According to YorkshireLive’s Dom Howson, the currently unemployed Paul Cook has applied for the vacant Sheffield Wednesday managerial role at Hillsborough Stadium.
The 53-year-old is keen to return to the dugout and commented on the Owls job whilst appearing as a pundit on Sky Sports at the weekend, speaking about the speculation, he said:
“It is very, very flattering to be linked. I am an out of work manager and I am desperate to get back into football,” before adding: “Sheffield Wednesday is an absolutely massive football club. It would be a fantastic club for anyone to manage so while I’m being linked with it, it is obviously very flattering.”
Wednesday have been without a manager since chairman Dejphon Chansiri pulled the trigger on Tony Pulis after just one win in ten games over two weeks ago.
Whilst Cook has been out of work since resigning from Wigan Athletic at the end of the 2019/20 season and despite Neil Thompson’s unbeaten start as interim boss, the former Portsmouth and Chesterfield man appears to be the front-runner.
But how might the Owls look under his tenure? We know that he favours a 4-2-3-1 system, so here’s the XI we could see if he is indeed hired by Chansiri…
At the Latics, Cook delivered promotion to the Championship from League One and departed with a win-rate of 41.9%, which considering all of their off-pitch struggles, is rather respectable.
He primarily deployed that sturdy 4-2-3-1 formation so it would be a surprise to see any difference at Hillsborough.
In goal, it is likely to be veteran shot-stopper Keiren Westwood, especially after Pulis brought him back into the fold whilst a traditional back four could contain Chey Dunkley, his first-ever signing at the DW, former Owls skipper Tom Lees, Liam Palmer and even Matt Penney.
The 22-year-old is the only ‘senior’ left-back at the club, perhaps Cook could mould him into his next Antonee Robinson.
Whilst in the engine room, a robust double-pivot could see current captain Barry Bannan continue his partnership with Joey Pelupessy, and when fit, Massimo Luongo is played in the hole.
It means neither of Garry Monk’s permanent summer signings, Josh Windass and Callum Paterson, feature – the 27-year-old revealed that Cook was the reason behind his exit from Wigan to Wednesday, so there’s surely no chance he’s fancied to start.
Cook would be light on options on the wing, so it would be a surprise to see anyone but Adam Reach and Kadeem Harris start, though he will want to utilise their only centre-forward, Jordan Rhodes.
Despite being linked with an exit, at 6 foot 1, he represents the only target man-like presence in this squad and that’s what the 53-year-old had in Kieffer Moore.
If only Steven Fletcher was still around.
AND in other news, Sheffield Wednesday gem who won 83% duels just gave Thompson a big headache…