Wednesday looking for a new manager at Christmas for 2nd year in a row
Sheffield Wednesday parted company with manager Jos Luhukay on Friday, bringing to an end a difficult year in charge at S6.
The Dutch coach was appointed in Janaury after Carlos Carvalhal departed last Christmas and it was a baptism of fire for him as his first game in charge took him to Bramall Lane to face steel city rivals Sheffield United. A solid performance from the struggling Owls earned a draw and Luhukay looked to steady the ship for the remainder of the season.
Results continued to be inconsistent but the Owls ended the season well when key players like Forestieri and Bannan returned from injury. Wednesday won 6 of their last 10 games and finished in 15th place in the Championship.
The strong finish to the season brought with it some optimism for this campaign but the Owls took just 1 point from their opening 3 games. An improved run of form saw the club climb to 6th place in the Championship at the October international break but since then it has been a sorry slide. Wednesday have won only 1 of their last 10 matches, an uninspiring 1-0 victory at home to Bolton, losing 7 times in this spell and conceding goals left right and centre, including shipping 4 goals against both Norwich and Blackburn.
In addition to the poor results fans have become increasingly frustrated by the constant changes to the starting line-up and formation with seemingly no preferred tactical approach to play.
Luhukay's reign was conducted under a backdrop of financial constraints. He only spent a transfer fee on one player, Joey Pelupessy and had to operate under a transfer embargo during the summer. As a result and to his credit, Jos was able to integrate some young academy players into the 1st team sqaud. Jordan Thorniley has grabbed his opportunity excellently and others such as Matt Penney, Ash Baker and Cameron Dawson have shown promise.
However, while introducing the young players, the manager seemingly clashed will some more experienced members of the squad with some seemingly frozen out. The likes of Keiren Westwood, Sam Hutchinson, George Boyd and David Jones were rarely involved in the 1st team plans despite the fact the Owls were really struggling and could have used some experience on the field.
The 55-year-old departs with Wednesday in 18th place in the Championship at almost the halfway stage of the season, 12 points off the top 6 places and only 5 points above the relegation zone.
Former Owls defender Lee Bullen will take caretaker charge of the home game against Preston on Saturday with early reports linking Steve Bruce with the job.