Wednesday woe: where’s it going wrong?

Wednesday woe: where’s it going wrong?

When I first had an idea for knocking something up for Owls Alive during the international break, it was going to be some sort of debate about whether the midfield or the forwards were the problem in our side.

But our other contributors’ hectic schedules have forced me to go it alone, so I’ve decided to just write down my thoughts about our situation and throw something out there for you lot to talk about.


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The Etihad thumping signalled more than just a blip

The Etihad thumping signalled more than just a blip

Doesn’t August seem like an awfully long time ago now?

Three away games, three away wins (one against Premier League Burnley in the League Cup) and unbeaten at home until top of the table Forest came to town.

That form continued into September, with a solid point at Bolton and a comfortable win at Birmingham.

But since we beat Reading 1-0 in mid-September, everything has gone wrong.

It started with *that* shellacking at Premier League champions Manchester City in the League Cup, which severely dented the side’s seemingly fragile confidence.

It turned into a blip, then a rut and now most Owls fans don’t think Wednesday would score in a brothel with a fifty pound note hanging out of their zipper, let alone win a game.

For the second year in a row, we managed to go the whole month of October without a win.

First the goals and now even the chances have dried up, so what the hell has gone wrong?

Where does the fault lie?


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Westwood has been immense

Westwood has been immense

Keiren Westwood can not be held at fault.

It’s his job to keep the opposition out and he’s done his job more than admirably this term. Without him, we’d quite comfortably be in the mix with Blackpool and the like at the bottom rather than our present mid-table berth.

What about the defence? Liam Palmer has regressed a little bit this season but with Maguire or Maghoma in front of him offering him no defensive support, a lot gets put on the shoulders of the youngster.

Lewis Buxton was once the first name on the teamsheet but you worry that his ongoing knee problem will prevent him from returning as the model of consistency he once was.

I’d argue a case for the improvement of Joe Mattock this term before he got sidelined by injury. Many had written off the former Leicester man but he is one of many players who has thrived under Stuart Gray.

His current absence may provide Claude Dielna with a chance to prove his worth, although Gray favoured Jeremy Helan at full back against Rotherham and in truth he was out best attacking outlet.

Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens are the most solid partnership the Owls have had at the heart of our defence for many years.

Lees has been a cracking signing and any doubts I had about his ability have been thrown into the bin and kept there by his assured performances in a Wednesday shirt.

Loovens meanwhile has picked up where he left off from last term, keeping a cool, calm demeanour in the centre of our defence and just getting on with business.


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Our problems start further up the field.

We’ve lost Sam Hutchinson for a good chunk of the season, with his latest comeback cut short during the 3-0 defeat to Watford. When available he’s looked the part, but we always knew availability could be an issue and unfortunately injuries have taken him out of our midfield equation so far.

Kieran Lee looks a shadow of the player he did last season — dare I say Darren Potter-esque. That ability to unlock opposition defences with a raking pass has gone, replaced by the five-yard sideways pass.

Giles Coke is Giles Coke. One quick glimpse of ability doesn’t atone for five games without it. Jose Semedo is a steely midfield player but he’s not going to be the guy who can unlock opposition defences.

Does Maguire need more competition for his place?

Does Maguire need more competition for his place?

Chris Maguire is perhaps the most overrated player at the club.

Remember when we sent him to Coventry to give him a kick up the arse?

It worked because when he came back he looked motivated, hungry and ready to prove a point.

Now with no real challenge to his first team place, he swans around on the right and very rarely does anything of note unless he shoots from 30 yards and puts it into the stand.

Jacques Maghoma on the other side is little better. His ability to run into three opposition defenders rather than take note of his surroundings and try to pass it or at least whip it in drives me nuts.

Loanee Royston Drenthe was magnificent for 45 minutes at Charlton but his sending off against Bournemouth suggest he may be the next Jermaine Johnson rather than the real deal.

In short, our midfield is as bad as it has been since the worst days of Alan Irvine.


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Madine: Gone but not missed

Madine: Gone but not missed

Up front it’s little better.

Atdhe Nuhiu and Stevie May often drop deeper to try to help our hapless midfield at the cost of their own position.

May will run deep and harass defenders but rarely gets the opportunity to score and when he does it seems to shock him and he snatches at it.

Nuhiu will work tirelessly and he’s like no other player we have. He’s gifted, can do stuff that others can only dream of but put him in a goalscoring situation and you’d put your house on the goalkeeper.

Gary Madine has been sent out on loan to Coventry and doesn’t strike me as the answer, personal opinions on him aside.

I haven’t seen enough of Gary Taylor-Fletcher to pass judgement. A goalscorer seems to be the holy grail in this division but even if we did have one I doubt we’d be able to provide him the ammunition.


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Stuart Gray has achieved miracles since taking charge, but has he reached the end of the line?

Stuart Gray has achieved miracles since taking charge, but has he reached the end of the line?

In recent weeks the murmurs of discontent against Stuart Gray have started and once they do start, it’s a slippery slope.

Mark my words, it will not be long before he is in Dave Jones and Alan Irvine country.

But I don’t fully blame him for our problems.

So many managers have tried and failed to build a good team here with little to no money and our back four and goalkeeper are one of the tightest units we’ve possessed here in many a year.

But further up the field, his tactics remind me very much of the ones that Dave Jones and Alan Irvine got slaughtered for.

It’s part of the reason we’ve been fairly successful on our travels because we’re hard to break down and occasionally we can threaten on the counter or at a set-piece.

At home it’s just not working. Any side with half a clue can just sit back, absorb what we throw at them and hit us with a sucker punch or just outplay and outpass us.


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I paint a pretty bleak picture but it’s one that I believe won’t take much to fix.

The search for a striker should be joined by the search for a quality central midfielder and a winger.

This is the poorest Championship I’ve seen for a long time and what really frustrates me is I’ve seen we can compete and hold our own in this division. we’ve beaten good sides on their own patch dammit!

It's time to stick together and kick on up the Championship

It’s time to stick together and kick on up the Championship

I don’t ask for much from this team, the only thing I want from Sheffield Wednesday every season is progress. It just feels we’ve been stood still for too long.

We’ve had the full range of emotions in the last five years — the fear of our club no longer existing, the despair of relegation, the utter joy of promotion and beating that lot from S2, the near weekly disappointment of defeat, the odd joy of victory, the indifference to draws.

Now we’re in that place asking where do we go from here.

Unfortunately I don’t have the answer to that question.

Danny (D-Good) Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @DGood83


  1. I hope that I have already made my comment, but if it has not been received, please let me know and I will have pleasure in repeating what I think I have just said.

    • Yes we received your comment John, thanks for your input

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