OPINION: The two managers who can help Sheffield Wednesday change course
Another day, another drama at Sheffield Wednesday, as they begin their search for a third permanent manager of the season.
Tony Pulis lasted just 45 days as manager at Hillsborough, given the sack for poor results – one win and 10 – and ominous “other issues” cited by an owner in Dejphon Chansiri who appears not to have taken too kindly to some of Pulis’ more honest assessments of the club.
The Welshman gave some frank admissions about the state of the Owls squad to the media. No doubt, soon enough, he will deliver some more about the running of the whole business.
Not that it takes an insider to note that a club stranded in the Championship relegation zone, with a points deduction for profit and sustainability infractions, getting awful results with awful football, and not even paying their players in full for the pains of having to suffer it, might be in a bit of a mess.
Many of the issues cannot be solved overnight. Until there is a change either in owner or in their running of the club, fans can forget about the kind of glories a team of that size and stature should be aiming for.
But their next choice of manager will decide whether they slip into League One or not.
The last three have all been safe and predictable: Steve Bruce, Garry Monk and then Pulis himself. Most likely, they will travel this route again, with Danny Cowley a prime contender.
But if Sheffield Wednesday want anything more than a cycle of relegation battles and bitter sackings, they need to change course and look for a manager who can lead them on a different path for years to come.
Two candidates stand out in that regard. One is Paul Warne, who has done wonders at Rotherham United and won two promotions. Alas, the recriminations of jumping ship to their neighbours may be too great.
The other is Michael Appleton, who has led a remarkable transformation of Lincoln City in just over a year, overhauling both the playing style and the squad to make them prime promotion contenders in League One.
Wednesday can – and most likely will – tread the same well-worn route with predictable consequences. But if they can look up and find the more progressive alternatives, just a little of the gloom can at last be lifted.