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Sheffield Wednesday (h) - 13:00 Sunday - What can we expect?


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What can we expect? It depends...

Actually I'm really interested. Is Dean able to do something LJ never seemed to be able to? Work out a plan to beat a team with Barry Bannan in it.

They play Bannan and two runners/enforcers around him. I'm worried Weimann and Paterson won't match up here.

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1 minute ago, Prinny said:

What can we expect? It depends...

Actually I'm really interested. Is Dean able to do something LJ never seemed to be able to? Work out a plan to beat a team with Barry Bannan in it.

They play Bannan and two runners/enforcers around him. I'm worried Weimann and Paterson won't match up here.

Apart from last season we had a very good home record v Wednesday. I remember two 4-0 or 4-1 s in recent seasons.

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I think Bannan is not quite as good as billed to be, but in a 3, is pretty good.

Weimann and Paterson I worry about both- maybe the energy factor but think Bakinson and AN Other alongside Paterson feels a way to go. Think you need that balance of 2 genuine CMs alongside Paterson personally- though that said Weimann pulled wide right in some phases vs Stoke, that can help mitigate against 2 v 1 wide right, Paterson is also capable of pulling wide left more comfortably than other options. It's a nice problem to have- what isn't so nice is all the absentees!

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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51 minutes ago, The Horse With No Name said:

Apart from last season we had a very good home record v Wednesday. I remember two 4-0 or 4-1 s in recent seasons.

LJ joined On 6 February 2016

https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/report-bristol-city-4-1-sheffield-wednesday/ They played Bannan in a two and it was awful but I was wrong. He did beat him once, so thanks for reminding me about the 4-1

https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/sheffield-wednesday-h-match-centre-march-3rd-2018/ 4-0 Bannan didn't play.

So we haven't beaten Barry Bannan since 2016. LJ vs Barry Bannan (City vs Wednesday) 1W 2D 5L

City vs Wednesday Home last 5 years 2W 1D 2L I wouldn't call that "VERY GOOD". 1W 1D 2L vs Bannan is even worse.

 

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2-2 in 2017 while not winning, was quite a good performance- we were under the cosh, LJ was under the cosh after the record losing run and it was a fairly good display and result- we were struggling quite badly, they were riding high in and around top 6.

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2 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

2-2 in 2017 while not winning, was quite a good performance- we were under the cosh, LJ was under the cosh after the record losing run and it was a fairly good display- we were struggling quite badly, they were riding high in and around top 6.

Also Bannan in a 2 not a three.

10 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I think Bannan is not quite as good as billed to be, but in a 3, is pretty good.

Weimann and Paterson I worry about both- maybe the energy factor but think Bakinson and AN Other alongside Paterson feels a way to go. Think you need that balance of 2 genuine CMs alongside Paterson personally- though that said Weimann pulled wide right in some phases vs Stoke, that can help mitigate against 2 v 1 wide right, Paterson is also capable of pulling wide left more comfortably than other options. It's a nice problem to have- what isn't so nice is all the absentees!

So this here lies the problem. I want to match up and use physical players to combat their 3 in midfield. But lots of people criticise if we change what we do to match what they do.

So I think I'd drop Paterson (put in Nagy I guess would be the option) and have Weimann running around Bannan. Caus not only can he pressure him for 90 he can run off him when we attack. If Paterson can do that, GREAT! Because he'll have shown me something I didn't think he was capable of.

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1 hour ago, Prinny said:

Also Bannan in a 2 not a three.

So this here lies the problem. I want to match up and use physical players to combat their 3 in midfield. But lots of people criticise if we change what we do to match what they do.

So I think I'd drop Paterson (put in Nagy I guess would be the option) and have Weimann running around Bannan. Caus not only can he pressure him for 90 he can run off him when we attack. If Paterson can do that, GREAT! Because he'll have shown me something I didn't think he was capable of.

If in your suggestion above is to have Weimann predominately tasked with Bannan, why can’t Pato play his normal game.  If Bannan is sorted (by Weimann), what’s your perceived threat of Luongo and Brown?  And what do you think Wednesday’s perceived threat of Pato and Bakinson is?

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9 minutes ago, YGBjammy said:

I hope you're saving all these Dave so you can submit them as a portfolio to get yourself a job as an opposition scout one day. 

The recent ones are all written as Word docs, so yes, they are saved.

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35 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

If in your suggestion above is to have Weimann predominately tasked with Bannan, why can’t Pato play his normal game.  If Bannan is sorted (by Weimann), what’s your perceived threat of Luongo and Brown?  And what do you think Wednesday’s perceived threat of Pato and Bakinson is?

Obviously the midfield moves around and people will be in different places. It depends of course.

I think if he's in a situation where Paterson has to deal with Izzy Brown (I've only watched/remembered once in the 3-0 Luton game from last year where they ran rings around us) it will be problematic. We saw when he stood himself up and got done on a transition vs Stoke and got himself booked. I can see that happening in a key situation.

I also think Luongo is a more consistent runner and more disciplined (seen and remembered 5-10 times) and he's a 5-7 goal a season championship midfielder with good physical presence IMO.  So if we match 3 vs 3 I don't want to isolate Bakinson vs two if Paterson loses the ball in a key situation. If you watch the highlights from last years home game, Weimann messes up a run at a corner and the balls goes through to Luongo, then the next clip is Luongo running all the way to goal line and and pulling it back. Have to track him. Will Paterson follow him all the way?

So I see two problems for Paterson, and I don't yet trust him to do the job on Bannan. So 3 really! I'm higher on Paterson and have been for ages compared to a lot on here, but he is inconsistent and hasn't played well in the league this season key contributions aside.

If we can get Bannan chasing after Paterson and Weimann great, that's the way we win IMO with the Paterson Weimann duo. Which is why it's a conflict in my head between doing what we do well (or what Dean has picked as the first choice line up so far) and matching up vs the opposition. I want to out physical them, 3 strong runners rather than match the two. That ties into my theory that we play better with more physical types in the engine room (and everywhere really!)

I think they'll test Bakinson out more than anyone else has so far. Bakinson has been strolling around and receiving the ball in a lot of space. What if they stick someone on him? If it's effective it would stop A LOT of our play. 

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29 minutes ago, chinapig said:

@DavefevsI think you need to give us a timetable of when you intend to post these threads and an outline of the contents in advance.

In other words we expect you to tell us when we can expect what can we expect and what we can expect from what can we expect.

,,,,but when we can expect Dave to provide us with an expectation of what we can expect when we are confronted by the unexpected?

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32 minutes ago, downendcity said:

,,,,but when we can expect Dave to provide us with an expectation of what we can expect when we are confronted by the unexpected?

Personally I don't expect Dave to respond to our expectations.

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56 minutes ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

Do you update them after the game to reflect what actually happened/who played etc.?

Nope.  I guess we talk about the actual events on here.  If I got things fundamentally wrong in terms of style / system, I probably would though.

56 minutes ago, chinapig said:

@DavefevsI think you need to give us a timetable of when you intend to post these threads and an outline of the contents in advance.

In other words we expect you to tell us when we can expect what can we expect and what we can expect from what can we expect.

I don’t expect that will happen. 😜

48 minutes ago, Prinny said:

Obviously the midfield moves around and people will be in different places. It depends of course.

I don’t disagree with what you’re saying at all, but I think your point about who imposes their system / approach on the other is equally important, especially tomorrow.  I think this is where collective responsibility to make sure we are in good shape without the ball....without it being one person’s responsibility to pick up Bannan (and I know that’s not what you were suggesting either), but some will think it’s got to be x marks y, a marks b, etc.  Football is too fluid for that, aside from dead balls, usually when GK has it!

I think if he's in a situation where Paterson has to deal with Izzy Brown (I've only watched/remembered once in the 3-0 Luton game from last year where they ran rings around us) it will be problematic.

I watched that on a Facebook stream and for 15-20 minutes I thought how many are we gonna get, Hunt got in a few times early on....but we looked poor defensively.  Our 352 didn’t cope with their diamond.  Brown playing at the top of it.  Their two strikers pressed our outside CBs denying our WBs getting the ball, and Brown stopped anything going centrally.  Defensively he didn’t stand out, by Rudduck did, completely outmuscling our 3 of Brownhill, Massengo and Palmer.  All 3 weren’t up for the battle.  Poor team performance although Rodri came on and almost got us something, one disallowed, one saved...before Williams put through his own net.  That diamond caused LJ issues....Charlton (h) was the same for 60 mins.

Brown is a decent player, a good player....if you give him time.  I’d like to think he’ll be butting up against Bakinson tomorrow if he tries to break through the midfield - another interesting mini-match to watch.

We saw when he stood himself up and got done on a transition vs Stoke and got himself booked. I can see that happening in a key situation.

You’ve done well to see a Paterson tackle....many fans have been waiting for 3/4 years!!  Seriously, I don’t see Pato being a worry in that respect.  Players running off of him? Yes, although he’s been more disciplined.  Pre-Derby loan I often accused him of not doing his full running, he’d often point at others to cover his stuff when he’d moved out of position when a move broke down.  He has become better at that.  Last week I commented on this when he tracked his man after giving the sloppy pass away.  I think he realises his (new) role in midfield is not a luxury, and accepts he now has added responsibility.

I didn’t mention it in my OP because it’s more about Wednesday than us, but this season Pato has played more right of centre and Weimann left of centre as their starting positions, but I wonder whether tomorrow Holden might swap them around, as Bannan likes the LCM slot.

We shall see. 

I also think Luongo is a more consistent runner and more disciplined (seen and remembered 5-10 times) and he's a 5-7 goal a season championship midfielder with good physical presence IMO.

He’s definitely the “holder” of the 3, but he has good range....he won’t just sit there.  Good technically, with an edge too.

 So if we match 3 vs 3 I don't want to isolate Bakinson vs two if Paterson loses the ball in a key situation. If you watch the highlights from last years home game, Weimann messes up a run at a corner and the balls goes through to Luongo, then the next clip is Luongo running all the way to goal line and and pulling it back. Have to track him. Will Paterson follow him all the way?

do you mean the game post-Covid?  He came on for O’Dowda in 89th minute.  We were bloody awful - LJ’s 433 😡😡😡

So I see two problems for Paterson, and I don't yet trust him to do the job on Bannan. So 3 really! I'm higher on Paterson and have been for ages compared to a lot on here, but he is inconsistent and hasn't played well in the league this season key contributions aside.

it’s only 2 games!  V.quiet after his 21 second goal v Cov til second half.  Stoke he was ok, actually worked pretty hard.

I wonder what Wednesday fans / Monk are thinking about tonight in terms of how the relatively laxy and I’ll-disciplined (defensively) Bannan will cope with Weimann and Paterson if they get away from Brown, who’s not a grafter either?

There are pros and cons to each midfield. I know you worry about Pato, but generally he’s looked a good fit for Holden’s 352 - as long as he remembers that he’s also needed to help cycle the ball too...dropping in, popping it off, etc.

If we can get Bannan chasing after Paterson and Weimann great, that's the way we win IMO with the Paterson Weimann duo. Which is why it's a conflict in my head between doing what we do well (or what Dean has picked as the first choice line up so far) and matching up vs the opposition. I want to out physical them, 3 strong runners rather than match the two. That ties into my theory that we play better with more physical types in the engine room (and everywhere really!)

I’d gathered that from your other posts! 😜 I get that too.  I’m still waiting for Williams to come in (amongst others), then I think you will feel less anxious too.

I think they'll test Bakinson out more than anyone else has so far. Bakinson has been strolling around and receiving the ball in a lot of space. What if they stick someone on him? If it's effective it would stop A LOT of our play.

I’m waiting for him to get caught by a poor touch turning into trouble and OTIB goes mental.  I probably don’t see Wednesday’s 3 doing it alone, but Windass might be the trigger.  Although Wednesday press they don’t press like a Bradley Johnson, or a Livermore for example.

it will be a good tactical watch, one where Dean may have to react quickly.  His eyes in the stand (Downing I think) will need to spot areas where we are losing out and get info back quickly.

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10 minutes ago, chinapig said:

Personally I don't expect Dave to respond to our expectations.

Great expectations

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28 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

You’ve done well to see a Paterson tackle....many fans have been waiting for 3/4 years!!  Seriously, I don’t see Pato being a worry in that respect.  Players running off of him? Yes, although he’s been more disciplined.  Pre-Derby loan I often accused him of not doing his full running, he’d often point at others to cover his stuff when he’d moved out of position when a move broke down.  He has become better at that.  Last week I commented on this when he tracked his man after giving the sloppy pass away.  I think he realises his (new) role in midfield is not a luxury, and accepts he now has added responsibility.

Yeah I don't think he's shirking the running, more that the Stoke incident showed me an example of real poor defensive technique. Simpson said something really key to our team philosophy a while ago. To paraphrase. "There's two things the opposition can't stop you doing, talking and running." But tell me you didn't see that and think "yikes i hope that doesn't happen near our box." Caus we saw Rowe do a "yikes" vs Villa in our box and I'd put Paterson at that level. Most people don't care because it didn't lead to a goal. But it stuck with me.

There are pros and cons to each midfield. I know you worry about Pato, but generally he’s looked a good fit for Holden’s 352 - as long as he remembers that he’s also needed to help cycle the ball too...dropping in, popping it off, etc.

But that's MEANT to be Adam Nagy's game. Running around and cycling possession. If Pato and Wiemann are doing that better than him, then Nagy needs to go.

do you mean the game post-Covid?  He came on for O’Dowda in 89th minute.  We were bloody awful - LJ’s 433

No that was poorly worded on my behalf. I wasn't accusing Paterson of not tracking, just showing that Luongo (came on 59th) despite being the "holder" will make those runs and is effective as a goalscorer so needs to be followed.

I’d gathered that from your other posts! I get that too.  I’m still waiting for Williams to come in (amongst others), then I think you will feel less anxious too.

I know you know, but maybe others don't... Joe Williams hype train!

I wonder what Wednesday fans / Monk are thinking about tonight in terms of how the relatively laxy and I’ll-disciplined (defensively) Bannan will cope with Weimann and Paterson if they get away from Brown, who’s not a grafter either?

It feels very swingy. So rather than being THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO... i'm like, I think this has a better % chance of being more effective with my views for this game. I can see us causing them problems as much as them causing us problems. But I think we won't be caused as many problems if we did it this way and we can still be effective at hurting them. I think their midfield might look like a diamond when the ball is with our midfield with Windass on Bakinson so they outnumber us 4-3.Which means our CBs have to step up and use the ball without punting it (no Diedhiou will help with that!)

it will be a good tactical watch, one where Dean may have to react quickly.  His eyes in the stand (Downing I think) will need to spot areas where we are losing out and get info back quickly.

That's why I'm so interested. Because me pointing out the Bannan issue we seem to have (when he's in a three) is me really saying it's a great chance for Dean (and the team) to show that they know more LJ does.

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Really difficult to know this early in the season how good or bad a result looks at the end of the season, but in Wed’s two league matches so far they have got four points against teams, that before a ball had been kicked, would have been fancied by many for top six and auto. Very decent.

Against that we are picking up max points whilst waiting for a real handful of obvious first team picks to get fit. Would be happy enough it’s a draw, delighted with a win. Fancy we lose 1-2 based on nothing but gut feel, but looking forward to watching it.

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32 minutes ago, Prinny said:

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Yeah, I get what you mean in all your points.

At the end of the day it’s understanding the threats of your opponent and how you might counter them, whilst not destroying your own principles and plans at the same time.  That was the trap LJ fell into, but in some ways he made it worse, because not only did he often change the system to counter our opponents but he may no change to how he wanted to play.  It felt like he was playing football manager and moving players on the pitch without thinking about the the various style levers or player roles (crude analogy)....whilst forgetting he’d developed his massively intricate way of playing that took a player x number of sessions to understand.

I do get the impression Holden has simplified it, got the players to play in a system that allows them to do more natural things.

Its gonna be one of those games between two fairly evenly matched teams (some + and - to each side), where something or someone will be the difference....or it all cancels itself out!!!

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3 minutes ago, cidered abroad said:

What can we expect tomorrow?

Either a decent win against an unbeaten Wednesday or our first home defeat!

Who knows? I suspect the latter.

You missed out the draw.

Which, imo, is the most likely outcome.

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19 hours ago, Davefevs said:

 

Sheffield Wednesday: [Sunday 27th September – 13:00] – What can we expect?

Wednesday travel to Ashton Gate on Sunday having made a decent start to the season with a win at Cardiff and a draw at home to Watford so far.  It leaves them with four points, two clean sheets, but of course they still find themselves in 24th place due to a 12-point deduction for financial irregularities.  For now, it does not appear to be a millstone around their neck.  They progressed in the Carabao Cup with wins at Walsall on penalties and Rochdale but conceded their first goals of the season at Fulham on Wednesday evening as they exited the competition.

Manager:

Wednesday are managed by Garry Monk, the 41 year-old former Southampton and Swansea player who almost joined Bristol City as a player previously.  He arrived in September last year, having previously been at Swansea, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Birmingham, and is therefore very experienced at Championship level.   C98044AE-3068-4B9F-944E-A45ED8368FA2.thumb.jpeg.de471ab44e6116177b674f0215bab1c0.jpeg

Figure 1 – Garry Monk becoming the Owls manager

Last season started well, Monk taking them into the playoff places when beating us 1-0 in November, but then fell off a cliff with only four more wins the rest of the season.  Under Monk they ended up in a very disappointing 16th place and would’ve been relegated had the 12-point penalty been administered immediately.

470389D0-BC95-4108-BDB4-205D9DB8EF6E.jpeg.8900a5233df5f1545d5a0cbe78b0c256.jpeg

Figure 2 - Wednesday under Monk 2019-20 (source: Transfermarkt)

Recruitment:

Wednesday have had a busy summer albeit with limited funds available.  Only two players have come in for fees:

§  Josh Windass – from Wigan (£500k) having been on loan last season

§  Fisayo Dele-Bashiru – from Manchester City (undisc.)

Five more have joined on a free transfer, loan or returned from loan:

§  Chey Dunkley – Wigan

§  Elias Kachunga – Huddersfield

§  Izzy Brown – loan from Chelsea

§  Joost van Aken – returned from Osnabrück (2. Bundesliga)

§  Matt Penny – returned from St. Pauli (2. Bundesliga)

Going out the door is a lot of experience, but importantly a considerable portion of the wage budget too:

§  Atdhe Nuhiu – free

§  Fernando Forestieri – free

§  Sam Winnall – free

§  Steven Fletcher – free

§  Morgan Fox – free

§  Jacob Murphy – end of loan (Newcastle)

§  Connor Whickham – end of loan (Crystal Palace) There is significantly less aerial threat at the club as a result, and City certainly suffered from the triumvirate of Fletcher, Nuhiu and Whickham in recent times.  Wednesday are possibly a bit light in true centre-forward options as a result (Rhodes, Windass and Kachunga).

Formation / System:

Monk has been an advocate of a back four (442 / 4231) over his managerial career, but post-Covid has switched to the en-vogue 352.  His teams are usually well-drilled and based upon a good defensive shape. The rigid 442 he used at Birmingham with Jutkiewicz and Adams up front appears to have evolved at Wednesday.  Switching to a 352 has allowed Bannan to have more support in the centre of the park whilst not being burdened with sole responsibility for creativity.  A problem not unbeknown to City fans who have long questioned a midfield two in their own team selection!

A256B0E7-F63C-4206-8C00-1CD5159C3624.thumb.jpeg.3977d803373dbcce21f1de32c8987d45.jpeg

Figure 3 - Formation against Watford (19th September) – although Luongo (10) typically plays as the deeper midfielder.

It will be interesting to see whether removing Tom Lees as captain and giving it to Bannan will cause any problems in the dressing-room, and whether Bannan gives greater leadership on the pitch.  Some Owls fans believe it will be a masterstroke of man-management.

Build-up play:

Wednesday aren’t a team that build attacks through their goalkeeper and back-three, preferring to go long in the main.  The focus is often through the middle, where the midfield three are positioned for loose balls or the second striker running beyond for a flick on.  Wednesday’s players are expecting the long ball and therefore get into really good positions for whatever happens next.  They will also use the space behind the defence for Rhodes to run onto. 

D6CAAEAC-F7BB-4189-9D36-83102FC6A3C9.thumb.jpeg.21d697a764b3cb8ebb889f133da97f33.jpeg

Figure 4 - long ball from Dawson (GK) to Rhodes with Wednesday in good shape to win the next ball (v Cardiff)

The Press:

That extra man in the middle of the park allows Wednesday to press balls played into the midfield much more effectively than when it was just a two-man midfield.  The trio of Izzy Brown, Massimo Luongo and Barry Bannan can work efficiently to pounce on any mistakes.  They are aided by the energy of Josh Windass and to a lesser extent Jordan Rhodes dropping back from the centre forward positions.  In their two league matches so far, they’ve restricted Cardiff and Watford to very low number of passes before breaking up play.  Without crowds you can clearly hear the coaching staff bellowing – “PRESS, PRESS, PRESS”!

0E13592D-E093-4792-9618-EA94975CDD8C.thumb.jpeg.133ac2ebc32127f3a824560556a90db3.jpeg

Figure 5 - Rhodes presses Cardiff’s Bacuna (no7), Windass closes the passing option(s) and Brown ready to pounce.

6C854801-697E-4E09-BD8A-DA161423B532.thumb.jpeg.11c64726d9a9719bf99df266a70c8008.jpeg

Figure 6 - a sloppy pass (red arrow) into no-man's land by Bacuna, Brown reads it (blue arrow) and intercepts.

40CE56CC-92B8-41EA-8AB8-11DA9E0F86E7.thumb.jpeg.aafb56897e2d88105aa194e884c129e7.jpeg

Figure 7 - Brown wins the loose ball, and feeds Windass with a first-time pass, who is already running forward.

In the example above, Brown’s first-time pass sets Windass free, the Cardiff defenders are caught out, and Windass goes on to score to put the Owls 1-0 up.  Against Watford last Saturday there were several similar examples, with Penney (LWB) tucking-in to condense the space centrally.

Set-Pieces - Corners:

 We all know about the Owls corners from last season’s contests - City were undone for both goals at Ashton Gate post-Covid.  With Pat Mountain now taking responsibility for defensive set-pieces we will see if City have done their homework this time around. 

2487FF17-20D5-429B-A964-A00AFBC59719.jpeg.c378d1b04c82dddf60ff0524e6c2572a.jpeg

Figure 8 - Bannan inswinging corner to the near post, headed away on this occasion

Nothing innovative above, Wednesday will attempt to block City’s defenders to allow a free run to the near post.  Izzy Brown will attempt the same near-post routine from the left side.  

Set-Pieces – Free-Kicks:

Wednesday will also be a threat from free kicks.  With Bannan’s left foot and Brown’s right, they have the ability to change the angle of delivery wherever the ball is placed. 

7362270B-F83C-4017-B882-00E2C67F5063.thumb.jpeg.2bb12dbbc7c16104ec11b1ddf8feab72.jpeg

Figure 9 - Bannan (left foot) reversing the angle for Iorfa to attack – note only 4 players in the penalty area

67F42F3C-1738-48A7-BF7A-E700482A7B18.thumb.jpeg.fd987a701437a9d281fd3f8dd9f8a965.jpeg

Figure 10 - Iorfa wins the first header, Windass the second and Rhodes the third – goal!

In the above example we see Bannan reverse the angle of the cross for Iorfa to attack, and Jordan Rhodes ultimately sniffs out another goal.

From Brown’s right foot, we see the more conventional option (see below), with the cross aimed between the lines of both posts.  

8EEF891D-8276-4609-AF99-D6D634CB72DE.thumb.jpeg.8b84baf541c712969eeb2e60d110adef.jpeg

Figure 11 - Brown away-swinger, Bannan over the ball too to ensure opposition are kept on their toes (versus Watford)

Wednesday overload the penalty area with 4 players between near and far post, with van Aken making a run around the back in case the free kick is overhit.  This drags the defender behind Iorfa away, giving him more space to adjust and attack the ball.  In this example Iorfa heads wide.

Line-up:

GK: Cameron Dawson (25) – originally at rivals United as a youth player, joining the Owls in 2013.  Had loan spells locally at Alfreton and Chesterfield and has started to establish himself as the number one.  

RWB: Kadeem Harris (27) – hardworking winger who looks really at home in the wingback role.  Started at Wycombe before a move to Cardiff, joining Wednesday in the summer of 2019.  Can play on either side and likes to advance with the ball.  Loves a stepover - the “Wednesday Alan Walsh”!

RCB: Dominic Iorfa (25) – a player that really impressed me last season.  Remember seeing him for Wolves where he looked error-prone, but since had loans at Shrewsbury and Ipswich, has now grown physically and looks a really strong Championship centre-back, perhaps the three-man defensive has helped?  Threat in the opposition box too.

CB: Joost van Aken (26) – Dutch born defender formerly at Heerenveen, signed for £2.5m in 2017.  The 6’4” centre-back spent last season in Germany’s 2nd Tier for Osnabrück featuring 22 times before injury curtailed his season.  

LCB: Tom Lees (29) – very physical defender who started at Leeds United.  Signed for Wednesday at the start of the 2014/15 season and has over 200 appearances for the Owls and over 300 at this level.  Recently lost the captaincy to Bannan.

LWB: Matt Penney (22) – Chesterfield born academy product who has started both league games this season.  Also spent last season in 2. Bundesliga - with St. Pauli, starting 13 games.

CM: Massimo Luongo (27) – Aussie international who began his career at Tottenham before signing for Swindon in 2013, having had two loan spells at the Wiltshire club.  Moved to QPR after the failed playoff bid in 2014/15 and was a key player for the hoops until a £1m transfer to Wednesday last summer.  Good all-round midfielder, his graft, coupled with neat and tidy passing allows Bannan and Brown to do their stuff.

CM: Barry Bannan (30) – experienced playmaker with a sweet left foot.  Scottish international who came to prominence at Aston Villa before moves to Leeds and Crystal Palace.  Joined the Owls on a free transfer in August 2015, making over 200 appearances, but only scored 11 goals – plenty of assists though.

AM: Izzy Brown (23) – Chelsea’s perennial loanee, with Wednesday acquiring his services this season. Previous loans at Vitesse (Holland), Rotherham, Huddersfield, Brighton, Leeds and Luton.  Very good at linking up with the forward players and an eye for a pass.  Should suit this Owls midfield nicely as the season progresses.

CF: Josh Windass (26) – son of Dean Windass, the Hull striker who broke our hearts at Wembley in 2007/08.  Started at Huddersfield before breaking through at Accrington, earning a move to Glasgow Rangers.  A £2.5m signing for Wigan in 2018, he moved to Wednesday on loan in January, completing a permanent move this summer.  Busy forward who can drop into the pocket to create space for his strike partner. My DANGERMAN32BC491B-0697-4ADE-8469-FC3522DFB735.thumb.jpeg.da698f9ad41b56968f453ea1a1dbb713.jpeg

Figure 12 - with the family connection there can only be one dangerman - Josh Windass

CF: Jordan Rhodes (30) – vastly experienced goal scorer who has over £30m of transfer fees to his name.  Started at Ipswich before breaking through at Huddersfield in 2009/10 scoring 86 times in 3 seasons.  A £9m move to Blackburn followed where he continued to score heavily (84 in 169 games), prompting Boro to pay £10m for him.  After a year at Boro, Wednesday paid another £10m for him in 2017.  It hasn’t really worked out for him at Hillsborough and he’s had a loan at Norwich in 2018/19 season.  But he looks like his partnership with Josh Windass might bring back his scoring touch.

Other players who may feature:

GK: Joe Wildsmith (24) – come through the academy ranks and has now played over 50 games for the Owls. 

RB: Moses Odubajo (27) – former Brentford full-back who arrived on a free last summer.

CB: Julian Börner (29) – big, powerful German born centre-back who arrived from Armenia Bielefeld last summer. 

LW/RW: Adam Reach (27) – tricky wideman who loves a long-range goal.  A casualty of Monk’s 352 like our own Niclas Eliasson.  Formerly of Middlesbrough, with loans at Preston, Bradford and Shrewsbury.

CF/RW: Elias Kachunga (28) – Championship promotion winner with Huddersfield, having been part of Wagner’s German Revolution in 2016/17.  Signed this month on a free transfer.  Can operate in any of the forward positions.

How do we win?

1.     Deal with set-pieces

I’ve already covered the threat posed by Wednesday from set-pieces and the flexibility they have with delivery from Brown and Bannan, but in open play they can also cause City problems.

2.     How do you solve a problem like Barry Bannan?

Most City fans come away from games against Wednesday with quotes such as “if only we had a Barry Bannan in our side” or “Barry Bannan ran the show today”.  For such a threat I have never seen an obvious plan put in place to stop him, which is hugely surprising seeing as Lee Johnson often told us that he is the best midfielder in the division.  He’s been given free rein to play his own game, and therefore he’s really hurt us in past encounters.  

91E1007E-E728-4136-94D9-E67476DE2718.jpeg.00e3298379f5c9965960f07a54a9a8b4.jpeg

Figure 13 - Bannan (v Cardiff) [source: Wyscout]

485A2FE2-4C39-493C-ABD3-070D0C882359.jpeg.1908cb91773637e421dbfad6a76c5c17.jpeg

Figure 14 - Bannan (v Watford) [source: Wyscout]

60FA66E5-9CE0-4FB4-98FD-3927F2E4B952.jpeg.7b8b59b0257f236c350e30f7ea74653c.jpeg

Figure 15 - Bannan heatmap (2020/21 season) showing how he likes the inside left position [source: Wyscout]

Firstly, City need to try to close off his short passing options and make him go long as much as possible.  Watford did this well and he barely made any passes in his favourite advanced inside left channel, resorting to longer balls and lower success rate.  You can see the difference in his passing map versus Cardiff where he was much more involved in the final third despite the Owls only having 37% possession.  City’s similar three-man midfield set-up might finally be the part of the antidote. 

Secondly, it’s not just a case a case of man-marking him.  He is the master of sucking his marker in nice and tight, and helping the ball “around the corner” first time and then picking up the next pass, taking his marker out of the game in the process. 

DA246073-77A0-4B00-B530-45B064F447AA.jpeg.e934aac31eb915552c3647dfeba84c93.jpeg

Figure 16 - Bannan sucks his marker onto him (v Barnsley)

In the example above, Bannan receives the ball and takes a good first touch.  He sucks the Barnsley defender towards him and then makes the pass before he is challenged.  Bannan continues his run forward into the space the defender has vacated. 

3.     Exploit the space down the sides of the centre-backs

Not dissimilar to Stoke in that the three Wednesday centre-backs don’t like being dragged into wide positions.  This is an all too common flaw in a system with a back-three and wingbacks. 

BB4405DF-9317-43B6-9C89-70BD5FE54EA3.thumb.jpeg.04a820a7a20f1ec342aba18ee8c22f21.jpeg

Figure 17 - narrow centre-backs, Harris caught by the run in behind him (v Cardiff).

Following a corner, Cardiff work the ball to their left wing, where Harris, Brown and Bannan are guilty of not tracking Hoilett’s run.  Bennett easily slides a pass to Hoilett who can then face up the nearest defender, who on this occasion is Rhodes.  A similar scenario happened on the other side where Penney was caught out by a quick throw-in over his head.   

4.     Deal with a poacher 

The final area of threat is the twin strike-force of Windass and Rhodes.  Rhodes has had a lot of success over the years with a more physical partner alongside him – Lee Novak (Huddersfield) and Rudi Gestede (Blackburn).  However, with Wednesday’s switch to 352 and less reliance on crossing, Windass has given them a different and necessary added dimension with his hard work and his ability to drop into pockets.  This allows Rhodes to focus on his speciality – making sure he gets into the penalty box.  Both of the relatively inexperienced pairing of Taylor Moore and Zak Vyner dealt well with the aerial threat of Vokes and Fletcher last Sunday in the win at Stoke, but they will a different test against a goal-hanger like Rhodes who reacts quicker and more instinctively than most in the box.

Prediction:

Ultimately it will be a tough test against a side with a lot of quality in certain areas, and I see there being chances at both ends.

Bristol City 2:2 Sheffield Wednesday

[Credit: Peter Løhmann (@ploehmann) for his Wednesday player insight]

 

 

Dave, this has to be one of the best “what can we expect” where were you when LJ fell of the rails LJ should of taken on your great football knowledge. It’s always great reading these posts.

Keep up the good work mate. 

Oh Little Creatures sales in Freo are down. They say its the Covid factor but i think its because you have not visited for quite some time. 

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13 hours ago, The Horse With No Name said:

Apart from last season we had a very good home record v Wednesday. I remember two 4-0 or 4-1 s in recent seasons.

This one will really see where we sit in this league. I’m hoping for a win, however Wednesday has quality and it could be a draw 3-3. Well that’s what my head says but my heart is a 3-2 win to City. COYR.

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11 hours ago, chinapig said:

@DavefevsI think you need to give us a timetable of when you intend to post these threads and an outline of the contents in advance.

In other words we expect you to tell us when we can expect what can we expect and what we can expect from what can we expect.

Fair to say if expect that also 

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Many chastised LJ for focussing too much on what the opposition can do and not necessarily allowing his own team to express themselves. Holden himself, at a recent press conference, alluded to a desire to remove any shackles to that effect and let the team play.

Yet here we are seemingly all in agreement that the key to winning this game is disrupting Wednesday's key man.

Football is a funny, fickle beast isn't it?

Anyway, Bannan is again the danger man, but does Holden have a plan? If that plan is Pato and Weimann then I suspect today might go down the pan.

Edited by Kykoliko
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