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Laws a victim of Wednesday's lofty aspirations

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Paul Fletcher | 13:42 UK time, Sunday, 13 December 2009

Take a look around the Sheffield Wednesday 606 message board and you will find a remarkable level of goodwill towards Brian Laws, who parted company with the south Yorkshire club on Sunday.

Gloucester Owl "wanted BL to be the man to take us back to the Premier League", while StealthyOwl simply wrote "thanks for the memories Brian".

Those memories included a rare league double over Sheffield rivals United last season and a decent push for a play-off place at the end of the 2006-07 campaign.

Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws Laws appeared to be running out of ideas at Wednesday

Laws had succeeded Paul Sturrock in November 2006, leaving the comfort of Scunthorpe United, where he had been in charge for more than 500 games. So ingrained was his association with the Iron that one morning early in his tenure as Owls boss he instinctively started to drive towards his former club's training ground.

It was ambition that had driven Laws to test himself at a bigger club - and he told me shortly after taking over that he wanted to bring stability to a club that had got through nine managers in 10 years.

In this respect Laws has been a success. At the time of his departure from Wednesday he had become the 16th longest-serving manager in the top four divisions, sandwiched between Sean O'Driscoll at Doncaster and Nigel Adkins, the man who succeeded him at Glanford Park.

I guess that what he has now also discovered is that the bigger the club, the shorter the leash. That and the fact that Championship chairmen start to get twitchy as we reach this stage of the season with their team mired at the wrong end of the table.

Darren Ferguson's departure from Peterborough on 10 November came so early that it suggested other reasons besides Posh's entanglement in the bottom three but Plymouth's decision to move Paul Sturrock upstairs last week hints at the increasing sense of urgency obviously shared by Owls chairman Lee Strafford.

Wednesday lost 3-0 at Leicester on Saturday and afterwards Laws sounded short of ideas. Reflecting that the awful first-half performance did not reflect well on him and his coaching staff probably did not sit too well with Strafford. As did the fact that his team have become so inconsistent he no longer knew which Wednesday are likely to turn up on any given matchday.

After the defeat, Laws conjured phrases likes chalk and cheese, Keystone Kops and lower than a snake's belly as he discussed Wednesday's predicament. Laws is a man whose glass is perennially half full but he admitted he was struggling to pick up any positives. He sounded like a man without a Plan B.

The defeat, combined with Ipswich's win over Blackpool, saw the Owls drop into the bottom three.

Wednesday have not won in nine games since they defeated Coventry on 17 October - and they are now firmly in a relegation scrap. They are in a rut and Laws has become the 19th Football League manager to part company with his employers this season (though Strurrock has moved upstairs at Argyle).

The current form runs in sharp contrast to the plans for Wednesday by chairman and life-long supporter Strafford.

I met Strafford for lunch in the summer. He had only taken over as chairman in January and admitted he was still wearing "L plates". Nonetheless, I quickly discovered that an hour in his company is to be deluged by an avalanche of ideas as he fires them out one after another.

It all boiled down to his vision to "fix the Sheffield Wednesday family" after years of financial uncertainty and poor communication with the supporters, who have fallen victim to a malaise about the club.

The 37-year-old has since had his plans approved for a £22m redevelopment of the stadium, which will see the capacity increase from 39,000 to 45,000, while the shirt sponsor this season is the well-respected Children's Hospital in Sheffield.

He is also actively seeking investors to inject money into the club and has hired New York-based investment bank Inner Circle Sports to find them.

A lot of what Strafford is about is changing the culture and attitude at the Owls - but as he has obviously quickly discovered the success of a football club will be primarily determined by what happens on the pitch regardless of how much work is happening off it.

Strafford's vision will not be realised until Wednesday are in the Premier League, but as things stand League One is the direction in which they are heading. When I spoke to Strafford he sounded to have a genuine admiration and respect for Laws but as a chairman he has the success of the club as his over-riding priority.

Some supporters are already questioning whether Strafford has acted too hastily. Wednesday's season has not even reached its halfway point and there is ample time - and a January transfer window - in which to manufacture a change of fortune.

After all, Wednesday lost their first six games of the 2007-08 season but Laws managed to turn that situation around.

Wednesday do have some good players, the likes of Marcus Tudgay and Lee Grant, but by Laws own admission his team have disappointed this season. Summer signings such as defender Darren Purse have come in for heavy criticism.

The squad has been assembled largely by Laws and to an extent he must at least accept his portion of the blame for their collective shortcomings.

Yet even so, it speaks volumes about the fragility of football management that a job that looked fairly secure just a few weeks ago could end in the sack just a few weeks later.

Laws is a well-respected figure and a genuinely decent bloke. He was popular with the Wednesday fans and I think StealthyOwl surmised the situation perfectly when he wrote: "Although I was outspoken on wanting Laws to go that does not mean I do not like the bloke."

Strafford now faces the challenge of making his first managerial appointment. It will be a decision of crucial importance.

Names like Bryan Robson, Nigel Worthington and Steve Coppell have already been mentioned, as has Chris Waddle, who would certainly be an interesting choice.

Who do Wednesday need to fulfil the short-term aim of climbing the Championship table and the long-term vision of the promised land of top-flight football?

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Laws main problem was that he only seemed to get bothered about the two games v Utd and the other 44 were just there as an inconvenience- as soon as Utd beat them earlier this season he was a man under pressure.

    I think Wednesday fans need to look at their charman too- alot of false promises to fans and manager- you can't help but feel for Laws

    I also wonder if players like Grant will go as their loyalty semed to be to Laws and not Wednesday

  • Comment number 2.

    Paul, yet another outstanding blog, your knowledge of the football league and football in general is excellent and you have provided a fair and accurate description of the situation at Hillsborough so thank you for that.

    For me there was a turning point at Leicester yesterday. Up until yesterday the majority of fans, including me, genuinely believed that Brian could turn it around and get us playing football again. Then after 35 mintues he made two substitutions. Not uncommon nowadays when youre 2-0 down early doors. The first Darren Potter for Tom Soares, most people agreed with that one because we havnt seen a lot of Soares and Potter has been less than useless for a good month now. The second however had the fans up in arms, he took off Jermaine Johnson who had been by far our most potent attacking player and whilst he can be dreadfully frustrating yesterday he was fantastic beating men and driving us forward. Taking him off yesterday was the sign of a manager who unfortunately had lost his way and had run out of ideas and the subsequent chant of "you don't know what you're doing" was the final nail in his managerial coffin.

    Id just like to place on record my thanks to Mr Laws who has been fantastic and a stabilising effect on the club, I wish him all the success in the world and I am sure he will get another job and be successful.

    As for what happens next well I believe we have two options. We either go for someone young and dynamic with fresh ideas and a zest for knowledge, along the lines of Darren Ferguson (please not Gareth Southgate). Or, we go for someone who plays very rigid, defensive football, perhaps not great visually but does provide results because quite frankly Wednesday need three points at the minute by hook or by crook. It's an intriguing situation and what we need now is to stay calm and not rush anything we need to take our time and appoint in due course.

    Again my thanks to Brian Laws, but also to you Paul for providing a great blog and accurately depicting the situation in S6.

  • Comment number 3.

    I suspect the question is who will come rather than who we need.

    Which players go, stay and who comes in will depend on the stature and contacts of the manager.

    But much as I love what he did for us, please do not let it be Chris T'waddle.

  • Comment number 4.

    @Loyal_Blade, I'm not sure any of your comments make a lot of sense.

    Laws comes across as a genuine guy, and is well liked by most Wednesday fans. I don't think there is anything to suggest that he was only bothered about the derby games, that's just rubbish.

    Lee Strafford is an easy target, but he hasn't made any false promises at all. He's been very open with what he is trying to achieve, and the timescales around that - and it's this honesty that has come back to bite him when things have taken too long to come to fruition. He never promised investment, but he (wrongly) set a deadline on when they expected it to arrive. You can't do that in this economic climate, and the cold truth is that we're not the only struggling club looking for someone to bail them out.

    As for loyalty. Really? A lot of these players were signed by Laws, and he seemed to be respected by them, but he isn't the only manager they've played for and it's not like clubs don't change their managers often!

    I, for one, am sad to see Laws go. But I certainly understand why the decision has been made now. We're on an awful run, and there appear to be few signs of recovery. Our away form in particular has been terrible for a season and a half now. The team just cannot seem to defend properly. Laws has had a decent run, and I certainly thank him for everything he has done, but it's the right time to look for someone else.

  • Comment number 5.

    Let's get one thing straight first: there's no such thing as 'mutual consent', they've sacked him. Yet another knee-jerk reaction by a chairman under pressure.

    Last season, my team (Doncaster Rovers) were in a similar situation, and some 'fans' were calling out O'Driscoll to get the sack. In the end, we were comfortably safe. I know the relative sizes of the clubs is different, but there's no need for panic yet.

    If SWFC want to build for next season, fair enough, but this season is far from over. From SWFC in 22nd to Swansea in 6th, the gap is only 14 points. Remember what Palace did a couple of years ago to get in the playoffs?

  • Comment number 6.

    Paul - a fair reflection of recent events and feelings at Hillsborough.

    I have been one of Laws' fans and as you said he succeeded in bringing stability to a position which was in dire need of a relatively permanent fixture. Undoubtedly in the past he has overachieved with our team leading us to two top half finishes over the past three seasons. However, the decision to dismiss him was certainly not a hasty one. Statistics show 2 points from the last possible 27 and a failure to score in our past five. With our next three opposition in the form of Swansea, Newcastle and Blackpool that didn't look too likely to change and with matches against Scunthorpe, Peterborough and Plymouth on the horizon in January, we couldn't afford to go into January off the back of similar form.

    As it happens, I think Laws has been severely let down by the players. This is why I am not too sure that whoever takes over is going to ensure our survival this season. However, the fact remains that the current batch of players are very much his, and for this reason, he is at fault. Over a three year period he has been unable to build a team that possess the requisite character and abilities to get the club out of the mess we find ourselves in. Michael Gray talked about players being low on confidence, this is an excuse that seems to be all to readily resorted to (see Nigel Pearson's and Adam Frederici's comments in the past week). The fact is that as manager it was Law's job to bring in players that possess the character to stand up and be counted on a Saturday afternoon, and unfortunately recent performances (bar perhaps Donny midweek), show that this is a trait very much lacking in our team. This can be evidenced further by Brian's failure to name a consistent captain over the past run of games. In short, the team lacks leaders.

    Moreover, Laws' form in the transfer market leaves a lot to be desired. Apart from Lee Grant, few players in the current squad stand out as being good purchases. Darren Purse, Tommy Miller, Francis Jeffers and Leon Clarke all spring to mind as players who have failed to impress. All the fans understand that resources are tight, but when what little resources we do have are squandered, we become disgruntled (for further evidence see the folly in bringing in Soares and Feeney on one month loans only for them to sit on the bench!).

    On to the question of who to replace him, this will undoubtedly be Lee Strafford's biggest challenge to date. Perhaps I'm over optimistic when I say I think Dan Petrescu could do a job. A former Wednesday player who signalled his intent to leave Unicea Urziceni by applying for the Scottish national post earlier this month, a post managers have left in the past to join championship clubs. Petrescu has made clear his eagerness to manage a club in England or Scotland citing his nationality as a hurdle for the bigger teams to take a gamble on him. If he would be willing to come, his track record of bringing a second division Romanian side to promotion, to the brink of a domestic cup medal, to then win their domestic league and go on and compete in Europe, makes his CV one which is already impressive. Add to the mix a knowledge of the Polish and Romanian leagues, he could sniff out a few bargains for us. Failing this Roland Nilsson was a fans favourite in the early 90s who is doing a decent job at Malmo, Peter Taylor could bring a wealth of experience or an up and coming manager such as Paul Tisdale could be worth a gamble. Alternatively (and I must knowledge of the Scottish game does not extend to being able to pick out a name) but managers coming down from North of the border have found recent success at this level and several people on the 606 board have mentioned the likes of Derek McInnes or Jimmy Calderwood.

    Brian Laws will always be remembered fondly by Wednesday fans, just like Paul Sturrock is. They both progressed a club that before hand had witnessed a dramatic slide of fortune. No doubt Brian will find himself a job sooner rather than later and will receive arousing support when he returns to Hillsborough in the opposition dug out. However, it is time for the next step in the club's progression.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think Brian Laws has been extremely unlucky there, he's had no money and no resources, I think it is a mistake to sack him just because they are having a bad run.

  • Comment number 8.

    Absolute disgrace. I was agaisnt the sacking of Paul Sturrock in 2006 and I am agaisnt the sacking of Brian Laws now. I really thought Sheffield Wednesday were different to other clubs who just sack managers when a few results go agaisnt us.

    Just two months ago we all thought Brain was the man to take us to the premiership. And I have no doubt that it would not have been long before he'd turned it around. Good luck to our next manager. Until he loses a few games....

    Thank you to Brian Laws for being the most honest, and possibly best manager we've had ina long time.

  • Comment number 9.

    Shame this. Am I wrong or was he working on a shoestring budget AGAIN? A once great club, rotting away and sinking to the level of the Newcastle's, QPR's and Tottenham's of this world by sacking the manager at the first sight of difficulty. What did they expect? Really? A promotion push? are you serious????

    The world has long gone mad and football is one of the pacesetters in that.

  • Comment number 10.

    Darren Purse, Tommy Miller, Francis Jeffers and Leon Clarke all spring to mind as players who have failed to impress.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How can people judge tommy miller aleady? he's made 13 appearances (9 of those as a sub), and hasnt been fully fit in any of them. And before you say he's a bad signing cos he's ijury prone, he's had a ery injury-free career so far!

  • Comment number 11.

    Brian Laws was a master of PR. He’s always had the affection of 606 users and fans on the terraces. However, anybody criticising the manager on 606 was usually met with vitriol and roundly ganged up on. On the terraces they stopped coming, even season ticket holders stopped coming because the football on display was so un-entertaining.

    We are told that football is a results business and quite frankly, Brian Laws’s results have been poor. We have only won 11 matches out of the last 46 games. Not won back to back games since February. Not won three matches on the trot since 2007.

    Brian Laws has been given more money for transfers than any other manager in the past ten years. Out of his signings, with the exception of Grant the Keeper, they have been poor. His tactical know how has been questioned with the frequent playing of players out of position or insistent of playing out of form players.

    Not all in the garden was rosy. Brian Laws has lived on the back of those Derby wins, particularly when we have seen our side capitulate on so many occasions. Now we have the chance of a fresh chapter and hope that we can move on-wards and upwards.

    Well done Lee Strafford, now bring in an exciting manager that get Wednesday noticed again.
    Up the Owls.

  • Comment number 12.

    This is a crucial decision by Mr Strafford and could mark him out in Wednesday history if he has got it right. I would hope the chairman has either already identified potential replacements or has a strategy, possibly linked to future investment, for delivering a better solution than Brian could offer. The sacking of Russ Wilcox and John Dungworth suggests this is not just a knee jerk reaction to recent defeats but has been thought through. W will see in the next few weeks...

    Best wishes to Brian, Russ and John.

  • Comment number 13.

    #5 - you're right of course, but "mutual consent" at least tells me that BL won't be making a Kevin Keegan-like claim in the employment tribunal.

    #9 - mixed messages from you sir - a once great club is surely entitled to expect a promotion push is it not?

    In football terms at least, Laws has been given more time than he could usually expect. Rightly so, I've always been a fan of stability, and I reckon if he'd won one or two of the last 8 games he would still be there.

    But I don't think this is knee jerk, I think its pragmatic. The January transfer window is just around the corner and that will be attractive to any manager potentially interested in the job.

  • Comment number 14.

    I suspect that the real problem is the chairman. His business plan relies on a average attendance of over 25,000. He has gamboled on this In the summer he could have balanced the books by selling the high profile players but he decided to keep the players and hope that they would mount a play off challenge and this would bring in the crowds and his target would be met. Unfortunately this is not happening the average from the last 3 matches is just over 20,000 and with Wednesday heading for relegation and hasn't scored a goal for over a month. If things carries on for much longer then the average attendance for the remainder of the season will have to be around 30,000 to get the business plan back on course or they will have to sell any player who can attract any price, of course any rival manager seeing the last few matches will not be forming a queue to purchase them.

    So they are £26-£28 Million in debt which is rising, the value of the squad is reducing. And the club is heading for division 1. So the chairman spends his time talking about increasing the ground to 44,000 and giving press interviews expressing his point of views on how rival chairmen should be copying him.

    My prediction is that he decision will be to get a high profile name for manager to bring in the crowds. So expect a Wednesday playing legend or an ex England international rather than a manager with a proven record.

  • Comment number 15.

    So they are £26-£28 Million in debt which is rising
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wrong

  • Comment number 16.

    Dear me, Leicester City's Walkers Stadium is the Stadium where you dont want to go if you are under increasing pressure.
    Davey, Laws and Sturrock went under increasing pressure and he's gone upstairs.
    We also got Southgate sacked as he lost to us.
    So...if you dont want to lose your Manahger...avoid Leicester City and Nigel Pearson!

  • Comment number 17.

    #9 - not the first sign of difficulty. We stuck with Laws when we lost the first 6 games of the season two years back - certainly more patience than a lot of clubs would have had. Also it's not simply a case of give Laws time, we've lost 7 of our last 9 games, the other two were draws, we haven't scored in our last 5 games, and with matches coming up against Swansea, Newcastle and Blackpool, this run was only going to continue. It's all good and well saying you should be patient with a manager, but we have given Laws time to turn this run around and yesterdays result proved that things weren't getting any better.

    #10 - you can judge Miller on the fact he was injured in pre-season, is yet to be fully fit, with our injury history at the club and a limited wage bill, we simply cannot afford to be carrying such players. The fact that he's been at the club for six months and is yet to cement a first team place (albeit perhaps through injury/lack of match fitness) suggests that he is a poor signing. I think he's on a two year contract, in which case, he's already served a quarter of his tenure with us without any return.

  • Comment number 18.

    Wednesday went from a team who played good football and needed a bit of luck to be a top six club to a team who literally were rubbish like utter rubbish. That was the issue. If we had been rubbish all season then it would be bad enough but we weren't.
    We just went downhill so fast it is unbelievable. When Johnson came on in the last home match he was the only player with drive skill and purpose, yet he sits on the bench or is substituted.
    The fans on the kop could not believe Laws use of substitutes. I am pleased he has left our club because he lost the plot. Is this anything to do with him becoming a father again recently? It is a mystery. The new manager needs to be basically a no - nonsense b'tard not a nice guy. Nice guys don't win anything in this game.

  • Comment number 19.

    How can you say a player is a bad signing because he gets injured? Totally ludicrous. Now Kieron Dyer with a proven record of getting injured is a bad signing. But Tommy Miller isn't a sick note, he's just been unlucky. If Man Utd signed messi, he got injured and didnt play much for 6 months due to that injury, does that make him a bad signing, or does it make it unlucky?

  • Comment number 20.

    A question on Wednesday's reserves.
    Why oh why when we get someone injured did Laws immediately tell the press he was looking to sign someone on loan? This happened over and over again even allowing the centre half to go to Coventry with a view to getting money next year for him? And paying Sodje wages to play for Charlton and he scores every game.
    Utter madness from him or him and the Chairman.
    What about the RESERVES. In the old days the reserves were used to replace injured players. It needs sorting out quickly - bring on the young reserves - I would rather watch a team of young reserves instead of the present bunch of loan sharks.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    15. Owl111 Sorry you are correct it should have read £29,532,000 (source SWFC 2008-09 official accounts) and rising (if you have planned to break even with an average attendance of 25,000 and you are only achieving below 21,000, if this continues for the rest of the season there will be at least a £2.5M hole in the business plan and you have no new income to compensate for this then it is a reasonable to say that the debt is rising)

  • Comment number 23.

    #19 - I understand what you're trying to say but at the end of the day if United spent £80m on bringing in Messi who then got injured on his first day of training and had to retire soon after then yes, it is unlucky, but it is also a bad signing. You have to remember that when a player is injured the club are still lumbered with their wages, so as long as a player is on the physio's table, the club is not getting their moneys worth. As stated, Miller has already spent a quarter of his contract either injured or not match fit, in my book, that makes him a bad signing so far. Yes, you can point out to the luxury of hindsight and bad luck but the fact of the matter is you can only judge players based on returns, something we are yet to have from Miller.

  • Comment number 24.

    As a Sheffield United fan, I have always respected Brian Laws, and in that respect I am sort of upset he has left.
    I think it was a stupid decision to fire him. He can't have been on big wages, he was working with a tiny budget, and yet the Wednesday board want him to reacdh mid-table (and maybe something even better).
    It was never going to happen, and I feel perhaps what needed to happen was that BL and LS have a heart to heart to discuss the next chapter. Maybe that is what happened, yet I doubt it.
    Now, Wednesday have to pay him off, and find another manager, and if they stay up (which is probable), LS will claim it was the right thing to do.
    Well maybe you did stay up, but who says BL won't keep Wednesday up. Great bloke, and massively unlucky here.

  • Comment number 25.

    One more thing, while Bryan Robson was in charge, nearly every United fan would have preferred Laws, and that says something.
    Bryan Robson was pants at United, and would be a dreadful appointment for Wednesday. But we can always hope.

  • Comment number 26.

    Anyone who's watched the owls this season, or more so in the last 2 months, will know that this was the right decision.

    Those non wednesdayites looking from the outside in can easily generalise by saying that its a disgrace that managers such as laws arent given more time, but laws post match comments in recent games suggested he'd run out of ideas and didn't know how to turn things round. When it gets to that stage, the chariman had no choice (this would have been a touch decision for strafford who clearly did not want this outcome).

    When wednesday have been bad this season they have been awful and lost, when theyve played ok, theyve often lost or failed to win. In this division you need to be able to pick up points when youve not played well and win when youve played well, and we havent done that.

    But the main reason why laws has gone is progress, or lack of it this season. I believe, prior to woods depature, laws has had a better squad on paper this season than last. Yet he hasn't got the best out of that squad, or progressed individuals either (promsing young players such as beevers or spurr have stalled or gone backwards).

    Since strafford over, the club has progressed marginally off the field, but gone backwards on it.

    This is why laws had to go.

    I think mccauly will be given the job if he does ok as caretaker, and he's cheap.

    Cheers for the derby wins laws and for providing a little bit of hope before 2009, but time to move on.

  • Comment number 27.

    First up - thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to post. And M Royds (Dale Johnson post 21) - that may possibly be the longest reply to a blog I have ever seen.

    Sacking a manager during the season always kicks off a debate. It will always divide opinions and this is because the decision whether to stick or twist is rarely if ever clear-cut. Was it the right time for Laws to go? There are arguments on both sides and the picture is always clouded.

    Strafford has a plan - on-pitch results weren't matching them. One thing is for sure - the chairman now has to make the most important decision of his short Owls career. I hope he doesn't fall for the young chairman seduced by the big name because he has a big responsibility. Having met him, I have to say he seems very switched on and I reckon that he will not have taken the decision to sack Laws lightly.

  • Comment number 28.

    Agree with most the comments praising Brian Laws for work done - a good man, but run out of ideas at Hillsborough.

    My mony, if I had any, would be on George Burley. His league record with clubs in a similar position to Wednesday is excellent. He won't excite in the way Waddle, Shearer or any of the other big names with no track record would, but he does the job (someone like Waddle could learn a lot from Burley). Please not Southgate.

    Note I didn't add Sheridan's name to the star struck list - it is probably too soon, but so far he's showing great potential... signing Hughes at Oldham was inspired. Chesterfield are ticking over nicely... but Burley?

  • Comment number 29.

    And this has to be the last throw before administration - going down with the debt is unthinkable.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    Thanks for all you've done Laws. It must be hard knowing you have no financial backing and Strafford will never take our club anywhere. He's been promising financial input ever since he took over as chairman, is anyone really going to put money in now we have sacked the best person who could have took us further had money been there? We are going back to the dark days when Allen was in charge, in my opinion

  • Comment number 32.

    Maybe a bit early to be talking about the next manager....

    But how about Jim Magilton if he gets let go by QPR?
    Or how about Nigel Worthingon?
    Craig Burley possibly?
    Or if we're looking into the lower leagues what about Andy Scott?
    I would also love to see Lee Bullen involed somehow.

  • Comment number 33.

    As a Scunthorpe fan I have nothing but admiration for Brian Laws and I wish him all the very best in his next position. Moving to Wednesday was always going to be difficult and I think that he has managed to bring some stability to the club - given more time this season I am sure he would have got them out of their current predicament.

    We would take him back, but our old physio is doing a grand job in continuing the rollercoaster ride it is being a Scunny fan over the last few years - haven't enjoyed myself so much ever!

    Anyway - Merry Christmas Brian, have a few weeks off and get back into the game - wish you all the best mate.

  • Comment number 34.

    Bodzz1 - you mean George Burley - Craig left football (worked as a pundit for Setanta and owned a restaurant that closed in January 2008 owing nearly £300,000).

    One good thing about McAuley taking over is that at least he'll shake the squad up with academy players - if we haven't loaned out all the promising ones (I heard he was pushing to get a couple of them in the squad... we could do with some fearless players playing for the shirt.

    Worthington has to be in with a shout - even if his track record isn't as extensive as Burleys.

  • Comment number 35.

    Number 34, Oh yes George Burley. Another name that just occured to me is Steve Cotterill, although he's been out of work for a while, regardless we need somebody with some level of experience in the championship. Something that neither Paul Sturrock nor Brian Laws had in management prior to Sheffield Wednesday.

  • Comment number 36.

    Yet another club who thinks that a grand past gives them a right to a prosperous future and are willing to get themselves up to their eyeballs in debt that they simply cannot service ni order to achieve (or at least try to achieve) it.

    The best thing that Wednesday can do for themselves is to realise that they are no longer a club capable of playing premier league football and scale back accordingly for a few years. Forget any ideas about the 2018 world cup bid, forget expanding the stadium, forget big name managers and players, instead spend five years buying low, selling high and financing the debt. The fans have a big part to play in this, if they can see the need for stability at the club then they will accept that it needs cheaper players and might even need a visit to League One at some point in order to stabalise the club again.

  • Comment number 37.

    hackerjack - agree with your point about not going for the world cup, but generalising in this way about the rest of the running of the club shows you dont know much about the olws.

    we have spent 5 years buying low and selling our best players, and all owls fans accepted years ago we arent a big club anymore - and went into league one!

    if this was posted 5 years ago it would have been a completely relevenat blog, all owls fans want to see now is steady, not spectacular progress!

  • Comment number 38.

    I from spain and like english football very very much but Sheffield Wensday are poor side without idea of how game should be played. Players have no heart (no cojones). Tudgay is not hard worker. Johnson can dribble a bit but so can my grandma who is 80. Purse is division 1 player.Other team in Sheffield can get results and I think will be promoted with West Brom.Friend of me says that Sam Ellis may be next manager - who is he?

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm fascinated to see who Strafford brings in and agree that this will be a defining moment for his chairmanship of the club.

    I've got friends who work for wednesday and they say that since Strafford came in he's made plenty of little changes that have made Hillsborough a much nicer place to work. he's clearly a man of 'many ideas' but thus far it's only been the minor ideas that have worked. He's failed to bring in investment, and his deadline 'idea' earlier in the year was a painfully bad one - poor PR and embarrassing for supporters.
    That he's finally managed to get the ground redevelopment plans pushed through may be considered a success, but set against his failure to manage spiraling debts there has to be a big question mark over the rationality of the scheme. It also reminds us all of his wonderful 'Dulux five' incident which highlighted how ideas are all well and good but poorly thought out ones can lead to acute embarrassment.
    Finally, and crucially, as has been mentioned above both the redevelopment programme and his wider business plan for the club are centered around ludicrously high expectations of gate receipts which he's failed to achieve.

    Strafford is a 'man of ideas' but have Wednesday moved forward in any important way during his tenure?

    To move across the city for a second - when United were relegated the decision was made to move Warnock out and bring Robson in, and the result was a failure to bounce back to the Premiership which we've suffered from ever since. Despite all the good things McCabe has done at the club, this mistake will always be a black mark against his name. Strafford must choose very carefully.

  • Comment number 40.

    The wonderful wednesday goldfish bowl. A sea of enchantment, a pocket of opportunity. All the raw ingredients exist. Tradition, Fan Base, History. However, what you need is a manager to take this and bring it forward in their own way, and if the correct offer was made, I can see only one man for this job...

    Steev Coppell

    Now this is a man who can really build a side, really create a squad that fits in with the thics of the club. What he has not had is a big club platform to do with this - i think wednesday is the key. Yes he had a big club with city, but there was obvious boardroom probklems which halted his progress,

    Get the man in and let him work his magic.

  • Comment number 41.

    Sam Ellis next manager for Wensday

  • Comment number 42.

    Miguel - you a blade trying to undermine Blackwell? Or just an everyday joker... Sam Ellis did a job for Wednesday, lot of respect for him, but apart from his short stint in management he offers less than Darren Ferguson (bookies favorite - does that mean Laws is favourite for the Plymouth job and Sturrock for Peterborough? This suggestion is something like giving a banker a big wedge for losing a few billion).

    Can't see Coppell having the appetite for a move up north to work on a shoe string.

    As if Wednesdayites are deluded (post 36). We're all losing our fingernails up here from clinging on to championship status... we would, I think most would agree, like to see progress: even if it is seeing our academy delivering decent young players. We have only done the same as Peterborough and Plymouth.

  • Comment number 43.

    Looks like the job has Worthington's name on it

  • Comment number 44.

    YES

    Darren Ferguson - Young, dynamic and about as well-connected as it gets.

    Steve Coppell - Proven, successful and available - and the time may be right for him.

    Dan Petrescu - The lure of Wednesday and English football and the chance to be a hero - again - might be enough, but could we afford him ??

    Ian Holloway - Just because he's hilarious and I'd love to see him at Wednesday :)

    Czaba Laslo - I like what he's done up north and I reckon he could take us to the Premiership on personality and sheer bloody mindedness alone !!

    NO

    Gareth Southgate - Didn't do enough at 'borough for me - he needs to start all over again lower down the divisions.

    George Burley - Whilst I concede that he has the pedigree (Ipswich) I wouldn't want to see someone carrying the fresh scars he has from the Scotland job in charge of my club just yet.

    Eriksson - Because he WILL be mentioned, by someone, somewhere and just NO !!


    IN A DREAM I HAD - BUT PURELY FOR THE FUN OF IT

    Harry Redknapp - In my opinion the 2nd best manager never to have the England job (after Clough) and has the midas touch at any club he goes to. The best wheeler dealer out there and turns average players into Internationals regularly.

    Roy Hodgson - The wise old head a club like ours could do with, one of the most tactically astute managers around and no slouch in the transfer market.

    Alec McLeish - Firey tubthumper who seems to be getting the Brum squad ticking with some well placed purchases and pragmatic football.

  • Comment number 45.

    #44

    Harry Redknapp the 2nd best English manager not to have managed England...perhaps there may be a few managers upset you have missed them off their list.

    Redknapp - 1 FA cup win, 2 relegations and an occasional forray (without success) into europe. 26 years...wow how blessed we could have been.

    One thing he has managed to do is convince the media (a lot of whom are his friends) and quite a large percentage of the nation that he is this great manager, I and the stats disagree. Yes he is currently doing well with spurs but look at their squad, look at the money he has spent there. I would not say that they are any better off than Martin Jol's last full season at the club, and I would argue that any other british manager who has managed in the premiership in recent years would have spurs where they are now in the league.

    In terms of who would argue that they may be in with a better shout of your title of the 2nd best english manager not to manage england???

    Perhaps Howard Wilkinson, who won an English league championship, Joe Royle who has equalled Redknapps amazing record of 1 FA cup win. Howard Kendall?? With his FA Cup, League Championship, European Cup Winners Cup medals?? Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan? I'd even say that Ron Atkinson, despite his farcical late career would be more worthy.

  • Comment number 46.

    44 - Ferguson - well connected... has everone started to feel sorry for Man U now? I thought everyone hated them... it certainly didn't do Peterborough any good this season (being well connected - his dad didn't lend him Rooney).

    Darren Ferguson is a gamble.

    The rest of your list is pure fantasy - we're in the mire with no money.

  • Comment number 47.

    #45/#46

    That's why opinion is so wonderful - Howard Wilkinson - dour man, dire football. Paisley is a good shout, although you only have to look at the Revie era to realise that a dominant club manager isn't necessarily a recipe for success at international level . . . Redknapp, in my opinion, flies in the face of Capello's methods (which I do believe in) but appears to be able to eke performances out of players that are far better than their ability/experience/age would allow us to expect.

    Yes my list is a bit of fantasy football really, although it's based mainly on the names that are being/will be bandied about over the coming days. Personally, I'd love to see us make an approach for Csaba Laszlo at Hearts . . . we could probably afford him and he's developing a good reputation for developing players and delivering success at a club that had fallen on (relatively) hard times.

  • Comment number 48.

    boddz1 (post 32) - not too early to speculate about managerial contenders at all - after all, you need one!

    Nigel Worthington is obviously keen but Darren Ferguson clearly did a very good job at Peterborough and if the club opt for more of an up and coming man then he surely must be in with a good shout.

    George Burley has a decent track record, while Dan Petrescu would be an intriguing choice but a real gamble.

    How soon do Wednesday fans think the club will take to make their appointment?

  • Comment number 49.

    (post 47)
    When Burley left Hearts he left them with eight wins from 10 games - and playing good football. The only problem with Burley is that he seems to arrive at clubs saddled with problems (including "eccentric" directors)

  • Comment number 50.

    Post 48
    If they have any sense they'll wait and see if McAuley has the same impact as he did after Sturrock's departure (but he got lucky there - a) players came back from injury (strikers) and b) the players were playing for Sturrock (the injustice of the sacking - that was my impression from what Bullen said).

  • Comment number 51.

    #49

    If it wasn't for the fact that he probably needs a damn good rest after the mutilation he suffered at the end of his Scotland reign then I'd be right behind us looking at seriously at Burley. I just have a feeling that he probably needs to have a break and recover a bit. Having said that, I'm no psychologist so what do I know about it - might be exactly what he needs - although I doubt it.

    It's the potential for unrest that his appointment would bring - it wouldn't be the first time a manager has left a particularly stressful post and gone somewhere else almost straight away only to realise he's made a mistake on a personal level - it's the wider impact of that possibility that worries me. If Laws' legacy at Hillsborough is to be the stability he brought to the club it would be criminal to flush that away with an ill advised successor whilst his seat is still warm !!

  • Comment number 52.

    The Laws argument is one that certainly splits opinion within my circle. As a bladesfan in Sheffield I have a lot of exposure to Wednesdays fortunes. Brian Laws up until recent times has performed border line miracles at the club during his tenure at Hillsborough. The man had no money and was forced to trawl through the cheap buys and free transfers to get a team together. As a result he stabilised the club working with his hands tied. However - even with budgets taken into account Lawsy seems to have signed the wrong players when taking into account the likes of Jeffers, Buxton, O'Connor and Purse (to name but a few). I still don't think wednesday would have gone down and find Lee Strafford a very naive chairman who is shwoing himself to be out of his depth. Yes he is well-meaning and ambitious, but he seems to be under the impression that the owls should be pushing for the top 6 on a shoe-string budget, in addition to funding about 10 of the 20 million or so required to bid for the world cup. Get in the real world strafford - you can't expect increased revenue from ticket sales, advertising and merchandise without having a decent team on the pitch. Try making some money through other ventures like Blades have and you might have some dosh to throw at the team!

  • Comment number 53.

    As for Bryan Robson as manager - that would be hillarious. Mind you don't think you could get him out of the bar for long enough. Worthington and Ferguson Jr (if he's interested)would be reasonable candidates. There isn't a lot out there.

  • Comment number 54.

    (post 51) Maybe. But Burley must be an extreme optimist to have taken on the Scotland job in the first place: the fact he tried so many players in such a short time (was it about 50?) shows just how bad things have got. Any manager who has delivered against the odds has to have confidence in their ability - and that rubs off on players. Burley has delivered at club level against the odds - I'd have more confidence in him than I would in someone who hasn't show the metal needed to succeed.

  • Comment number 55.

    Dan Petrescu Please

  • Comment number 56.

    #54

    Fair point, and as I said, I agree in principle - I just think it might be too soon, but that's just me.

    You could argue that there are many managers over the years that have delivered against the odds at one club but failed at another, Sturrock overdelivered time and again at Plymouth, completly bombed at Southampton but we hold him dear at S9. His return down south, though, has not gone according to plan . . .

    For me, Laszlo from Hearts if we can afford him, Darren Ferguson if we can afford him or to be fair I'd love to see Pearson or Worthington back at the club. Worthington would be by far the more likely, as Pearson seems happy and settled at Leicester but I worry about Worthington after the way his Norwich reign ended . . .

  • Comment number 57.

    The friend of me says wensday need a new man who is a boss like Len Achurst

  • Comment number 58.

    Good Luck to Brian Laws who seems like a decent enough, hard working guy.

    Hopefully Wednesday will make the right appointment, because as a Leeds fan in peace, I can say from first hand experience what a combination of meagre resources and poor managerial appointments can do. Why Brian Robson should even be mentioned must give Blades fans the heebeegeebees, like Howard Wilkinson, he is too much of an old school manager who just burned out and couldn't keep with the program. Wilkinson at least is a Wednesday guy, but appointing former players as managers rarely works (at Leeds we had Bremner, Gray, Clarke, McAllister and none of them worked long term). I feel a need to defend Wilkinson on football style though, for 3 seasons (Div 2 promotion, and the first 2 top flight seasons) Leeds played really good football, that midfield of Strachan, McAllister, Batty and Speed had flair, and players like Tony Dorigo and Chris Fairclough were stylish in defence. He also blooded Harry Kewell, who was a real crowd pleaser at Leeds. Unfortunately though, when the chips were down and resources were low, he lost his way like Brian Laws and getting players like Palmer, Pemberton, Beesley in etc, did lead to a more direct approach which was neither pleasing, nor ultimately, successful.

    Ferguson is too raw to handle a big job with that pressure. I don't know who would suit the job who is affordable. Steve Coppell - maybe, a decent track record at this level, but question marks over his ability to cope with pressure (rumours that he had nervous exhaustion at Man City etc, but then again, which Man City manager hasn't ;) ) Best wishes to Wednesday and hope they can employ a successful manager and get back to being a decent footballing side - Wednesday always had that reputation, while the Blades were the hard working, aggressive team but nowadays you couldn't really tell from the matches I've seen in the last couple of years. The main thing though is to stabilize this year and avoid relegation and then kick on from next year.

  • Comment number 59.

    36. At 08:46am on 14 Dec 2009, hackerjack wrote:
    "Yet another club who thinks that a grand past gives them a right to a prosperous future and are willing to get themselves up to their eyeballs in debt that they simply cannot service ni order to achieve (or at least try to achieve) it.
    The best thing that Wednesday can do for themselves is to realise that they are no longer a club capable of playing premier league football and scale back accordingly for a few years".
    As someone who lived in Sheffield 20 years, and was a steward at Hillsborough, for three years (when the owls were in the Premiership), two of Wednesday's probs have always been that a) their fans think they're world beaters, however poor the team is: objectivity is not their strong point, and b) the Sheffield derby is all important. They need to change their attitude if they wish to move forward. However, it pains me to see the Owls where they are, mainly because I know what **** they're going to get from Unitedites, (who I cannot bear).

  • Comment number 60.

    Benitez will be available fairly soon.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think Warnock would be good for Wensday. Soon they would play good football!

  • Comment number 62.

    #45 - Howard Wilkinson did manage England.
    #48 - They need to appoint before the transfer window shuts. Not necessarily because we have any money to spend, but to offload the tosh.
    #59 - When did you leave Sheffield? I don't think there are many fans who have sat through nearly 10 years of poor performances who are under any delusions these days. Many of the younger fans will never have seen them in the Premier League.
    #61 - are you really Spanish or just a tool?

  • Comment number 63.

    I think Warnock would be good for Wensday. Soon they would play good football!


    Why not just get Deane and Agana and go the whole hog.

  • Comment number 64.

    It's sad to see a good manager like Laws go, but after reading some of these comments, his time was up,

    Sheridan is a name that isn't being mentioned much, being an Oldham fan I'll vouch for Shezza, and i think he'd give it the best shot of all these ex players being mentioned (with the exception of Pearson).
    He's young, eager, and a Wednesday hero.

    He worked miracles at BP with no money, so he's used to that side of football, he's worked previously with Grant and JJ, he also likes his sides to play the way he did, on the floor and with a purpose.

    Think he's served his apprenticeship, firstly at BP and currently at Chesterfield, he would walk over coals to make Wednesday good again.

    Just keep him away from the Greyhounds !!

  • Comment number 65.

    Miguel you kill me!
    I just love your madness - warnock, ashurst etc.,
    I know your probably a unitedite or you've just escaped - for sure you are not Spanish - but in such troubled times for wednesday fans I like you whoever you are and wherever your from.
    Keep jumping in with your madness - very funny!

  • Comment number 66.

    "36. At 08:46am on 14 Dec 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    Yet another club who thinks that a grand past gives them a right to a prosperous future and are willing to get themselves up to their eyeballs in debt that they simply cannot service ni order to achieve (or at least try to achieve) it.

    The best thing that Wednesday can do for themselves is to realise that they are no longer a club capable of playing premier league football and scale back accordingly for a few years. Forget any ideas about the 2018 world cup bid, forget expanding the stadium, forget big name managers and players, instead spend five years buying low, selling high and financing the debt. The fans have a big part to play in this, if they can see the need for stability at the club then they will accept that it needs cheaper players and might even need a visit to League One at some point in order to stabalise the club again."

    This post has me fuming.

    I only hope the crippling irony of pointing out our apparent delusion in suggesting Wednesday are currently AMOUNTING huge debt in order to get back to where we 'rightfully belong', comes back to slap you in the face. The fact is the debt amounted years ago and Wednesday have done nothing BUT cut back in order to contain it, particularly during the years in league 1. The height of our ambition (and optimism) in the short term has been this (pre)seasons call for a playoff push. Hardly world beating... And in the long term? If you're not looking to re-establish yourself in the PL, then what are you doing?

    Big name managers and players? Like we have targeted any 'big name' players since the late 90's...

    Big name managers? I'm sorry... could you list the managers we have had since being relegated from the premiere league? I'm sure you will see a steady 'decline' in pedigree and prestige, for pragmatism (financially and in terms of on-the-pitch style) and stability.

    Stadium expansion: I'll not bother - you clearly have no idea how this project is proposing to be financed.

    As someone has previously said, your post may have been relevant 5 years ago. But you clearly have your facts wrong, and perhaps a blue-and-white bee in your bonnet. A person who gets their facts wrong and replaces them with some anti- "big club" rhetoric, and then has the nerve to tell us what Wednesday SHOULD be doing, which is exactly what they HAVE been doing since being relegated to league 1.

    Hello Irony. Good day to you. Ah, I see you brought a wet trout with you. Is that for slapping? Spiffing.

    On topic: McAuley should be given a few games; in part to give him time to prove he is worthy, if he so wishes, and also to avoid rushing into any ill-advised appointments. However, I do agree something should be in place for any potential transfer window maneouvering - even if, as someone has already said, it is to offload those who have lost the faith.

    Dan Petrescu would be interesting; Worthington's club association would hopefully give the players a lift. Coppell no nonsense. They're my top 3. What about Worthy with Waddle as right hand man? Just a thought...

  • Comment number 67.

    Paul - I imagine we'll have someone in for the Newcastle game on boxing day, think Swansea this weekend might be a bit too soon. With our run in whoever comes in should hit the ground running. Yes, Newcastle will be difficult opposition but at the same time 5 of our next 6 are at home, the crowd will be full of optimism and hopefully the players will pull their finger out if they know that the new manager will be willing to shake things up a bit.

    As for those saying Wednesday fans think we belong in the premiership...in all honesty, yes I do think Wednesday belong there. Ask Leicester fans about our support at the weekend, that coupled with the size of the fan base and the history of the club suggest that we should be playing in the top tier. However, saying I think we belong there and expecting us to get there in the short term are two totally different things. The fact that I went into the Donny game not caring about the result just wanting a bit of passion on display, and into the Leicester game again not caring if we won, drew or lost but simply hoping we scored a goal, you can hardly say that expectations are too high!!

  • Comment number 68.

    I am Madrid but i live here for some months and I see all the teams in Sheffield and Wensday play football good neat exciting in own half of field - it why they no can score and let in many!

  • Comment number 69.

    62. At 1:43pm on 14 Dec 2009, presto_west_end wrote:
    #45 - Howard Wilkinson did manage England.

    One game vs france while the FA waited to appoint Keegan is not managing england, he was never appointed, just arranged to pick a squad and team to play that game.

    It's just like saying Peter Taylor was the England manager, he wasn't.

    The respective games vs France in 99 and Italy in 2000 had already been arranged and were obviously not going to be cancelled by the FA as even these friendly games are lucerative money spinners.

    Fool

  • Comment number 70.

    #68 Sorry Miguel, my mistake. Hope your spelling gets better whilst you're here.

    #69 He was caretaker manager and therefore managed England, pedant. Of course, the fact that he was only caretaker and only there for one game lays fallacy to your (now proven to be erroneous) argument that he is the 2nd best english manager never to manage England. That, and his record at Sunderland.

  • Comment number 71.

    #69 - Wilko managed England on two different occasions, the first as you rightly said in the friendly against France, but secondly in a qualifier against Finland after Keegan quit in 2000.

    As you've mentioned Keegan, why not? The predicament we find ourselves in is not a million miles away from where Newcastle were the first time he took over there (if anything we're in better shape off the field than they were).

    It would certainly put some bums on seats if nothing else...

  • Comment number 72.

    By the way Paul Fletcher: the title to this piece is wrong - unless you call staying in the Championship lofty ambition (I doubt Ferguson or any other self respecting manager would call that a lofty ambition). Okay, so we started the season with hope of reaching the play-offs (hardly lofty - not title aspirations in S6). The weight of expectation, and Brian Laws would subscribe to this, was that we would make a gradual improvement on last year. In the end it was, by his own admission, the lack of ideas, the failure of the players he had brought in that ended his tenure. Being mid table in the Championship would have kept him in a job - that isn't lofty. Even Peterborough and Plymouth sack managers on for failing to deliver on this level...

  • Comment number 73.

    Interesting thought Andy (post 72). By lofty ambitions I am talking about Strafford's vision for the club - his plans to redevelop the stadium, to repair the relationship with the supporters to the point where they are pouring back through the turnstiles. And then, eventually, to return to the Premier League. They are lofty ambitions I think - though I admit they are for the long-term. But what is not factored into them is going backwards on/and or off the pitch in the short term and it is this sense that the differing directions cost Laws his job.

  • Comment number 74.

    (post 73) In one respect what you say about Stafford's vision and moves is correct, but the implications in context of the Law's sacking is that it was more that he had not delivered play-off contention. But even if the lofty ambition is applied to Stafford I am not sure it captures the full picture. The stadium development may go under that heading: clearly it is in need of more than a face-lift to restore its reputation as a major tournament venue (we have a nearly facilities so it is worth making the extra effort). This also ties in with the image of success the club would want to project to investors.

    The other aspects do not reflect lofty ambitions (though they may contribute to them). Stafford appears to have a genuine commitment to making the club more responsive to its community and to be seen as a community resource. It is easy to be cynical about the motives for such moves, but so far there is little to suggest that it is not driven by good intent. Part of the intent, clearly, is to fill the stadium as a means of generating atmosphere and enthusiasm – is this a lofty ambition? Or is it just a means of attempting to keep the club afloat? The price changes are costing the club because it is a gamble that has not paid off (mainly because the poor form of the team is undermining the repackaging… Stafford is like a hamster trapped on its wheel, the faster he runs to catch up with the debt the low the club sinks.

    Wednesday fans know how dire the situation is. The credit crunch appears to have made investors nervous about taking on debt laden football clubs. Maybe when the dust settles, all of the debt shocks have been revealed and economies generate sustainable growth, SWFC may look attractive just the way it is. Given the money spent on the academy at SWFC and Howard Wilkinson’s role in developing it, the one thing that the club should be doing to help polish up its image is to bring its youth players through the system. Recently, you have to say, our neighbours have had the upper hand at developing young players: this is one of the most disappointing aspects of Brian Laws tenure as manager – the fact that he hasn’t given the academy players a fair crack to make an impression. This is where the loan system under Laws has failed the team – he has relied on too many crocks looking for fitness training (Sturrock brought in keen and eager young players – even if he didn’t always give them a decent game).

    I seem to have made a good case for giving Sean McAuley until January to make an impression!

  • Comment number 75.

    Paul again ( A Great Blog!!) telling it how it is!!!

    Short and sweet and straight to the point:

    Thankyou Mr Laws for your 3 year tenure and doing the best you could do which the tools of the trade in which you were not fully given...

    Yes it was right to let him go, why? 2 examples it is a points (win results) business-in the bottom 3 means we don't have the results.
    Secondly i think Brian took us a far as he could (yes more money would make a massive difference but it was the case here.

    Please please please do not appoint names who have been mentioned like Waddle,Sheridan or D.Ferguson for that matter! why? wel none have got the experience of championship level or above and none of them really have a good pedigree, i'm sorry but Darren is living off his dads name-why?

    WHY WOULD SHEFF WED WANT A MANAGER WHO HAS JUST BEEN SACKED AND LEFT THE CLUB AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LEAGUE????
    IF HE HAD CONTACTS THEN HE WOULD HAVE USED THEM WHEN HE WAS MANAGER THERE??

    Finally Curbishley 4me please-yes i know we prob could not afford him but we'll see.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 76.

    # 75

    Agree with you on Sheridan and Waddle, neither are capable of taking over at Hillsborough, but the Ferguson statement is ridiculous! although I have reservations on Ferguson, its more to do with his time in management than what you're giving him stick for, have you actually seen what he did for Peterborough? And your comment:
    "i'm sorry but Darren is living off his dads name"
    how exactly?? He started at Peterborough in League 2 as a player/manager, he wasn't given control of a Premiership/championship team for his first job was he, and during his spell there he said he was doing it alone and refused any help from Alex, he then earned recognition for securing 2 consecutive promotions in 2 years (fair enough he did join halfway through the first season but still not bad going)
    You cant honestly slate the guy for getting his team promoted in 2 consecutive seasons and then, when a few results dont go his way in his 3rd year, he left the club by mutual consent (not officially a sacking). Seems your been to hard on the guy, as I mentioned, only his time in management is a worry, his acheivements in that time are impressive.

    My personal choice is Worthington, been an ex owl and having a bit of experience at league level, but if Ferguson did get it then it'd be an interesting appointment, lets hope he can give the lads a kick start they so obviously need right now.

  • Comment number 77.

    Why you want Chris Woggle? For me and also the friend of the father of my girlfirend we think Worthington is not good choice.In spain when we think somebody is not so clever we call of them "rabbits in the headlights" - no thinking quick and that is Worthington.

  • Comment number 78.

    Fair point about Ferguson (Owlsgeezer), i suppose in a nutshell you could pick up good points about Ferguson and come up with not so good ones, i'm just really apprehensive who we will attract/appoint as we the fans deserve and want a successful path forward.

    One thing is for sure tho, whoever does come in has got a major task ahead of them, for me it's vastly about having good contacts from the new manager and be able to dabble in places for players before anyone else gets a sniff of them being available.

    ???do we need a new manager???

    McCauley did well last time out in charge!
    Look at Chris Hughton @ Newcastle, ok it took them 25 years to give him the job but hey.

    SWFC 4VER

  • Comment number 79.

    He has to be a big personality with a proven track record not someone whose claim to fame was that he managed Scunthorpe for 10 years.
    The last great manager we truly had and the most successful since 1935 was Big Ron. I love still love him.
    Is there another Ron Atkinson or Big Jack Charlton out there?
    We need someone like these two who can take us out of the mire we are in and get us back up there by whatever means possible. We need to get hard dirty and nasty to do this. We need to spend nights on the moors in the snow with the sheep. Jack did this regularlytaking the team to his mothers moorside cottage and at 5am making them all go for a 10 mile run. Most of them were still pissed from the night before but that was his way. It worked.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    i suppose in a nutshell you could pick up good points about Ferguson and come up with not so good ones, i'm just really apprehensive who we will attract/appoint as we the fans deserve and want a successful path forward.rolex replica

 

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