Sheffield Wednesday will be without Darren Moore in the dugout once again this weekend after developing further health complications following his recovery from a positive COVID-19 test.
The Owls manager missed three matches before returning on Tuesday night for their 2-0 defeat to Swansea City and he will now miss this afternoon’s crunch match against Bristol City.
Although he won’t be at the game, he will undoubtedly be making the decisions from home and feeding information to his assistant Jamie Smith. There’s one call he must make ahead of kick-off, though…
Moore tinkered his defence after their collapse against QPR last weekend, moving Sam Hutchinson into the backline at the expense of Osaze Urhoghide, and that opened up a space in midfield for Liam Shaw.
In the end, it was a decision which failed to pay dividends as Shaw’s first start in seven games lasted just 64 minutes. He was rated amongst the Owls’ worst performers with a grade of 6.6 by SofaScore and the Owls academy graduate certainly struggled to combat the threat on offer from Swansea, who sought to dominate possession through the middle.
From 39 touches, nearly one every other minute, Shaw lost the ball 11 times. He was also dribbled past on one occasion and he failed to contribute a single tackle, interception or key pass, via SofaScore.
The midfield gem has previously been described as “very, very promising” by Tony Pulis, with Garry Monk also praising his potential. “He has got the capability of playing everywhere,” explained the former Owls boss.
This does make him an intriguing option to have at Wednesday’s disposal and one that the club will undoubtedly rue losing this summer, but there are also some doubts over using him. Considering that Shaw has already packed his bags, there seems very little point in gifting him game-time in these remaining five matches – Moore won’t have him next season, so why let him contribute?
Owls legend Carlton Palmer recently told Football FanCast in an exclusive interview that he “might as well go” now.
“It’s a problem, I’ve always said that. I said when you sign a pre-contract for a club, you might as well go at that point,” said the 55-year-old. “You’ve got a big-money move coming up, you’re not going to want to get yourself injured, you’re not going to put yourself on the line – Darren Moore needs everybody who’s committed to the club.”
Moore and Smith must therefore axe Shaw from their starting XI this afternoon.
AND in other news, Imagine him and Iorfa: Sheffield Wednesday eye League One gem…