This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
It has now been ten games since Garry Monk was appointed as manager at Sheffield Wednesday – that’s nine league matches and a Carabao Cup exit to Premier League outfit Everton to be precise.
The trip to Blackburn Rovers saw him succumb to just his second Championship defeat of the season as the home side fought from behind with a late three-minute double, even despite substitute Jacob Murphy heading home what looked likely to be a winner seven minutes from time.
Wednesday now sit outside the playoff zone, but with the league being so tight, they remain just one point off regaining their place.
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Last weekend’s game highlighted a number of concerns but none more so than what lies ahead for the 40-year-old in January.
The 32-year-old hasn’t scored for five games now, but that’s because he’s simply given too much to do as he’s often playing on his own in attack – someone like Atdhe Nuhiu should have partnered him against Blackburn.
During this barren run, Massimo Luongo has stepped up to the plate to provide two match-winning goals – both coming in 1-0 victories, over Wigan Athletic and Stoke City respectively.
And just as goals were beginning to be shared around the squad, he gets injured.
The Owls are yet to win since his absence.
Then there is Barry Bannan, who was a surprise scratch for the trip to Lancashire, his presence was sorely missed the most as he’s one of the only creative members of the squad – he averages more key passes per game (2.2) than anyone else, and has notched up three assists this campaign.
It feels like Wednesday are becoming increasingly reliant on these three aforementioned players, which isn’t a great trait to have, and it only highlights just how many signings Monk may need to make in January.
While in comparison, people have consistently stepped up to the plate in defence – Dominic Iorfa has been a revelation in captain Tom Lees’ absence, and when Julian Borner went down in the warm-up against Leeds, Sam Hutchinson deputised ever so naturally.
The Owls chief must be tossing and turning at night when he realises that it’s Joey Pelupessy trying to fill in for Bannan, while the less said about Fletcher’s back-ups, the better. Anonymous.