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About frastheowl

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    AFC Owlstalk - Double Premiership Champions
  • Birthday 17/09/86

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    Wadsley, S6

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  1. Speculating here, but I don't think he'd cost a bomb. Burton aren't a club that would command a ludicrous fee like some clubs. They'll be very aware that Irvine's stock could well be at it's highest. If he has a poor season next season, and Burton are relegated, he'll be worth little more than they paid for him. £2-3m and I reckon you'd get him.
  2. I can accept people criticising Carlos' decisions in last years Playoff final, and this season's Semi Final, but why is it as simple as bottling it? I find the fact he made the same mistake twice, unbelievable, but it's an issue he has always had with Hutchinson and his own intent on playing a 4-4-2. But I can't call it bottling it. And I'm not sure how Hughton could be accused of bottling it last season against ourselves?!
  3. Let's be honest... without any signings (in fact the same side that started against Huddersfield!), and lining up like this, we'd be a lot more balanced looking side: -----------------------------Westwood----------------------------------- Hunt---------------Lees--------------------Loovens--------------Pudil ------------------------------Hutchinson---------------------------------- -------------------Bannan-------------------Lee-------------------------- Wallace---------------------------------------------------------Forestieri --------------------------------Fletcher------------------------------------- It won't take a lot to this get this from really firing. The issues, are already stated, our staggeringly overstocked forward options, and Carlos' apparent stubbornness to keep playing 4-4-2 and shoehorning his "best" players into it.
  4. We signed Jones in August!
  5. Think you're scraping the bottom of barrel if you think Bullen is to blame. Carlos has a strong team around him, of which Bullen is part of.
  6. Out of the current squad: Emanualson Melo Dielna Lachmann Semedo McGugan All those are fairly straight forward decisions. They're either out of contract or available to leave, and if they can find a club, will be granted a free transfer. Then it gets a little more bold, and brave, I think Matias might go...but, I still think there's a really good player in him, if he can get on top of his injury problems. But it's a big if. I honestly believe he has the ability and flair to be a Knockaert/Mahrez type of player, if given the opportunity. But, it could just be a case of, wrong club, wrong time for Matias and Sheffield Wednesday. Liam Palmer would be made available for me. Isn't good enough to nail down a first team spot, and if a squad filler. Been a good servant, but he needs to go and find regular football elsewhere. I'd also do the same with Pudil, but I can't see him leaving. It'd be harsh on him, as he's done alright (nothing more) this season, but I feel like it's a position we can and should strengthen in the summer. Fox is young enough to provide cover and have potential to step up long term. Pudil has got one, maximum 2 years left at this level. Then the rest of the squad I'd leave alone, barring the shambolic striking situation. Out of Forestieri, Hooper, Fletcher, Nuhiu, Winnall, Rhodes and Joao, we have to get rid of at least two you'd say. Hooper is the best striker in the club, Forestieri is something different (although perhaps dispensable if a decent bid comes in for him), Fletcher has done alright this year, can improve and is proven at the next level up, and Rhodes...well...has been underwhelming to be kind...but has just cost us £10m! So that leaves Nuhiu, Joao and Winnall. For me, Winnall is the obvious one to go. Has been poor, he's technically lacking, has struggled in the tight spaces Wednesday play in, and would be a very sell-able asset to get our money back and more. Winnall will score goals in the the right side, but Wednesday under Carlos isn't that side (unless something drastic changes!). The next option is tough...Nuhiu or Joao. I'd err towards Nuhiu, just because of his limitations, and the fact he isn't going to get any better now. Joao, very much like Matias, I'm convinced there's a really good player in there. And I'm convinced if we get rid of him, he'll go elsewhere, scores goals for fun and be sold for a lot of money. Joao is only young, has pace, trickery, and the potential to strengthen and become a very good all round striker. My issue with getting rid of Nuhiu, is we then have no Plan B striker. No one who can come on and give centre halves something else to think about...unless Joao moulds himself into that sort of striker. If we got rid of Nuhiu, would we need to bring in, another target man?! That would leave a squad of: GK Westwood Wildsmith Dawson DR Hunt DL Fox DC Lees Loovens Sasso (Hutchinson) MC (Hutchinson) Bannan Lee Jones Abdi MR Wallace Matias ML Reach S Hooper Forestieri Rhodes Fletcher Joao With a few keys additions...a full back either side, a left winger and either a centre half or a central midfielder (depending on Hutchinson's role), the squad will be set up and looking very strong for next season. Suggested Targets off top of my head, who I think may be available/have impressed me: Right Back: Tendayi Darikwa from Burnley Carl Jenkinson from Arsenal Jon Flanagan from Liverpool Left Back: Rico Henry from Brentford Craig Forsyth from Derby Andy Yiadom from Barnsley Centre Half: Harlee Dean from Brentford Reece Burke from West Ham Marc Wilson from Bournemouth Central Midfielder: Oliver Norwood from Brighton Beram Kayal from Brighton Mile Jedinak from Aston Villa Adam Forshaw from Boro Winger: Jota from Brentford Johnny Russell from Derby Johann Gudmunsson from Burnley Ryan Fraser from Bournemouth Bakary Sako from Palace
  7. I've voted, for Carlos to stay, but I'm not convinced about either option. Two months ago, when there was an outpouring of disgruntlement about Carlos, I was very similar. I am someone who detests the sacking culture in football today, and on that score, I find it very difficult to put a reasoned and strong debate in favour of sacking a manager who has achieved a top six and a top four finish for two consecutive seasons, for a team that hadn't scaled those heights for over 15 years. I am also VERY wary of the regret we might have in 9-12 months time, after we have sacked Carlos, brought someone else in, and it hasn't gone to plan. For every successful manager change, there's probably more unsuccessful ones. Look at the Championship this many successful managerial changes have there been? Stam at Reading, Monk at Leeds, Warnock at Cardiff. They are the only three I'd consider to be successful changes. The rest have either resulted in no drastic change in results, or been wholly unsuccessful. So, the trends aren't great.Of the sides who achieved a top six finish, 5 of the managers were at the club, at the end of the following season. Continuity and stability may be boring to the average fan, but it isn't a bad thing at all. On the flip side, Carlos in my opinion, has shown far more weaknesses this season than last season, despite the stats pointing to a more successful season in terms of points gained. The performances throughout the season have been garbage. Aside from the odd glimmer every now and again, performances have been turgid, underwhelming and limiting. Under Stuart Gray, I didn't mind was a way for leveling the playing field against much better, financially stronger opponents. However, for this squad, with it's staggering array for attacking talents, it's merely brought the average and the dross of the league, much closer to us. It's something I've maintained throughout the season, but without a lot of luck this season in games, I don't think we would have achieved a playoff place. Carlos continues to play players and a system that doesn't get the best of of our squad. Hutchinson, Bannan, Lee & Forestieri maybe among our "best" players in the squad... but they simply don't bring out the best of the squad when played in a turgid, narrow, unambitious 4-4-2 shape. When Carlos first came, we played a 4-3-3 of a sorts, and even at times last season when you could claim it was a 4-4-2 fact, it played very much like a lopsided 4-3-3. I find it very hard to see Carlos' view on the constant selection of a system that doesn't bring the best out of our players. And I'm still irked somewhat, that Carlos made the exact same mistake he made in the Playoff Final last year, in the Semi Final this year...shoehorning Hutchinson into a side, that had previously shown far more capabilities without him in it (especially in a home tie that we needed to win!). The final, and biggest issue is recruitment. To say it's been shambolic is an understatement. We've spent over £20m since last summer...the result of all that change from the last games of each season...and that a free transfer. That is unforgivable. But, is Carlos to blame. If Carlos signs the players, he MUST go. Simply put, he should not be allowed to spend that sort of money again, on players he cannot or will not, integrate into the squad. However...I don't believe for one minute Carlos is signing those players. No manager spends that amount of money, brings in that many players...and doesn't use them. This is what needs to change...the way we sign players. So, in conclusion, at the minute, I'm in the Carlos In camp...just. But he must get more out of this squad. If he isn't going to be in charge of transfers...then start to look at his current tools, and look at how he can get more out of them. Scrap this god awful rigid 4-4-2, and opt for a system that'll bring the best out of the players, and a system that Carlos has lauded previously. Go to a 4-3-3, or the fluid, lopsided 4-4-2 from last season, and play players in their best positions, and look to get the best out of our players. Trim the squad, target, few specific signings and go again. I've no doubt Carlos has the ability to get us promoted, but he needs to get control of squad and the running of the club in order to do so.
  8. Superb OP. Absolutely spot on. Huge summer ahead.
  9. I agree, but, it's not always a case of replacing them like someone of equal quality. The problem we've had this season, with recruitment, is a Football Manager style, scattergun approach to signing good players who are available. The result, a extremely unbalanced squad, that have struggled to function as a unit for most part during the season. If selling Forestieri, for example, gives us the opportunity to address those issues, i.e. instead of replacing FF with another Forestieri type player, but with a marauding full back and a dominant, all round central midfielder, the squad, as a result, would be stronger.
  10. -------------Westwood------------- ?????----Lees----Loovens---???? -------------Hutchinson------------- -----------Lee------Bannan--------- ??????---------------------Forestieri ------------Hooper/Rhodes---------- OR --------------Westwood---------------- ????-----Lees-----Hutchinson----???? Wallace---?????-----Lee/Bannan--???? -------------Hooper---Rhodes----------- Far easier to recruit for a 4-3-3 system next year, but a few strikers would need to leave. If we are to stick with a 4-4-2, we'll need far more players, but would perhaps need to get rid of only one striker. Decisions, decisions.
  11. We'll keep hold of all the players we want, and want to stay. And Westwood, Bannan & Lee all fall into those categories. The one I can see going, as has already been stated, is Forestieri. We're no longer reliant on him. In fact, it can be argued, we're more effective as a unit, without him. If we could get £8-10m for him, I'd be astonished if we didn't sell. There's no hiding, that since the debacle at the start of the season, we haven't seen anywhere near his best from him. That £8-10m goes a long way to easing the FFP issues, and would allow us to strengthen other areas of the squad that have been neglected.
  12. There has to be some big, brave decisions in the summer. From the Chairman and the management. First question is, should Carlos be given a 3rd campaign? Will he want one? You cannot doubt Carlos' record, and a manager achieving the playoffs two seasons in a row, is a undoubted achievement. However, for me, we've gone backwards this season, despite what the position and points achieved column says. The Championship was far weaker this season (compare last seasons Playoff teams to this), and our performances throughout this season have underwhelmed. I'd give him the opportunity to lead us into a 3rd season, but performances and most importantly, recruitment HAVE to improve. Which leads to the next, major issue. The squad. It needs trimming, and it needs improving in certain areas. But the main issue is how we get the best out of our best players...namely Hutchinson, Forestieri & Rhodes. Goalkeeper Westwood Wildsmith No problems with the GK situation. Wildsmith is a good, young understudy. He'll get games in the cup & with Westwood's injury record, he'll more than likely get a handful of appearances in the league aswell. Right Back NEW SIGNING Hunt One area that needs improving. Hunt is a good, solid right back, but if we want to take that next step, he needs genuine competition, and Palmer needs moving on. Left Back NEW SIGNING Fox Harsh this one, but I think Pudil should be moved on. Fox has shown promise, but not enough to become a key player. When you see the likes of Malone, Lowe, Taylor, realise how much a good full back can add to a teams attacking intent. Centre Back Hutchinson/NEW SIGNING Lees Loovens Sasso No issues with the centre halves for me, if we move Hutchinson back. Which, if we continue to play a variation of 4-4-2, he has to. If Carlos decides to revert to a 4-3-3 which will get the best out of our current players, then a centre half who is confident with the ball at his feet, is a necessity. Centre Midfield Hutchinson/NEW SIGNING Bannan Lee Jones Abdi Once again, dependant on Carlos' (or the new managers!) vision for the upcoming season. If we opt to go with the 4-3-3, then there is no need to add anything to this midfield. It's set up for that, with a good variety of players and options. However, if we opt to stick with 4-4-2, and Hutchinson is moved back into centre of defence, an all round defensively sound midfielder who can boss a game in a two man midfield is a must. Someone in the mould of Kayal, Williams (Reading), MacDonald (Fulham) or Edwards (Wolves). Right Midfield NEW SIGNING Wallace Another area that needs improving. Wallace has been tremendous for the most part this season (was my Player of the Year), but it's still a position we've failed to improve on. Wallace has seen off numerous competitors, Sougou, McGeady, Buckley, McManaman. We desperately need a more unpredictable, flair player. Wallace provides the consistency and steadiness, but in games where we need a spark, a flair player (ideally with pace) is desperately required. Left Wing Forestieri/NEW SIGNING Reach Again, dependant on system. Switching to 4-3-3, the two options of Reach & FF are fine. Enough variety between them, however, if we stick with 4-4-2, we need another genuine wide midfielder/winger to play as part of a midfield 4. Strikers Hooper Rhodes Forestieri Fletcher Nuhiu/Winnall/Joao One area we certainly don't need any additions is the forward line. In fact, I think we could do with losing one or two. We'll all have differing views, and I'd imagine mine is in the minority. But Winnall is the weakest player from the group, and he'd have no shortage of suitors. Nuhiu is the next obvious, but he's the only one that offers something different. If Nuhiu went, I'd be inclined to bring someone else in, who can play the role of a genuine target man. I personally like to see Joao given another opportunity...he's a talented lad, and someone who I think could go on and have a very good career. Unpopular I know...but if we receive a bid of the £8-10m reported earlier in the season, for Forestieri, I maybe tempted to cash in, and spend it very wisely elsewhere. Get rid of: Emanualson, McGugan, Melo, Buckley, McManaman, Pudil, Palmer, Semedo, Winnall, Matias, Sougou, Kean
  13. Couple of days to digest everything. Avoided everything to do with Wednesday yesterday, just couldn't stomach the thought of going over everything again. Before the game, I wasn't confident. The standard of our display in the away leg was a real concern, and I was worried that the fact we got a decent result, masked some major issues. As it happened, we couldn't just turn it on and put on a display worthy of winning the tie. Anyway, ratings: Westwood - 7 - Couple of smart saves (but ones who'd expect him to make), but once again, his kicking was poor. Why did everything kick go towards FF up against Hefele?! Hunt - 7 - Thought he did alright. Wasn't troubled too much defensively, but like so many others, not on it in an offensive aspect. Lees - 7 - Dealt with Wells well enough, unfortunate for the own goal, but doesn't move the ball quick or positive enough, for some who sees a lot of it. Loovens - 7 - Calm and assured. Standard Loovens-esque display. Pudil - 5 - Thought he was doing alright up against Van La Parra, but the unit Quaner gave him a torrid time. Pudil went from playing on the front foot, to showing hesitancy and uncertainty up against him. Caught out for the goal as well. Bannan - 7.5 - MOTM - Decent display and the pick of a pretty ordinary bunch. Constantly trying to make something happen, good delivery for goal. But, for our main creative outlet and considering how often he's on the ball, his final ball isn't good enough much of the time. Lee - 6 - Poor game from Lee really. Looked leggy from 70 minutes onwards, and got in some positive positions, but was negative and cautious, often opting to slow the game down or turn back. One game too far after such a big injury probably. Reach - 6 - Like so many games, he just doesn't show enough. His crossing, for a winger, was abysmal. Neat and tidy, but nothing more than that. Hutchinson - 6 - Disagreed his with inclusion. Hugely negative move, and didn't have the impact on the game that was needed. Stupid tackle to get booked early on, and as a result, treading on eggshells throughout. Another one clear not fit enough to play 90+ minutes. Despite him been one of our best players, he's a real issue as to where to play him to get the best out of the team next year. For me, it's simple...either move him to centre back, and play him there and bring in a proper midfielder that can play in a central two, OR, switch to a three man midfield, in a 4-3-3. FF - 5 - As ineffective as he was in the 1st leg. Another player where there's an issue at the minute. Both FF & Hutch were missing during our 6 match winning run, both get shoehorned back into the side for key games...both don't perform, and performances suffer alarmingly. Fletcher - 6.5 - Again, suffered from a poor offensive team display. But, kept plugging away, up against two aggressive centre halves. Brilliant header for the goal, was starting to really come into the game, and then, inexplicably substituted. Rhodes - 5.5 - Totally ineffective in all round play. As soon as Rhodes came on, we seemed to accept the 1-0 drop deep, and failed to keep the ball for any length of time (not putting that wholly down to Rhodes introduction). Another player that we need to look to get the best out of next season. At the minute, it's looking like £10m spent very poorly. Carlos - Easy to say in hindsight, BUT he got his selection wrong, his tactics wrong and his substitutions wrong. Why bring in the defensive minded Hutchinson in a home tie we needed to win, in the only change from a criminally negative display away from home? Why go back to shoehorning (I love using that word!) three central midfielders into a 4-4-2? Why bring Fletcher off just as he was starting to have a real impact on the game? Why bring a player off who had 90+ minutes in him (Fletcher), when we had two players on the pitch (Hutchinson & Lee) incapable of getting through extra time, and admitted so afterwards? Some strange decisions made over the course of the two legs, which had a huge factor, in our two poor performances and ultimately, deserved defeat.
  14. I was thinking today, purely because Lemonhead's Mrs. Robinson came on Radio X, the scenes if Nuhiu came on and scored two late goals in front of the Kop, to send us to Wembley. That's who I would choose!
  15. Absolutely superb opening post. This is what makes Sheffield Wednesday fans unique. Special. For the majority of the time, we are like the rest... fickle, hard to please, pessimistic. For the majority of the time, we'll argue with others, get irate because someone rates a player you don't. But, nights, occasions, like tonight, is what differentiates us. Tonight, we will be as one. Every single one of us in that stadium, will back the players 100% of the time, whether things are going our way or not. We'll roar them on, we'll suck that ball into the back of the net. As we did this time last season, as we did against Arsenal, against Cardiff last season, and Newcastle and Derby this. As we did, when things didn't go our way at Wembley last season. That reception we gave those players, after, on reflection, a pretty ordinary performance, following the Playoff Final defeat, will still resonate with those players. Yes, nights against Brighton are what people remember, but I reckon those players and staff, won't have forgotten that reception they received at Wembley. Tonight's the night...I'm beginning to feel nervous (first time all week), but I'm going to enjoy it...regardless of result. If it doesn't go our way, we'll go again, just like we did this season. We're All Wednesday Aren't We?!