Alan Biggs at Large: Sheffield Wednesday are breaking goal records for all the right reasons thanks to stingy backline

Jack Charlton, left
Jack Charlton, left

No surprise that Sheffield Wednesday are nearing a club record for lack of goals – but maybe not the one you were expecting.

It’s the other side of a coin in which goals are a rare currency right now. Jack Charlton’s Owls achieved 17 shut-outs in the 1978-79 league season. Stuart Gray’s team already have 14 – with 15 games to go.

Points on the board is 40, which is no sort of failure. For Stuart Gray and his future, it’s more about how, and where, you get them.

While football is a “results business,” as Sheffield Wednesday’s head coach freely admits, it’s also an entertainments business. And it’s not the results that are putting him under pressure.

In fairness, it’s a confusing scenario. Last season, Brighton finished in a play-off spot with just 55 goals amid few, if any complaints. Queens Park Rangers ended up promoted

on the back of a meagre 60 league goals.

Far more bizarrely, the Swedish title was once won by AIK (in 1998) with only 25 goals in 26 games – and the championship of Ghana was claimed by Aduana Stars in 2010 on a ration of 19 in 30!

Wednesday must be in the frame for records of both sorts after nine blanks at home with only eight goals and astonishingly just two (in one game) from open play. That is truly pitiful.

Gray will know that the long-term picture the club’s new owner has painted for him depends on the short term. But how can you get clarity when his points haul is more than par for the course?