CARLOS CARVALHAL, it is surely fair to say, arrived in English football during the summer as something of an unknown quantity.
The Portuguese may have managed 14 clubs in as many years on the continent but he had rarely troubled the footballing radar in this country.
Now, however, all that is surely set to change after Sheffield Wednesday’s head coach inspired a major upset in the Capital One Cup by piling further misery on Newcastle United.
Lewis McGugan’s late strike was enough to send the Owls through to the fourth round – and a glamour tie against Arsenal at Hillsborough – for the first time in 14 years and spark a major celebration party among the 4,800-strong travelling army of fans.
As the blue and white hordes hailed their heroes at the final whistle, Steve McClaren was forced to run the gauntlet as the locals made their displeasure known.
Unlike the infamous 2007 night at Wembley when he had a brolly for protection, the Magpies chief had nowhere to hide at the end of a night when he had been out-smarted by Carvalhal.
In his native country, the Owls chief led minnows Leixoes, as a third tier club, to the 2002 Portuguese Cup final. Six years later, he was in charge of Vitoria Setubal when they lifted the inaugural domestic League Cup by beating Sporting Lisbon.
Now, he can add the scalp of Newcastle – who until last night had won 11 consecutive League Cup ties against Football League opposition – after a stirring night on Tyneside.
Wednesday could even afford a quite dreadful miss by Sergio Bus shortly after McGugan’s opener with perhaps the most damning aspect from a Magpies’ perspective being that goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith was rarely troubled across the 90 minutes.
It was all in stark contrast to a little over 16 years earlier when Wednesday had crashed to an 8-0 defeat at St James’ Park.
Footage was shown on the big screen ahead of kick-off but, if the intention was to inspire the home side, it failed miserably.
Not least because unlike that September day when Bobby Robson’s reign began in such emphatic fashion, the Magpies have no Alan Shearer in their ranks.
Instead, Steve McClaren last night opted to start Siem De Jong, an attacking midfielder with just two goals to his name in a black and white shirt since joining in 2014 for £6m, as a lone frontman.
De Jong kept dropping deep to receive the ball and the upshot was Wednesday looking more than comfortable against the Premier League side.
Carvalhal’s men did have one big let-off in the 11th minute when Moussa Sissoko shaved the outside of Wildsmith’s post after being played in by Gabriel Obertan.
But, otherwise, the Owls goalkeeper was rarely troubled thanks to the composed nature of the visitors’ performance.
Wednesday did have a couple of chances in the first half, the best coming at the end of a slick passing move involving Marco Matias and Modou Sougou.
Lucas Joao was the beneficiary but he could not capitalise on being played clear due to an untimely slip by the Portuguese striker as he shot goalwards and Tim Krul saved easily.
Predictably, the Toon Army made their displeasure known at half-time as McClaren’s side were jeered from the field.
If this – like the pre-match video footage of Wednesday being walloped in 1999 – was intended to provoke a reaction then, once again, it largely fell flat.
Newcastle were slightly brighter, mainly thanks to the introduction of Ayoze Perez at the break to finally end what had morphed into a 4-6-0 formation thanks to De Jong’s uncertainty over where he should have been playing.
The duo linked up well on 54 minutes but Perez had clearly strayed offside before latching on to his team-mate’s pass and firing against a post.
Perez also fired into the side netting from a tight angle after Wednesday’s defence momentarily switched off but, even so, the hosts continued to labour.
At the other end, Sougou went close for Wednesday twice in a matter of seconds, as first Krul saved a fiercely struck shot from Sougou who then fired the rebound narrowly wide.
That was merely the prelude to the visitors taking the lead 14 minutes from time courtesy of a drilled 20-yard shot from McGugan that Krul was unable to keep out despite getting a hand to the ball.
Bus had played his part in the build-up and he really should have killed off Newcastle three minutes later when presented with a simple chance that somehow he ballooned against the crossbar despite being two yards out. That could have proved costly had Perez and De Jong been able to take two late chances but, in the end, Wednesday and their charismatic Portuguese head coach would not be denied a famous triumph.
Newcastle United: Krul; Janmaat (Mbabu 46), Lascelles, Williamson, Mbemba; Anita, Wijnaldum; Thauvin (Perez 46), Sissoko, Obertan (Toney 71); De Jong. Unused substitutes: Coloccini, Gouffran, Elliot, Barlaser.
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith; Palmer, Loovens, Lees, Wiggins; Sougou (Bannan 86), McGugan, Semedo, Helan; Matias (Bus 65), Joao (Nuhiu 80). Unused substitutes: Turner, Lopez, Price, Pudil.
Referee: C Kavanagh (Manchester).