Sheffield Wednesday will begin a new era this evening as Darren Moore takes the helm for his first game in charge of the Owls, after Dejphon Chansiri brought him in as the club’s new manager.
The 46-year-old arrives from nearby League One promotion chasers Doncaster Rovers, where he had implemented a progressive attacking brand of football, something that will vastly different to his predecessor, Tony Pulis, at Hillsborough Stadium.
Indeed, he leaves behind the division’s third-highest goalscorers to take over at this sinking ship. There will surely be changes afoot, and as such, long-serving centre-back Tom Lees could be most in danger given the likely change in system.
‘His teams are renowned for playing an attractive, entertaining style of play,’ wrote YorkshireLive reporter Dom Howson following Moore’s appointment on Monday morning.
As per WhoScored, we can see that his Rovers side set-up to play from the back with 73% of their possession coming from their own third, or the middle-third, of the pitch whilst 72% of their goals have been scored from open play, which reinforces that high-intensity build up.
They also manage 12.9 shots per game, compared to the Owls’ appalling 8.7 per outing, so clearly, they do something right in attack given the limited time they spend in the final third and off the ball.
This is where Wednesday’s centre-backs will prove crucial and certainly why the calamitous Lees could be at risk.
Aside from goalkeepers and those with fewer than ten starts, the former club captain ranks third-bottom for passing accuracy this season (66.2%) behind Liam Palmer (63.8%) and Callum Paterson (53.9%), via WhoScored.
The 30-year-old also averages 2.7 long balls per game, the most of any Owls defender, and that won’t be something that pleases Moore as only one of his former defenders matches this number, meaning he clearly would favour the easy ball to midfield rather than hoofing it up the pitch.
As outlined in the summer, Lees’ performances regressed last season, and evidently, not much has improved as he’s part of the starting XI that sees the Owls in the relegation zone, having leaked 38 goals this term.
The “true leader” is surely going to face a tough time of remaining in the line-up under Moore if he continues to be abysmal with the ball at his feet.
AND in other news, Sheffield Wednesday: Izzy Brown a big winner from Darren Moore appointment