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[FM17] - We're All Wednesday Aren't We?

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Hello all and welcome to my career report! This is my first game with FM17 and so I have gone with the team I support, Sheffield Wednesday. Naturally, managing the team I support, I aim to be as successful as possible!

 

I shall update several times over a season, including post/pre-season (expectations, transfers, international competitons of note (etc)), at the half-way point (Dec/Jan) and at the end of the season. Any cup finals (I can dream!), play-offs etc will have dedicated posts due to their importance and rarity. 

This first update will be a little brief as I've been playing for a while and all screenshots are retrospective. Therefore I haven't saved any images of interesting news/events (etc...) that occurred earlier in the save!

In between work and three young children, my playing time is a little limited. This means there may be times when updates take a few days, and for that I apologise! If play time ends up dropping further, I shall revert to monthly updates in order to reduce the time between posts.

 

Anyway, without any more delay, let's get started.

 

Sheffield Wednesday

ivDw701.gif

Quick Facts:

Founded: 1867

Location: Sheffield

Stadium: Hillsborough (39,812)

Nickname: The Owls

Club Owner: Dejphon Chansiri

 

Introduction:

I started out as a complete unknown, with the lowest possible settings for qualifications and for career experience. After taking over from Carlos Carvalhal, I was told our ambitions for the season were to reach the play offs in the Championship, and reach the 4th round of both the EFL and FA Cups. I feel these are fair expectations and as such left them as is. Obviously there are good teams in this division following the relegation of Newcastle and Aston Villa, as well as more established championship teams such as Brighton, Leeds, Derby and Reading. The squad itself is in pretty good shape, with good, solid players throughout. Because of this, I haven't dipped too much into the market during the first half of the season.

 

The Squad:

Sheffield Wednesday Squad -- Team Report

As I said above, I like our squad. It certainly has enough quality to achieve the ambition for reaching the playoffs, and perhaps even mount a challenge for automatic promotion. There are a few players I have picked out as players who I believe are our foremost stars and those I will be looking to in order to achieve our goals.

Fernando Forestieri (AMC/R/L) - I am biased, but I believe Forestieri is one of the leading stars in the Championship. A goal threat, good with the ball, and a creator all add up to make him a dangerous and potent attacking threat. He is the player I shall be looking to to create chances as well as help add goals throughout the season. I shall be using him in an AMC position acting as either a False Nine or an Advanced Playmaker.

Gary Hooper (ST) - An established striker with a decent record, I shall be using Hooper as our primary goal threat. I am confident he has more than enough ability to lead the line in the Championship and score plenty of goals.

Kieran Lee (MC) - An unsung hero in the midfield, he never stops running or working for the team. A keen eye for a pass, decent technique and comfortable with the ball at his feet, Lee could be pivotal in the middle of the park as we move the ball from the back to the likes of Forestieri, Wallace, and Hooper.

Tom Lees (DC) - A solid defender who could make most Premier League teams, I expect him to be solid at the back and form a strong partnership with captain and fellow centre-back Glenn Loovens.

 

Transfers:

Transfers In/Out

I said previously I was happy with the current squad and wouldn't make many changes. As you can see, I offloaded some of the players who wouldn't gain much game time and brought in just two players. Walsh, who will be used as cover for Lees and Loovens, and Bardsley, who will figure more prominently, rotated with Jack Hunt at right-back.

I was pleased to sell a few players to recuperate some funds and trim down the wage bill. 

 

2016/17 First-Half Season Review:

Championship:

Championship Table -- Results

A brilliant start to my career, sitting 11 points clear at the half-way stage over second placed Norwich. Our two defeats came against Derby County (an appalling 6-1 defeat at Pride Park) and Preston (2-0 at home). The Derby result was largely caused by an injury crisis amongst our goalkeepers, with the 1st (Westwood), 2nd (Wildsmith) and 3rd (Dawson) choice keepers all being injured! This meant we had to play out U-18 goalkeeper (Dan Wallis), with dire consequences.

My personal highlight was a 3-0 victory against fierce rivals Leeds United - that was satisfying! Other notable results were a 6-0 victory away against Burton and the 5-2 victory away at Fulham.

EFL Cup:

Fixtures/Results

A decent cup run saw us reach the quarter finals before succumbing to Tottenham Hotspur. We achieved the pre-season goal of reaching the 4th Round so I have no complaints. 

The penalty-shootout victory over Everton was definitely nerve-wracking.

FA Cup:

Haven't played in this competition yet, but we have been drawn against Newcastle in the 3rd Round.

 

Financial State:

Finances

Unstable, but given our current position and excellent start, I am casting one-eye forward at the next season, which if we achieve promotion (as things apparently seem likely at this stage), then the finances will look a lot healthier. If we don't manage to achieve promotion then I shall look at taking extra measures in an attempt to arrest the slide.

 

Notable Events:

Forstieri and Loovens Request Transfer:

Both Forestieri and Loovens had requested I accept any forthcoming transfer offers from Leverkusen and FC Utrect (respectively). I agreed, provided the offers meet a value I deemed worthy. Both players accepted this. However, Forestieri later retracted his request and Loovens penned a new contract, effectively ending any potential transfer.

As of yet, no transfer offers have been received, but the January window is about to open.

Interestingly, Forestieri has also caught the eye of A.C. Milan!

Westwood Injury:

Number 1 choice goalkeeper Kieran Westwood suffered a shoulder injury while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. This is the 4th shoulder injury in his career and is something I shall monitor. His deputy and academy product, Joe Wildsmith, performed very well in his absence.

Hooper Prolific:

Gary Hooper has been in outstanding form during the first half of the season. Scoring 15 goals in 13 (3) appearances, averaging a goal every 80 minutes, and having a ratio of almost 50% in terms of shots on target:goals, he has fired us to 1st position in the league. 

In all competitons, Hooper averages a goal a game.

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Nice to see somebody starting with Wednesday pal, shall follow!

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Started an unemployed career which ended up as Wednesday as my first job. Some of the contracts at Wednesday are crazy. Would recommend getting rid of a few backup players who wouldn't really be near the team. I got rid of Fletcher (more to give Hirst games), Emanuelson, Sasso, Semedo, Nuhiu. Trying to get rid of Winnall and McGuggan also.

Team is definitely good enough to go up first season. Hooper and Rhodes are crazy for this level. Unfortunately I joined in late November with the team sitting 22nd. Managed to move them up to 4th place now. Automatic promotion is out of sight, so playoffs it is for me!

 

Good luck!

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I didn't realise Forestieri was *that* good in FM, what a player!

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Sheffield Wednesday

January 2017

Transfers Out:

January is always a month that is full of promise and excitement when the transfer window re-opens for the month, as well as seeing most leagues feature a full schedule in which tables can change wildly. January for us featured some important transfer dealings: despite his request to rescind his transfer request, Forestieri left the club in a £9.5M deal to West Brom, with the fee rising to a potential £11.5M. This stands as the record transfer fee received by the club, and it wasn't an easy decision. As has been seen in the mid-season stats, he was extremely influential for us and a major reason for our excellent league form. However, he was somewhat unsettled and I decided it would be better for him to seek the challenge he is after.

5900d9d320337_16-17ForestieritoWestBrom.thumb.png.8a426752bbd3a5b3d6fb69a2f3fa7ea8.png

The transfer window also saw the departure of Steven Fletcher in a £850k deal to Derby County. Fletcher never really got up and running for us, as given Hooper's sensational form, and with Rhodes due back from injury this month, I decided to take the money and let him leave. I could have secured a higher transfer fee, but I was happy enough to offload an under performing player and ease wage commitments.

Morgan Fox was loaned out for the remainder of the season to Motherwell. Fox didn't figure in my first team plans and it made sense to get him game time elsewhere.

George Hirst has found himself on Southampton's radar, and they spent the window attempting to secure his signature. However, all deals were rejected instantly - he is a fantastic prospect for the future and one I am not keen to sell. Following the departure of Fletcher to Derby, Hirst has found himself on the fringes of the first team, making his debut against Brighton.

5900d9c29dba7_GeorgeHirst.thumb.png.f593e1a22a6c0958fb0867fa71f00e22.png

5900d9d46fec0_GeorgeHirstTransferOffer.thumb.png.5ebcb6f39c289965b62d48f7de46e1a6.png

 

Transfers In:

With the departure of Forestieri to West Brom, I was left needing to find a replacement for him, someone who can create and score in equal measure while sitting behind Hooper in an Advanced Playmaker position. After pouring over scout reports that I'd accumulated so far, I narrowed it down to two potential candidates - Harry Bunn (Huddersfield) or Pablo Hernandez (Leeds). While Bunn was the cheaper option, in the end I came to an agreement with Leeds to take Hernandez and bring him down the road to Sheffield. It took £4.5M to secure his services, far above his valuation of £2M - doubtless influenced by the rivalry between the two teams, as well as the fact he was a first team regular for Leeds at the time.

5900d9cce82db_PabloHernandez.thumb.png.8749a40416722b51078fff764f20ebf2.png

 

League Fixtures & Table:

5900d9a040ff1_Jan17SBC.thumb.png.574fc190b39b19443768de6902dd9c0a.png

5900d9b57b221_Jan17.thumb.png.a2f3ec54f66fa9b41684f1ca77600a0e.png

Another fantastic month in the league that sees us extended our lead at the top of the pile. The only blemish was the dropped points away against Huddersfield (2-2), but the are one of the league's top scoring sides and vying for a playoff position, so the away trip was always going to be a tough fixture.

 

FA Cup:

5900d99f6dbf4_Jan17FA.thumb.png.116a8fd1835fa67a4b63f2ce79741982.png

A dominant win over Newcastle (in what was to be Forestieri's last game as an Owl) was our only success in the FA Cup as we were then eliminated after a 2-1 home defeat against Stoke. The Stoke match also saw Westwood injured once again with a damaged neck, ruiling him out for up to three weeks. There was some positives, however, as Jordan Rhodes returned from injury (sports hernia) and got himself on the score sheet - his first goal in over 8 hours of football! That goal was followed by two more in the league fixture against Bristol City, adding further justification to the decision to sell Steven Fletcher during the transfer window.

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Great work with Sheffield :thup: Keep up the good work

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Sheffield Wednesday

ivDw701.gif

 

2016/17 End of Season Review:

 

Competitions & Results:

SkyBet Championship:

5902050094831_2016-17ChampionshipFinalTable.thumb.png.b5097db7e7c53891ad570532454da574.png

A very successful season in which we were promoted as champions at the first time of asking, finishing 7 points clear of second placed Newcastle, and 15 points clear of third placed Norwich. Joining us in the Premiership next season will be Huddersfield who beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the play off final.

We finished the season with a club record points total (99), eclipsing the previous total of 98. We also beat the league wins record for the club with 30, the previous record standing at 28.

Here is how the season ran from February until May:

590205e928720_2016-17ChampionshipFinalFixtures.thumb.png.1d4049b52ef30084af767da16894108c.png

Our second half of the season wasn't quite as good as the first half, but that would have been a mammoth challenge to maintain over the full course. I was bitterly disappointed with the 2-0 defeat away to Barnsley, as we were absolutely insipid in that match. That spell of games was the worst run we had during the season, where we only managed to secure 4 points from a possible 18. Fortunately Newcastle were just as indifferent as us and never really came close to challenging our supremacy at the top of the league. As the final table shows, however, they did close the gap somewhat, down to 7 points from 15.

We clinched the league title with the 1-0 victory over Ipswich, with promotion assured in the previous game against Derby.

 

Off-Season Transfers:

 

Following the conclusion of the season, we have arranged the following transfers to help strengthen the squad and keep us in the top flight:

590207bc76b7b_2016-17FutureTransfers.thumb.png.29fe24991c7c1b1e4c1da39de0277762.png

NB: The Jordan Rhodes deal is a pre-arranged transfer included as part of his loan deal from Middlesbrough, effective at the start of the season.

We haven't spent wildly, and the players coming in are designed merely to ensure we have the quality and experience to remain in the Premier League next season. The older heads of Pazzini and Ledesma are being brought in with a view to using their experience of top level football. Bjelland and Hobbs will be used to cover for Loovens, who has dropped off (due to age) over this season, as well as to provide us with extra strength in depth in the back 4.

Here is a detailed look at the players I will be bringing in:

Andreas Bjelland

Cristian Ledesma

Giampaolo Pazzini

Jack Hobbs

Sebastian Larsson

As of yet, not players have been sold or arranged to be sold during the off-season. Naturally this may (and probably will) change before the start of the next season.

 

Team/Player of the Year Awards:

 

590209d5bfdf6_2016-17TeamoftheYear.thumb.png.67546b94efbd6a683559366d93ea7ccf.png

Gary Hooper, unsurprisingly was the fans' overwhelming choice as player of the season with 57% of the vote.

Pablo Hernandez was named as the transfer of the season following his good form after his arrival from rivals Leeds United.

Gary Hooper also finished third on the top scorer charts from the Championship with 22 goals. The top scorer was Huddersfield's Nahki Wells with 28 goals for the season.

59020ac0c4448_2016-17Playersteamoftheyear.thumb.png.a4a69d0982cc1caddcf2400726c4b670.png

Tom Lees, Glenn Loovens and Pablo Hernandez were selected as part of the Players' Select Team of the Year for the Championship.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I was awarded the Manager of the Year award.

 

Training Report:

 

59020c9b3f662_2016-17TrainingReview.thumb.png.d4ac9ce7eb5b5ebad33f01631f4a9951.png

Loovens has shown steady decline lately, doubtless linked to his increasing age.

Other worrying performances were those of Westwood and Hernandez, and these will be monitored closely.

Fortunately, however, Wildsmith (the number 2 goalkeeper) has shown a good increase over the year, in no small part due to his increased game time following Westwood's injuries over the season. I am also pleased to see George Hirst improving as he is one I have earmarked for the future.

Finances & Looking Forward:

 

59020c974636a_2016-17FinancialReport.thumb.png.4a8eff7f77b73fb6ad568985015ce23e.png

We ended the season in profit and back in the black, but this was only because of a £35M investment by the chairman - fortunately this occurred after the tax bill was processed...! Obviously we need to ensure we remain on a sound financial footing and don't become reliant on the chairman opening his wallet to keep the club afloat. Increased TV Revenue, gate receipts and sponsorships from playing in the Premier Division will go a good way to handling this, so survival in the top flight next season is critical.

I'm expecting next year to be a struggle as we adapt to life in the top flight for the first time since we were relegated in the 1990/00 season. I haven't reached the seasonal expectations stage yet - this shall be covered in the next update, I imagine - but right now the aim has to be avoiding relegation with perhaps half-an-eye looking at finishing mid table. 

The board have agreed to upgrade both the Training Facilities and the Youth Facilities. The training facilities are current rated as Adequate, with the Youth Facilities rated as Average. Any improvement here will obviously be beneficial to the club, so I am pleased to have been given the green light in terms of improving their quality.

 

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I would like to thank you all for the kind words and support so far! I am enjoying this career and I am excited to see how far I can go with my beloved Owls :)

 

Feedback and comments are always appreciated, and any suggestions/criticism over style, layout or content is welcome!

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Sheffield Wednesday

ivDw701.gif

 

2017/18 Pre-Season

Transfer Dealings:

59035823cd4c3_2017-18PreseasonTransfers.thumb.png.c4395d096056957ab50bd1acf13a2cc7.png

An update on the previous post, we have signed Filip Djuricic from Sampdoria to help out as we look to avoid relegation in our first season. He is good with the ball and possess high technique and flair. He is, however, let down by poor physical stats which could become a stumbling block as the busy season progresses.

We've had some players leave the club as both Vincent Sasso and Lucas Joao have moved on. After the new arrivals both of these players would have struggled to break into the first team so I made the decision to move them on.

I was sad to release Jose Semedo as he is a bit of a fan favourite in real life, however I couldn't justify a new contract for purely sentimental reasons.

 

Seasonal Expectations:

590359598d214_2017-18SeasonExpectations.thumb.png.d661fa37c6b3b71a42cddcaf3042e687.png

590359f8c870e_2017-18Premiershiptitleodds.thumb.png.1437c2ecbd7bf326aa5b151141419932.png

As predicted, avoiding relegation as in the target this year. The bookies have us predicted to finish 19th and only the most optimistic amongst us is expecting anything other than a long, hard slog. I view the cup expectations as a necessary evil and my attention will primarily be on the league and surviving this year.

The transfer budget was initially higher, but the arrivals and some budget adjustments reduced it to its current low level.

 

Pre-Season Friendlies

59035a2a3a592_2017-18Friendlies.thumb.png.5820d10e938b64817e0aff9cf9277fab.png

Unbeaten in the pre-season, but there were no truly challenging teams, the toughest being either Red Star or Standard Liege, both boasting European experience. I was pleased to see the new signings settle in and bag a few goals for us in the friendlies, along with upcoming player such as George Hirst.

 

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Sheffield Wednesday

ivDw701.gif

2017/18 Premier Division

January 2018

Premier Division Review so Far:

590471fe16311_2017-18PremierLeagueJan2018.thumb.png.d6716d1eecd92d7b50d27804296f4849.png

We started life in the Premier Division brilliantly, winning our opening 4 matches including a special 2-1 victory away to Liverpool. The good form didn't last however, as we then suffered a run of 9 matches without registering a victory, taking 6 points out of a potential 27. We did enjoy some very respectable results during our winless streak, with credible draws at home to Manchester United (2-2) and away to Chelsea (1-1). We did eventually break the winless run with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Southampton, which lead to a four game winning streak which gave us much needed points and arrested a slide down the table. Our determination has ensure that we have managed to secure a point from several games which we looked like losing, and the precious points that we picked up have done us the world of good in terms of preserving our league position rather than dropping drastically. In fact, in five our of games we have managed to secure valuable points with goals that came in the last fifteen minutes.

All told, our ability to rescue late points has guided us to a very comfortable league position:

5904744923050_2017-18PremierLeagueJan2018.thumb.png.d1d496cf68437e662c63f0492405d317.png

I am delighted to be sitting 6th, and only 2 points off of a Champions League position, at the turn of the year. Manchester City find themselves above us by virtue of one goal goal difference. So far this season, most of the teams have struggled to find any sort of form, with only Manchester United consistently playing well and taking points, which has opened up an 11-point lead over the rest of the pack at the start of 2018. Everton have been a disappointment and are langushing at the foot ob the table, registering only 3 victories in their 21 games so far this season.

The fluctuating form has lead to an inevitable snake-like graph of our previous positions in the league:

5904744cb46c3_2017-18PremierLeagueJan2018PastPositions.thumb.png.7d758faf78f1288298fbaa1e9795a8fe.png

As this graph shows, the strong start of four victories saw us reach 3rd place during the opening phases of the season, but the winless run sent us tumbling down and we sank down the 15th, at which point we were only a point above the relegation places, and a dog fight seemed inevitable. Our turn around came in a timely manner, and since that point, we haven't dropped out of the top half of the table since mid November.

Overall I am delighted with how this season has progressed, especially our ability to secure a late point, points which will doubtless be priceless as we reach the end of the season.

EFL Cup Review:

5904761f4cfd1_2017-18EFLCup.thumb.png.98282e02751ff11fdb31640df03abf38.png

Knocked out in the 3rd round by Tottenham, the same team who ended our run last season. Despite falling short of seasonal expectations (minimum 4th Round), I didn't lose much sleep over the early elimination. Having a more 'mature' squad, the fewer games are a blessing and the aging legs are spared the extra strain and effort.

Transfers so far:

590476e8444c3_2017-18JanTransfers1.thumb.png.72d467cc18d1f70e35eddba73900a2c8.png

A few updates on the transfer front. We sold captain Glenn Loovens to Ajax for £775K before the transfer window closed at the start of the season. I was disappointed to have to let him go, but he was set on taking the step up, and I couldn't begrudge him the opportunity to play in Europe.

In mid-December, the chairman decided to increase our transfer budget, pumping a further £15M into the kitty. I used this to bring in Craig Catchcart from Watford to shore up our defence, and Mati Fernandez from Fiorentina, to provide extra options in midfield.

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Good stuff in the Premier League so far. 

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Quote
2 hours ago, deltablue said:

Good stuff in the Premier League so far. 

 

Absolutely, to be sitting in the top half represents a great start to life in the Premier League. It is fair to point out that we have been lucky that a lot of the teams have struggled to find any decent run of form in the league, barring Man Utd. Any other season and I think we would be quite a few places further down than we currently are, but I'll take any luck we get!

 

Sheffield Wednesday

ivDw701.gif

2017/18 Premier League

January 2018 Update

Premier League Update:

5904928b62de8_2017-18PremierLeagueJan.thumb.png.0696791350e23fc40645260883d12436.png

Another somewhat poor month for us this month, with 4 points picked up from a possible 15. Our solitary victory came at home to Huddersfield, where we were 3-2 victors in what was a very tight game. Huddersfield are in the relegation zone as things stand, so it was always on the cards that against us, a team who came up alongside them, they would be eyeing valuable points. Luckily we managed to see them off, with new boy Mati Fernandez scoring the winning goal.

Despite not having any points to show for our efforts, I was pleased with the Liverpool and Man Utd games. Sure, we lost, but to keep both games to 1-0 defeats could be telling at the end of the season if goal difference becomes a factor.

All told, the results leave the table looking like this:

590493a6a1c0b_2017-18PremierLeagueJan.thumb.png.317b6cdb74d120152df6779ac3bf6024.png

Poor results see us drop in the bottom half of the table, although we still have an 11 point cushion over the clubs in the drop zone, so no alarm bells are being sounded at present.

Both Everton and Leicester look in serious trouble as we enter February, while at the other end of the table, Man Utd continued their good form and stretch their lead to 14 points over second placed Aresenal.

This month saw Man City part company with Pep Guardiola, and given their form and position, it is hardly surprising. He was replaced by the Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, leaving the Toon Army without a manager.

 

FA Cup:

59049487f2c96_2017-18FACupJanuary.thumb.png.4ae318fce7101983f66329b60dffe2bb.png

8 goals in 2 games with none conceded see us progressing nicely in the FA Cup, with a 5th Round tie against local rivals Barnsley to be played next month.

The 5-0 win over Oxford was harsh on them, they registered more possession, more shots and more shots on target. 

For the record, Oxford were promoted to the SkyBet Championship last season and currently sit 21st, out of the drop zone by virtue of goal difference. I am hoping they stay up.

 

Transfers:

We have no further dealings in the transfer window, but here is the summary for the global deals conducted during the month:

5904955d5245d_Jan2018TransferWindowSummary.thumb.png.baa52a958f46fdd7c256f4d14e910bfb.png

Arsenal took steps to strength their title defence, but the 14 point gap between them and Man Utd might be insurmountable at this stage of the season.

 

Player of the Month:

 

It has to be Mati Fernandez. He arrived this month and has 5 goals in 6 appearances in all competitions so far.

 

Financial Status:

59049640da793_2017-18January.thumb.png.520475ec71408d6981aa1fdf1286c3bc.png

The ridiculous amounts of money from merely participating in the Premier League has surely secured the club's long term financial future.

We are over budget on wages, which is a concern, but a lot of the deadwood I had hoped to offload had no clubs interested in them, leaving them on our books. The money we generate does mean the overspend in terms of wages won't impact the clubs financial health too much.

Edit!

5904978e7bc04_2017-18NewcastleInterviewOffer.thumb.png.2dc86edf08eee966b8ec749e024a424f.png

After I posted the update, and clicked to progress the game, I found this in my inbox - an invite to attend an interview for the vacant managerial post at St. James' Park. I declined, not wanting to depart from Sheff Wed for a long time yet!

Edited by ajcardall

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Sheffield Wednesday

ivDw701.gif

Premier League 2017/18

February 2018

Fixtures and Results

5904c9d5b5402_2017-18PremierLeagueFeb.thumb.png.cf3aeb585e9cdfaa2082b477fc6ddf14.png

February was a great month for us, kicked off with an astonishing 5-0 win over struggling Manchester City. The game was Benitez's first game in charge and we demonstrated just how badly they are performing so far this year. The five goal triumph bolstered our goal difference and ensured we took a huge step towards guaranteeing our top flight status. 

Unfortunately, the good times didn't last and our inconsistent form reared its head once more, as we were humbled in a 3-1 defeat to strugglers Leicester City. Leicester have found themselves at the wrong end of the table and the three points they secured provided them with belief that they could stay up this season.

The players were down following the defeat, and it showed as we were lucky to come away from Oakwell with a 1-1 draw against Championship outfit Barnsley. We were under pressure throughout most of the game and only Joe Wildsmith, who was heroic between the sticks, ensured we lives to fight another day. That day came at the end of the month as we once again scored 5 at Hillsborough. The thumping victory set up a quarter final tie against Championship Birmingham City.

 

League Table

5904cb6d129a3_2017-18PremierLeagueFeb.thumb.png.0721427c6d23591c03ab6d18b9f25438.png

The three league matches played this month saw us come away with 4 points from a possible nine, representing a decent return from the month which saw us reach the much-touted 40 point threshold at the end of the month. Our consistency is still a concern, and putting together a good string of results is something I am keen to seen done. Our position (8th) looks healthy - and indeed it is - but it is important to note that we are still only 9 points clear of the relegation zone, highlighting the need for us to find a decent stretch of form. As the form column suggests, we are still benefiting from most - if not all - teams below us struggling to put points on the board.

 

Youth Team Intake

5904cd04bb258_2017-18YouthTeam.thumb.png.4abed23cd0b035f2f26e9164b5bcaa7a.png

February also saw the newest batch of hopefuls for the youth team revealed. There are a couple who stand out:

Roger Fletcher - AMC

Jack Gay - AMC

Both have been earmarked as ones for the future and have been offered contracts to retain their services.

 

Confidence Update

5904cdf15b13c_2017-18FebConfidence.thumb.png.a9adb01eb74230eefd5415cb08182ad8.png

I still retain high backing and confidence from the board, with the only negative being a lingering disappointment after the sale of Glenn Loovens to Ajax at the start of the season.

 

 

 

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Sheffield Wednesday

ivDw701.gif

Premier League 2017/18

March 2018

March Results:

5905911719a02_March2018Results.thumb.png.0407b51aa4a4f3c0b35e7cd026a8ea0b.png

March was a special month in which we went unbeaten, the only dropped points came in the fixture against Sunderland, where we gained a hard-fought 0-0 draw. The month start in spectacular fashion as we continued our knack of getting good results against high class opposition with a 4-1 demolition of power house Chelsea. A hat-trick from Jordan Rhodes, along with a rare goal for right-back Liam Palmer secured us a famous and memorable victory against Russian-backed Chelsea.

We followed that result up with another 4-1 win at home to Championship outfit Birmingham City in the FA Cup 6th Round. The 4 goals scored took us to an astonishing 17 goals in just 5 FA Cup fixtures, and now we were through to the semi finals. We've been blessed with amazing luck in the FA Cup so far, with only Middlesborough representing top flight opposition so far.

March League Table:

590593a9f3d03_March2018Table.thumb.png.47e4ca7eab67faf10c87bfbd9c5a2521.png

The unbeaten run during March edged us to 15 points safety from the drop zone and now, with only 18 points left to play for, survival is virtually guaranteed. 

At the top, Manchester United sit 13 points clear of Stoke, and 15 points clear of Arsenal and Liverpool. Mourinho's side go into the final straight knowing the title is within reach, with both Liverpool and Arsenal looking at a maximum points haul of 76, while Stoke can obtain 75. This leaves United requiring 7 points to make the title a mathematical certainty.

At the bottom half of the table, Leicester have recorded a few priceless victories lately, while Crystal Palace's poor form sees them slip into trouble. Everton look set to end their Premier League association, sitting 7 points behind Huddersfield in 17th.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ajcardall

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Sheffield Wednesday

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Premier League 2017/18

End of Season - May 2018

Premier League Final Results:

590596dad3e4b_May2018FinalResults.thumb.png.1b6abb5dc4796e14ecc84a0dea09d5d6.png

We ended the season securing in uncertain form, registering 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defets in our final six games. Despite the 1-2 defeat to Southampton, that was the day that our Premier League survival was guaranteed as key teams also dropped points, creating a bittersweet moment. A 2-1 victory over Arsenal, and a 1-1 draw at Tottenham were the highlights our of final run in as we continued our streak against top of the table opposition. We closed the regular season out with a 3-0 victory over West Brom, a defeat that could have seen them relegated had other results not gone their way.

5905984764f96_April2018Survival.thumb.png.45f0ea5a9a533e63dda0c798c3402ae9.png

Man Utd clinched the title and are good value for it, with the chasing pack never really getting close over the season. The title meant they achieved a domestic double after earlier securing the EFL Cup.

5905989a89052_April2018MUFCTitle.thumb.png.b7a0818ea8a911befe59e62e437bf8cc.png

 

Premier League Final Table:

5905982fc07ab_May2018FinalTable.thumb.png.2f46e44cf167da0a0678d46d1be9765d.png

All told, here is what it all means for the final table. Inconsistency from Arsenal and Stoke towards the end of the season meant that Man Utd finished an amazing 19 points clear at the top. 

Stoke can look back on a very successful season as their 3rd placed finish seems them enter the Champions League next year. Dropped points meant Tottenham fell to 5th, allowing rivals Chelsea to secure the final Champions League spot, with a scant consolation of Europa League football going to Spurs.

Our 7th place finish represents what was an astonishing first season for us. Widely tipped to go down this year, we managed to secure some big victories against high class opponents, as well as our desire to salavage something from losing situations, we defied all experts and can be delighted with our showing.

Man City had a horrendous time of it this season, finishing in the bottom half of the table in 13th. There is likely to be a major inquisition over the summer at the City of Manchester stadium, and I expect to see a lot of money spent to ensure they are challengers next year.

Everton, Leicester and Huddersfield all went down at the end. Everton and Leicester always looked likely to go down, but only poor form at the end damned Huddersfield. As we beat West Brom 3-0 on the final day, a victory for Huddersfield would have seen them saved by the skins of their teeth. It wasn't to be, unfortunately, and they make an immediate return to the Championship.

 

FA Cup:

59059acfdecd9_May2018FACup1.thumb.png.cdfe1de2be1fb8490830a883b2267231.png

59059c6d312c6_May2018FACupResults.thumb.png.05d0ae9ceddfb4c06cb7006938552328.png

Our fantastic cup form culminated in us claiming victory and saw us claim the club's first major honours since Ron Atkinson won the EFL Cup back in 1991. Defeating Manchester United 2-1 in the final capped off an amazing year for the club and also saw us qualify for next season's Europa League! We had the uncanny fortune of only facing off against two Premier League opponents - Middlesborough in the 3rd Round, and Man Utd in the final - during our run, but as they old addage goes - you can only beat what is in front of you. It would take a lot to suggest we were unworthy winners as we managed to score 24 goals in 7 games in this year's cup, so any suggestion of lucky draws is countered by the clinical manner in which we dispatched opponents.

Here is the overview from the FA Cup final:

59059be4c7d42_May2018FACupFinal.thumb.png.9e57dd8b2d817ec5738ff28276fd922d.png

It was an even game, perhaps shaded by Man Utd, and but for the brilliance of the link-up between Hernandez and Rhodes, it could well have been a different story. Here are the goals from the final:

 

Season Review, Awards and Summary:

59059dc85f533_May2018SeasonReview.thumb.png.48426976514ed57712986aa7ebad1f87.png

Surprisingly, the demolition jobs of Man City and Chelsea were not selected as our games of the season - instead the 1-2 away victory over Southampton was chosen. 

We had an average attendance of just under 35,000, which is 87% of the capacity, and, I must admit, a little lower than I was hoping. Perhaps next season will see an increase in average attendances, especially with our continental games to come.

As the worm graph shows, we were never in real danger of being relegated and looked comfortable throughout. Another season and it could have been a different story as most teams struggled to find form or consistency, so our own poor results and dropped points were frequently matched by those below us.

 

End of Season Awards:

59059ec4996cf_May2018SeasonAwards.thumb.png.1b3efc71dfd4ea305cb109910d486c26.png

59059ec69169b_May2018SWFCBestXI.thumb.png.be947283fae56330a48957d80fcec726.png

Hernandez was named player of the season, with Rhodes and Cathcart coming 2nd and 3rd respectively. Cathcart's 3rd place finish highlights how solid he has been for us at the back - remember he was signed mid-way through the season from Watford.

Wildsmith continued his rise and progress and shared the gloves with Westwood over the season, and was largely successful.

Mati Fernandez was named the signing of the season following his move in January. Since his arrival he has been pivitol for us, contributing with multiple assists and ensuring defeats were turned to draws, and draws to victories.

 

Commerical Review:

59059fb5d098e_May2018SeasonCommercialReview.thumb.png.3771f5a0524301bd5cbacfd2680a6c0a.png

Our successful season was mirrored by a successful commercial return, doubtless aided by our increased exposure as a top flight team, and our remarkable cup achievements.

 

Stadium Expansion:

5905a016cba16_May2018StadiumExpansion.thumb.png.d7772197045ff69d5b47513402c599bd.png

Despite averaging below 90% attendance over the season, the board have agreed to expand the stadium to a provisional capacity of 44,427. The expansion comes at a cost of £16.25M and will take around a year to complete. Doubtless the board will now expect continued success on the field as they look to justify the cost, so continued Premier League survival is a must. This increases the pressure somewhat, and hopefully we won't be the victims of our success.

 

 

 

 

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Hell of a second season. Congrats especially on the cup win!

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Great first season in the Prem. Do you feel you can repeat it again next year with European football?

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1 hour ago, deltablue said:

Europe already, nice.

Be a decent challenge against some of the stronger clubs out there, that's for sure

 

28 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Hell of a second season. Congrats especially on the cup win!

Couldn't have asked for a better season, really! It was a strange one - so many teams struggled for consistency so even when we were dropping points, those around us were doing so. I mean, Man City had a shocker and finished in the bottom half.

8 minutes ago, Keano16 said:

Great first season in the Prem. Do you feel you can repeat it again next year with European football?

That's the aim, certainly. I can't see that next year will be as unpredictable in terms of form from other teams, but because we've managed to get into the Europa League, it does open the door for us in terms of players who are willing to join. Hopefully by bringing in that extra quality on the back of playing in Europe will be enough to offset the (undoubted) improved performance of the other teams around us.

Realistically, we have to be looking at a top-half finish at a minimum in terms of league performance.

On the European front, it does depend on how the draws go (can't ride the luck we had in the FA Cup forever!), but I'm hoping to at least get out of the group stages.

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2018 Pre-Season

Club Stature:

5905dddb555c9_ClubDomesticRankings.thumb.png.2d9216fa1fe22cbb48ffa3c10ef6fee7.png

5905ddde1d64d_RichList.thumb.png.13f32c38f2bee599292c1fc3d056e697.png

Following a stellar season, we find our stock rising in the world of football, passing recently relegated Everton in terms of reputation.

Financially, the cash-cow Premier League has seen our club valuation inflated to £284M, making us the 31st most valuable team in world football. This represents a fantastic rise for the club, as it wasn't many years ago when Wednesday stood on the brink of extinction following winding-up orders from HMRC.

 

Friendly Results:

5905d9908b7c0_FriendlyResults.thumb.png.a6325289ad74e1d69adb278b06f2c839.png

A successful and productive pre-season schedule where we scored bags of goals. The opposition was mediocre at best, with West Brom putting up the most fight in the testimonial game for Chris Brunt.

More importantly, we managed to avoid any major injuries, and our new signings (see below) seemed to slot in nicely with their new team mates, and all signs look good for another successful season.

 

New Arrivals:

Our participation in the Europa League during the coming season has opened up a higher class of players who were willing to sign for us. Taking advantage of this, I dived deep into the transfer market and brought several players in, including a youngster who looks to have amazing potential. Here are the players joining us for the 2018/19 season:

Cristian Ansaldi - signed from Inter, he is joining us to replace Daniel Pudil, who has been cracking servant to the club, but is now advancing in years and steadily declined in ability of the course of last season.

Gylfi Sigurdsson - brought in from Swansea, he will be used on the wide left with a view to dropping Adam Reach who, like Pudil, is starting to show signs of decline.

Jack Cork - from Burnley, signed to replace some of the ageing players currently available in midfield, such as Ledesma. A solid defensive-minded midfielder who will be in and around the first team throughout the season.

Leander Dendoncker - formerly of Anderlecht, again brought in to replace the older players. Perhaps not quite guaranteed first team, but definitely one to be used on a rotation basis and as cover.

Nikola Kalinic - striker from Fiorentina, to be used primarily as cover for Jordan Rhodes, and to replace the veteran Pazzini

Pierre Zebli - one for the future. Signed from Genk, he has great physical stats and, at only 20, is one for the future. He will be in and around the first team.

Raf Van Roy - if Zebli was a future star, then Van Roy promises to be even better. At 16, he has phenomenal stats! He will remain at his former club Mechelen for the upcoming season on loan as part of the transfer deal. He has the potential to be a world class wing back, providing he is able to fulfil his promise.

Samir - another one for the future, Brazilian Samir was signed from Udinese and is currently with our feeder club Antwerp for work permit reasons.

 

Job Offers:

Perhaps unsurprisingly given our fantastic showing last season, I received a couple of job offers during the pre-season. One was for Southampton, which never got to the interview process as any potential interest was quickly squashed through the press, and the other was the England job after Southgate was dismissed following an appalling World Cup campaign in which England failed to progress from the group. I may look at managing England in the future, but right now I need to focus primarily on solidifying Sheff Weds as an established Premier League outfit with European aspirations.

5905dd9791671_EnglandOffer.thumb.png.19bbd0ddfff24a7a2df6b82cd209e6b8.png

5905dd9888293_SouthamptonJob.thumb.png.1267d8a2e74a9ae8934931e2ddab747e.png

 

 

Predictions:

5905de91eb07a_TitleOdds.thumb.png.cc62ffefa68108bed392f16855f8552b.png

5905de9359013_TopScorerOdds.thumb.png.6f2100889f77961b372380ae945d2d96.png

On the back of last season's displays, our media prediction for this season has risen to an estimated 10th place finish. Odds of 55/1 for the title don't put us amongst the favourites, but there is a feeling that we do have an outside chance of fighting for the title, given the right results.

Jordan Rhodes is the bookies' 2nd favourite to earn the golden boot for the coming season, coming in just behind Marcus Rashford.

 

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Just a quick update - and a hilariously bad one at that....

5905e045a64a0_CommunityShield.thumb.png.71b7d5778861b52a10a5b3b2fde04432.png

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.... :eek:

A semi-rotated squad, with a number of first-team players lining up, wasn't nearly good enough as Man Utd absolutely annihilated us in the Community Shield. Not winning the shield isn't a concern - the humiliation we suffered is. Hopefully the players can bounce back - and quickly - as the opening game is now just around the corner.

5 goals for Rashford. Easy to see now why he was the bookies' favourite for the golden boot.

Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come, as it could be a long, long season...

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2018/19 Season

August 2018

 

Results:

Results.thumb.png.16d18b8636bc31838b60964bb55bdab8.png

An appalling start as we were thrashed 2-8 by Man Utd in the Community Shield, Rashford scoring an astonishing five of the eight goals. 

We were able to put the setback behind us once the season proper got underway, starting with a 3-2 victory over Newcastle United. We trailed 0-2 at half time, but an assertive demand for the players to put on a better display in the second half worked a treat, and three second half goals secured the points. Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a screamer just after the break, a goal which was subsequently voted the goal of the month. As we often did last season, it was left late and Adam Reach, on as a substitute, scored the winner right at the death.

That victory was followed up by a scrappy 2-1 victory over Norwich City, which was far from comfortable and credit to Norwich for their good display as they look to survive this season.

 

Table:

5906157947555_PremierLeagueTable.thumb.png.c1b7f97094407ad8f587340919adaea5.png

It means little at this very early stage, but this is how the table currently stands. Interesting to note is Fulham's shocking goal difference after just 2 games - -10! They lost their first game on their return to the Premier League 8-0 against local rivals Chelsea.

 

Europa League Draw:

590615eb7011b_EuropaLeagueGroup.thumb.png.dfb72c68cae972fdd8b2a233150b5cb0.png

The draw for the group stage of the Europa League was a harsh one for us, and we find ourselves sharing a group with three strong sides - Sevilla, Lyon and AZ. It looks like a tough ask to make it through from this group, and our home matches are where I shall be targeting getting at least a couple of wins on the board.

 

August Goal of the Month:

590616671a181_GoalofthemonthvsNewcastle.thumb.png.7bc39e6bc397f9afee8fa2b1ab864a40.png

Gylfi Sigurdsson's outstanding long-range goal against Newcastle, which sparked the memorable comeback, was selected as the August Goal of the Month. Here is the replay of the winning goal:

 

 

Confidence Update:

590616feb2a00_boardconfidence.thumb.png.3667a172cccc6331e2b4cfd7c53e9440.png

I still retain strong confidence and backing from the board, and the 2-8 Community Shield defeat doesn't appear to register as a black mark against me, which is a plus.

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2018/19 Season

September 2018

Results:

Results.thumb.png.589667746eae3d7a51d3950b5b258b43.png

We started off slowly with a 0-2 defeat to West Brom, a game in which our former talisman Fernando Forestieri scored to make it 2-0. We turned it around after the international break and went unbeaten in all competitons for the rest of the month, including a famous 3-0 victory over Lyon in the Europa League, and taking revenge against West Brom with a 3-1 victory in the EFL Cup 3rd Round.

 

Tables:

Premier League:

5906642cc557b_PremierLeague.thumb.png.2fdd231d9b2b70756af434daa1a41fcc.png

Another great start to the season and we currently find ourselves in 3rd position behind Manchester United - who stand at 6 wins out of 6 - and Tottenham Hotspur. The three promoted teams from the Championship, Leeds, Norwich and Fulham are all still without a victory, and only Leeds have any points on the board.

Europa League:

590664c7c13f0_EuropaLeague.thumb.png.5065e34ae37fb6896e58d2a35771e554.png

Little to say after just one game.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ajcardall

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2018/19 Season

October 2018

Results:

Results.thumb.png.5ec139eda44e0b8c5ff4eeede85f76ba.png

A record of three wins, one draw and two defeats for October in another good month for us. We started with a 0-2 defeat away to Sevilla in the Europa League in what was always going to be the toughest match of the group stage for us. We gave them a good game and the scoreline isn't one I am too disappointed with.

In the Premier League we notched up victories against Stoke and Leeds, followed up by a drab 0-0 at home to struggling Middlesborough, the lacklustre performance being down to having to rotate a few players in the starting XI following the mid-week victory in the Europa League over AZ.

For the third time in three seasons, we were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Tottenham, who are fast becoming our bogey team. The EFL Cup wasn't a priority, but I would have liked to have progress further than the 4th round.

 

Tables:

Premier League:

Table.thumb.png.04526b44557a61a57a6e7716bf205ea5.png

The seven points picked up through October see us maintain a top four position, and as the table shows, it is currently a close run thing at the top. Manchester United are picking up where they left off last season and are still to drop any points, with an excellent 9 victories from all 9 of their games played.

Arsenal and Chelsea have both made indifferent starts to the season, with both suffering from poor form so far.

At the bottom of the table, Fulham and Leeds are still without a victory, although Leeds have doubled their points tally to 2 points after grabbing another draw. Norwich have just earned their first victory and will doubtless hope the build up some momentum now. Even at this early stage, Fulham look to be is desperate trouble; they are struggling to score, are extremely leaky in defence, and are still waiting to claim any points.

 

Europa League:

Europa.png.3163b88c350826ee1673343b8e2fa1a7.png

6 points from a possible 9 so far, and we are looking solid. Lyon can be very disappointed with their campaign thus far - winless in their first three matches. Thinks are going even worse for AZ, and their European campaign looks set to end in disappointment.

I am starting to realise that we have come on much further than I had first dared to imagine, and our victories against Lyon and AZ were deserved and comfortable. We should comfortably make the Second Round, and given our impressive performances against some strong European teams, we should be looking to progress further still.

 

Transfer News:

 

Our scouts in France have spotted another exceptional talent, and after I requested the board release extra funds to secure his services, I am excited to announce that Evan Henry shall be joining us from Lyon. At the age of 16, he already looks like a first-team calibre player, and I am intrigued to see him progress with us. Here is his profile overview:

Evan Henry

 

Confidence Overview:

Confidence.thumb.png.ed74e810c38f36308fc9e7bb2cee489a.png

The Middlesborough bore-draw is one bone of contention the board have, but that aside, I retain high confidence from the directors and fans.

 

Edited by ajcardall

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2018/19 Season

November 2018

Results:

Results.thumb.png.0e1892abf1622c6ac97a7cd02104b8fd.png

We navigated through November unbeaten, droppings points in a 1-1 draw against Sunderland, and a 0-0 draw to Lyon in the Europa League. 

We secured our passage into the Second Round of the Europa League with the 2-0 victory away to AZ, so my minimum expectations for the competition have been met, and I now turn my sights to seeing how far we can progress in Europe.

59071704d7960_EuropaLeagueQualify.thumb.png.98aa59ea5036c5bc806f19121ab686bd.png

 

Tables:

Premier League:

League.thumb.png.fc99ad2bf5b54c5c900d06b097fbf237.png

Manchester United had an uncertain month, drawing their three matches and dropping their first points since the season started. Coupled with our November results (2 victories, 1 draw), we are now just a point behind the league leaders. Newcastle United continue their strong season, currently three points behind us in third place. Chelsea have found form, and have risen to 8th position, while Arsenal continue to look shaky and find themselves in the bottom half of the table.

Norwich, Leeds and Fulham all registered their first league victories, but Fulham continued to struggle overall and their goal difference, after a dozen matches, is already an alarming -35, and could be setting unwanted records come the end of the season. Middlesbrough and Burnley are looking in trouble as we enter December, and the race to avoid the drop looks set to be a close between the bottom 5 teams - Fulham seem dead and buried already, and it would take a miracle bigger than Lazarus to see them escape and survive now.

 

Europa League:

59071897be438_EuropaLeague.png.22d709b17dda42443faec9534db3d83e.png

Another good month on the continent and both Sevilla and ourselves are now assured of our progress, while for Lyon and AZ the postmortems can begin. Both teams have been far poorer than they would have liked, with neither club managing to secure a victory so far in the competition.

 

Rhodes' Poor Season:

 

The man we had looked to to lead the line has had a very poor star to the season, registering one goal so far this year, a far cry from the sort of return expected from a player who was tipped as a favourite for the Golden Boot award at the start of the season. His poor record is starting to attract attention at the board level (as confidence will demonstrate below), and even though other players have been taking up the charge and grabbing the goals, I would be much happier if Rhodes could break his rut and start firing in some goals for himself.

More alarmingly is that fact his performances haven't even suggested he is suffering from bad luck - rather, he is just playing poorly. I spoke to him about his poor form and he has assured me that he will improve in the future. We shall see.

RhodesStats.thumb.png.0eda95a82b768a603d1c445fc28e9b29.png

 

Board Room News:

Confidence:

Confidence.thumb.png.dd7c69beb918e40832cebfdb1d4fc292.png

As I mentioned above, Jordan Rhodes' poor form this season has been noted at the upper levels of the club, and they are keen for me to address the situation. That aside, things still look good right now.

 

Youth Facilities Upgraded:

59071a4db6bfe_YouthFacilitiesUpgraded.thumb.png.5281a7b28d3090f9aafdcf2a8b1d2c50.png

A pre-season request to expand and improve our youth facilities has been completed, and our facilities are now rated Good. Given the club's philosophy to bring through young talent, this marks a step in the right direction, and with two high-potential players due to arrive, I am pleased to see our facilities upgraded.

 

Coaching Licences:

ContCLicence.thumb.png.cbcfe4c9a569b32cea7245cdbf469f5f.png

I completed my Continental C Licence for coaching, and immediately requested - and was granted - permission to seek the next tier of qualification available.

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2018/19 Season

December 2018

Results:

Results.thumb.png.b40b9c56f0ac657d6382c05da3edf78b.png

We had an up-and-down month in terms of results, coming away with 4 wins, 2 draws, and 2 defeats, which translates to a return of 11 points out of a possible 21, which is disappointing after our fine form so far this campaign.

Despite this, there were some positives to take away from the fixtures: a 2-1 victory over Chelsea; beating Sevilla 4-2 in the final game of the Europa League group stage, and finally, on the 6th attempt, recording a victory over bogey team Tottenham Hotspur (3-0).

Defeat to Manchester United wasn't too much of a surprise given their excellent form this season, but the 0-2 defeat at Arsenal - who had just parted company with Arsene Wenger - was disappointing.

Perhaps the most disappointing result was the 0-0 bore draw at home to Crystal Palace, a game that was incredibly lacklustre in terms of quality and chances.

One of the big take-aways from the run of games was a return to scoring ways for Jordan Rhodes, who after intervention in terms of criticism of his recent form, made amends and had a very good month for us.

A look at the Tottenham Hotspur game shows how the scoreline doesn't accurately reflect the performance Tottenham gave.

SWFCvsTHFC.thumb.png.4941ad0d4d09cfa95bdea48db366af79.png

Luckily for us we were far more clinical on the day, and came away 3-0 victors, and finally broke the hoodoo we had against them.

I was delighted for Barry Bannan who had an excellent game and got himself a goal. He was a key player for us as we earned promotion from the Championship in the 2016/17 season, but has found himself out of the running after the summer arrivals. To see him put in a solid performance, and get on the score sheet, brought a smile to my face.

 

Tables:

Premier League:

Table.thumb.png.389dbad86ea06b393fbb912612d95fa2.png

The drop in form as the month wore on saw us drop down to 4th position in the league, although we are still 6 points clear of 5th placed Newcastle United - the team next up on our fixture list.

Manchester United dropped another 4 points this month, and this has allowed local rivals Manchester City to close down the gap to just 5 points at the turn of the year.

Arsenal continued their poor campaign, their only victory in their previous 5 matches being the one they earned against us at the Emirates. The poor season led to the sacking of Arsene Wenger, of which more shall be discussed later.

Fulham were able to get another three points on the board, but despite the second win, are still looking in serious trouble and their goal difference continues to drop. Meanwhile, Leeds were able to pull clear of the drop zone after a good run in December, and Middlesbrough have taken their place and are now 6 points from safety. Poor runs for both Sunderland and West Ham have dragged them into the relegation picture and both teams will surely be hoping for an upturn in fortunes in 2019.

 

Europa League:

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We finished second in our group, level on points with Sevilla after we secured the 4-2 victory over them in the final game of the group stage. A late goal from Joaquin Correra ensured they finished top of the group - at 4-1 we were poised to take the top spot - and we finished runners-up.

 

Europa League 2nd Round Draw:

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The draw for the 2nd Round has pitted us against Italian side Udinese, the first leg being our home leg. Give our performances against Sevilla and Lyon, I am optimistic about our chances of overcoming Udinese over the two legs, but time will tell.

 

Arsenal sack Wenger - Invite me to interview

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After their returns so far in the season, Arsenal took the step of sacking long-term manager Arsene Wenger, and offering him a position as Director of Football within the club. Arsenal actually won the title in the 2016/17 season, and the fall from grace must be a massive disappointment him and the fans. Out of respect for his outstanding achievements and loyalty to the club, he was moved to the boardroom, and will no doubt retain a lot of influence at the club, and cast a very large shadow over whoever takes the reins. 

I was immediately linked to the vacant job, and the bookmakers had me as the favourite to succeed Wenger in the dugout. The Guardian asked if I was interested in the position, and I responded strongly, stating I had no interest in taking over at Arsenal. 

Undeterred, they approached me for an interview for the managerial position - a request I politely declined, as I look to build a lasting legacy at my beloved Owls.

 

Pierre Zebil named African Player of the Year

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Pierre Zebil's excellent form for us this season was recognised by his peers as he was voted the African Player of the Year. Making 42 appearances in 2018, netting 7 goals, and receiving an average rating of 7.24 was enough to clinch the award ahead of 2nd placed Tottenham's Keita Balde.

It is a richly deserved award for the young midfielder, who has quickly cemented himself as a key player at the club. He has made vital contributions to our season since joining from Genk, and at just 21 years of age, looks set to have a very bright future in the game.

Edited by ajcardall

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Sheffield Wednesday

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2018/19 Season

January 2019

 

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Results

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Another solid and productive month which saw us progress to the 4th Round of the FA Cup following a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

In the league we dropped points at home to West Ham in a very open and entertaining game that ended 3-3, as well as a defeat at Anfield 0-1 to Liverpool. I can't have complaints about either game; West Ham definitely deserved a point after fighting back from 3-1 down, and against Liverpool only a strong rear-guard showing prevented us from losing by a larger margin as they utterly dominated us throughout the game.

Against Fulham I briefly feared the worst as they came racing out of the blocks and took an early lead. Their gung-ho attitude left them vulnerable at the back and we capitalised through Kalinic and Fernandez, before Bannan marked his 100th appearance in the blue and white of Sheffield Wednesday with a late penalty.

 

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League Table

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Man City's dropped points allowed us to race past them into 2nd position in the league, but Man Utd are starting to peel away once again and enjoy a 9 point advantage at the summit of the table. Newcastle have faded away after a strong start, while Arsenal have climbed into the top half of the table after securing some priceless victories in December.

At the foot, Fulham look in all kinds of trouble, and 13 games remaining, and 22 defeats to their name so far, they are looking likely to break the record for most league defeats in the season, which currently stands at 29 (Ipswich, Derby and Sunderland all share the record at present). Likewise the record for worst goal difference - -69 by Derby County - also looks set to be shattered by the London outfit. In terms of survival, they are staring down a 17 point gap between 17th placed Leeds, and it is surely only a matter of weeks before their relegation back to the Championship is confirmed. It is not a stretch to imagine they will also set a new record-low points tally for a season unless things improve for them soon.

Meanwhile, Leeds have given themselves a 9 point cushion over 17th placed Middlesbrough, whose appalling month leaves them in serious trouble. 

 

 

 

Edited by ajcardall

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Sheffield Wednesday

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2018/19 Season

February 2019

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Results:

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February started off in poor fashion with us being dumped out of the FA Cup after a 0-1 home defeat against Birmingham City, followed by a 0-2 defeat to Stoke City in the league the following weekend. We then struggled against Leeds, labouring to a 2-1 home victory against our Yorkshire rivals, with former Leeds player Pablo Hernandez scoring the decisive goal in the 84th minute.

February also saw us return to European football with our Europa League 2nd Knockout Round tie against Udinese. Having home advantage in the first leg, we capitalised and secured a 2-0 victory, with both goals coming from Jack Cork, this first of which was a thunderous volley from just outside of the area. Keeping a clean sheet was a huge added bonus as now, provided we could score in the away leg, we stood a very strong chance of progressing.

The away leg could not have started any better as Jordan Rhodes converted a spot kick in the second minute to make it 3-0 on aggregate, and more importantly give us a priceless away goal. Udinese came back strong and bagged an equaliser, before that man Jordan Rhodes continued his recent return to scoring ways by adding a second just before half time. Despite increasing pressure from Udinese throughout the second half, we managed to see out the rest of the game and booked our passage through to the next round.

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League Table:

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Despite only playing two league games this month, it had an affect on the table as we dropped down to 3rd position after the away defeat to Stoke City.  

Little else has changed with the league table this month due to the small number of fixtures during February.

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Europa League 2nd Knockout Round Draw:

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Another fortuitous draw pits us against the German side Mainz in the next round of the Europa League. Mainz have been in poor form in the Bundesliga this season (P22, W8, D0, L14), so I am realistically looking to progress into the quarter finals.

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Youth Intake Day:

February sees the next batch of young hopefuls come through the academy, the following being this years' intake:

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Head of Youth Development Dean Ramsdale is particularly enthusiastic about Jordan Rump:

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While Jordan is the most promising youngster of this years group, I don't have confidence that he will ever break into our first team. He lacks any determination and the road from academy graduate to Premier League midfielder is extremely difficult. 

However, I went with Ramsdale's recommendations regarding who to offer a contract to - Jordan being amongst them - so he will have at least a couple of years to prove me wrong and show some progress.

I think that now is also a good time to check how the two best prospects from last seasons intake, Jack Gay and Roger Fletcher are progressing.

Jack Gay has shown an increase in his abilities, but he is still some way off of the mark. While he looks unlikely to make the grade here at the club, he will doubtless find his level in the lower levels.

Roger Fletcher hasn't shown as much of an increase as Jack, and doesn't look like he has much of a career ahead of him as professional footballer.

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Joe Wildsmith Confirms Future:

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Our primary goalkeeper this season, Joe Wildsmith, confirmed his future at Sheffield Wednesday after signing a new four-year deal following rumoured interest from Manchester City and Arsenal. The contract, worth £10M, contains a release clause for Champions League clubs worth £37M which was classed as a deal breaker and non-negotiable by Wildsmith's agent. 

****************************************************************************

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Sheffield Wednesday

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2018/19 Season

March 2019

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Results:

 

Overview: P 6, W 4, D 2

March was another good month for us domestically and on the continent. We dropped just two points in the league this month after a 2-2 draw at Turf Moor against Burnley, and emerged victorious if our other league fixtures, the highlight being a clinical demolition of Bournemouth 4-0 at Hillsborough. 

March also feature our 2nd Knockout Round matches of the Europa League, the first leg being played away at Mainz's Opel Arena. We came away from Germany with a very credible 1-1 victory, meaning we took the away goal advantage with us as we prepared for the return leg at Hillsborough.

During the second leg, Mainz started very brightly and cancelled our away goal advantage by scoring themselves. Jordan Rhodes continued his scoring streak and equalised for us in the 25th minute, which now meant with the scores tied we would be heading into extra time. As the game progressed Mainz started to press in search of a winner, which would have left us needing another 2 goals to progress. Fortunately Wildsmith was in fine form for us and managed to keep them out. Then, in the 74th minute, Adam Reach - himself in a rich vein of form - calmed the nerves of 37,500 Wednesday fans after the slotted home from a tight angle following some lovely one-touch build up play. The wind was now in our sails, and in the 83rd minutes Pablo Hernandez made our progression certain.

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Premier League Table:

 

Premier League Table - March 2019

Starting positon: 3rd

Final position: 2nd

Change: +1

 

Our three wins from four games this month saw us pass Manchester City into second place. City were poor this month and their dropped points now mean that if Tottenham win their game in hand, they will overtake City and moved into 3rd place in the table.

At the bottom, Norwich and Fulham are both almost certainly doomed, with the fight to avoid relegation now being to avoid 18th place, currently occupied by Middlesbrough, who are 6 points behind 17th placed Leeds.

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Europa League Quarter Final Draw

 

Quarter Final Overview

Drawn against: Sevilla

We will be playing Spaniards Sevilla in the quarter final of the Europa League, having previously come up against them during the group stage of the competition.

The matches during the group stage left us tied, both of us winning our home match, and losing the away match. Sevilla did manage to score at Hillsborough, while we were unable to find a way through when we played them at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. All things point to a very difficult tie that could Sevilla are probably favourites for - but it promises to be a very close tie.

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Chelsea Appoint Eddie Howe

 

Eddie Howe was named the new Chelsea manager after the club parted company with Roberto Mancini after an inconsistent season. I was approached to attend an interview for the role, but I declined the opportunity.

The move is a big step up for Howe, who leaves a struggling Bournemouth behind. It will be interesting to see how the talented young manager copes at his new club.

 

 

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Sheffield Wednesday

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2018/19 Season

April 2019

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Results

 

OverviewP5, W2, D1, L2

We had a poor set of results in the league this month, failing to win any of our three matches. We started poorly, suffering a deserved 0-3 defeat against Chelsea in Eddie Howe's first game in charge at his new club. Manchester United followed in the league, and Mourinho had clearly arrived with the intention of "parking the bus" - it took until the 60th minute for them to register a single shot on goal. We tried in vain to break them down but couldn't find a way through, and had to settled for a 0-0 draw. The point means that Man Utd are now just one victory away from retaining the Premier League title. Tottenham Hotspur were next in line, and our bogey team continued their impressive form against us, triumphing in a 0-1 victory at New White Hart Lane

If things were poor domestically, then in Europe they are brilliant. We played out our quarter final tie against Sevilla, and we had the home advantage in the first leg. The opening 45 minutes were very cagey, with neither side wanting to make a mistake. I told the players at half time that they were already making history for the club, and to go and enjoy themselves in the second half and play like I know they can. They responded brilliantly, and second half goals from Jordan Rhodes and Pablo Hernandez (2) earned us a 3-0 victory in the first leg.

At the return match, I knew Sevilla would come on strong as they had no choice after the heavy first leg defeat. We had a huge stroke of luck when we were awarded a very soft penalty, and up stepped Gylfi Sigurdsson to convert the spot kick and give us 4-0 cushion on aggregate, as well as the advantage on away goals. For the rest of the match I was content to sit back, knowing it would now take 5 goals to see us eliminated. Sevilla never really looked threatening and we were comfortable at the back, and saw out a famous 1-0 victory that booked our place in the Semi Final of the Europa League.

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League Table

 

Starting Position: 2nd

Finishing Position: 5th

Change: -3

Premier League Table - April 2019

Our poor run for form throughout April has seen us slide out of the Champions League places for the first time since the start of November. We are tied on points with 4th placed Liverpool, who are above us by virtue of their superior goal difference. Despite the fall to 5th place, we are only 2 points behind 2nd placed Manchester City, and the fight for a top 4 spot is wide open and is looking like it could go down to the wire.

At the other end of the table, Fulham and Norwich City confirmed the inevitable and have been mathematically relegated from the Premier League, meaning that both teams make an immediate return to the Championship. Neither team can have any complaints as they have struggled throughout the entire season, with neither team yet to reach 20 points. 

Leeds United, meanwhile are just 4 points away from guaranteeing survival, and West Ham United know that one win will be enough to ensure they are safe from the drop. Middlesbrough, therefore, look almost certain to end their 3 year stay in the Premier League, barring a great escape similar to Leicester City a few years ago.

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Europa League Semi Final Draw

 

Drawn against: Inter

Semi Final Overview

We have been handed a very difficult tie against Inter in the semi final of the Europa League. Inter are currently second in Serie A, and have been very strong throughout the entire season, leading the league scoring charts with 53 goals in 33 games. To have a chance to progress to the final, we will have put on an outstanding defensive performance and hope we are able to keep the likes of Mauro Icardi (25 goals in 46 games) quiet. Defensively they have been solid too, with keeper Samir Handanovic keeping 22 clean sheets in 49 games.

Clearly, Inter must be strong favourites for the tie, but we shall give it our best and hope we have enough about us to overcome the sternest test we have faced to date.

 

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semifinalleg11.thumb.png.e096faccf4cca9fd8f9bf5d4ea11db6f.png

This was the most dramatic match I have played so far this career! We were 2-0 down after 11 minutes, before Sigurdsson hit a 25-yard free kick in first-half stoppage time, to take us in 2-1 down at half time.

Inter made it 3-1 after 53 minutes, and I decided the defensive approach wasn't getting us anywhere. I made a triple sub on the hour mark and switched to control rather than defend. Even though we had the away-goal, there's no way Inter aren't going to score themselves in the 2nd leg, so we had to go for it. I was also thinking that, heck, we're in the semi final. We are further than I had ever hoped we would get, so if we were to go down, we would go down swinging.

Entering the final 10 mintues and it looked like we were heading to a 3-1 defeat. But then Sigurdsson got his second of the night and pulled it back to 3-2. I was happy to have closed the gap and was feeling more confident about our chances of reaching the final. I was preparing for a valiant and spirited defeat, when in the 89th minute of the game.....

 

From 3-1 down to 3-3, and three away goals!

I've not yet played the return leg, but no matter what happens, we have done ourselves proud in one of the best games I've seen.

Edited by ajcardall

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semifinalleg2.thumb.png.4020b17e4e1ab05dbbf3396ab64f9cef.png

 

The two late goals in the away leg turned out to be absolutely priceless! If we had ended up losing 1-3 in the first leg, then we would have just been eliminated on away goals!

Fortunately for us though we progress to the final 7-5 on aggregate.

Quite how we managed to restrict Inter to just two goals is beyond on. It was utterly relentless pressure from them after the got their second. For 25 minutes they battered us but we held on and can look forward to a final against Leverkusen

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Incredible comeback!

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23 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Incredible comeback!

It certainly was, it was one of those FM moments when you're genuinely on the edge of the seat and can't help but cheer as the goals go in.

This caused much amusement with the wife. She just doesn't understand.... :idiot:

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Excellent season so far! Don't worry, the wife will learn to just smile and nod.

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9 hours ago, Keano16 said:

Excellent season so far! Don't worry, the wife will learn to just smile and nod.

I think she is getting there :lol:

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2018/19 Season

End of Season

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Results & League Table:

P: 3 W2 D0 L1

Premier League Results - Games 35, 36 and 37

We picked up 6 points from 9 from four of our last three games, with a 2-1 win over Southampton at Hillsborough, with Sigurdsson getting himself a brace in the match. The next game was against Crystal Palace, and we put in a poor performance at Selhurst Park, with Benteke grabbing the winning goal for Palace in the 78th minute. Our penultimate game of the league season saw us face Manchester City at Hillsborough, and the game was extremely tight, both teams having plenty of chances between them. We were able to come away with a 2-1 victory, with Kalinic grabbing the winning goal for us.

The results leave the table looking extremely tight in the fight for the Champions League places. Manchester City are safe in the knowledge that they have guaranteed a return to Europe's premier club competition after missing out last season, but it is all to play for us, Tottenham, Liverpool and Stoke, with all four of us in a position to claim the last two qualification positions.

In the fight for the Europa League spots, all of the aforementioned teams are guaranteed at least a place in the Europa League positions, but it is all to play for for Arsenal and Chelsea in the last game - both teams being tied on points, but Chelsea sitting in the remaining position because of their superior goal difference.

At the bottom of the table, two priceless victories have given Middlesbrough every chance of escaping on the last day of the season, while Leeds failure to secure any points leaves them needing to match Middlesbrough's last-game result to secure their survival.

It promises to be an exciting day as we head into the final fixtures...

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The Final Day:

The Last Day Fixtures

Some exciting games in store as the Premier League prepares to draw to a close.

 

Burnley vs Stoke

Stoke know that they do have a chance of grabbing a top-four finish, but it will require them to beat Burnley, and hope that Liverpool fail to win, and Tottenham and Wednesday lose. That may still not be enough because of goal difference, so they also need to hope there is a big swing in goal difference - Stoke currently have +20, while Spurs have +29 and The Owls have +27

Regardless of their final result, Stoke know they are guaranteed to be in the Europa League at least next season.

 

Chelsea vs Liverpool

Chelsea play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, knowing that a victory will ensure they qualify for next season's Europa League. Chelsea have to match Arsenal's result and they will be in Europe. Liverpool head into the game knowing that if they secure victory, and either Tottenham or Sheff Wed drop points, they will qualify for the Champions League.

 

Middlesbrough vs Manchester City

City are guaranteed Champions League football next season, but will still be looking to ensure they finish second this season, because a defeat to Middlesbrough coupled with a Sheff Wed victory will see them finish third, with Wednesday finishing second. Middlesbrough head into the game knowing that they must win to have a chance of staying up, and hope that Leeds lose in their game against Sunderland.

 

Sheffield Wednesday vs Arsenal

Wednesday know that a victory in their final game will ensure they achieve a top four finish. A draw could be enough to secure Champions League football, but that is dependent on both Liverpool and Tottenham dropping points. Arsenal head into their final game knowing that because of their inferior goal difference, they must better Chelsea's result to stand a chance of grabbing the final Europa League spot.

 

Sunderland vs Leeds

Leeds head into their final fixture knowing that if they secure at least a draw, their survival is guaranteed. Should Leeds lose to Sunderland, then it will depend on whether Middlesbrough can beat Manchester City. Should Boro win and Leeds lose, then Leeds will be relegated.

 

Tottenham vs West Brom

Spurs victory in their final game will ensure they finish in a top four place this season. They could drop points against West Brom, but would then be reliant on other results going their way to guarantee their top four place.

 

With so much riding on the final day, it promises to be a fascinating end to the season in which a lot can change....

 

 

Edited by ajcardall

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Season 2018/19

The Final Day

 

We head into the final day of the 2018/19 Premier League season with a lot riding on a number of games. There are still Champions League and Europa League spots to fight for, and down at the bottom there is the small matter of relegation to decide, with Leeds and Middlesbrough fighting to avoid the last spot in the drop zone. Stay with us as we cover the major fixtures and keep you updated with the goals around the ground as they go in, and what those goals do to the table...

 

3:00 PM - Kick Off

We are underway in all of our games, and what promises to be a day of joy or sadness is up and running. The next 90 minutes will shape a lot of teams' fortunes..

 

3:15 PM

With just over fifteen minutes played, there has been a development at New White Hart Lane, where Spurs are looking to secure a top four finish, and The Riverside, where Middlesbrough face Man City in their bid to avoid relegation....

Spoiler

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New White Hart Lane:

Tottenham 1-0 West Brom

In North London Tottenham have taken an early lead thanks to an 8th minute goal from Wanyama, giving them the early advantage and seeing them climb to 3rd place, with The Owls dropping into fourth.

 

The Riverside:

Middlesbrough 1-0 Manchester City

A crucial goal in the fight to avoid the drop, as Capezzi gives Middlesbrough an early lead against high-fliers Manchester City!! However with the Sunderland vs Leeds game still goalless, it isn't enough as things stand and Boro are still one point behind relegation rivals Leeds United...

 

3:16 PM

Important goals are going in now, and we head to Hillsborough and The Stadium of Light to see who has got the all-important goals and what it means for the table....

Spoiler

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Hillsborough:

Sheff Weds 1-0 Arsenal

A vital goal for Wednesday as they move above City as things stand, and put Arsenal out of contention for a European spot next season! Cork has drawn first blood for the Owls after 15 minutes, and they have taken a big step to ensuring they feature in the Champions League next season!

 

The Stadium of Light:

Sunderland 1-0 Leeds

In what could be a massive, massive moment, McCarthy has given Sunderland the lead! Coupled with the latest score from The RiversideLeeds have dropped into the relegation zone and are down as things stand!!

 

3:26 PM

More goals from around the Premier League and once again things are in motion. We shall catch up with the latest from Stamford BridgeThe Riverside and Hillsborough....

Spoiler

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Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool

Chelsea have put a huge dent in Liverpool's champions league hopes as Mandzukic scores after 20 minutes. Chelsea know that a victory today will mean they keep rivals Arsenal out of Europe next season!

 

The Riverside:

Middlesbrough 1-1 Man City

An equaliser for City through Grimaldo, and Boro find themselves back in the drop zone!! Nothing less than a win is enough for them today, and even then it could still be in vain. At the top, City have moved back into second place, with Wednesday dropping to 3rd!

 

Hillsborough:

Sheff Wed 2-0 Arsenal

Arsenal's day goes from bad to worse as they now find themselves 0-2 down, with Kalinic getting the second for The Owls. However with Chelsea now winning at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal know they are out of the Europa League places because of their far inferior goal difference!

 

 

3:34 PM

We have had another goal at the Stadium of Light in the fight to avoid relegation, let's go there now to see which way its gone...

Spoiler

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Stadium of Light

Sunderland 1-1 Leeds

An equaliser for Leeds from Wood! As things stand now, Leeds are safe regardless of what Middlesbrough do in their game against Man City!

 

 

3:42 PM

More goals as our day continues to hot up in the race to make it into Europe and to avoid the drop. We shall go first to The Riverside, then catch up with the latest at The Stadium of Light....

Spoiler

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Riverside:

Middlesbrough 1-2 Man City

A second for City and Boro are now far behind in the fight to survive. City's second came from Aguero as they cement their 2nd place finish and condemn Boro to relegation

 

Stadium of Light:

Sunderland 3-1 Leeds

Two goals for Sunderland give them the lead, but Leeds know that as things stand, they have survived. The Leeds fans will now be keeping a close eye on the Boro match....

 

3:45 PM - Half Time

We go into half time across the country, but there have been developments in several games....

Spoiler

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Hillsborough:

Sheff Wed 2-1 Arsenal

Silva scores from the penalty spot as Arsenal look to salvage their season. Arsenal know that even a victory won't realistically be enough for them. However the Owls know they could drop out of the top 4 if they lose and other results go against them, so they shall be looking to secure their own future and avoid a nervy end to the season

 

New White Hart Lane

Tottenham 2-0 West Brom

A second for Spurs through Alli and Tottenham have breathing room as they look to secure a top four finish this season

 

4:26 PM

Coming up to 70 minutes gone in the games, and there has been a goal at the Riverside, and a big goal at Stamford Bridge and Hillsborough, as well as goals at Turf Moor...

Spoiler

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Turf Moor:

Burnley 0-2 Stoke

Two for Stoke from Berahino put them into the lead, and have moved them above Liverpool as things stand right now.

 

Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool

A second for Chelsea from Willian and they are now 2-0 up and looking secure for the Europa League next season. Liverpool have now dropped below Stoke and their hopes of a top four finish are fading fast!

 

Riverside:

Middlesbrough 1-3 Man City

it looks all over now for Boro as a third for City is surely too much for them to overturn at this stage. It is heartbreak for the Boro fans, who will surely know that Leeds are also losing, making the defeat all the more bitter, as a victory would be enough as it stands....

 

Hillsborough:

Sheff Wed 2-2 Arsenal

Arsenal have grabbed an equaliser!! Lukaku has struck for the gunners, and while it will do little for their season given the current score at Stamford Bridge, it could have a huge impact on Wednesday's season, and they now drop to 4th place, knowing that only by virtue of Chelsea's 2 goal lead over Liverpool do they find themselves still in the top four...

 

Stadium of Light:

Sunderland 4-1 Leeds

A fourth for Sunderland, but the Leeds fans will take comfort in the fact the Boro are having just as poor of a day as them, and they are still safe as it stands....

 

4:39 PM

We're into the last 5 minutes now and there has been another goal at Hillsborough....

Spoiler

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Hillsborough:

Sheff Wed 3-2 Arsenal

Hernandez has fired Wednesday back into 3rd place and once again their fans can breathe a little easier!

 

4:45 PM - Full Time

The final whistles have gone, but has there been any late dramas around the grounds.....?

Spoiler

osoc16c.png

Stoke have made it 4-0 against Burnley, with Berahino grabbing all four of the goals for the Potters today...

Man City ran out 4-1 winners against Middlesbrough, and Boro are now relegated from the Premier League....

There was to be no late drama, and the results have had the following implications...

Sheffield Wednesday will be in the Champions League next year, after finishing 3rd behind Man City.

City secured their 2nd place position with their victory over Middlesbrough, who have been relegated from the Premier League.

Liverpool failed to beat Chelsea, meaning they have to settle for a Europa League spot, finish a place below Stoke who won today against Burnley.

Arsenal will be without European football after their defeat and Chelsea's victory ensure Chelsea finish 7th.

 

Here's how the final table looks...

cb5CaLT.png

 

Edited by ajcardall

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Great stuff against Inter. 

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Sheffield Wednesday

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2018/19 Season

Europa League Final

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A Reflection and Overview

We have performed above all expectations in this year's competition, and find ourselves just one win away from victory and capping of a remarkable rise. Today marks our first European final in our 152 year history, and it is well worth remembering how far we have come as a club in recent years.

The past two decades have been rough for our fans - we dropped out of the Premier League in the year 2000, but unfortunately that was just the start of the bad times. 3 years later and we were relegated once more, finding ourselves in the third tier of English football. Promotion back into the Championship was a tonic, but it was shortlived. Financial worries and a poor squad saw us back down to League One 5 years later. Things looked to go from bad to worse, and we faced winding up orders from the HMRC and the club was haemorrhaging money.

It wasn't until the 2011/12 season that things began to change. Milan Mandaric stepped in at the eleventh hour and staved off a winding-up order from the HMRC and stabilised our appalling finances. Money was put into the club and players such as Nicky WeaverJose Semedo and Michail Antonio arrived. Our promotion allowed Mandaric to find a new owner for the club, and Thai multi-millionaire Dejphon Chansiri took over from Mandaric. Chansiri invested in the team and facilities, and looked to bring the good times back. We missed out on promotion in the 2015/16 season, losing in the final to Hull City, but it was the start of something special.

Now, 3 years later, we are about to compete in the Europa League final.

 

****************************************************************************

The Final:

Sheff Weds 2 - 4 Leverkusen (aet)

 

Sadly, the fairytale run came to an end against Leverkusen, and we lost 2-4 after extra time. We went in at half time 2-1 up, and were just another 45 minutes from one of the most famous victories in our history. Unfortunately, Wildsmith had an uncharacteristic nightmare game, and allowed Leverkusen to claw back to make it 2-2, and we were heading into extra time.

Leverkusen were relentless and their superior fitness shone through as then tore apart our lines time after time, and it was inevitable when they scored to go 3-2 up. The goal shattered our boys, and in the face of a team sensing blood, it came as no surprise when Leverkusen managed to get a fourth, ending the game 4-2 victors.

I told the team they can be proud of what they had done; at the start of our campaign, few expected we would get out of the group stage. Our performances caused people to sit up and take note, but we were still outsiders when we faced Sevilla and Inter in the Quarter Final and Semi Final respectively. The victory over Inter has to be the greatest night in our recent history, and the team had covered themselves in glory. So we lost in the final, who cares? It just wasn't to be. We were never meant to get this far, and proved so many people wrong, silenced so many doubters, and built up a big groundswell of support from the neutrals as we overcame some of the biggest teams in European football.

We lost this one, but we're Sheffield Wednesday. We are back.

 

Edited by ajcardall

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2018/19 Season

Season Round-Up

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Final Tables:

Here is a round up of the final league tables across England and the major European leagues:

 

Premier League

Winners: Manchester United

Champions League: Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur

Europa League: Stoke City, Liverpool, Chelsea

Relegated: Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Fulham

 

SkyBet Championship

Winners: Watford

Promoted: Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Relegated: Ipswich Town, MK Dons, Blackburn Rovers

 

SkyBet League One

Winners: Preston North End

Promoted: Cardiff City, Walsall

Relegated: Coventry City, Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Bury

 

SkyBet League Two

Winners: Carlisle United

Promoted: Port Vale, Leyton Orient, Bury

Relegated: Bristol Rovers, Macclesfield Town

 

Vanarama Conference Premier

Winners: Tranmere Rovers

Promoted: Wrexham

Relegated: Hemel Hempstead, Guiseley, Dover Athletic, York City

 

La Liga

Winners: Real Madrid

Champions League: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Villareal

Europa League: Sevilla, Atletic Bilbao, Valencia

Relegated: Granada, Getafe, Tenerife

 

Serie A

Winners: Juventus

Champions League: Inter, Fiorentina, Roma

Europa League: Napoli, AC Milan, Lazio

Relegated: Pescara, Spal, Trapani

 

Bundesliga

Winners: Dortmund

Champions League: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzeig, Leverkusen

Europa League: Hoffenheim, Frankfurt, Freiburg

Relegated: Kaiserslautern, Nurnberg

 

Ligue 1

Winners: Monaco

Champions League: PSG, Lyon

Europa League: Nice, Marseille, Toulouse

Relegated: Nantes, Metz, Havre

 

Eredivise

Winners: PSV

Champions League: Feyenoord

Europa League: AZ, Utrecht

Relegated: De Graafschap, Cambuur

VVV are yet to play their relegation play-off so may still be relegated.

 

Cup Competitions:

Here are the winners of the FA Cup, EFL Cup, Check-a-trade Trophy, FA Trophy, and the European Cups (not domestic)

 

FA Cup

Winners: Manchester United

Runners-Up: Manchester City

 

EFL Cup

Winners: Tottenham

Runners-Up: Bournemouth

 

Champions League

Winners: Bayern Munich

Runners-Up: PSG

 

Europa League

Winners: Leverkusen

Runners-Up: Sheff Wed

 

Checkatrade Trophy

Winners: Plymouth

Runners-Up: Bradford City

 

FA Trophy

Winners: Morecombe

Runners-Up: Stevenage

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer 2019

We had an active summer, bringing in several new players, and trimming some of the deadwood from around the fringes of the squad, as well as releasing those who never made the grade

Transfers.thumb.png.a18101c982fac5613d3d9835b1a3c601.png

The £30M deal for Paco Alcacer from Arsenal is the move I am most excited about

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Rhodes and Kalinic have both been fantastic for the club but Kalinic is now the wrong side of 30 and declined over the course of last season. 

In other news, the post-season awards were released during the summer.

Craig Cathcart, Mati Fernandez, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jack Cork were all inducted into the Sheff Weds Best XI.

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This is the Best XI as it looks now:

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The fans voted Pablo Hernandez as the player of the season with a whopping 76% of the vote. Sigurdsson's goal vs Inter was selected as the goal of the season. Kalinic was named the new player of the season, while Pierre Zebli was voted young player of the season

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I was recognised for the fantastic domestic season we enjoyed, which saw us finish 3rd, way above our predicted 10th, and was voted the Manager of the Year

ManageroftheYear.thumb.png.b58c71594955a56bb33732beb84200ec.png

 

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Summer 2019

The board have released the details of our stadium expansion which was agreed in principle last year.

The work will see our capacity increase by 15,188 seats, taking the new stadium capacity to 55,000 seats. This will make Hillsborough the 6th largest capacity stadium in the country (excluding Wembley), and pass Anfield and St. James' Park.

The work will cost the club just shy of £55M and the board have been able to finance the expansion without external funding.

The construction work means we shall play at Elland Road next season in a ground share with rivals Leeds United. There is no news as to how this was received by the fans....!

StadiumExpansion.thumb.png.04f51b8476fe056b06883a93d2c76573.png

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Brilliant season.

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Great end to the season. No shame in losing to Leverkusen. Love the Alcacer and Pereira signings!

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2 hours ago, BoxToBox said:

Brilliant season.

Couldn't really have asked for better!

1 hour ago, Keano16 said:

Great end to the season. No shame in losing to Leverkusen. Love the Alcacer and Pereira signings!

Exactly, running them to extra time was a good effort for us. It would have been nice to win it, but it provides that impetus to push on.

Pleased with managing to capture those two as well! Fortunately we brought in two players of their quality as we recently had to sell Kalinic to A. Madrid - he had requested that I let him go if a bid comes in, and the only thing he would accept to stay with us was that we win the Champions League. We're still some way from that level, so I agreed to his demands. The next day, a bid comes in (far below his valuation, but now my hands were tied), and away he went.

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2019/20 Season

 

Friendlies

Friendlies.thumb.png.7011058538a173a3a2f0706aed523c0a.png

A solid pre-season that saw us win the MLS All Stars. The new players are slotting in nicely which is encouraging. We came away with only minor bumps and scrapes so no serious injury worries as we get the season started.

 

Title Odds

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Title odds released and we're predicted a 7th place finish with odds of 33/1 to win the title. Man Utd are favourites to retain the crown, unsurprising considering their dominance over the past two years.

Disappointed we are only earmarked for 7th place, but the teams about us are all what you would consider to be better quality, so I guess 7th makes some sort of sense.

Personally I am looking for another top 4 finish this year.

 

Champions League Group Stage Draw

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A very difficult group in the Champions League. Can't see us getting anything from Bayern, but on our day we could get a result against Roma. Kiev are the team we should be looking to get most points from.

Realistically go to be aiming for 3rd place. Maybe snatch 2nd if we can perform against Roma.

 

EFL 3rd Round Draw

EFLCup.thumb.png.6121e2e02599ba2f26a62daf8cba2890.png

An away tie against Blackburn and we should be definitely looking to progress to the 4th round.

 

 

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2019/20 Season

 

August 2019 Results

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A solid start to the season, picking up 10 points from 12. We were very lucky to come away with three points against Palace as they had bags of chances to grab an equaliser at the end, but we held on thanks to a string of saves from Wildsmith.

To only win 1-0 at home to Wolves was a disappointment, especially after we dominated them throughout. In fact, they failed to get a single shot on target during the match.

 

August 2019 League Table

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Sitting in 3rd after our solid (if unspectacular) start.

Leeds, Wolves and Palace all failed to pick up any points in their opening 4 games.

Man Utd made a slow start to their title defence, only winning 2 games and losing the other 2.

Still early days, and lots will change over the coming months, but happy with the start we've made so far.

 

 

Edited by ajcardall
typo corrections

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2019/20 Season

September 2019

 

September Results

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We had a very poor run this month. The start against Leeds was brilliant, but since then we have scored just one goal in the next four games. The defeat to Bayern in the Champions League was always on their cards and highlighted how far we are from truly competing with the biggest clubs in Europe. But we toiled and struggled and were lucky to get a late, late goal against League One Blackburn, and failed to breakdown either Newcastle or Arsenal. More concerning, we are not even creating any decent chances, and are constantly relying on either Westwood or Wildsmith to make saves as keep us in games.

Something isn't quite right, and I intend to dig deep in the analysis data to try and figure out where we are going wrong from last season.

 

September Premier League Table

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We are able to hold onto a top four spot, but unless I am able to solve our recent inability to create chances in games and retain possession, then we will start sliding down the table before long.

 

September Champions League Group

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Kiev and Bayern get their campaigns off to a winning start. It is far too early to comment further, but we face Kiev in our next game and how we perform could be a good indicator as to what we can expect from this group.

 

EFL Cup 4th Round Draw

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Any away draw against Manchester City. Given our recent history in this contest, I am pessimistic about our chances - we alwaysappear to be unable to make much progress in the EFL Cup!

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