Date: 27th November 2012 at 10:58pm
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Wednesday’s Championship struggles sunk to new lows on Tuesday night as Watford inflicted the heaviest home defeat on the Owls with a 4-1 victory to pile more pressure on manager Dave Jones.

Michail Antonio had given the hosts the perfect start with a third-minute opener but the impressive Fernando Forestieri levelled 15 minutes later and Chris Lines missed a first-half penalty to send the Owls into half-time with the lead.

Instead, Alexandre Geijo struck after the interval to give Gianfranco Zola’s men the lead and further goals from Troy Deeney and Mark Yeates gave the Vicarage Road club an emphatic victory – to add to the one they collected in Yorkshire at Leeds United earlier in the month.

On the back of a confidence-sapping 2-0 home loss to Leicester City at the weekend Jones made three changes to his starting eleven with Miguel Llera replacing Martin Taylor at the back, and Paul Corry and Chris Lines coming in for Jose Semedo and Jermaine Johnson.

Things started well enough for Wednesday and Antonio fired them ahead in the third minute when he took advantage of a defensive laps from the visitors to fire the Owls ahead and give them a much-needed shot in the arm.

It gave Wednesday confidence but that soon ebbed away when the visitors got on level terms not long after. Forestieri was picked out at the edge of the box and he struck a low shot that Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland couldn’t prevent going into the back of the net to make things all square.

Despite the set-back Wednesday had a golden opportunity to regain the lead just before the half-hour mark when Jay Bothroyd was felled inside the box. Lines stepped up to take the spot-kick but Manuel Almunia did well to save the effort.

The Owls finished the first half the stronger of the two sides but Zola’s men, bolstered by a number of foreign loan players with plenty of flair, were in the ascendancy on the restart.

Geijoa had a header well saved by Kirkland as the visitors mounted more pressure and danger man Forestieri twice came close to giving the Hornets the lead for the first time in the match.

They didn’t have to wait long for that lead to come and it was Geijoa who grabbed it, steeling in to head home a Yeates free-kick just after the hour mark.

The goal was a sucker-punch for Wednesday and while the hosts wilted, Watford grew in confidence and added two more late goals to add the icing to their cake.

Substitute Deeney scored with his first touch of the ball and then Yeates added the fourth to bring another chorus of booing to the Hillsborough stands and leave Wednesday with a fifth straight defeat.

Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton (J Johnson 68), Llera, Gardner (Taylor 46), Helan, Antonio, Lines, Corry, McCabe (Semedo 53), Bothroyd, Sidibe. Unused substitutes: Bywater, Jones, Mayor, O`Grady

Watford: Almunia, Hall, Yeates (Murray 90), Hogg, Pudil (Dickinson 88), Cassetti, Hoban, Geijo, Chalobah, Ekstrand, Forestieri (Deeney 75). Unused substitutes: Bonham, Vydra, Smith, Battocchio.


19 Replies to “Report: Wednesday 1-4 Watford”

  • DJ’s post-match quote, part one: “Have I become a bad manager overnight?” Overnight? No. I’d say it took a little over a fortnight before some of us started to suspect the truth of it. Specifically between the press conference following the defeat at Palace and half time vs. Huddersfield. Everything that’s happened since then makes me wonder how anyone ever thought you were a good manager in the first place. DJ’s post-match quote part two: “The number of managers at this club in the past tells you that chopping and changing is not the right thing.” Couldn’t agree more, and the fact that you’re currently in the post is all the proof we need. Why on earth did we have to chop and change last February? Part three entailed blaming the players for last night’s result, as usual. So MM’s little pep talk over dinner worked a treat then. Next up he’ll be telling us how he’s losing money hand over fist and if he can be patient then so can the rest of us. Well I’m sorry Mr. Chairman but I’m afraid your credibility is taking a nose-dive too. I honestly believe there is only one man out there who could possibly arrest this slide and turn things around before the January transfer window opens, and the sad thing is he’s already on the payroll! Sad, because he’s the very last man you’re likely to turn to in a crisis because your own stubborn pride and principles forbid you to hold up your hand and admit you were wrong, wrong, wrong. In the meantime you’ll ‘trust’ your manager and his coaching team will utilise their vast experience to turn last night’s shower into a team capable of winning matches in this division. Or else bring in A.N.Other failed manager to ‘have a crack at it’. God help us!

  • Hold on there our Maurice. Everything you say about DJ is correct, if he had any self respect he would resign, but that’s not going to happen. No doubt he’ll hold on and wait for a big pay off! However, your comments on MM are completely offside. Whatever we feel at the moment, we are in a better position since he took over and he has backed both Megson and Jones with cash. We still owe him a great deal and I for one, will not be knocking him. Megson is not coming back, but we need a change. Hopefully the wheels are turning behind the scenes.

  • I think the only thing we can hold against MM is that he is standing by his manager and I’m not sure we can really blame him for that. From his point of his view, he has good reason to give DJ as much of a chance to deliver as possible but its clear MM is not stupid and he won’t give him much longer. I think the vote of confidence was the biggest indicator that DJ is at crunch time. As dobby says, I reckon there is a good chance MM is already taking steps behind the scenes but I think we all need to keep our trust in Milan. Megson built a good team with passion and pride but like it or not that boat has sailed now and there is next to no chance that he is going to come back while MM is in charge so I think we need to let the whole Megson thing go now and move on. Maybe MM is not doing things as fast or exactly how we would want them but I don’t doubt that he wants exactly the same things that we do he’ll make the right decisions for the club.

  • dobby1, with respect there’s an awful lot going on that we don’t know about. Some of it seems too cloak’n dagger for my liking and invites speculation as well as suspicion. First of all though, let’s not lose track of MM’s reasons for buying the club in the first place – to sell again at a profit. It appeared he handed Irvine a substantial transfer fund shortly after the takeover but how much was Megson given to spend? £350k for O’Grady, and there’s a case to argue the other ‘money’ signings at that time Lowe, Lines & M.Jones were actually brought in ‘on his behalf’. Everything else was loans and freebies. As I’ve said before on numerous occasions I believe the fall out between GM and MM was down to the manager’s ambitions for the club not being matched by the chairman and I think that situation still stands today. The difference being the present manager seems more able to accept how things are and less prone to kick up a fuss about it. MM wants the club to succeed, of course he does! The healthier the club and the better placed we are in league terms then the higher the value when it comes to receiving offers. But he’s less likely to plough money into the project just to bring that day closer if it means vastly reducing his profit margins. That’s what I think. And I stand by my opinions re: the merits and performance of both GM & DJ. And you’re right, Megson won’t be coming back because in order to do so he’d need certain assurances that he’d be given licence to manage team affairs as he sees fit, and that doesn’t appear to be the way MM & co like to operate.

  • I’m not arguing at all about the relative merits of DJ and GM. As I stated a few days ago, I firmly believe that it was the arrival of Antonio that sparked our promotion push and not the change in manager. this is the same Antonio that is now on a four year contract having been bought for a substantial sum. We also renewed the contracts of several players (Beevers included) n increased terms. Other players have been bought and MM has funded these. For years we were a selling club with little hope for the future. MM has changed this and I am not going to knock him. Of course he is reluctant to sack DJ as it will mean more expense. Yes MM will sell one day and he is not going to spend beyond our means. I am pleased to see some financial sense. we suffered for years because of the mis-managemnt of Dave Richards (where is he now ? – unbelievable). The fact is that we have a chairman who is willing to invest with the hope of making a profit in the future and what’s wrong with that? I would rather have him in the chairmans seat that be bought by an investment bank – good luck Leeds! Whatever happened behind the scenes with GM is history and much as I like the guy, he will not be our manager again, so let’s look forward. A new manager is what we need as DJ is simply not the man for the job!

  • Good points by both, however dobby do you think these players will be sticking around if were relegated again? Contract length or not they will be sold for next to nothing and most will want that, who wants to play in league 1 when championship clubs come knocking?
    Mm will be working hard behind the scenes for dj replacement, he’s no fool and I’m sure he will have a short list ready.

  • Agree totally OM the only reason DJ is still at this club is that MM would have to admit that he was wrong to sack GM or that he has in his opinion made two bad managerial decisions in a year

  • andymac – You wouldn’t happen to be stirring the pot a little there, would you? Nah, thought not. Besides, Pass Pass Pass Lose Lose Lose Lose Lose Lose Draw Lose Draw Lose Win Win Lose Lose Lose Lose Lose doesn’t leave all that much to crow about. Never mind though, huh? I’m sure things will pick up at the weekend, especially as I’m told there’s a shipment of Pasta Salmonella winging it’s way down to South Wales as we speak. I’m not saying we’ll win but hopefully Cardiff’s players will feel too ill to score.

  • Frankly? I’m pretty gloomy about our prospects just now. Are we at the point where we say that this isn’t a just a run we’re on, this may be a mind set the players are locked into? I didn’t see the game on Saturday. What were the players attitudes like? If the will is faltering then for the good of the club the mindset must change. How about this then. Is it time for the players to get a bit of perspective? A bit of a personal shock maybe? A trip to the children’s hospital should set them on the right course. Seeing the kids in there fighting to survive will do that for you. Or twenty thousand people shouting at hem that they are not fit to wear the shirt. Or, even better twenty thousand shouting that they are behind them all the way come what may. First time back in the championship. First we must survive.

  • Its difficult to see a clear way through our situation at the moment there are so many inconsistencies. Lets be clear our club is an investment as far as MM is concerned nothing more and you protect your investments if you are wise so ultimately he will act and it may be after Cardiff. I don’t believe MM has lost the plot although that belief may be shaken if we sell Beevers because quality young players have to be the heartbeat of the club. If you manage a team in any walk of life and that team isn’t performing you change some aspects of how the team is functioning if you have any skill as a manager at all. DJ just doesn’t seem able to do that, analyse and change: I suppose you would call it the development, application and deployment of tactics. Which is why I think Burton’s departure has been pivotal in our decline in recent months. What seems certain is that if someone doesn’t have the ability to change something soon we are on our way back down a division with the other Sheffield team passing us on their way up. I do worry though about some of the ‘next manager’ names being bandied about although I do believe that MM has more sense than to go for most of the names touted here and elsewhere. But who is there out who could do a job for us. And don’t say GM because whilst I think he probably could there’s no way he will be back at S6.

  • Excellent post, Fantham’s Hairnet. I agree with every point you’ve made (including the last bit, sadly). My greatest concerns at the moment aren’t with Jones himself (although he makes matters worse every time he opens his mouth) but with the way the club handles such hot topics as player recruitment. Buying and selling. Loans in, loans out. The whole policy relating to transfers invites speculation and in the absence of reliable details we’re left to suspect all manner of shady dealing involving specific individuals, agents etc. and not simply a need to balance the books. Back in the old days the manager would identify transfer targets and no-one else, he would most probably be given a budget to work with and negotiate the fee too. These days it’s all too cloak’n dagger and when things don’t seem to work out (2012, from January until now being a case in point) none of us are really sure who’s to blame. We already suspect the bulk of last summer’s squad additions were secured on the manager’s behalf but then the loan signings, which must surely be his own selections, have been nothing short of disastrous. We aren’t the only club who choose to remove transfer business from a manager’s list of responsibilites and in theory leaving the man in charge of team affairs free to concentrate solely on coaching sounds like a great idea, but only if the man in question is any good at it. And personally, I’d say if the last three months have proved anything at all then it’s this: Regardless of how highly he rates himself, Dave Jones is a lousy coach.

  • No matter whether its football or any other area a good manager will try a number of ways to engage with his staff and motivate them. And now and again every manager, unless he’s utterly hopeless, will have a ‘dream team’ experience. DJ may have had those in the past but he’s certainly not having one at S6 and, more to the point, he doesn’t present like a manager who has the skills to either engage with or motivate his team, although no matter whether he brought them in or not I don’t feel they now see themselves as ‘his’ team. Whichever way you look at it that, coupled with his signings, (with us in the position we are, who in their right mind brings in someone like Sidibe: what could he possibly offer to us or anyone else with his history!!), DJ has demonstrated an utter lack of those qualities which I would expect any chairman/owner to be looking for. I just don’t understand how someone can get it so wrong for so long, seemingly change nothing, particularly the way he’s thinking, and be left to just get on with it. If this was a manufacturing company which MM owned and performance, in other words sales, had dropped like a stone the manager responsible would be history before the company went into receivership, aka League1….again! It the unswerving, continued adherance to what patently doesn’t work that mystifies me. Heaven help us until he’s gone. And I ask again; who next?

  • I agree, some of the ‘next manager’ candidates are scary beyond belief. Coyle? Ince?? Blimey! Something has to change though. How about if we ‘slide’ DJ over and create a brand new position, that of ‘Chairman’s Full-time Lunch Companion’ and draft in at least two possibly three new coaches. One being a fitness specialist and another the ace tactician. And maybe one to deal with the press. Just a thought.

  • I once worked somewhere where everyone had grand job titles and we were all convinced that somewhere there was a Director of Creative and Imaginative Job Titles. But seriously, no, DJ has to be moved out or his ‘influence’ will still taint everything. A good coach or two yes because I still think that managed and motivated in the right way most, and I use the word advisedly, of the current squad have enough ability to get us to a much more respectable position in the league. We were never going to go straight up again and would we want to even if DJ had had a dream team moment. As for who’s next I can’t make any sensible suggestions because the field of those who might come in has been significantly reduced because of the mess they would inherit. We’ve got the foolhardy and clueless at the moment so we have to talk about a brave, skilled and powerful motivator coming in as a replacement…….who does that leave.

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