What does Urby Emanuelson have to do to get a chance?
This was one of the many questions Wednesdayites were asking after the team’s below-par performance against Ipswich Town last weekend.
Two months have passed since the Owls completed the signing of Emanuelson on a free-transfer and the former AC Milan and Ajax player is still waiting to make his debut for the Championship outfit.
When Emanuelson initially moved to Hillsborough, boss Carlos Carvalhal said the 30-year-old would need time to build up his match sharpness after missing out on pre-season training. Emanuelson has since featured in several development matches to improve his fitness.
However, Emanuelson, who came through the ranks with Ajax in his homeland, has only once been selected in the Owls’ match-day squad; their 1-1 draw at Cardiff City.
Carvalhal has explained why Emanuelson, who can play anywhere down the left side, as a full back, wing back or winger, was not involved versus the Tractor Boys.
“Urby is training and doing the work,” Carvalhal told The Star. “It is an internal competition with Daniel Pudil.
“Our option so far is Daniel (at left-back). To go to the bench is not easy when you have a player like [Adam] Reach who can cover the position.
“And we wanted Liam Palmer on the right side in case we had a problem with the full-back.
“We haven’t seen Urby too much in the 18 due to the balance. I can’t put two full-backs on the bench as I must balance the bench.”
Pudil, currently away on international duty with the Czech Republic, has received criticism from some quarters for his displays this season but Carvalhal is happy with how the defender has performed.
Carvalhal said: “He is doing well and scored at Cardiff. I’m happy with Daniel.
“We had a bad day against Ipswich. All of us didn’t perform.
“The performance was a shadow of how we have been playing more recently.
“We played well and won at Huddersfield, we played well and drew at Cardiff, then we played well but lost at Derby.
“We knew we must be very dynamic and aggressive to open spaces and we weren’t.
“We didn’t play our football.”
After the two-week international break, Wednesday travel to eighth-placed Fulham, who are above Carvalhal’s side on goal difference, looking to halt their two-match losing run.
The Owls sold-out their 3,900 ticket allocation for the trip to Craven Cottage yesterday. Carvalhal’s men picked up maximum points on their last visit to West London following a spectacular first half strike by Ross Wallace.
But Fulham, under boss Slavisa Jokanovic, look a tougher proposition this year and lie just outside the play-off positions after impressive back-to-back victories over Huddersfield Town and Brentford.