Will this season be make-or-break for Carlos Carvalhal at Sheffield Wednesday?

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 04 August 2017, 15:43

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Carlos Carvalhal and Sheffield Wednesday ahead of the 2017/18 Championship season.


Carlos Carvalhal guided Sheffield Wednesday into the top six for the second successive season but his stock at Hillsborough diminished slightly after he failed to capitalise on an embarrassment of riches in attack as the Owls failed to assert themselves in the play-offs. Now he has a job on his hands keeping all his strikers happy, while the fans will expect the Portuguese to hit the ground running and mount an automatic promotion charge. George Boyd is a notable arrival, promising a bit more craft between the lines.


Carvalhal is a master at controlling the narrative with his quirky analogies that guarantee him nationwide exposure. Whether he’s comparing players to fish and potatoes, or performances to tuxedos and overalls, we all have a chuckle at his ramblings but the underlying message sticks. The Portuguese is brimming with charisma and confidence, achieving authority through his ability to hold the attention a crowd. A strong-willed and strategic thinker, he is a dominant presence and not the sort of manager that players are likely to confront.


"Everybody wants the same thing, so let’s fight without any fear. Let’s show courage in all the games. It may look easy to stabilise a team in the top six, but it’s very hard. Everybody wants to get promoted. Only us and Brighton have done it in the last two seasons. In a short time, we have changed the style and now everybody recognises our quality. We are in a good way and we have a positive environment here. I think the giant is alive."


It’s feels like make-or-break for Carvalhal. The Portuguese will be under scrutiny straight away and that sense of urgency surely dictates that his tactics will be more positive than they were towards the end of last season. If Wednesday take the bull by the horns, they could launch a genuine assault on the top two for the first time. If they don’t, the Portuguese might struggle to see campaign out. Ultimately, he has flattered to deceive up to this point. He might be cast as the nearly man once again.

Prediction: play-offs

Carlos Carvalhal


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