Fuck me! Just fuck...me! Sheffield Wednesday have managed to secure a playoff place in Chansiri’s first year at the club, we could be having a day out in Wembley and of course the big one, a chance at playing Premier League football next season.
I really don’t know what to say other than I’m so fucking happy! Some fans will be looking at this and thinking “settle down son, it’s only a 6th place finish in the Championship” but for me it’s so much more than that. It’s the change in the tide of a club that’s been on its arse well before I was watching football.
I’ve said this in the previous three Flight of the Owls posts that the highest I’ve seen us finish is 12th in the Championship. 11th would’ve made me happy but to finish in a playoff spot has made this season such a special one (to be fair this seasons been pretty special anyway with “little Leicester” winning the Prem).
At times it seemed to me that we only tried to reach the playoffs. Whenever we dropped out we suddenly went on a nice run of form to get us back to sixth whereas when we were sixth we just seemed happy to stay there when fifth, fourth and, at one point I think even third was a just a win away. I’d be dick if I said I was disappointed by this and I don’t want to dwell on what ifs cause who cares, we’re in the fucking playoffs!
~ I normally don’t swear this much in my posts...honest ~
I’m hoping to talk a little about our squad. It’s gone through a huge change since last season. The fact that arguably our best midfielder from last season, Lewis McGugan, has hardly featured this season. He has been forced out the squad by some class talent who have been going through some fine form. Nice to see him score at the weekend too, penalty or not it still needed scoring.
For me Barry Bannan has be unbelievable this season. The fact that our passing style of play looks weaker without him in the side just shows how important he is to us. I didn’t expect much from him but after the season he’s had I can’t understand why any Premier League sides had let him go...I’m gonna assume it’s because he’s about 4ft2.
Lucas Joao is another player I wanted to talk about. This player at the beginning of the season was class; incredibly strong, good touch, nice flair and he scored goals. The 22 year old got a call up to the Portuguese national side and looked like he was going to be a big player for us this season. He dropped off a bit but for me, if this flight is going to continue we need to tie this lad down.
~ For me Joao’s goals were what separated him from Nuhiu and stopped him being “just another donkey.” That won’t go down well with a lot of Owls fans but I sometimes feel if I striker is over 6ft and doesn’t score, he’s just labelled a donkey…~
The three players I want to talk about next are players we had from last season. Keiren Westwood, Keiran Lee and Tom Lees were important parts of our spine last season, playing vital roles in getting us to a respectable mid-table finish. One of the reasons I love Carlos Carvalhal is because he didn’t replace our good players from last season.
Tom Lees has turned into a reliable captain. I was unsure of his leadership skills as he seems quiet to me but I’m so glad I’ve been proven wrong. An absolute rock at the back who is consistent and the heartbeat of the defence. I just hope he doesn’t leave us for someone like Sunderland. The allure of Premier League football might be tempting but you’ll just find yourself in the same situation year on year.
Keiren Westwood was our player of the year last year (literally anyone who doesn’t know about this kid, just search Keiren Westwood saves on YouTube.) He was and still is unbelievable, how we got him for free I do not know. Loud from the back, rarely makes a mistake and when he’s called upon, makes the best saves seen in a Owls shirt since Ron Springett.
The third player from last season is my favourite Wednesday player currently playing for us, Keiran Lee. Top tip: don’t Google Keiran Lee, otherwise you get the Wikipedia page of a gay porn star...unless you’re into that kind of thing, I don’t judge. Lee (the footballer) is quality, the only player I’ve seen who can win a tackle in his own box to start the attack and then find himself in the opposition box ready to finish it. Quality player #Leeee’sElectric.
The last player I want to talk about is who I think will win player of the year, Fernando Forestieri. We’ve built our team around this guy, when he doesn’t play, we don’t play. He’s scored 15 goals this season in the league, closely rivalled by Gary Hooper on 13, and boy were those goals needed. Fessi is going to be very important for us in these playoff games but you can guarantee that he’ll get sent off 2 minutes into the first leg for diving...again…
Now onto the playoff games themselves. Since we finished sixth we have to play the team that finished third. It was a toss up between Brighton or Middlesborough and we got put with the Seagulls. We’ve drawn 0-0 with these twice this season and one of those games was without Forestieri which is quite impressive in my opinion.
The first leg is at home which isn’t ideal for me. I’d rather us know what we need to do in the second leg and have a packed house playing its part in pushing us over the line. Hopefully though we can build up enough of a lead in the home tie and see it out in the away one. Probably the best I’m hoping for at this point.
I don’t want to talk about the final because we’re far from that as of yet. The semifinals is a big achievement and is a giant leap forward on what the Wednesday have been accustomed to in recent years. Long may this fucking run continue. WAWAW. UTO.
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Cheers for reading.