Alan Biggs: Is Carlos Carvalhal gearing up for a tactical switch at Sheffield Wednesday?

Carlos Carvalhal and Tom Lees....Pic Steve Ellis

Carlos Carvalhal and Tom Lees....Pic Steve Ellis

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Must admit I’ve been nodding along with those wondering if there’ll be a change of formation at Sheffield Wednesday next season.

There has to be a change of something - with a large scale change in personnel both unlikely and unnecessary.

The Owls under Carlos Carvalhal took the Championship by surprise a couple of seasons ago.

Then, last season, they suffered from being a known and respected quantity, albeit still qualifying for the play-offs. Predictability is something the Owls cannot afford in a third promotion attempt.

No wonder then that a switch from 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1) is joining transfer speculation in the rumour mill.

The two may even go hand in hand regarding the known interest in three centre backs, Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough), Grant Hanley (Newcastle) and Sean Morrison (Cardiff).

They’ll need a minimum two with Vincent Sasso departing.

Now factor in that, when all are fit, the Owls already have a tight unit at the back.

Certainly, there are no plans to directly replace the very reliable centre back pair of Tom Lees and skipper Glenn Loovens.

That makes the idea of a switch to three at the back (whether 3-5-2 or variations of it) quite logical. Or it could at the very least be a Plan B, which Wednesday have seemed to lack.

Three at the back is also highly adaptable in itself, whether attacking or defending.

Where once it was considered negative, last season saw evidence of it being used expressively.

Chelsea won the title playing entertainingly that way.

There was also an example of it closer to home, which some readers would not thank me for mentioning!

Effective wing backs are the key. Some wingers can fit the role.

With midfielders wide and central also being sought by the Owls, it’ll be a while before the pieces fall into place.

But the eventual jigsaw could well have a different look that gives the opposition more of a puzzle.

n Sheffield people are helping to project the city’s unique footballing heritage into the future.

The Youdan Trophy 2017 – an international youth tournament run on a not-for-profit basis by You Are The Ref – celebrates the birthplace of the game and the world’s first cup competition. You can support it here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/youdan

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