Sheffield Wednesday’s poor run of form continued on Saturday afternoon as the Owls slumped to a fourth straight game without a victory.
The Owlerton-based side have won just one of their last eight league games with their hopes of making the playoffs quickly falling out of their grasp – they sit some six points from sixth-placed Preston North End. A drastic change in fortunes considering they once were lying pretty in third themselves.
But Wednesday boss Garry Monk is doing himself no favours after his recent team selection was punished in the south Yorkshire derby.
The Owls were held 1-1 by Barnsley at Oakwell after Cauley Woodrow cancelled out debutant Josh Windass’ opener in the first half.
Monk continued to operate Joey Pelupessy in central midfield, his third straight start and 12th appearance of the season which has been quite a damaging move as the Dutchman is simply not up to the standards the Championship demands, as seen this weekend.
Per SofaScore, the 26-year-old picked up the joint-lowest rating of any visiting player, and he did so by recording a dire 61% passing accuracy while failing to win any of his five ground duels as well as conceding four fouls. In fact, he only managed to pass the ball 11 times in the 66 minutes he was on the pitch.
It raises question marks over the absence of experienced enforcer Sam Hutchinson, who must be fit as he hasn’t appeared on any pre-game injury report prior to kickoff.
The defensive midfielder hasn’t been named in the matchday squad for three straight games now and has only played a full 90 minutes once since the turn of the year – quite simply baffling given the problems the Owls currently have.
No player in the squad records more tackles (2.5) or interceptions (1.6) per game than the 30-year-old while his passing success rate of 80.4% is the second-highest in the team and some way above what Pelupessy managed on Saturday, via WhoScored.
Hutchinson is clearly not one to go missing, unlike some of his teammates.
Therefore, Monk’s recent tactical decisions have been rather mystifying, to say the least. He must ensure the former Chelsea man is recalled for their fixtures against basement boys Luton and then Reading.
And in other news, Sheffield Wednesday fans slam Cameron Dawson for his mistake…