Great Expectations

Expectations are something everyone has when it comes to football, and it’s a word that has become more prevalent over the years. At Wednesday, you could say that since the 15/16 campaign there have been higher expectations, and while for many that is promotion, so far, we’ve failed to take that step back into the big time.

I watched the press conference with interest on Friday to see what our new manager Garry Monk had to say, but I’m always eager to hear what the chairman has to say on matters too. He was asked a question on what he expects from Garry and said since his first season here he “never thinks of the playoffs, only the top two.”

I think this comment from the chairman caught a few people by surprise, and Garry Monk looked equally as shocked, but it didn’t surprise me whatsoever. The chairman is undoubtedly an ambitious man, and he’s very passionate about football, he doesn’t want to make do with a top-six finish, although I for one would be okay with that right now.

There’s no problem with aiming for the top in my opinion, as you should always want to do the very best you can, and I don’t for one second believe the chairman will have demanded we finish in the top two. Where fans are concerned, I think some will either feel their side is better than it is or worse, with reality often getting lost along the way.

I’m sure Garry Monk will have his views in terms of targets for the rest of the season, and I think there’s always scope for these to change as time wears on too. Supporters will have their own opinions on what the team can achieve this season, and what they should be aiming for, but can expectations have a negative effect at times?

I’m somebody who thinks we should be going out to try and win every game, doing whatever it takes to secure the victory. I feel this is the best approach for managers, players and other club employees to consider too when dealing with the press. If people come out and suggest automatic promotion is the aim, if we don’t achieve it, the season will be perceived as a failure, even though it may not necessarily tell the full story.

There have been concerns surrounding the mentality of both the club and players over the last several years. But are they being affected by the expectations placed upon them? I’m fully aware there will always be expectations in football, but by not meeting expectations repeatedly, can it lead to a negative frame of mind and attitude?

Some people may be reading this thinking why shouldn’t we be targeting automatic promotion, or that Wednesday are a top-six outfit. As things stand, I believe Wednesday are a top ten side due to what I’ve seen so far this season. However, that could all change quite quickly.

The expectations derived by people in the wake of a new manager taking over are, in my opinion, typically based on what they believe to be the ability levels of the individual footballers at the club. In our case, it’s common for the likes of Bannan and Forestieri to get a mention, but football’s a team sport, and it’s less about what individuals can do and more about the collective.

We head into a new chapter with Garry Monk, and while we may get that new manager bounce, it will take a good few games before things level out and we know exactly where we’re at in my opinion. I think from there we will be able to understand what’s realistic to expect this season. Which, for me, is the way to go, rather than judging a book by its cover and setting the bar before we’ve kicked a ball under Monk.

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