This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan has launched an impassioned defence of his teammate Adam Reach as he believes the 26-year-old is underappreciated, but fans have been right to criticise as he’s been underperforming this season.
The Owls face a tough trip to West Brom on Saturday afternoon, and with a potential points deduction hanging over their head, every result is going to matter until a confirmed outcome is reached.
Garry Monk’s side currently sit three points outside of the playoff zone and had they not thrown away a couple of results in recent matches, they could have been a lot closer to their upcoming league-leading opposition.
Wednesday midfielder Reach has often been a target for fans to vent their anger when things don’t go their way, which has led to Bannan defending him in a recent interview.
“I think he gets a lot of bad criticism. A lot of people forget you are not going to be 100 per cent every game, and scoring.
“Adam scored a lot of unbelievable goals last year, which most players wouldn’t be able to do. He’s not going to be like that every game, or he wouldn’t be here, he would be somewhere else.
“A lot of people forget about his work rate and what he does off the ball. He is a wise head, has a lot of experience.
“He gets bad press, but that’s probably because he was scoring all these ‘worldie’ goals last season. There are not many players capable of scoring all those goals he scored last year. We appreciate him as a team-mate and in the changing room.
As vice-captain, Bannan is only doing his job here. He isn’t going to throw his teammate under the bus publicly, but as paying customers, fans have every right to criticise Reach when he underperforms.
If you were to search for a showreel of Reach, you wouldn’t be disappointed, the 26-year-old has only ever scored bangers at the club, but aside from that, he’s done very little to warrant persistent selection.
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Per WhoScored, he averages 1.7 unsuccessful touches and just 0.8 crosses per game, which is particularly poor for a player deployed out on the right-wing.
He’s also gone five games without a goal or an assist to his name, so fans are justified in wanting him to do much better.