Five games into the Championship campaign, I have nothing but mixed emotions over Sheffield Wednesday’s season so far.
Two encouraging results against Aston Villa and Norwich City have been recently overshadowed by disappointing losses to Leeds United and Burton Albion.
Hopefully a draw against Brentford, thanks to a last minute glancing header by Sam Hutchinson, will ignite Wednesday’s season as I expect them to kick on and begin to climb the table.
As you may know, I am a lover of statistics. However, statistics mean nothing unless the ball hits the back of the net.
Sheffield Wednesday have been dominating games this season in terms of possession, shots and passes:
- Sheffield Wednesday have the second highest average possession in the league (56%) – only behind Reading (60%).
- Sheffield Wednesday average 13.4 shots per game, 67 shots in total – sixth highest in the league.
- Sheffield Wednesday have an average of 79.6% pass success completion this season – fifth highest in the league.
- Fernando Forestieri averages four shots on goal per game – the second highest in the league, only behind Jacob Murphy (Norwich City).
So where has it gone wrong? The simple answer is, it hasn’t.
Hitting the back of the net is our only problem. I understand it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out goals are the answer. Statistically Sheffield Wednesday should be sat in the top six after five games, but sit at the wrong end of the table.
- Sheffield Wednesday have scored only one goal from open play this season – 23rd ranked in the league.
- Sheffield Wednesday have scored three goals all season (incl. one from the penalty spot) – 23rd ranked in the league.
- Only Barry Bannan has staked claim to an assist this season (1).
- Sheffield Wednesday win an average of 18.6 aerial challenges per game – 18th ranked in the league.
After only five games into the campaign, there is certainly no need to panic. The beginning of the 2015/16 season saw the Owls pick up five points from their first five games, in a season in which the Owls reached the play-off final.
In fact, if you want to be super optimistic, Burnley who were Championship winners last season, claimed five points after fives games too!
Personally, I think Wednesday are still two classy and are a few experienced players short of a automatic promotion push. However; with a bit of grit, determination and luck, I am sure the Owls will slowly but surely start to climb the table by picking up three points at home and on the road.
The international break may have come at the right time as Wednesday will look to recoup, freshen the minds and bodies before a long autumn and winter period whereby games come thick and fast.
A reality check against Leeds United and Burton Albion may just be the answer we need to start finishing off games as we should have done by half-time on a handful of occasions this season. For me, our key players, Forestieri, Steven Fletcher or Bannan need to start taking the game by the scruff of the neck to grind out wins and earn our rightful top six position in the league.
Forty-one laps remain this season and top six is still a realistic expectation, BUT only if we start to finish our chances. I am more than confident we will.