It has been a fairly mixed season for Sheffield Wednesday so far, yet they find themselves tenth in the Championship just six points of a play-off place. They have been inconsistent and have drawn too many matches but have only lost six times. Six of their ten draws have ended goalless, which sums up their season so far at both ends.
The Owls have the joint worst attack in the league with only 18 goals scored which is the same as lowly Blackpool. But the 21 goals conceded from 24 matches is the second least in the Championship. This reveals how well they have been organised at the back but equally how they really lacking that cutting edge at the other end. Back-to-back 1-0 victories against two of the bottom three tell you everything you need to know about their lack of goalscoring prowess but if they can sort that out then they have every chance of pulling off a late play-off push.
It has been a long time since Wednesday were playing Premier League football, the last time being in 2000. This simply isn’t good enough for a club the size Sheffield Wednesday and with the fan base they possess. In the last decade they have spent a number of years in League One, going back and forth between the two leagues. They have won promotion twice from League One; both in 2005 and 2012. This might only be the club’s third season back in the Championship since promotion, but they really need to start kicking on and achieving a lot more.
Sheffield Wednesday are a big club with a great tradition that have underachieved greatly since the late 1990s. This is proven by the fact they have won four top flight titles, three FA Cups and one League Cup- the last of their silverware which came in 1991. Also, add to that they have spent over 60 seasons in the top flight, then you can get an idea to the size of the club.
Wednesday are not a club that should accept mid-table mediocrity in the second tier, but should be challenging to get back into the top flight. With the way things stand at the moment and with the January transfer window open for business, fans can start to look optimistic for the first time in a long time.
It is easy to see why Wednesday have conceded such few goals with the likes of Joe Mattock, Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens in defence. Loovens was signed in 2013 and has experience in the Champions League with Celtic but also in the La Liga with Zaragoza. He is also the captain and a natural leader in the heart of their defence.
Joe Mattock was once tipped for big things when at Leicester but a move to Premier League West Brom halted his career. Injuries led to limited appearances but at just 24, he is again showing at Wednesday why he was so highly regarded a few years ago. Summer signing from Leeds Tom Lees has also added to the extremely efficient defence.
The man they all play in front of, Kieran Westwood has been the stand out performer so far. The summer signing from Sunderland has put in consistent performances each week, even winning points by himself. He is proving to be the best ‘keeper in the division and a great signing for the club.
The forward line will need improving if any success is to come out of this season. Striker Stevie May was brought in from St. Johnstone in the summer, and whilst he has impressed at times five league goals from 22 appearances is hardly prolific. Fellow striker Atdhe Nuhiu only has four league goals. With Gary Madine on-loan to Coventry and Chris Maguire also capable of playing in a more attacking role with only three goals to his name, there are little options for goals in Wednesday’s front-line and improvements are needed.