You could say that every season is a fresh start for everyone, but at Wednesday, it feels more accurate than ever this campaign. Change is happening across the board, from the culture within, through to the personnel at the club. So, it’s time to focus on the here and now, rather than what has gone before.
The first and arguably the most crucial area at Wednesday this applies to is the players in the squad. Joost van Aken is a prime example, for me. We all know when the fan base started writing him off, and in many respects, in a game where most didn’t show up, his ability was determined from ninety minutes of football. That was nearly three years ago, but now the twenty-six-year-old is back, he started against Cardiff, we kept a clean sheet, and he did ok.
Tom Lees’ form has dipped in recent times, but I thought he showed glimpses of his former self against Cardiff. We all want Jordan Rhodes so succeed at the club. He’s been written off so many times, but he put in a shift in Wales and got on the scoresheet. Where players are concerned, we must remember they aren’t always going to play well, they will make mistakes and have off days, but let’s not hold their past against them. Let’s not focus on a lousy performance years ago. Let’s believe in them, support them in the good times and lift them in the bad.
The same applies to Garry Monk. He’s making changes, with the help of others, to put the club back on track. To effectively fix the mistakes of the past, and to breathe new life into all areas. We all know about the form after Christmas last season, but it’s in the past. It’s of no importance now. We’ve seen the positive changes on and off the pitch, with most driven by the manager. He’s been realistic about the challenges ahead of us, and I think we must be as well. We can’t progress if we’re still harbouring bitterness and disgruntlement about previous events, and by doing so, it will stifle any enjoyment that’s to come.
The final point I’d like to make is on the chairman. A man I, like many, have criticised over the last several seasons especially. The mistakes we’ve made have led us to where we are now. Nobody disputes that. But, it’s learning from these errors and the decisions we make from now on which count. How we operate financially is changing, and we’re recruiting better. The signs in the present and for the future are promising.
This season, in my opinion, is a fresh start for everyone. We’ve hit reset and processes are well underway to transform the football club in multiple areas, and they will prove beneficial for years to come. If we keep harking back to the past, thinking about great periods which have been and gone, or at the bad times which have plagued us, it will create feelings of bitterness, frustration and negativity. Instead, let’s replace bitterness with hope, frustration with understanding, and negativity with realism. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and move forward.