Sheffield Wednesday’s quest to secure their first home win in over eight months will have to wait as they were well-beaten by Brentford at Hillsborough on Wednesday night.
The Owls have not picked up three points in south Yorkshire since February and still remain bottom of the Championship on minus four points following their points deduction.
Garry Monk has it all to do if he’s to keep Wednesday in the second flight of English football this season but it’s also on the players too, especially without their supporters in attendance.
He’ll be disheartened by the performance from his defenders after conceding a brace to Bees talisman Ivan Toney, and the display of Joost van Aken was perhaps the standout in terms of being particularly poor. He certainly let his manager down.
The 26-year-old has been given a second chance at Hillsborough after playing for 2. Bundesliga outfit VfL Osnabruck last season after joining the club back in 2017 for £4.5m.
He was deployed in a back three alongside summer arrival Aden Flint and right-back by trade Moses Odubajo, and was clearly the worst performer, clinching a 6.4 rating by SofaScore.
The Dutch colossus failed to win any of his duels, lost possession seven times and only made 50% of his long balls with Toney giving him the run around all game.
YorkshireLive’s Dom Howson graded van Aken a mediocre 5/10 and claimed: “Found it tough going to contain the Bees forward line, particularly in the first half.”
Fellow centre-back Julian Borner was a regular presence under Monk last season, starting 34 league games, so it’s a surprise to see his name on the bench but the fact that he’s waiting in the wings should spell trouble for the former Heerenveen man.
If he continues at this disappointing level, then that switch will quickly become an easy one to make. He let Monk down this week and has to be a drop candidate before they host Luton Town on Saturday afternoon.
With Chey Dunkley, Dominic Iorfa and Tom Lees all on the treatment table, van Aken ought to be making the absolute most of this rare opportunity.
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