Owls fan column: Teams are exploiting Sheffield Wednesday’s midfield weakness

Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan

We can’t say the defeat against Brentford hadn’t been coming.

You can only blame the referee for so much of our display on Tuesday night, although Fernando Forestieri’s penalty claim showed us what it would look like if pole vaulter Sergey Bubka was a footballer and Fernando was a crash mat.

We’ve had four straight victories with a core team of Vincent Sasso and Glenn Loovens at the back, Jack Hunt at right-back, Ross Wallace on right wing, Sam Hutchinson, Barry Bannan and/or Almen Abdi in central midfield and Adam Reach on the left wing. It hasn’t been pretty but it’s been effective.

There is some debate as to whether Carlos Carvalhal got the team selection wrong or he was forced into making late changes.

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Jack Hunt was mysteriously absent meaning Liam Palmer had to play and Daniel Pudil was benched forcing Reach back to left-back.

Where I have an issue with Carvalhal’s team selection was the left wing. You have to ask him the question as to why he does he keep insisting on playing Bannan there? Bannan clearly doesn’t like playing there, he doesn’t hide the fact that he doesn’t like playing there and let’s face it he isn’t very good at playing there.

Looking at passing maps from Tuesday’s game is eye opening. Every one of our creative attacks went through Palmer and Wallace. Bannan may as well have been playing musical statues for 45 minutes.

Bannan has created the most chances for the Owls this season, six assists and 39 key passes. It highlights that he should be played where he is most effective.

What is even more perplexing is we had a bona fide winger on the bench in Callum McManaman. When McManaman came on in the 67th minute, we had our most productive spell of the match.

The left side is our weakness and other teams know and exploit it.

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