Tony Pulis sacked after 45 days in charge of Sheffield Wednesday
Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday have terminated the contract of Tony Pulis after just 10 games in charge of the Owls.

Pulis succeeded Garry Monk on Friday 13 November but has failed to put a consistent run together during his time with the club, losing  over half the games in his tenure.

The 62-year-old only mustered a 0.70 points-per-game ratio and leaves the club in 23rd place in the EFL Championship table. 

First team coach Neil Thompson will take charge of the Owls’ home fixture against Middlesbrough on Tuesday 29 December.

The statement

Wednesday released the immediate dismissal of Pulis at 23:07 the night before their Championship fixture against Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough.

The Owls explained:

“Sheffield Wednesday have terminated the contract of manager Tony Pulis with immediate effect.”

Chairman Dejphon Chansiri then told the club’s official website: “The performances and results have not been of the level expected since Tony Pulis was appointed. There are also other issues which have had a bearing on this decision.

“On the pitch, seven points from a possible 30 is not acceptable. It is vital we maintain our Championship status and I feel I must make a change now with over half of the season remaining to give us the best possible chance of doing so.”

Pulis’ time in charge

Pulis took over at Hillsborough with the club sitting 23rd in the Championship’s bottom three.

Pulis replaced Monk at the helm with the club having just moved off the bottom of the table after a goalless draw against Millwall.

The Owls had started the campaign with a negative 12-point tally but had their deduction halved just after Wednesday’s victory over Bournemouth at Hillsborough.

The onus was on the Welshman to steer the club out of the relegation places, having never being relegated as a manager and having a history of guiding teams to safety.

Pulis spoke of his wishes to become honest and open with Chansiri about where the club was and where they needed to be. 

He strung the changes, ditching the 3-5-2 persisted by Monk for a flat back four, and bringing back the ostracised Keiren Westwood

His opening game got off to a terrible start: a 1-0 defeat to Preston North End with Josh Windass seeing red after just 17 minutes.

Wednesday then recorded three successive draws against Swansea City, Stoke City and Reading, proving to be good results when considering the strength of their opponents.

The Owls then produced a much-improved display against Norwich City at Carrow Road. Wednesday lead on the hour mark through Windass’ header, however, their hard work was quickly undone with two late strikes from Josh Martin and Max Aarons.

Things took a nose-dive in performances and results. Wednesday lost their next three fixtures against Huddersfield Town, Barnsley, and Nottingham Forest, leaving the Owls at the foot of the table.

Pulis eventually got his maiden victory as Owls boss courtesy of Tom Lees’ 67th-minute header in a 1-0 victory over Coventry City at Hillsborough, which was just Wednesday’s third home victory in the whole of 2020.

His final game as manager was a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Boxing Day.

He set up his side to not lose, with the Owls only finding the net six times during Pulis' time in charge - the third least behind Derby County and Nottingham Forest, who have netted five each.

Pulis lasted just 45 days in the Hillsborough hot seat, failing to see his side score more than one goal in a single game and conceding 12 goals over that period.

What is next for Sheffield Wednesday?

It is clear to see that Wednesday are in big trouble and have had a car crash 2020, to say the least.

Things are not right at the club, and it seems whoever is elected next is going to have an uphill battle to keep the club in the Championship, whilst enduring problems on and off the field.

Pulis’ style, tactics and decisions were heavily criticised with his mundane and obsolete methods taking ill-effect on a team deprived of confidence, belief, and fight.

Whoever is to take over is seemingly being handed a poison chalice, with no clear direction of where the Owls are trying to go.

Wednesday are three points from safety and with Chansiri making this impulsive decision, there is still time to turn their fortunes around against all odds.

However, the next appointment must be the right man for the job and the right fit for Sheffield Wednesday.

Former Barnsley manager Jose Morais’ name has been instantly thrown into the ring, however, his time at Oakwell was disastrous, registering a 0.87 points-per-game ratio during his 15 games in charge of the Tykes.

Managers such as Danny Cowley, Paul Cook and Nigel Pearson are all still without a club, with former Sheffield Wednesday forward and current Plymouth Argyle boss Ryan Lowe being linked with the job previously.

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