It seems to be a regular occurrence that we end up back here, with bad results and uninspiring performances to boot. And while I have a lot to say on the other side of things, today I’m going to give my views on the manager and the footballing part of Sheffield Wednesday.
Results and performances haven’t been good enough, there is no getting away from that, and Garry Monk isn’t trying to get away from that either. He calls it how he sees it for the most part, in my opinion, and that’s how a manager at this football club should go about their business.
Football is and always will be a results-driven business, and in the Championship we have one win from our last ten games. And, while I don’t agree with everything the manager does in terms of team selection and formation, a couple of others at the helm have seen similar runs of form occur – Carlos and Jos.
Now, some will move quickly to apportion blame to managers past and present, but the mainstay in the situation on this side of the club are the players. I know people will suggest Steve Bruce as someone who didn’t encounter these problems, and they may believe he would have got us promoted. However, the performances weren’t always great under him, he got Hull promoted, as we all know, but his team underperformed, and it wasn’t fantastic at Villa either. Two squads, I believe, had more quality than we currently possess.
So, onto Garry Monk. I do not doubt that he is a good manager at this level. Well, you must be to get us into third in the league (that was a joke). We’re in a bad run of form right now, and nobody disagrees with that, least of all the manager. So, because things aren’t working, he’s changing things as in the lineup and formation, hoping something drops. At the end of the day, if something isn’t working and you stick with it, how are things going to improve?
Some managers pick up the stubborn tag, for not trying to change things, but Monk has shown he is willing to mix things up. He’s not scared to drop players, and he’s not afraid of calling the team out when it gets to a stage where performances and results are unacceptable, which I think is a good thing. You also want a manager who will keep fighting and keep working, and he is, for now.
I keep hearing that training is okay and that Monk is trying all manner of approaches when it comes to trying to help this group of players overcome this slump. What I also hear is there’s a lack of confidence and a nervousness, something I will write about later. I’m not saying Monk is perfect, but some of the things that happen on the pitch he cannot affect. When players make basic errors of their own creation, it is down to the player, not the manager.
As things stand, it seems to be a case in the eyes of many, and seemingly those of the manager, that the aim is to try and make it to the summer so we can begin sorting this mess out in terms of the group of players we have at this football club. If the losing curve continues, Monk may not make it, and it would be a shame as it appears we haven’t had a manager who has had the opportunity to do this part of the job in full.
Personally, the first aim, in my opinion, should be to make it to the stage where Morgan Fox, Massimo Luongo, Adam Reach and Steven Fletcher are back in action. It’s time to dig in and fight. The players must be braver and give it everything they’ve got, or, we’ll be back to square one once again.