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Aden Flint of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates on the pitch with fans.
Ladies and gentlemen, the playoffs. Photograph: Matt McNulty/Getty Images
Ladies and gentlemen, the playoffs. Photograph: Matt McNulty/Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday and the pandemonium of the playoffs


After Peterborough United spanked four goals without reply past Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of the League One playoff semi-final last Friday, a number of things happened on Social Media Disgrace Twitter; some of them funny, others not so much. With the tie ostensibly over after their humbling at the hands of a team that had finished 19 points below them, a photo of a flyer hawking seats on an Owls supporters’ bus to Wembley was published to much ridicule. The subtext: “Tee-hee! Look at these guys getting ahead of themselves! That’ll learn them.” On a far more sinister note, there were other posts, many of them toxic and abusive, calling for Wednesday coach Darren Moore’s head despite his side having amassed 96 points over the season, a tally that would have earned them automatic promotion every year in history if Football Daily could be bothered climbing up to the attic to check through the dozens of old Tobacco Yearbooks that are responsible for the worrying bulge in our bedroom ceiling. One particular keyboard warrior even saw fit to racially abuse Moore and was promptly banned from Hillsborough for life. The lowlife in question may well be cowering in his mum’s box room waiting for a knock on the door from members of the local constabulary eager to feel his collar.

In a comeback that is unlikely to be surpassed until Laurence Fox is cast as the new James Bond, Wednesday stunned Peterborough and the general football-watching public on Thursday night, winning the second leg 5-1 and going through to the Wembley final on penalties, prompting post-match scenes of jubilation on and off the Hillsborough sward. “I’m absolutely just so proud of every single one of you,” said Moore in a speech recorded for posterity by the Wednesday socials team in a steamy post-match home dressing room. “We had a bit of adversity in the first game and we didn’t perform to our ability but listen lads, it just goes to show you what preparation does.” Going on to extol the virtues of mindset, mentality, belief and various other commendable qualities Football Daily is sadly lacking, one of the nicest men in football went on to say he couldn’t “commend you all enough for what you’ve just produced out there”. So rousing was his speech that even diminutive midfielder Barry Bannan felt four-foot tall and compelled to say a few words of his own.

“SEE YOU, GAFFER!?!” roared the Scotsman in Braveheart style, although we may be exaggerating slightly for comedic effect. “This last week what you’ve done to change our mindsets; you, the staff and [club shrink] Tom Bates has been unbelievable. I’m not gonna to lie but there was some people down but what you’ve shown us and the work you’ve put in for us this week has been second to none and we’d like to thank you and the staff.” Cue: pandemonium and several jets of foaming shaft arcing through the air as Wednesday’s players uncapped celebratory bottles of post-match suds that had almost certainly been originally laid on for a post-match wake.

Much like last Friday, Social Media Abominations were once again buzzing with news of Wednesday’s comeback as word spread, and folk the length and breadth of the UK switched over from Jane McDonald’s Magical Morocco and Gordon Ramsey’s Future Food Stars to tune into a match most, including Bannan and his teammates had almost certainly presumed to be a formality not worth bothering with. “That’s unbelievable,” tweeted broadcasting’s Laura Woods, prompting one Peterborough fan to reply with a one-word riposte accusing her of promiscuity. “Except it’s you that’s been bent over tonight, eh?” she replied, delivering the second greatest comeback of the night.


“I fear for our lives, as an old timer. AI. I’ve just heard about 40,000 jobs going at BT, what are they going to do? The next piece of AI comes in, another 30,000 jobs go, what are they going to do? For me, it is not a great future, the way we are looking at the world and what we are doing with climate change. I worry for my grandchildren” – Sam Allardyce takes time out from overseeing Leeds United’s survival battle to pontificate on far weightier matters.

Sam Allardyce, back in his Bolton office days.
Sam, back in his Bolton office days. Photograph: Don McPhee/The Guardian


After the controversy over the overlooking of Simon Mazier’s ‘Fenerbahce Sequence’ (Football Daily letters passim) now we get Richard Hirst’s ‘Inter City 125’ being snubbed (yesterday’s letters). Are the judging committee on the sauce?” – Jeff Lloyd (and others).

I may have made some erroneous comments a few days ago (Monday’s letters) regarding Sheffield Wednesday’s shambolic loss to Peterborough in the first leg of the League One playoff semi-final. Given new evidence that has now come to light, I would like to profusely apologise for misspeaking regarding this issue and issue a correction stating that ‘We are, by far, the greatest team the world has ever seen’. Of course, we’ll obviously now lose the playoff final, but still” – Noble Francis.

Send your letters to Today’s winner of our letter o’ the day is … Noble Francis, who also lands our final copy of Nige Tassell’s new book, Field of Dreams: 100 Years of Wembley in 100 Matches.

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