Sheffield Wednesday are promoted to the Championship

Sheffield Wednesday have gained promotion to the Championship after defeating Wycombe Wanderers on the last day of the season.

So where to start, everyone at the club deserves praise from chairman Milan Mandaric all the way down to the fans who were terrific again on Saturday and just proved that their club deserve to be in a much higher division than League 1 and even put most Premier League teams to shame.

But I am going to start with former manager Gary Megson and first give him praise because in my opinion he deserves a lot of credit for what he has done at Sheffield Wednesday, when he joined the club the players did not understand what playing for Sheffield Wednesday meant and that is the reason why they finished in the bottom half of the league. So in the summer he got rid of a lot of deadwood and players that couldn’t handle playing for such a massive club and brought in players that were wanting to fight for the shirt and give the supporters a Sheffield Wednesday team that they would be proud of and in my opinion made the signing of the season in Jose Semedo. At the start of the season the fans probably would have been happy with the playoffs but there was a chance that the team could finish in the automatic spots so Mandaric had a tough choice to make as it didn’t look like Megson could deliver it.

But fair play to Mandaric, he allowed Megson to take charge of the Derby which was a risk but Wednesday came out on top and everyone got to see how much it meant to Megson when being ridiculed by the United fans he lifted up his shirt and showed them his badge. It was a wonderful moment you just don’t see anymore and it was his passion that got Wednesday that far and it will have hurt him that he was sacked but fast forward a few months and he can have no complaints.

Megson is and always will be a proud Wednesdayite

Dave Jones came in and used everything that Megson had given the team and adding to it by changing the style of play but he always knew that if times were tough in a game he could switch to more of a direct approach as his players could do that. He brought in  Nile Ranger and Keith Treacy to help in the promotion push and they all played their part in getting the team promoted with Ranger and another loan signing Michail Antonio scoring the goals on the final day. What more can you say about Dave Jones he only dropped four points and won manager of the month twice, has there been a better start as a manager?

Onto the players and they deserve credit too because they could have let their heads drop and just been happy with a playoff place especially when United had games in hand and were on a good run but they stuck at and kept going. It was a fantastic effort in the end and they were playing with confidence and gave the fans everything they wanted and more.

I am very happy for Wednesday and their fans because they continually support their team even though there has been very little to shout about in a long time. To make it even sweeter for them they stopped Sheffield United getting promoted so could the season have gone any better? Even Sheffield United’s opponents enjoyed Wednesday’s promotion

Sheffield Wednesday’s new manager Dave Jones

Dave Jones has been given the Sheffield Wednesday job after the club decided to sack their manager Gary Megson.

It was an interesting decision it itself to sack Megson who had just led his team to victory against Sheffield United, however club chairman Milan Mandaric had already decided to sack the manager after his team got beat away to Chesterfield. He said he did not want to ruin the Sheffield United game for the supporters and this is why he kept Megson in charge for it. So, at least he allowed Megson, the Wednesday fan himself, enjoy a victory over their biggest rivals which must be a moment he will never forget especially as more than 36,000 were at the game.

But, football moves on quickly so let’s have a look at Dave Jones, he has always been a respected manager and has always got his teams to play good football. He was most recently at Cardiff City where he was sacked because he failed to get them promoted. This might seem a bit harsh as they finished in the playoffs the year he got sacked but they failed to get promoted and it probably hurt that little bit more that Swansea did. He was very well received by the Cardiff fans and he had a good win percentage of nearly 42% at the club and did get them to an FA Cup final which is a very good achievement for a Championship side.

He did achieve promotion to the Premier League with Wolves and the Wednesday fans will be happy with this as they beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the playoff final. Jones, was however also sacked from this job after having an appalling season in the Premier League followed by just four wins from 15 games on their return to the Championship. He knows what it is liked to get sacked and with Mandaric in charge, who likes to sack managers, this will probably only end in one way. The Owls will only hope that this happens when the club are at least in the Championship and he has taken them as far as they can go.

The new man at Hillsborough needs to hit the ground running and get some victories under his belt as the fans may not take to him as quickly as they had done to Megson. Yes, Megson did play a long ball game but this was expected as all his teams have played that way and now it might be difficult for the players to get out of this mindset. But, Jones encourages passing football and it won’t happen overnight but when it does click all of his teams have played fluent attacking football and have been one of the most entertaining teams in the league. However, looking over his track record it hasn’t always brought success and this may be a bit worrying. Wednesday should finish in the playoffs but when a new manager comes in, the players step it up to impress and if they string a very good set of results together they could still end up in the top two.

Sheffield Wednesday sack Gary Megson

The Sheffield Wednesday fans must be distraught after hearing the news that manager Gary Megson has been sacked, especially when they beat city rivals Sheffield United in their previous game.

He was a fans favourite because of his history with the club and you could see his passion and determination to succeed with Wednesday, he even admitted himself that he is a better manager than League 1 and this was the only job he would drop down to do. His style of football wasn’t the most expansive but the fans didn’t care and the long ball game was sending the club in the right direction. Yes, chairman Milan Mandaric probably did want automatic promotion this season but you have to take other things into consideration, when he took over he inherited a team with a lot of players that did not really care for the club and only wanted to pick up their pay cheque. But he has instilled a sense of belief and willingness to perform in front of thousands of Wednesday fans every week.

The goal celebration from Chris O’Grady against the Blades shows that the players were right behind him and wanted him to continue. Player power is a big thing in football now and over the years that has been a lot of discontent but this team all seemed to be pulling in the same direction and Megson was spearheading this and the squad was following his lead. This filtered down to the fans who affectionately called him the Ginger Mourinho and everything seemed right at Hillsborough but this sacking may have a detrimental effect on their season if they choose the wrong man to replace him.

Milan Mandaric will not be the most liked person in Sheffield today and there will be people that call for him to sell up and leave but he did save the club and if he thinks that the club aren’t performing how they should be, then he has the right to sack the manager. One thing you do need as a chairman is the fans on your side and communication with the supporters has improved dramatically since he took charge. However, this is not saying a lot as it has been very poor for a number of years now. His decision to put a Wednesdayite in charge was seen as a master stoke as he kept on pleasing the fans but it is a disgrace that Megson wasn’t even allowed a full season in charge, the team are in the playoffs and could possibly finish in the automatic places. I hope he know what he is doing or it could be another year in League 1 and yet more money out of his own pocket.

Megson deserves a lot of praise as he always conducted himself properly no matter if the team won, lost or drew and it is a great credit to him for that. But looking at the other side he did so much for Wednesday, he reduced a massive wage bill and got rid of a lot of deadwood and brought in a squad that was capable of promotion which it clearly wasn’t when he arrived. Finances are crucial in football and I thought of all people Mandaric would have understood this but obviously third isn’t good enough for him.

I hope Megson gets back into football and does a good job somewhere else because he is a very capable manager. In my opinion, you do not sack a manger that has his team in the playoffs no matter what but if Wednesday end up getting promoted then the new manager will be praised and will be a fans favourite himself which just shows how quickly football progresses.

Sheffield Wednesday sign Reading winger Michail Antonio

Sheffield Wednesday have signed 21 year old winger Michail Antonio to help get their promotion charge back on track after a miserable couple of weeks.

The winger has signed on loan from Reading until the end of the season after it was revealed that Jermaine Johnson is currently struggling with an injury which could keep him out of action and with the Sheffield Derby just round the corner, the Owls fans know they need some creativity in the midfield if they are to beat the Blades at Hillsborough and this is exactly what Antonio will give them. Megson would have loved to have been able to play both the wingers as they would have scared the life out of any defence in the division with their direct running and pace.

The young winger has played in League 1 before with both Southampton and Colchester and performed quite well, impressing in many games and looking like he could make the difference in crucial games. The fans of every club have taken to him very well even though he has only had short spells there with managers wanting to take him off Reading permanently. But the Royals have rejected any enquiries as they see him as a player with massive potential and one for the future at their club.

He is at Wednesday now and they will be hopeful that between now and the end of the season he can replicate what Ben Marshall did in the first half of the season. He does have the potential and will not be worried about playing in front of large crowds as he has already experienced these in his short career so far. This season he has played 16 games in League 1 and scored four goals which isn’t a bad record for a winger and shows that he can put away chances when he gets the opportunity and is not only in the team to provide assists.

The player and club will be hoping that the team can get themselves into the automatic promotion places by the end of the season but if they don’t and have to go through the playoffs then it could be another chance for Antonio to score on a big stage because he has already scored one goal at Wembley when playing for Southampton in the JP Trophy final in a comfortable 4-1 victory.

The Owls fans needed a lift more than anyone before the Steel City Derby and hopefully this transfer will excite them and make them more confident of victory. The last few weeks have been close to disastrous but maybe this can be the catalyst to a brilliant end to the season and dispel any rumours that Milan Mandaric is losing patience with Gary Megson.

It is getting closer and closer to the big kick off and now United have another player to worry about which they didn’t expect and may have to change their game plan so Antonio doesn’t have a debut that the Wednesday faithful will be talking about for years to come.

What Sheffield Wednesday need for the Championship

If Sheffield Wednesday get promoted to the Championship they were shown against Blackpool that Milan Mandaric will have to invest if they are to survive. They were comprehensively beaten and although they did make seven changes from their game against Yeovil, they clearly do not have the squad depth to succeed in their ambitions.

They do have some quality in the squad with Gary Madine a good goal scorer in League 1 but a question he has to answer is will he score enough goals to keep them in the Championship? Jose Semedo is a very good holding midfielder that loves to break up the play and is difficult to get past. And in Lewis Buxton they have the best right back in the division and should do a decent job in the Championship. Last time they were in League 1 they also had the best right back in the division in Frankie Simek who unfortunately suffered with injuries after they got promoted and the Owls will be hoping Buxton does not suffer the same fate.  Also, in goal they have experience in Nicky Weaver and Stephen Bywater, as well as the promising Richard O’Donnell so they will probably not have to invest in this area of the team.

But they will struggle at the back with Reda Johnson currently doing a good job at left back but may not be seen as a long term solution. In the centre of the defence is where I see the main problem as Rob Jones is very good in the air but on the floor he is slow and was very suspect against the pace of the Blackpool forwards, although he is a very good leader and could be very important in the dressing room. Danny Baath his partner is only on loan from Wolves and if they can’t get him back they will need another as Mark Beevers has been out of sorts for the club, however, he was very highly rated and given a confidence boost he could become a solid defender in the Championship.

Midfield maybe the biggest worry for Megson as he is currently struggling with a lack of wingers, playing players out of position to fill the gap on the right. Wednesday do have Jermaine Johnson who has looked impressive in recent weeks but this could be because he is fighting for a new contract or at least looking to impress scouts from other clubs. But Johnson does provide pace and skill which no other player in the squad possesses and if this isn’t addressed in the summer then he has to stay. Chris Sedgwick is well past his best and shouldn’t be playing in the Championship next season. In the centre of midfield they have David Prutton and Chris Lines who will be good squad players but they should be looking to bring someone in to play alongside Semedo next season. Liam Palmer is well thought of but he does not have enough experience yet.

In the striker department they look like they will struggle for goals in the Championship with Clinton Morrison another one past his best and has struggled even in League 1. Ryan Lowe is untested and is not getting any younger and has not really hit the heights he and his manager were expecting. Chris O’Grady does a lot of work upfront but isn’t a goal scorer and although he will be a useful addition he should not be a permanent in the starting 11.

At the moment this is all ifs and buts because the team has not been promoted yet and still have work to do but they have enough in League 1 to get promoted and I hope they do achieve their goal because they are too big to be playing in this division and their fans deserve some joy for once.

The sleeping giants- Sheffield Wednesday

A fascinating battle is developing in League 1 this season as to who is going to get promoted, but the more intriguing battle in League 1 is who is going to finish highest out of the two Sheffield clubs

Both Wednesday and United are battling it out at the top of the table and after United’s 4-0 win tonight over Yeovil they have overtaken the Owls by a single point but have now played a game more. This is Wednesday’s second season in League 1 and after a disappointing season last year under Alan Irvine, Gary Megson came in and has made the team into a title challenging side, although most Owls fans would have been happy with a playoff challenge given the fact that the majority of players from last year underperformed. Quite well known players were at Hillsborough last season such as Gary Teale and Tommy Miller but both largely failed to secure promotion for Wednesday and eventually finished in a less than satisfactory mid table. The club faced many problems over the season off the pitch and were saved by Milan Mandaric who quickly brought in former Wednesday player Megson who has shipped out players that he felt were not good enough for the club and didn’t have the heart to perform for the team.

They do still have experience in their squad with Clinton Morrison, Rob Jones and Nicky Weaver but it has been the performances of some of the less experienced players that have really caught the eye of the fans and on looking scouts, such as Gary Madine. Megson has used his contacts in the game to bring in young players that are hungry and have a lot of potential. With Ben Marshall on loan from Stoke City, they have a winger that is most certainly a class above League 1 and they will need to keep hold of him if they are going to succeed this season and gain promotion. Danny Batth also deserves credit because he is only a young centre back but he is playing like he is a seasoned professional, getting better and better with each game and produced one of his best performances in the recent FA Cup victory over West Ham.

Possibly the signing of the season in League 1 has to be Jose Semedo who’s work can sometimes go unnoticed as he is a holding midfielder but he has been in sensational form this season and even though Charlton are top of the league, they must be regretting letting him go. He has been a player Wednesday have missed for many years, someone that does the hard work in the middle of the park and brings a lot of energy and desire every time he steps on the pitch.

Wednesday should be looking for promotion this year as they have two solid goalkeepers for this level in Nicky Weaver and Stephen Bywater, probably the best right back in the division when fit Lewis Buxton and a tough tackling left back in Reda Johnson who can also chip in with a goal. In the midfield they have the unpredictability of Jermaine Johnson who delights fans with his mazy runs but also infuriates them at the same time with his sometimes poor final ball, add this to Semedo and Marshall and you have a good midfield even though Johnson has struggled to get in the side consistently this season, they also have Chris Lines who is experienced in the lower leagues and David Prutton who has played in the Premier League. Up front they have many options with the fantastic finishing ability of Gary Madine, the strength and power of Chris O’Grady, the clever and crafty Ryan Lowe and Clinton Morrison, if he can get back to his best, he will score goals in this division.

So their biggest challenge is to get out of the division but first they have to topple the Blades and the way the season is shaping up, it may not be the easiest thing to do but they are still unbeaten at home and this stands them in good stead for the rest of the season. They are one of the biggest clubs in England and it is time for the sleeping giant to wake up.