The Wednesday Round-Up: Two Games, Four Points & Another Injury



Instead of an in depth look at one particular topic I thought I’d cast my eye across a few different areas and give my thoughts on the current going-ons at S6.



Opening games


Four points against Portsmouth and MK Dons is a tally Darren Moore can be pretty pleased with. Whilst both sides have had busy summers, they’ll be aiming for a top six finish come May so to come away unbeaten with a win on the board it’s a decent start for Wednesday.


In both matches The Owls started well and showed glimpses of what they’re capable of; playing good attacking football, keeping their opponents on the back foot. However, in their two openers Wednesday were unable to truly make their purple patches count and tailed off as time wore on. Should The Owls maintain that front-footed football across a full game, they’ll be giving teams some hidings.


The main difference in the games was Wednesday’s defence. In their 3-3 thriller at Hillsborough it was a familiar tale as Moore’s side failed to deal with balls into their box and didn’t learn from previous mistakes.


However, in their 1-0 stadium MK win the backline showed a lot more grit and looked much more comfortable with defending crosses. Although it wasn’t sparklingly in any way, their latest result was certainly a big one, getting that first victory at a tough place whilst being far from their free-flowing best.




Going forwards, if Wednesday can show more of their positive dominant football, then they have the makings of a top side and will take some stopping. But, there are concerns with this team still. As mentioned, The Owls were uninspiring at times in Milton Keynes, whilst they frustrated fans with their defensive frailties on opening day. There’s signs of a good team, the question is whether they can remain resolute at the back whilst keeping up that exciting play they’ve shown in spells.


Signings


Wednesdayites can be content with their transfer business so far. On paper they’ve brought in some decent names with plenty of experience at this level and the division above. But, how have the new lads looked on the pitch?


Conceding three on debut isn’t the start that goalkeeper David Stockdale or defenders Michael Ihiekwe and Ben Heneghan will have had in mind. However, the trio rectified their leaky backline with a clean sheet against The Dons.




Despite the three goals it was slightly harsh in the first place to blame the new boys individually. As a unit the Wednesday defence can feel disappointed to show the same weaknesses at the back, but each of the debutants gave decent showings in terms of individual performance. This was backed up in The Owls’ away win with Ihiekwe looking comfortable, Heneghan was an absolute rock and Stockdale kept Wednesday ahead with a string of excellent saves.


Along with those Akin Famewo made his first appearance in blue and white (well, technically he was in yellow) against MK Dons before the former Charlton loanee was substituted with an injury after half an hour. Up until that point, Famewo looked impressive showing great pace to recover on a number of occasions down The Owls left.


The 23-year-old looked a solid addition on the left side of the back three, even showing his commitment to the shirt by hobbling across the pitch as to not play The Dons forwards onside, whilst holding a clearly painful knock. The defender left Milton Keynes on crutches which were hopefully just a precautionary measure, with Moore finding out this week the extent of the blow.




Will Vaulks was another debutant who gave a fairly solid account in Wednesday’s last outing, whilst Tyreeq Bakinson made a 15-minute cameo helping The Owls get over the line.


Michael Smith is perhaps the most exciting of the summer recruits, but has had to be patient for his chance to impress after getting 20 minutes from the bench against Pompey before missing the trip to MK with a slight ‘niggle’. Similarly, Reece James has had to await an opportunity and may well get his chance in Wednesday’s Carabao cup tie against Sunderland this week.


The rumour mill continues to turn on the Mallik Wilks situation. The Hull City forward was left out of both of The Tigers’ two match day squads with Peterborough now reportedly interested in the 23-year-old. Kyle Joseph of Swansea City is another strike option linked with a Hillsborough switch with a loan deal potentially in the works.


One thing is for sure, The Owls could still do with at least one more attacker, particularly one with a bit of pace. Whether Wednesday cough up the cash for Wilks or look towards the loan window remains to be seen but it would appear they’re certainly on the look out.


The Carabao Cup




The Owls host Sunderland in a repeat of their Playoff semi-final second leg that ended last season in disappointment this Wednesday. A usual dead-rubber first round tie could potentially be a bit more interesting this season due to the competition for places in the ranks at S6. With a tough test against Charlton on the horizon, Moore will likely make plenty of changes and give a lot of the new boys their first opportunities.


Reece James and Tyreeq Bakinson could be handed their first Hillsborough starts and get the chance to impress against a good opposition. Similarly, Cameron Dawson will likely get his first competitive appearance since returning from an encouraging loan spell at Exeter City.


With injury to Famewo, Dom Iorfa could get a chance to stake a claim for his place in the league fixtures on Wednesday night after flattering to deceive against Pompey. Dennis Adeniran is another who we could see for the first time this season and will be keen to show his best football after falling down the Wednesday midfield pecking order.


The Black Cats have made a decent start to life back in the second tier with four points from two games; a one-all draw with Coventry followed by a 3-2 triumph at Bristol City. Alike Wednesday, there’s plenty of competition within the mackems so it could make for a much more entertaining game than your typical League Cup first round snore-fest. Don’t hold me to that though…




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