This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Garry Monk suffered his first defeat as Sheffield Wednesday boss on Tuesday night as Hull City managed to claim a 1-0 victory at the KCOM Stadium.
Previous to that, the 40-year-old had steered his side to seven points from a possible nine, so his start to life at Hillsborough has been rather solid.
One thing against Monk is that he’s having to operate with a squad of players that were signed by his predecessors. Therefore he can’t put his own stamp on the side until at least January and even then maybe not until the summer.
In midweek, Sam Hutchinson picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he will be a guaranteed absence this weekend when they host Wigan Athletic – the 30-year-old was particularly weak in midfield, which undoubtedly contributed to their downfall.
Therefore, it could be a blessing in disguise for Wednesday as one player is set to gain from his suspension.
Against Hull, Hutchinson recorded a poor passing success rate of 71%, which is his worst effort of the season alongside picking up a dire rating of 6.05, per WhoScored.
The defensive midfielder has just been too inconsistent in the passing game meaning several turnovers of possession surely lie in his hands as he has struggled to find a man in the blue and white stripes regularly.
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Massimo Luongo replaced Hutchinson at Middlesbrough when he had to come off through injury and did a decent enough job as they won, but he’s only managed to make five substitute appearances thus far, so he could do with a run in the team.
The other midfielder in line to feature would be Kieran Lee, who has started just one game under Monk since his appointment last month.
Monk should probably side with the Australian for this fixture as in his sparse 118 minutes, he’s managed to register a passing success rate of 87.7%, which is above that of Hutchinson’s recent showing.
The 27-year-old showed his quality for Queens Park Rangers before clinching a move to south Yorkshire this summer – he has managed at least three assists per season from defensive midfield since 2015.
Their suspension, therefore, could be a blessing in disguise.