Dom Howson column: There’s still time for Maghoma to win over his critics

Jacques Maghoma can still win over Owls fans

Jacques Maghoma can still win over Owls fans

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He’s a complete waste of space.

He should be sat in the stands where he belongs.

He’s not good enough for the Championship.

Those were some of the messages I was sent by fans on Twitter about Owls star Jacques Maghoma ahead of the midweek clash at Millwall.

Well, Maghoma emphatically silenced his critics by setting up all three of Wednesday’s second half goals at The Den. The same supporters who have recently lampooned Maghoma on social media, fans forums and radio phone ins probably gave him a round of applause when he was taken off in the closing stages against Millwall to underline how fickle football fans can be.

Maghoma terrorised Millwall’s defence, using his clever footwork to bewitch makeshift full-back Jimmy Abdou. Following his exploits in the capital, the 27-year-old is now the eighth highest creator in the division, having made seven assists this term.

To an extent, I understand some of the criticism aimed at Maghoma. Speaking to several members of Wednesday’s coaching staff, they tell me that the DR Congo international is arguably the most skilful player on their books. But it is one thing to stand out in training. It is quite another to produce the goods in the main arena.

Throughout a roller-coaster of a season, some Wednesdayites have complained about Maghoma’s work ethic in matches and questioned his end product in the final third. The truth is if Jacques Maghoma was the finished article, he would not, with the greatest of respect, be playing for Sheffield Wednesday. If Maghoma’s decision-making was spot on all the time, he would be a Premier League player.

There are times when Maghoma does cheaply give possession away, gets brushed off the ball far too easily or lets himself down with his final delivery. But Maghoma is not the only member of Stuart Gray’s squad who has struggled for consistency and he should not be made the scapegoat for Wednesday’s below-par results at home or lack of goals.

Given he scored 18 goals for Burton Albion the season before joining Wednesday, Maghoma should be disappointed to have got on the score-sheet just four times in 59 Owls outings. His deal runs out in the summer so there is still time for him to rectify that statistic and continue winning over his doubters.

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