While our playoff hopes are not mathematically over, when all is said and done, it’s highly unlikely we’ll sneak into the top six as we’re four points adrift with two games to play. Therefore, it’s highly likely that the process to prepare for next season is already underway, with Steve Bruce mentioning that talks are to be held with players this week.
I can’t wait to see what Steve and his staff have planned moving forward, but as everyone will know, there are some questionable decisions to be made in some cases. Steve has said as much himself, but I think we owe it to Steve to trust the choices he makes this summer.
Steve has been a breath of fresh air since he first walked into the building, especially in how he comes across in interviews. He’s already developed a connection with the fan base in my opinion, with everyone feeling optimistic about what we can achieve under his reign.
You get the impression that we have a manager who calls it exactly how it is, refusing to attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes, which I feel is the right way to approach the role as manager here. I’d go as far as saying that Steve will know some of the decisions won’t make him flavour of the month, but hopefully the fans will put their trust in the choices he makes.
In a way, it’s beneficial that we have several players out of contract this summer, with the vast majority likely to head for the exit door. I’d also suggest that we would have to listen to offers for any players that may come in, primarily if they work for us financially. Players will inevitably leave the club who fans would have preferred to stay, and probably who Steve and his staff would have liked to retain, but we have to trust the process.
For too long, we have hoarded players, recruited players who we should never have brought in, paid big wages and given big contracts to players at the wrong end of their career. Everyone knows this, and everyone knows that it’s a situation that needs to be corrected, but it’s unlikely to be done in one fell swoop.
The squad needs debloating, re-energising and rebalancing, and in my opinion, we have the right man at the helm to start this process and to also see it through. Tough decisions and ones we may not agree with must be made, but we have to look at the bigger picture and how these decisions will allow us to move forward as a football club.
If any of our perceived better players were to leave this summer, I don’t feel this necessarily will mean our chances of enjoying a successful season next term will be damaged. Losing a couple of players on decent wages, or getting in a half-decent transfer fee, could mean we can recruit better in the long run.
I think it’s a time to be optimistic as a Wednesday fan, even though there may be some short term upheaval to endure. When next season kicks off, the squad will look different, but it will be one where every player will be able to contribute positively, that’s for sure.