This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sheffield Wednesday are entering the international break on the cusp of the playoffs as they sit eighth, missing out by just a solitary point.
Garry Monk’s reign as the Owls boss has gone rather well – he’s guided his new side to ten points from a possible 15 after winning last time out against Wigan Athletic.
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He’s stuck to his word of being adaptable, a wise move considering he has inherited this whole squad from his predecessors Steve Bruce and then caretaker boss Lee Bullen.
Monk has also been rather methodical, whether that has been intentional or not, remains to be seen as he has started out with their defence and making that a lot tighter.
During his five matches in charge, Wednesday have recorded far more shots on the opposition’s goal than against their own in every single game, as the graph shows below, via WhoScored.
The Owls have conceded just three goals throughout those five matches, whereas in the five games before his arrival, they conceded five, so that clearly reinforces the view that they have appeared to look more solid.
Experimental361‘s scatter graph for expected goals created against expected goals allowed per match also backs this up.
Wednesday are on the ‘better defence’ side of the graph, but more towards the ‘worse attack,’ which suggests there is work to be done at the other end of the pitch.
And that is something that can come with time, especially with the January transfer window approaching.
The south Yorkshire club won’t lose matches if they have a solid foundation at the back, so it’s a rather shrewd move from the 40-year-old if he has indeed planned it this way.
Football FanCast have previously highlighted how reliant they are on Steven Fletcher – the only league loss under the former Swansea City man has been in his absence, and even then it was only by a one-goal margin.
‘Build from the back‘ and ‘defence wins you titles‘ are two phrases that come to mind when thinking about successful teams, and this is something that appears to be slowly surfacing up at Hillsborough.
With enough patience and time, Monk will have their frontline in sync with their defence, we’ve already seen a glimpse of that when the team managed to stick four past Middlesbrough inside 34 minutes.