We’re on the box tomorrow night against Sheffield Wednesday and their manager is in a spot of bother as it has been reported that if his team fail to beat us that he’ll get given the chop. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a market for the next Championship manager to leave their post as there is in the Premier League. Shame as I think he’ll be out of a job come Monday morning as I can’t see anything other than three points coming back to the Black Country.
I don’t want this to come across as an arrogant belief that we have a God-given right to win every game this season, but the facts of the matter are as follows:
- Sheffield Wednesday have only won 2 out of their last six home games
- On the other hand, we’ve won 4 out of our last six away games
- We’ve scored the same amount away (17) as Wednesday have at home
- Our away goal difference (+10) is twice as good as Wednesday’s home difference (+5)
- Since the turn of the century, we’ve only lost once at Hillsborough (4-1 on 20/12/2015)
We always seem to play Sheffield Wednesday around the same time of year, just before Christmas and it has to be said, it’s an absolutely fantastic away day. The last meeting I went to was in 2014 and because it was close to Christmas (13.12) we thought we should get there early and make a day of it and when I say early, I mean it. Some people have a rule where you don’t drink before midday, but that wasn’t being followed as we arrived in Sheffield at around 8:45 on a crisp winter’s morning and went in search of a pub.
One of the things that makes Sheffield such a good day out is because of the size of the city there are an awful lot of pubs and if my memory serves, there is three or four Wetherspoons. That was the first point of call but we hit a barrier as they said they didn’t serve beer before nine o’clock but the one down the road did so off we went down the slope, however, it seemed like a wild goose chase and we couldn’t find where we were going so we went back to where we started and waited until 9am.
I imagine there aren’t many people who want a drink before 9am but what’s the point in Wetherspoons opening beforehand if they’re not going to serve alcohol and just do food? Isn’t that what cafes are for? Also, why is there no continuity? Some ‘spoons will serve alcohol from 7am, some won’t serve it at all before 9am and some will only serve it before 9am if you buy food with it. Make your mind up! Anyway, I’ll stop now before it seems like I’m a raving alcoholic.
We had a good old sing song in the pub when more Wolves fans turned up and the normal thing happened that the locals look disgusted that we were having a good time. Off we went to the game and we came away with a 1-0 win after a late goal from Leon Clarke which sent bodies flying. We (Wolves fans) collectively are a relatively pessimistic bunch, probably with the exception of this season, but one thing we are good for is a superb melee when we score, case in point when we played Leeds at home later on that season we scored an 88th minute winner and there was limbs everywhere; so much so that when one of the lads went to work a couple of days after, he got questioned about all the cuts on his legs. The conversation went something like this:
“Where have those come from?”
“I didn’t realise you play”
“I don’t” – Sort of tailed off from there as there isn’t really much you can say to that. Just one of the traits that make Wolves fans unique.
Back to the Wednesday game on Friday; we’ll have a full set of players to choose from with the exception of Phil Ofosu-Ayeh who I am debating whether he actually exists because we signed him in the summer but he’s been ‘injured’ ever since. It is the one position we desperately need to strengthen as without Matt Doherty we have no-one that can play the right wing-back role. Ofosu-Ayeh is due back soon, mind. Then again, that’s been the case before then something else happens. Got no chance considering the weather.
Sheffield Wednesday are charging us £33 a ticket. Thirty-three pounds. That’s more than it costs to go to Stamford Bridge, the Emirates, Old Trafford and every other ground in the Premier League due to the new ticket cap that is in force meaning that tickets are capped at £30. Why it hasn’t been filtered down to the lower divisions is beyond me; £30 is still too much in my opinion and it should be capped at the £20 that the FSF is pushing for with their campaign TwentysPlenty. Baby steps, though as the £30 cap was a great win as I’m sure it was £49 in the Premier League for Chelsea away when we were last there, so I dread to think what it would be without the cap.
I’m not too sure regarding any team news for the home side but that’s not really of my concern as all I’m bothered about is us getting the three points and pulling away further at the top before the rest of the chasing pack play. One thing that will play into our hands as well is that because Carvalhal needs a win, we should be able to pick them off on the counter-attack.
All things considered, if I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’d be backing the away win.