Sheffield Wednesday fans column: How times have changed since Owls last played Newcastle United

James O'Connor

James O'Connor

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The last time we played Newcastle United in the league was Boxing Day 2009.

The match was broadcast live on Sky Sports. Sounds familiar except it was shown at a reasonable hour of the day instead of 7.45pm on a Bank Holiday.

I found the entire match on YouTube. Having watched it again it feels like a million years ago and yet there are vaguely familiar soundbites trotted out by the pundits.

Their opening gambit was “There were great expectations around Hillsborough at the start of the season…it hasn’t turned out that way.” It was a fair summation considering we had just parted ways with manager Brian Laws following a nine-match winless run.

We were teetering on the brink of administration under Lee Strafford and by the end of the season we would be watching striker Leon Clarke break his toe on an advertising board instead of helping us stay in the Championship.

Although our expectations for this season were high, sitting in the play-off positions with a healthy bank balance is pure bliss compared to 2009.

The commentator with festive cheer proclaimed “all that Sheffield Wednesday want for Christmas is a goal.”

Prior to that game we hadn’t scored in six games. Luke Varney put us ahead with our first goal in 10 hours. It did feel like a good Christmas present to be cheering an actual goal.

The game ended in a 2-2 draw with midfielder James O’Connor claiming a controversial equaliser but sometimes you need a bit of luck. Wednesday have been riding theirs over the past few games. We need to show we are play-off material.

Let’s just hope the Owls put up a good fight this Boxing Day.

We need to put the Rotherham United performance out of our heads and think we are in a far better place than Christmas 2009.

Merry Christmas and WAWAWAW.