**Written prior to Sheffield Wednesday securing a point with a late equaliser at Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday supporter John Wozniak wrote this considered view regarding the stuttering start to the season by the Owls.
There’s a familiar feeling to the start of the 2016/17 campaign. A promising start followed by a bit of a wobble. The surprising midweek defeat to Burton Albion was followed up by a lack-lustre performance against a very average Leeds United, who on the day took their chances, walked away with all three points and local bragging rights.
Nobody will know more than Carlos Carvalhal that there’s plenty of hard work to be done if Wednesday are to get back to the kind of form that took them to Wembley in May.
Although there is absolutely no reason to panic, one or two on-field issues are somewhat of a concern. Gary Hooper looks physically out of shape. I received a bit of criticism for mentioning this very thing when he signed from Norwich City. Less than a year on and despite a promising inaugural season, the Wednesday No.14 looks like he’s in a battle once again to regain some zip.
Saturday’s game highlighted that the Hooper – Steven Fletcher partnership is going to take time to develop. Attacking the Kop, a neat Fletcher flick-on saw Hooper running in the opposite way back towards traffic. There’s absolutely no reason to suggest that the partnership won’t start to click, especially at this level.
My other main concern is the lack of bite in midfield. Could David Jones be ball-winning ‘midfield-general’? Only time will tell but don’t be surprised to se a midfield reshuffle for the trip to Brentford. Disappointingly Leeds were allowed to play out of their own half when Ross Wallace missed the opportunity to put the ball in the stands. Luke Ayling beat Wallace far too easily; Leeds broke up field and found a decisive second goal. Wednesday’s high-tempo pressing game was awol and that defeat will give the coaching staff and players alike plenty to ponder.
Wallace doesn’t necessarily deserve to be singled out for that defeat. Wednesday lacked ideas going forward, the usually dependent Barry Bannan didn’t influence the game. Comments have also been made on new signing Almen Abdi, with many suggesting that he is being played out of position, could main the issue be a lack of versatility?
This weekend Sheffield Wednesday are at home against Wigan. The Owls are as short as 17/20 to win. The draw is best price 11/4 and Wigan are as big as 4/1 to win. IF I had a goalscorer bet, writes Vernon Grant, it would be Will Grigg to score at any stage of the game for a Wigan side that have scored in five of their six matches. Four of those goals coming from the boot of Will Grigg.