Blues welcome Carlos Carvalhal and his Sheffield Wednesday side to St Andrews
After a positive second half performance against Derby County Blues take on Sheffield Wednesday at St Andrews. Lee Carsley was disappointed with the way Blues conceded an equaliser and will have no doubt made his feelings known to the defence on the training ground over the last few days.
Blues have won only one of their last seven meetings against the Owls. That was the home game last September, a penalty from Clayton Donaldson and another fromgave Blues all 3 points that day. In the reverse fixture Wednesday beat Zola’s men 3-0 with Jordan Rhodes scoring on his debut.
The Owls have made a decent start to this season with wins over Fulham, Forest and Brentford. They do concede goals though which will be something Blues will be hoping to expose.
The Wednesday manager also seemed to be feeling the pressure in a bizarre rant on Tuesday. Carvalhal gave the journalists in attendance a little practical demonstration, taking out a £20 note, then screwing it up and punching it only to proclaim “It’s still twenty pounds”.
It’s the 150th birthday for Sheffield Wednesday this year and we were promised a lot of celebrations, special events and a good push for promotion and expectations were through the roof at the start of the season from fans if not everyone working for the club. However things started to have a slightly different feel to them shortly after the start of the season, not least when we were beaten by Preston away on opening day with a very poor display from all of our players. Add to that niggling little things like the commemorative season ticket not being as expected, replica shirts not being delivered on time…we’re still waiting for them to arrive and no hint of when they’ll be here.
Fans started to chunter a little…the ‘feel-good factor’ associated with finishing 6th and 4th in consecutive seasons, if there was any feel-good factor was dissipating at an alarming rate and fans noted that we hadn’t improved our squad significantly where other teams were doing so every week…BUT…we battled through all that and the team started to gain a little momentum and stir from their pre season slumber…good results and performances away at Fulham and Cardiff where we were very unlucky not to come away with 6 points put everyone back on board the Wednesday love train and our lofty expectations were back on track and fans had the belief again…but at the back of everyone’s minds were a few slightly less impressive team performances and some truly awful individual performances…and the fact that one or two things had gone our way in games…they tend not to matter when the final result goes your way but when the wheels come off everyone cites those moments as clear indicators of something being wrong… On Sunday the wheels came off big style and the Sheffield Wednesday fan’s hubris was trampled into the Hillsborough turf by our local rivals.
It doesn’t always matter that you lose BUT IT ALWAYS matters to lose to them and it ALWAYS matters to lose in that fashion. We have already had a rollercoaster ride of emotions and September isn’t over yet…We EXPECTED to breeze to a great start…we EXPECTED this season to be one of celebrations…we EXPECTED to be around the top 3 or 4…we EXPECTED to beat our rivals and move forward… In football you need moments like this, they are what create character and bring about change, good or bad, they a new low benchmark and you have a choice, either pick yourselves up and sort it out or ignore it and learn nothing. We have a habit of doing the latter. NOW…our expectations are lowered and for some fans we cannot move forward until we have a new manager. I remain unconvinced about that as I like Carlos and what he’s done with us but I DO take their point, we don’t seem to be moving forward anymore and something has to change.
A loss against Birmingham would not see Carlos ousted as manager but a win wouldn’t make him any safer either. The bigger test comes on Sunday…it could be ANOTHER bloody Sunday and a loss to Leeds would surely see change at SWFC. Our fans will still be raw from 7 days previously and the mood will be very dark indeed should we lose.
Given the season that Birmingham have had so far most Wednesday fans would have expected a win at St Andrews, certainly last week most will have been adding up points and counting 3 from this game but football is a fickle mistress and now not many will be EXPECTING a win but now it will be more HOPEFUL of a win and to more than that, we NEED a performance from the team to help soothe our wounds. 3-0 or 0-3? Neither would surprise me. Play as we did at Fulham and Cardiff and a good win is possible but play as we did against United and Birmingham could be holding the nail for Leeds to hammer into the coffin on Carlos’s Managerial stint at S6.
In only Lee Carsley’s second game in charge, his first at home, it’s still not easy to anticipate who he will pick. Jota, Adams and Lowe are still unavailable with hamstring injuries meanwhile Stockdale suffered a broken wrist in training last week meaning Tomasz Kuszczak came back in between the sticks at Derby and should keep his place tonight. Michael Morrison has been under pressure from some fans of late. However it’s unlikely that Carsley will be too disappointed with him so we don’t expect the back four to change. It’s further up the field where you wonder if Carsley may be a bit more adventurous now the rot has been stopped. We anticipate the only change being Jutkiewicz coming in for the struggling Gallagher, especially after his fabulous goal and general performance on Saturday. For this game we’ve got professional boxer, fresh off his win against Simas Volosinas, Charlie Williams. Charlie picked the following team, predicting the teams to be level 1-1 at half time, with David Davis as the first scorer, then Blues nicking it 2-1 in the second half.
Mid week game is a chance to change it up after a weekend and let the young strikers do their thing with speed and sharpness from the off. Walsh coming in supplying to the talented strikers in Gallagher & Vassell! Why not???? Charlie Williams
Played For Both
Sheffield born Matthewson started his career at Wednesday before moving on to Newport County. After a spell at Stockport County he joined Blues and made over 200 appearances in four years including starting the Leyland DAF cup final at Wembley.
Britain’s first £1million pound player Francis started his career with the Blues and scored 119 goals in his eight years at St Andrews. He then signed for Brian Clough’s reigning first division champions Nottingham Forest to become the first million pound footballer. He scored the goal in the final of the European Cup to give Forest victory over Malmo.
After spells with Rangers, Atalanta and QPR amongst others he signed for Sheffield Wednesday. He made just over 75 appearances but scored just 5 goals before retiring. He went on to manage both clubs.
Club Captain and central defender Morrison spent just 7 months at Hillsborough and made 12 appearances before joining Charlton Athletic. He signed for Birmingham in 2015.
30th January 1892
Sheffield Wed 2 – 0 Small Heath – FA Cup
The first meeting between the two clubs was way back in 1892 in the FA Cup. The Owls won 2-0 on that day. The game was played at Wednesday’s Olive Ground.
10th February 2017
Sheffield Wed 3 – 0 Birmingham City – Championship
The most recent meeting between the clubs saw Wednesday ease to a 3 nil victory with goals from Jordan Rhodes, Sam Winnall and Adam Reach. Blues had only one win from twelve games at the time, Zola’s record didn’t get much better before his resignation later in the season.
19th February 2011
Blues 3 – 0 Sheffield Wed – FA Cup
Blues welcomed Wednesday to St Andrews in the 5th round of The FA Cup in 2011. Having beaten Coventry city 3-2 in the last rounds Blues cruised through to the semi finals thanks to goals from Jean Beausejour, Obafemi Martins and David Murphy. Former Bluenose Clinton Morrison had a late chance for the Owls but failed to take it. Blues were knocked out by Bolton in the next round.
Martin has already been in charge at the Blues once this season, the 0-2 loss at home to Reading. He has given out 14 yellows and 1 red card in his 11 matches.