Richard Fidler: He’s a nutter... but I still love JJ

The other week I was having a discussion with a fellow journalist about the merits of Sheffield Wednesday offering Jermaine Johnson a new contract.

My point was that everyone knows what they’re getting with JJ. Some weeks brilliant, some weeks not so much.

But the good outweighed the bad in my view. He can do things that not many in the Wednesday squad can.

And it’s no use complaining that he doesn’t have the defensive capabilities of Jose Semedo or David Prutton.

Neither of them can take three men on and stick it into the top corner though.

However, when he loses his head like he did on Tuesday night in the Owls disappointing Capital One Cup defeat at Rotherham United he becomes very hard to keep arguing for.

Johnson is a very likeable character and he was quick to come out and apologise on Twitter after the match to the Wednesday fans. He got a bit of stick back in the other direction but he, more than anyone, must be able to accept that stuff happens in the heat of the moment.

Owls boss Dave Jones didn’t hide his frustration with the Jamaican in his post match comments. His main issue, though, is that one of his team’s main weapons is now missing for three matches.

Therein lies the problem.

Wednesday are better with Johnson in the side - in fact they’re a better side when the other Johnson, Reda, is also in the line up, but his injury woes are another matter.

Jones knows that it has been a poor start to the new season when hopes had been reasonably high for a good year. Perspective is needed though. Losing at QPR, who are a Premier League team if not a Premier League club, and in a cup to a derby rival, isn’t actually that unexpected.

It’s how they kick on from here that is the challenge.

A win soothes everything at a football club. Hillsborough will have been a pretty unpleasant place to be this week but victory over Burnley on Saturday will change everything.

They’ll have to do it without one of their most talented players but that also shouldn’t be a surprise given his track record.

For now I’d say I’m on the losing side of the JJ argument, but the beauty of him is that within a couple of weeks with a shimmy rather than a snarl he’ll be back in my good books and, most importantly, in Dave Jones’ too.

Revolution at the Lane still has a way to go after cup hopes go for a Burton

There’s no such thing as a good defeat as David Weir knows.

Sheffield United fans may console themselves after their loss against Burton on Tuesday that it’s an unwanted distraction out of the way when promotion is the sole aim.

I’m not so sure Weir will have the same opinion.

The Blades were rightly lauded after an impressive first league victory last Friday night against Notts County. They passed it around well against a team who were down to ten men for the majority of the match and deservedly picked up the three points.

Seeing off a League Two side at Bramall Lane in their next game would have given the new manager a perfect start to his new job.

While some may say Burton’s win will have brought a dose of realism back to supporters’ expectations, for Weir it will have just reinforced the big job he has in front of him.

This is United’s third season in League One. For all the talk of being patient they need to get out of this division as a matter or urgency. Losses against the likes of Burton are neither here nor there for that challenge, but they’re a reminder that pretty football needs a cutting edge.

DRS adds to the drama

So England have retained the Ashes and head to Durham tomorrow hoping to secure a third consecutive series win over Australia by not losing the fourth Test.

It has hardly been a vintage series played between two teams at either end of the average scale. South Africa for example would probably by 3-0 up against either of them.

Having said that, it has still made for fascinating cricket. Test matches have so many twists and turns that it’s a crying shame they’re no longer live on free to view television. It is compulsive viewing.

Of course, the Decision Referral System has added drama to the proceedings.

I can’t wait until football goes down the technology route. No, not because it will clear up any refereeing errors, but it’ll be fun to see players and managers saying black is white and up is down when the evidence is in front of their eyes.

Cricket is fun, but nothing does drama like football.

* Follow The Star sports writer Richard Fidler on Twitter @richardfidler and Google+ follow Richard Fidler on Google+.