Sheffield Wednesday veteran Sam Hutchinson badly let Owls interim boss Neil Thompson and his side down on Wednesday night as they were well-beaten in the Championship.
Indeed, the south Yorkshire strugglers tasted a third successive league defeat, leaving them three points adrift of safety with only one game in hand – a worrying position to be in with only 15 games left to play.
According to the BBC, Wednesday had decent periods of possession early in the first half, failing to capitalise on the hosts’ slow start before they took the lead in the 23rd minute.
Brentford then hit two more goals in a nine-minute period late in the second half to seal all three points in the capital.
Thompson’s first change came in the 55th minute with the game still only 1-0 and that saw Adam Reach, who was deployed out of his usual position in a no.10 role behind the striker, replaced by Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.
And it led to many supporters taking fire at the long-serving Owls star as they believed he was underwhelming during his time on the pitch, as you can see in the replies to the club’s official Twitter account here.
However, their frustrations may have been pointed in the wrong direction – yes, Reach appears shot of confidence (another reason fans should hold fire) but he was only playing in the role for the fourth time this term, and for the first time in five outings, as per Transfermarkt.
WhoScored shows that his best performances come at left-back (7.31 average rating) or left wing-back (6.81) rather than through the middle, so that disastrous call is on Thompson rather than the player.
Instead, the brunt of the flak should be aimed towards one of the Owls’ veterans, one that should know and do so much better – Hutchinson.
As per SofaScore ratings, the 31-year-old powerhouse was graded as Wednesday’s worst midfielders (6.1) – in fact, only two other players received a worse rating across both teams.
Hutchinson is usually a commanding presence in the middle of the engine room, where he usually wins nearly six battles per game but against the promotion-chasing Bees, he was weak and ineffective, winning just one of six duels (16%).
He was also rather wasteful in and out of possession, managing to make only 77% of his 47 passing attempts, whilst also losing the ball 12 times, meaning he lost possession once every 4.5 touches.
Only two other starters had a worse night in terms of passing accuracy, and they could be forgiven as the pair are defenders, who aren’t supposed to be as good with the ball at their feet as say, a midfielder.
The 5 foot 11 calamity was also found wanting on plenty of occasions as he topped the charts for the number of times dribbled past (three) for the visiting Owls.
Again, this is abysmal and well below his usual average of being dribbled past only 0.3 times per outing since re-joining the Hillsborough-based outfit.
Overall, Hutchinson should be steering this struggling Wednesday outfit to safety and instead, he’s dropping inept performances like this when it truly counts.
The former Chelsea man let his manager down big time.
AND in other news, Thompson still without influential man, it’s bad news…