Dom Howson column: Owls star must learn to control his aggression

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Another position. Another yellow card for Sam Hutchinson.

His positioning and reading of the game at centre-back was excellent against Derby County last weekend. He slotted in so seamlessly that you would have thought he has played there all his career.

Sam Hutchinson

Sam Hutchinson

Filling in for the injured Tom Lees was never going to be an easy task but Hutchinson produced an immaculate performance and boss Carlos Carvalhal is likely to keep faith with him there away to play-off rivals Cardiff City.

The only thing that took some of the gloss off Hutchinson’s rock-solid showing was his 11th booking in 17 appearances this season.

His poor disciplinary record has become a bit of a running joke now with Wednesdayites. There’s nothing Owls fans enjoy more at a weekend than a spot of #Hutchinsonbingo. It has nearly got to the point where predicting what time he will get booked in a match on Twitter is as much fun as watching the team in action! (That’s a huge exaggeration but you get the point!)

But Hutchinson’s tendency to pick up yellow cards should be no laughing matter. He has already served two suspensions this term.

In a Championship season, the record number of bookings is currently 15. Hutchinson is on track to beat that figure by a considerable distance.

We all know Hutchinson loves a tackle. His pressing and harrying of opponents often leads to them making unforced errors. His commitment to the cause is undeniable. He is a huge asset to the side.

The positives far outweigh the negatives with Hutchinson and Owls chief Carlos Carvalhal has repeatedly stated he doesn’t want the defender turned midfielder to change his combative style of play. Carvalhal would rather he carry on accumlating the bookings than to take that edge away from Hutchinson’s game. I completely understand Carvalhal’s argument but there is a fine line between getting stuck in and picking up daft cautions for rash challenges.

Speaking candidly to the media last week, Hutchinson admitted he needed to “grow up” and vowed to clean up his act. The truth is Hutchinson is not a kid anymore. He is 26-years-old. By now, he should have learned how to control his aggression.

When he is unavailable for selection, Wednesday miss Hutchinson’s dynamism, determination and steel. For the team’s sake, you have got to hope the penny will drop with Hutchinson sooner rather than later.