April 13, 2024

Danny Röhl’s pre-match press conference made it plain that, for whatever reason, the previous few days had been unpleasant.

He began by thanking reporters for signing onto the Zoom cool, arranged a preview of their Championship match against Coventry City on Saturday, and then grinned apologetically. An hour or so before, news of a bid for Marvin Johnson leaked on social media – The Star understands that Ipswich’s interest is limited to a free transfer bid rather than the £1 million suggested – after tales on Josh Windass and Mika Biereth.

He cleared his throat and politely stated that he would not be pulled into discussions about transfers and contracts on this occasion. He has previously been open about it, and refusing to discuss the rumour mill is a tactic that other team managers have adopted. It had been a long few days, and he’d like to chat about football.

“I know all the topics are very interesting for you and the guys on the outside,” he went on to say. “I get it. But, to be honest, I’m not going to talk about transfer rumors today. If we have something, we will come out of our message, but I cannot speak about all of the rumors or choices we have today since they make no sense at this time. We’ll focus on what we can do. I can tell you that we are trying everything and are now working behind the scenes in both directions. It’s a rough moment; it’s been a difficult week for me.”

It comes after Röhl made waves during the previous week’s pre-match news conference, announcing that a deal to bring a third player through the door was near. It is thought the player was Conor Coventry, a West Ham midfielder who has since joined Charlton Athletic. A timeline of occurrences. According to the Star, the Owls were informed of the failure of the transaction when Röhl was sitting in the chair answering questions – or not long after. These things happen in football. The timing was extremely unlucky.

His media policy on all matters has been open and engaging, which has been greatly appreciated by the local media beat, and has undoubtedly contributed to the blending of his relationship with the club’s fan base at a time when other managers treat press conferences as an exercise in saying as little as possible. His reasoning is absolutely clear and makes sense. Let us hope that the Coventry incident has not impacted such openness in the long run.



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“I said in the last weeks that the transfer window is a crazy time; it goes quick in one direction, then it goes quick in another direction,” he was quoted as saying. “It makes no sense to speak about one direction since it could change by the end of the press conference. I understand the question, and fans want knowledge about everything. We will work on it and make a final conclusion.

“At the end of the window, maybe we may compile a list of what happened during the transfer window. At the time, it’s unclear what this or that rumour could be.

With no pun meant, if you go back a week or two, the vibe around the transfer activities at S6 was upbeat and optimistic. Wednesday had persuaded clubs to cancel existing loan arrangements for James Beadle and Ike Ugbo, bringing them to the club much sooner than had been customary in previous January windows. Röhl himself was full of admiration for how swiftly they were able to act, with two players also being taken out.

This is the ebb and flow of a transfer window. Because it is rare for a club to have everything their way in months like this, The Star understands that prospects of signing Arsenal youngster Mika Biereth have faded, with Austrian title contenders Sturm Graz seeming like a more likely destination. The Gunners have a long history of loaning out young players to Austrian football, owing to the tremendous intensity and tempo of play in the country’s top tier.

Röhl described a ‘difficult week’ away from the field at S6. It is unclear whether the Biereth story, which broke and appeared to fizzle out after three days, was the impetus for that difficult period. For what it’s worth, the contract appears to be alive and well.

This is Röhl’s first experience as a manager during a January transfer window, and he has remarked about the added responsibility of communicating with prospective players and participating in the scramble to secure agreements in a tight and competitive market. He spends a lot of time in the office of Kevin Beadell, the head of recruitment, and communicates with chairman Dejphon Chansiri. As you could expect, it’s a very busy season. He’s all in.

“Especially this week has been a tough week with a lot of challenges beside the pitch,” Röhl told reporters. “You absolutely need to strengthen your team. But you also need 100% to arrange things (transfers), after which it’s up and down.

“But it’s vital to me that things that aren’t always good are not taken personally. Then it’s: ‘OK, go back and try again the next day. It’s similar to losing a game on the field. It’s the same thing; you have to look ahead, learn from this, and do it better, and the next success will follow.

“It’s been a difficult two weeks, and as a manager, I observe and feel the consequences. But perhaps, after the January window, we will be able to say, “OK, with the work done over the last four weeks, we are satisfied and convinced.”

then were laughs and brighter times – Röhl’s mood was not entirely gloomy – but admitting he had no time for transfer gossip indicated his mood right then and then. The ups and downs of a transfer frenzy are well chronicled, and in any January, there is frequently a slew of transactions completed late as teams wait for their squads to settle before sanctioning agreements. You suspect that the mood can swing back to where it was on Thursday as easily as it did today. Wednesday will see if they can finish the work required to ensure it does.


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