoaning the number of injuries the club has had to contend with. Is this really a thing, or is it one of those things that all managers say?
It’s absolutely a thing. A huge thing. Our injury record in the last two seasons has been borderline unbelievable. Only a few weeks ago we had an entire team out injured.
I know Steve Bruce says he’s looking into it to figure out why – there’s long been a theory that it could be down to our training ground been built on concrete foundations. Kinda expect to see Brucey turn up in a digger one day during the summer.
Jordan Rhodes – discuss…
Interesting subject as we’d universally forgotten he’s actually our player and likely coming back to us in the summer unless you fancy sharing around some of that Premier League windfall and taking him off our hands for £20m…?
Not sure what to make of it – the last two seasons haven’t really happened for him. Steve Bruce has always been a fan and tried to sign him a couple of times before. Maybe he has a future at S6 after all. There’s no doubt he can score goals but getting him backfiring is going to be a tough job. If anyone can do it, Steve can.
The season as a whole … has it been better, worse or as you had envisaged?
Better. Quite a lot better, to be honest. I was braced for a ‘transformation’ season anyway but thought it would be a lot more painful and at the end of it to not really see a clear path forward. But we have an ‘adult’ in charge now, who isn’t interested in playing silly games and actually answers every question he’s asked with an actual answer using actual words we all understand.
We finish the season looking forward to what the summer brings – six months ago I was dreading this summer, so that’s quite a turnaround.
How does Bruce’s football differ in style from Luhukay’s (apart from the fact you win more games now)?
Bruce has been more positive and has a clearer ‘style’, but actually the big thing he’s done is just play the best players in the positions they play the best. It really hasn’t been rocket science. He’s not swapped and changed things unless he’s really needed to.
Who’s impressed this season, apart from Barry Bannan obviously?
Steven Fletcher has had an unexpectedly great season, as had Michael Hector on loan from Chelsea. Keiren Westwood has looked incredible in the net since being recalled after Jos’ departure and the difference is stunning – conceded 40 up to Jos going, and just 15 since.
Give me Chris Wilder in five words… surely you don’t want to offer them a chink of light in their battle for automatic promotion? 😉
Repugnant ham faced snort beast.
And no, no we don’t.
You’ll be pleased to hear the dear fellow loathes us.
Finally… score prediction (and… are City going up?)
I’d be delighted with a point, but we don’t really have anything to play for any more and my gut tells me this is the game you find form again. So I’ll say 1-1, but in truth, I think you’ll nab it 2 or 3-1. As long as it’s not 4-0 again. Leeds and Dem Blades are having a competition to see who can screw up the most spectacularly, so I think you’re home and dry.
Said earlier in the season that I’d be happy to see you in the Premier League and I stand by that entirely – good luck for the rest of the season (after tomorrow of course!) and all the best in the Prem next season.
Thanks mate … appreciated (even if we’re not quite there yet).
Penney predicts: Do Wednesday realistically still believe they can make the playoffs? I doubt it. That fact coupled with a bit of optimism leads me to a slightly nervy 2-1 City.
Andy assumes: Once again, earlier results will determine the mindset for this one. I think SU will draw making it impossible for us to go up, which will, ironically, remove a little pressure. 3-1 Norwich.
Gaz guesses: As the finishing line edges closer, the more ragged and nervy it gets. That’s life. And we have a habit of doing things the hard way. But, with Mo pulling the strings… 2-1 City.
Cookie concludes: Weds didn’t cause many problems against Leeds last weekend but ‘everyone’ knows that teams raise their game against us. City 2 – Wednesday 1
Stew suspects: Wednesday have more quality than Reading or Wigan – but perhaps not the motivation. As for Norwich? In a nutshell, I have faith. 2-0 City.
Oppo’s opinion: I’ll say 1-1, but in truth, I think you’ll nab it 2 or 3-1.
Siri says: 3-3
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