As far as cold, Tuesday night nil nil draws go, that was actually quite entertaining to watch. Unlike so many other teams that have visited the Macron in recent times, Wednesday played as if they actually wanted something from the game, and can't really be blamed for thinking they could have taken more than a point from the game. The visitors caught Bolton Wanderers cold early doors, and the back five did incredibly well to keep The Owls at bay in the first fifteen minutes.
The Wednesday midfield was so fluid in the first fifteen minutes, it was almost impossible to figure out what shape they were playing. Fernando Forestieri was all over the show, playing in between the lines of the Wanderers midfield. Behind him was the energy of Bannan and Matias, who started on either wing. Atdhe Nuhiu, Sheffield's tallest man, was enough of a nuisance, but it appeared as though The Prince and Derik knew his number from minute one (it's nice to see that they can play against a traditional target man in comparison to Wolves' pacy front men at the weekend). Those two can really play, and with two full backs who are in fantastic form, we have a back four to be proud of.
Wanderers soon settled, with the most joy coming down the left flank, where Wellington enjoyed what was probably his most impressive performance yet. Jack Hunt had a nightmare trying to keep pace with him, and was rightly booked in the second half for a foul on the Brazilian. Liam Feeney had some space on the opposite wing, particularly in the first half, but came up against a tougher customer in Daniel Pudil.
Zach Clough really struggled to make an impact on the game - in fact, the first time in which he managed to get the ball down and run at the Wednesday defence ended up in him crumpled in a heap 30 years from goal with a dislocated shoulder with 18 minutes left. It's a real shame for not only the player, but the team, who appear to have built the current system around him. The only issue is that, so far, it hasn't bore fruit.
If Clough was struggling, his strike partner Gary Madine was drowning in a sea of his own ineptitude. Listeners of the LoVPod will know that I backed Madine to score a brace. He didn't. Once again, he was a chocolate teapot at an afternoon tea party. A wet fart in church. Crap, basically. His header from one yard, which blazed over the bar, has to be his worst miss yet. There was debate as to whether the linesman had flagged him for offside, but he wasn't. Regardless, he should be scoring from one yard out. One. Yard. Out. And once again, the 38 year old Emile Heskey won more aerial battles in 11 minutes than Madine did in 79. It's just not good enough. It's nowhere near. It's downright dog poo.
Stephen Dobbie came on after 72 minutes, replacing the injured Clough, whose dislocated shoulder is set to keep him on the sidelines until at least the New Year. Dobbie had an impact, swinging deadly deliveries into the box, and harassing Wednesday when they had possession on the break. However, for all the efforts of the substitutes, a goal didn't arrive, and never looked like doing so.
All in all, it was a pleasing point against a good side. Sheffield Wednesday play a very good style of football, although they tired in the last half hour. They are one decent striker away from a play off chasing side. Sound familiar?
I think we have the back five of a promotion winning team - I don't feel that is any exaggeration whatsoever. However, I also think we have the front six of a bottom half side. Davies and Clough are very good players, but Mark Davies is playing too deep to have a sizable impact on the game, and Clough hasn't been in the best of form (I'm just the only one brave enough to say it). It all spells mid-table mediocrity come next May.
Lennon said "we're just lacking a bit of quality in the final third at times" - you can say that again. And again. And again.
- Lawrie Wilson - I hope Pisano likes the development squad, because our Lawrie is going nowhere
- Dean Moxey - he's playing that well, I even called him Deano last night at one point
- Derik and Prince - could be the makings of the league's best centre half pairing
- Neil Danns - continuing to play well in midfield
- Wellington - made an absolute mockery out of his fullback for 90 minutes
- Gary Madine
- Clough's injury - 3 months at least on the sidelines
- Gary Madine
- Gary Madine