Even excluding Tuesday evening's pulling down of Arsene's pants, it seems like exciting times at Hillsborough. Is it all down to this fancy dan coach, Carlos Carvalhal? What's so good about him then?
LJ: It’s a combination of things. We have a new management structure that many of us mocked, me included, where we have a three-man committee to look after coaching and signings. We’ve made some very astute signings such as Barry Bannan and Fernando Foresteri. It would have been unthinkable for us to splash out £3million on a player so the money from our new owner is playing its part in our revival.
Carvalhal has definitely made an impact. He’s got a philosophy and he very much sticks to it. He rotates the squad to keep it fresh and the players are challenging each other for places. He’s also got us playing good attacking football. Seems a far cry from the Chris Turner years.
Supporters of both these clubs seem to have a fair degree of respect for each other. Do you think it's because of the numerous striking similarities the clubs share?
LJ: There’s definitely a connection through our circumstances. We’re both big, old, historically successful clubs that have had our pants taken down and been firmly spanked since the creation of the Premier League. We’ve both spent too much, had owners and chairmen who have run us atrociously and we’re constantly referred to as ‘sleeping giants’ by the media. In fact shall we have a consolatory hug?
Sounds lovely - we need one. Now, you are looking after Lewis McGugan for us aren't you? He's equal parts sublimely talented and infuriating. We've also had Sam Hutchinson and Jack Hunt on loan in recent times. How are they working out for you?
LJ: We do have Lewis although he’s not getting as many games as we thought he might. He was likely to be one of our biggest signings over the summer but the other players who have come in seem to be making a better case than him for a starting position.
Jack Hunt is playing well and still finding his feet and Sam Hutchinson is comedy genius. He’s the most cautioned player in the Football League. You can see the cogs working in his head and know that the next move he’s going to make is a booking. Wouldn’t change him though he’s the tenacious midfielder we need in this league.
Our record against you is pretty decent - very decent actually up until last January when you beat us 2-0 at the City Ground. Give us a reason you'll win:
LJ: Yeah you’re a bit of a bogey team for us. Although we had a good result against you last season when you were playing well. A reason we will win…I think we have a confident, cohesive team that has the ability to beat anyone in the Championship.
Give us a reason you'll lose:
LJ: Because we’re Wednesday and we can always mess it up.
A David Hirst sized thank you goes out to Laura for speaking to us. She writes loads of insightful stuff and can be followed here.
Last time we visited Hillsborough, this happened but it was a lifetime ago:
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It would be churlish to post that 7-1 win at Hillsborough since it was yonks ago but......well, times are hard and churlish is in no way beyond us so here you go:
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