Sheffield Wednesday: Stu’s sweet smell of success

Reda Johnson at the Millwall game
Reda Johnson at the Millwall game

Shakespeare wrote: “What’s in a name; that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Stuart Gray seems to think that his job is staying the same whatever his title, writes Paul Thompson.

So long as he retains control of the team and the identifications of transfer targets, then all is as it should be.

I think my view of a director of football’s role is the same as Milan Mandaric’s: it involves looking at the bigger picture, and matters such as the academy and what the chairman has described as “international activity.”

In a way, a director of football should not make a vast difference to the function of a Wednesday manager, as things stand.

For years, and even in previous eras. it has not been the manager who has negotiated transfer fees or wages; he identifies whom he would like as well as preparing and shaping the current first team squad.

In Mandaric’s reign, the chairman decides whether or not to sanction spending, and vice-chairman/chief executive Paul Aldridge does the negotiating and contracts.

I guess that the only problems that can arise from the input of a director of football are when he and a manager either disagree about something or have a personality clash.

By the way, sorry if I keep calling Gray the manager rather than head coach. But he manages the team, and the two titles mean the same thing, really. I’ve never got around to calling linesmen assistant referees. They’re men (mostly) and they run the line, so what’s changed?

I am sure that Gray does not mind what people call him so long as his and the team’s success continues.

It was riveting stuff at Millwall for 1,049 (official figure) away spectators - including Reda Johnson, who was with the Owls squad though not playing and might have gone unrecognised to some folk, with his hat, glasses and headphones!

There was no missing the familiar figure of John Deehan, in the run-up to his arrival as a coach, Stuart Gray was out of the public eye when he was at the Oakwell game last season just before he was appointed to the Owls staff. It was an opportunity for him to assess the players, and Deehan will have been doing the same. Another new era seems to be developing.