Date: 27th January 2011 at 12:27pm
Written by:

Over a month after Milan Mandaric claimed control of Sheffield Wednesday, the ‘new era’ which was heralded has thus far failed to materialise, and many Wednesday fans, myself included, have had to question the direction in which the club is heading, writes Will van de Noort.

Of course, this isn`t down to Mandaric – the vast majority of concerns that are being raised are directed at the under-pressure manager, Alan Irvine, who has failed to galvanise a Wednesday squad that, on paper, are clearly one of the best squads in the division.

Reda Johnson’s late equaliser at home to Yeovil Town on Tuesday night fails to hide what is, in truth, a home draw against a side in the drop zone, who played a significant portion of the match with nine men.

Alan Irvine’s record as Wednesday manager does not make for good reading. Even with last season not considered – he had inherited what was a poor squad from Brian Laws – Wednesday have lost more games than they have won in a league in which they were expected to mount a serious bid for promotion.

Wednesday find themselves in limbo between the play-offs and the drop
zone – and in a league as tight as League One, a continued run of poor form could see them engage in a relegation battle, rather than the promotion fight that fans were hoping for – or rather, expecting – at the start of the season.

Personally, I think it is time for Irvine to move on. He has had ample time to see his own squad ‘gel’ into the division, but if he is unable to galvanise what is a Championship-quality team in League One, then surely a fresh impetus is required. Mandaric, hardly renowned for his patience, will not sit back and let this club spend another season in the third tier.

As a resident in Exeter, a good five hours from Sheffield, I can’t say I’ve experienced watching Wednesday on a regular basis this season. That said, the games I have been to have hardly been fruitful – the
5-1 reverse at Exeter emphasised to me that the Wednesday squad have no desire to play at this level, but also no desire to resurrect that problem – they can`t be bothered to play in League One, but they can’t be bothered to win promotion to the Championship either.

Alan Irvine cuts an incredibly uncharismatic and bland figure, and for
me, what Wednesday need is a manager to get the side motivated, and get them to ‘want’ to play in this league and ‘want’ to get us
promoted.