Sheffield Wednesday right-back Liam Palmer has somewhat impressed over the last few weeks and I for one am delighted to see the Owls number 16 back in the starting line-up on a regular basis.
A glowing performance against Brentford away in a 1-1 draw ensured Palmer rightfully kept his place in the starting eleven to face Wigan Athletic at home last Saturday. Once again, Palmer stood out from the crowd having not put a foot wrong for the whole 90 minutes, helping Wednesday to a 2-1 victory that day with a confident and assuring display.
Huge praise must go out to Liam, who has been with the club since the age of seven, having progressed through the academy set up. Still to this day, almost eighteen years later, Liam features often in the Owls line-up in both league and cup competition – such a fantastic feat.
The 6ft 2in right-back, who can also play in a central midfield role, has made over 100 league appearances for the Owls. With impressive and consistent performances in recent times, Palmer will be hopeful of reaching a further milestone of over 150 appearances for the club and promotion to the Premier League.
Palmer certainly sets high standards as he continues to pursue his first cap for Scotland and join the likes of fellow team mates Steven Fletcher, Barry Bannan and Ross Wallace with international appearances.
Regular first-team football is vital for Liam to appear on the international stage; he will be hopeful that a call-up from his country is soon on the horizon.
With Marnick Vermijl recently leaving Sheffield Wednesday for Preston North End, Jack Hunt and Liam Palmer are now the predominant right-backs at the club and will continue to fight between themselves for a first-team spot.
Carvalhal’s policy to have two or more solid players for each position ensures competition for places is high; this can only bring out the best in all the players, especially through a long and tough campaign as injuries and suspensions begin to muster.
Hunt was favoured slightly ahead of Palmer last season, having made 27 league appearances for the Owls last term, compared to Liam’s 15 outings. However, a disappointing performance from Hunt by his standards against Leeds United saw Palmer rise to the challenge as he was favoured in the starting eleven.
Hunt regained a starting place in a nerve racking 3-2 victory for the Owls against Bristol City on Tuesday night and it seems manager Carvalhal will continue sticking by his rotation system. However, Carlos will be more reluctant than ever to keep Palmer out of the matchday squad if he continues to maintain his goods run of form.
As a fellow Wednesdayite, Palmer must hold his head up and be proud of his achievements, especially in an era where clubs, Chairman’s and managers hold no prisoners.
Many chops and changes have been made throughout the last fifteen years at Hillsborough, yet Liam still finds himself in the mix as a welcomed and talented footballer.
Palmer turns 25-years-old on Monday, September 19. Myself, the fans and everyone associated with Sheffield Wednesday would like to wish you a very happy birthday.
Continuing to feature at right-back on the Wednesday teamsheet would be the best birthday present the young man from Worksop can ask for, his dedication to the cause I am sure will see him succeed.
Happy Birthday Liam!