Sheffield Wednesday fans were cruelly denied a return to the Premier League, losing out to Hull City and our old mate Steve Bruce in the play-off final at Wembley.
I was a bit shocked to find when checking, that Wednesday have now been absent from the top division for what will be 17 seasons when the Championship kicks off in August.
It was actually 1999/2000 when the Sheffield Wednesday fans last played in the Premier League, their last top level game at St James Park being the 8-0 (5 for Shearer) hammering in Sir Bobby Robson’s first home game as Manager.
Newcastle of course have faced them since, in our last Championship season of 2009/10 and only last season when Sheff Wed made 10 changes yet still embarrassingly beat Newcastle 1-0 in the League Cup game at Gallowgate.
A very well supported team with fans who stayed with them even when they have dropped into the third tier in recent times, along with Leeds United they are proof that decent support doesn’t necessarily guarantee a place in the Premier League.
Older fans will remember fantastic trips to Hillsborough with crazy travelling support, early 80s a stand out memory with well over 10,000 Newcastle fans making the trip.
So after this past season’s near miss, what do Sheffield Wednesday fans think of their chances this time around and especially the threat posed by Newcastle United?
To find out what the mood is amongst Sheffield Wednesday fans, we visited one of their top message boards OwlsTalk:
‘Really can’t see past Newcastle winning it and with Derby or Brighton second.’
‘First easily (for Sheffield Wednesday) now Boro, Burnley and Hull have exited upwards.’
‘First easily now Boro, Burnley and Hull have exited upwards…The Geordies and Norwich might have something to say about that.’
‘Can see us being the new Boro’. We’ll get up …. eventually.’
‘Think Newcastle and a surprise like Brighton this year will take auto.
Leaving us in the play off final to slay the demons of the past weekend and take promotion.’
‘Newcastle should win it, depends on the transfer activity in and out for a few teams, I expect play-off winners this time out if we get the right players in, if not play-off heartache again.’
‘Gone for 2nd. Have written off 1st because of Rafa’s Barcodes, but why not dream?’
‘I never expected us to make the top six last summer. But now this summer I believe with just a couple or a few quality signings needed rather than a squad overhaul we can realistically aim for and achieve an automatic spot. I reckon it will be us; Newcastle, Norwich and Derby competing for the promotion places.’
‘With FFP I don’t think can really compete on an even playing field with Newcastle, Villa, Norwich.’
‘All I hear at the moment is how Newcastle and Aston Villa will walk the league next year but they require far more work over the summer than we do, perhaps a summer equally as hectic as we had last year.
Not only that but there’ll be players at those clubs that won’t want to play at this level and will make it known, will the dressing rooms be as harmonious as they will be at the likes of Wednesday and Brighton for example?
I’m also not 100% sure if Rafa Benitez will be suited to Championship football. He’s a great manager but I’m not sure he’ll be ready for midweek visits in January to the likes of Barnsley, Burton and Rotherham when sides just want to kick lumps out of his players.
I fully expect Norwich to be serious title contenders but Villa and Newcastle? I’m not so sure.’
‘Anyone who doesn’t think we will go for it after this season will be mistaken. We will go for it big time. Number one target even at 30 will be McCormack. That will set us back £10 mill. 2 wingers, a midfield hard man and a left back will set us back another £10 mill.
I could be talking nonsense but Carlos has a dream. Going to be a cracking season and we will go toe to toe with Newcastle all the way winning league on last game of season.’
‘Norwich and Newcastle automatically. Us, Derby, Brighton and an outsider such as Bristol in the play-offs.’
‘I have a soft spot for Villa (they used to have a great fan base, if nothing else) but they absolutely stink, now, and Newcastle have been living on that “Geordies are always tough and strong and great at football” myth so long that it’s got mushrooms growing on it. It’s just not true. They underperform again and again and again (bit like us!!). Derby and Brighton will be the main dangers, I think.’
‘I guarantee there will be others with similar ambitions to us who are prepared to spend big. I tip Bristol City, Wigan, QPR , Wolves to be challenging at some point along with Villa, Newcastle, Brighton, Derby, Norwich.’
‘We will win the league, Newcastle will find it difficult, don’t think Rafa cut out for championship, villa will finish midtable they have a big shock coming, and Norwich top six, think if they lose a couple of their top players ie Redmond, I have the belief we will win it, the team knows they can’t afford to let the fans down after the support at Wembley, come on you blue and white wizards!!!!!’
‘I can see next year being our best chance of promotion because Newcastle and villa have come down. They have a lot of work to do to get their squads championship ready. I can see villa finishing bottom half. The yo-yo teams like Hull, Burnley and Norwich are the ones you don’t want in the league as they know exactly what is needed to get out of this division. It took us and Carlos a few months to work this league out and since Christmas we really kicked on and claimed the playoff spot. I expect similar from Newcastle, hopefully a slow start sees them out of the auto battle.’
‘It won’t be easy but we can compete with the likes of Norwich, Brighton and Derby. Think Newcastle will be top.’