PREVIEW | Wednesday -v- Barnsley

PREVIEW | Wednesday -v- Barnsley

Vultures continue to circle.

Carlos Carvalhal has meandered a way towards his most difficult spell as Wednesday Head Coach.

Through a combination of poor recruitment, tactical inflexibility, a touch of bad luck, and, most importantly, the ineptitude of his own players, he now stands on the brink of an exit from the Hillsborough hot seat.

Or so many in the Owls fan base would have you believe.

Carvalhal has received unwavering support of the chairman at this week’s steering meeting.

Chansiri’s more private thoughts are difficult to ascertain. He has made interesting financial decisions in his time at the club: spending money cancelling catering contracts, financed by astronomical ticket prices, which also help fund the recruitment of players which fans wish to sign.

The chairman and his ‘ten managers’ are obviously not as methodical as some would make out.

A well-thought out decision on the future of the current Head Coach seems unlikely, then.

Back to on-the-field matters, Carvalhal and his team were at the wrong end of some bad luck at the weekend. Losing the returning Glenn Loovens to an early red card was a blow, but Wednesday’s resilience against the eleven men of Derby only helps to service the glaringly obvious inconsistency which is holding the side back.

Wednesday were 3-0 victors in their last appearance at Hillsborough, with a commanding performance against Leeds United, the division’s early pace setters. Before that, The Owls collapsed to our nearest neighbours.

There we have it, another example of Wednesday’s Jekyll and Hyde tendencies.

Who knows which Wednesday side will turn up at the weekend but, for the sake of Carvalhal’s continued employment, only a victory over Barnsley will help dampen the spirits of the angry mob calling for his P45.

 

 

Barnsley have been equally guilty of inconsistency in the opening third of the season and find themselves four points behind Wednesday having played a game less.

Their recent results include an away win at Millwall, holding Boro to a draw before a home reverse to Hull.

Adam Davies and young midfielder Joe Williams are The Tykes’ two ever-presents, while Welsh forward Tom Bradshaw has four league goals.

Their side is young and inexperienced, with Adam Hammill (29) comfortably the oldest of their regular squad.

Hammill (Image: Sky Sports)

The skewing of ages has manifested itself in a division low of bookings (20) and an inability to retain possession – less than 47% across their twelve games.

Against Hull at Oakwell, the home side dominated until the closing stages, with Hamill and Chelsea loanee Ike Ugbo failing to take good chances.

However it would be The Tigers trumping The Tykes, with Frazier Campbell poking home a Seb Larsson corner to give Hull their first away win since August 2016.

Some lovely 2005 blonde streaks, Hecky (Image: leaguepaper.com)

Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom said after the match:

“I’m upset for them [the players] and angry with them. Upset that they’ve not got the result – I can’t say deserved, as we didn’t take our chances.

“And I’m angry because their two attempts on goal – or two on target should I say – both came from set-plays, from corners.

“I was looking at half-time, no shots, no crosses, nothing [for Hull] and I’ve never seen that. I was happy with how we were playing, just not happy with the end product.”

 

 

LAST 5 Derby (A) Bolton (A) Leeds (H) Birmingham (A) United (H)
WEDNESDAY L 0-2 L 1-2 W 3-0 L 0-1 L 2-4

 

LAST 5  Hull (H) Boro (H) Millwall (A) QPR (H) Wolves (A)
REDS L 0-1 D 2-2 W 3-1 D 1-1 L 1-2

 

HEAD 2 HEAD WEDNESDAY WINS REDS WINS DRAWS
  35 14 22

 

 

LAST MEETING

 

Barnsley 1-1 Wednesday

01 April 2017, Oakwell, Att: 18003

Winnall 50′

The final game before Wednesday’ six match winning run that secured a second consecutive play-off spot.

The six game stretch should have been seven, with Wednesday carrying a deserved lead into the final few seconds until the all too predictable equaliser came.

After a fairly even first half in which Wednesday controlled the possession (but not the chances), Sam Winnall returned to ruffle some red feathers as he capitalised on a mistake from Adam Davies to put The Owls ahead.

Winnall celebrates his goal in front of the home fans

His celebration – running the length of the main stand with his arms aloft – is perhaps the chief reason he is still held in such high regard by many Wednesday fans, rather than his all round centre-forward contribution over eight months.

Winnall had a goal chalked off for offside; further chances followed for Wednesday but the away side could not extend their one goal lead.

Angus McDonald popped up in added time to level the scores after some considerable Barnsley pressure.

The two points lost would prove to be the final Wednesday would relinquish until the final day of the season.

You can read Beastie’s ramble here.

 

 

CARVALHAL’S COHORTS

 

Glenn Loovens is suspended while Sam Hutchinson remains a doubt.

Joe Wildsmith looks set to continue in goal for now.

Wednesday’s leaky back-line will be giving Carlos Carvalhal palpatations but, for now, there is very little he can do with regard to selection.

Unless a radical tactical change is deployed, that is.

The rest of the team, despite Wednesday’s troubles, will pick itself.​

WILDSMITH

HUNT

LEES

VAN AKEN

REACH

WALLACE

LEE

JONES

BANNAN

HOOPER

FLETCHER

KEY PLAYERS

 

TOM LEES – Holds the key to stablising the Wednesday back line.

While he and his partner are both demonstrably talented defenders, the stand-in skipper has looked shaky alongside Joost van Aken since the Dutchman’s arrival.

The struggle to adapt is somewhat understandable, JvA is very different to Lees’ usual partner – a partner with whom he has played alongside for three dependable years.

Lees has to take some responsibility for the organisation of the Wednesday defence. He must, if he is to one day make it at a higher level, offer a commanding voice alongside the very best international defenders.

ADAM HAMMILL – The experienced cog in a youthful Barnsley machine.

Still only 25, Hammill has well over 350 career appearances to his name, almost exclusively in the Championship.

The Liverpool academy product is in his second spell with The Tykes, offering crafty wing play and excellent delivery into the box.

 

 

THE BETTING BOX: 5 OF THE BEST

 

BET Wednesday WIN Barnsley WIN DRAW
HT/FT Barnsley/Wednesday BTTS Yes
BEST ODDS 8/11 4/1 16/5 25/1 Evs
BOOKIES Various

 

HUGH’S VERDICT:

The Kaiser Chiefs sang about predicting a riot.

Hopefully such trouble will not occur. The batons and shields will be flying across Twitter however should Wednesday fall to defeat.

I refer you to a comment from last weeks preview; it’s still as troublesome a quandary:

‘Will Excellent Wednesday or Terrible Wednesday arrive at Hillsborough? As ever, it’s difficult to tell.’

VERDICT: Excellent Wednesday to turn up (in the second half) after Barnsley stir up some early trouble.

Hugh
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated. Line up images: Getty.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *