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Monday, 12 May 2014 16:27

Owls fans hope Semedo will extend his stay

semedo-20120511.jpgSheffield Wednesday fan and guest contributor Daniel Burkinshaw brings us an appreciation on one of Portugal’s lesser known, but no less loved for that, football exports, José Semedo.
The inclusion of a holding midfielder has become almost mandatory for teams in football’s upper echelons nowadays. And as tactical trends filter to lower levels, several clubs in the second tier of English football are benefiting by deploying a player of this nature. Leicester City’s Matty James and Brighton’s Liam Bridcutt – who has since moved with Gus Poyet to Sunderland – are just two recent examples of midfielders who have been prominent in the role.
Another fine exponent of this position is Sheffield Wednesday’s Portuguese midfielder José Semedo. The 29-year-old, a colleague of Cristiano Ronaldo in his early years at Sporting Lisbon, was recruited by Gary Megson from Charlton Athletic in 2011 and soon became a fans’ favourite at Hillsborough. Instrumental in Wednesday’s League One promotion-winning campaign in 2011-12, he won the players’ and fans’ player of the season awards.
Semedo started the following Championship season and maintained his cult status even as the club endured a torrid autumn. Indeed, the Nottingham Forest away game in November 2012 was designated ‘Semedo Day’ with Wednesday’s 4,300-strong travelling contingent donning Semedo face masks and Portuguese flags.
Just two games later, however, he fell out of favour, with Megson’s successor Dave Jones inexplicably preferring David Prutton. The Setúbal-born man did not start another league game all season.
When Stuart Gray replaced Jones at the beginning of this year, Semedo was restored but just as his understanding with the buccaneering Kieran Lee was flourishing, he fractured a fibula and tore ligaments in the home game against Wigan. Ruled out for the season, Wednesday sorely missed his outstanding ability to regain possession for the team. While this is his most conspicuous attribute, he also passes crisply and a lack of goals – just one in 91 Owls appearances – is his only significant weakness.
Wednesday’s squad possesses explosive pace but their attacking threat is neutralised by a soft underbelly and Semedo adds robustness to the team. The importance of the Portuguese lynchpin should not be underestimated.
Gray has shown the ultimate faith in Semedo by offering him a new contract and having professed his love for the club on many occasions, it is hoped he will stay. What is certain is that if not, Gray will have the biggest struggle of his nascent managerial role in finding a replacement with a similar ability to rob opponents of possession.
Comments (3)
Great to hear about Semedo
3 Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:08
The Portugoal staff do so many fantastic things on this site but my favourite are articles like this one, highlighting Portuguese talent playing in places we may not of known about.

I enjoy watching anything youth related to Portuguese football but so many names have passed through their teams over the years they all get mixed. It is very nice to see a positive outcome to many of these players careers.
Good player
2 Tuesday, 13 May 2014 11:52
Semedo is a good player and I agree is well suited to the holding role. Most Championship clubs would take him.
Great Story
1 Monday, 12 May 2014 18:04
Wonderful story, and I'm happy to see it. As fans we comment on plenty of "big" stars and clubs, so I'm glad to see this piece. Although ignored, Semedo has gone on and should be proud of his career. Being 29, I would figure that he would take the new deal. Not sure there's bigger teams clamoring for an aging player.

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