This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Sheffield Wednesday’s form under Garry Monk extended to a third straight league game without defeat on Saturday as his start to life at the helm of Hillsborough couldn’t have been much sweeter.
His side faced a trip to his old stomping ground, Middlesbrough, and they returned to south Yorkshire with an emphatic 4-1 victory.
All five goals came in a frantic first half as Adam Clayton’s own goal set the tone early before Dominic Iorfa nodded in a second less than a minute later.
Boro were able to scramble one back through Paddy McNair, but it was only in vain as Adam Reach exquisitely curled one home from just inside the area with Steven Fletcher grabbing his fifth of the season in the 34th minute.
Both teams somehow played out a goalless second half as Wednesday moved to within a point of a playoff place.
Monk kept the 4-4-2 formation he first utilised against Everton in midweek with Atdhe Nuhiu pairing Fletcher up top while Iorfa continued in skipper Tom Lees’ absence.
The 6 foot 4 defender put in a star showing, leaving the 40-year-old with plenty to think about going into their midweek fixture against Hull City.
It’s now the fourth straight game in which the 24-year-old right-back has played centrally, and it’s probably been his best of the lot.
Aside from scoring Wednesday’s second, he also recorded six clearances, four tackles and won 60% of his ten aerial duels, per SofaScore, which just goes to show how much he is improving in that role.
His colossal presence has clearly played a part in Monk’s unbeaten spell in charge and with Lees expected back in the near future, he can’t surely drop Iorfa after this run of form.
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Julian Borner won August’s Player of the Month, so he has every right to remain in the starting line up which leaves Monk with a tough decision ahead.
Does he keep his captain out of the side until someone makes an error, or will he slide him back in at the unjust expense of a player who has been performing well?
We will have to wait to find out.