Liam Hoden’s Sheffield Wednesday Column: The long and unenviable task facing Carlos

Owls Manager Carlos Carvalhal
Owls Manager Carlos Carvalhal

The task facing Carlos Carvalhal at Sheffield Wednesday gets no easier.

He faces pressure to not only deliver success, but do so in a manner that provides entertainment to a demanding audience and an even more demanding owner.

Though he is yet to be handed the striker both he and Wednesdayites desire, Carvalhal cannot really complain about the tools he has been provided for the job in hand. Plenty of managers would snap hands off for 15 new signings and a real blend of domestic experience and foreign talent.

But if he has any chance of achieving the success which is demanded of him, he first must find a way of bringing together the 15 new faces with the squad he inherited in order to form a cohesive unit.

The evidence of last weekend’s defeat to Middlesbrough suggests he has a real job on his hands doing that.

Against one of the division’s top sides, Wednesday looked rather clueless, particularly in the first half when they were hardly in the game. They simply did not know how to break down an incredibly solid and organised unit, nor how to deal with the threat Boro posed.

It was worrying, and suggested that it would be some time before there was any real cohesion in the side.

It was clearly always going to take time. Not only has Carvalhal had to weave new players into the side, he has also had to impose his style on the squad as a whole. Not only a style of play but also training methods, a strong philosophy and overall approach to the game.

In short, it was not going to happen overnight. And at the moment, it appears it was never likely to happen in the first month of the season either.

The international break has probably come at a good time for the team. It will allow Carvalhal to introduce the three new arrivals of last weekend into his way of thinking and to get them embedded into his squad. And it will allow him further time to impart his thinking on the group.

The uninterrupted fortnight will be valuable and should pay dividends in the month ahead, when hopefully things will truly start to come together.

The next month should see the players emerge who can flourish within Carvalhal’s style and implement his instructions in the best way.

But even then, there is still plenty of tough work ahead for the Portuguese. And managing such a big squad is at the top of the list.