Alan Biggs: Thunderclaps over a blue sky

Alan Bigg Telegraph Web Tile
Alan Bigg Telegraph Web Tile

When managers issue “stick together” pleas and star players engage in Twitter rows with “thick” supporters the word “crisis” is normally in the air.

Well, let me tell you there are loads of clubs who’d love the sort of “crisis” Sheffield Wednesday are experiencing right now. Coventry City for one. And, yes, Sheffield United even for another.

What’s so remarkable about these thunderclaps over Hillsborough is that they’ve come from a bright blue sky. Okay, a few clouds were up there but they were mostly fluffy white ones. Proof that football can be as changeable as the weather.

But let’s take a raincheck on all this. First, it would be totally wrong to say Wednesday fans have turned against a manager whose status was unassailable just a few short weeks ago. There are a few dissenters in any crowd and the Owls just happen to have a bigger proportion than most simply because they are currently the best supported club in the Championship.

The mood change isn’t as radical as it seems. But mostly it stems from people getting too up in the first place and this then magnifies the downs. Here, I count myself as guilty as anyone in talking up Wednesday for a top six place on the basis of their early form.

I still feel they have the ability and backing to make a charge - providing the feel-good momentum returns. And here’s where the fans come in; they really mustn’t “lose it” in all senses of the term.

As for Jay Bothroyd and his internet skirmish after some supporters booed him off last weekend, I’m with him 100% in his indignation -even if he was unwise to express it. This is an accomplished, proven striker getting to grips with playing in a new team experiencing a bit of a wobble.

I thought he showed enough in the previous game against Huddersfield - dominant in the air and some deft touches on the ground - to suggest that he will be a regular scorer with the right sort of service.

And so to the manager. Too many changes? Maybe. Certainly, they haven’t worked. But a defence of Dave Jones’ record is not, or should not, be required. But here goes anyway (Played 22 Won 14 Drawn 3 Lost 5).

It just so happens that those defeats have come in a single trot. But let’s not run away with the idea - as a small minority have - that he has suddenly lost the plot. Just check out his cv across all his clubs. Then settle down everyone!

Jones deserves the support to end this run before it gets out of hand.