Certain additions to the management... Milan Mandaric’s words here last week on what to expect from Hafiz Mammadov’s Sheffield Wednesday.
They were volunteered at the start of an answer to my question about Stuart Gray’s position which was then confirmed as unchanged.
The first words of the Owls chairman’s reply became secondary – but I can’t help wondering about their significance. As a throwaway line, this was intriguing.
The plural should not really surprise. Wednesday are understaffed below head coach Gray. John Deehan was shipped in last season to help out, while development coach Lee Bullen doubled up in a very effective shuttling exercise.
There has also been a slow burning plan to introduce a director of football. But it would be naive to think Mammadov won’t want some key influence on how the management is structured, even though he is happy to take Mandaric’s recommendation on Gray.
Besides the expectation of the Azerbaijani businessman putting in an administrative representative of his choice, there will be a strategy on the football side that may differ from the past. Consider Gray’s title and his training ground style. Will there be a managerial presence?
I’m thinking aloud because Mandaric was understandably only at liberty to clear up any uncertainty over Gray. When the takeover formalities are done, you’d imagine Mammadov – for all his low profile – would want to have some kind of impact when he is formally introduced.
Part of that will be by action rather than words, which is always the best way. By that I mean the anticipated raft of signings besides the retention of key out-of-contract players. But there is some uncertainty as to what shape the management will take.