Sheffield Wednesday: Adam Reach - A case for the defence

Adam Reach salutes Sheffield Wednesday's victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park on Boxing Day
Adam Reach salutes Sheffield Wednesday's victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park on Boxing Day
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It’s probably fair to say that Sheffield Wednesday fans never got what they expected from Adam Reach last season.

Forking out £5 million on a winger would have many, rightly, believing they were going to see a player get the ball, get his head down and get to the line before whipping in a cross.

It happened all too infrequently.

However, that factor shouldn’t write the season off as a failure for the former Middlesbrough man.

Carlos Carvalhal’s overly-cautious approach meant that Wednesday weren’t geared up to get the best out of some of their more attacking players.

What was clear, however, was that Reach was arguably the most disciplined of Carvalhal’s squad.

Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach scored against Alfreton on Tuesday night

Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach scored against Alfreton on Tuesday night

On many occasions it was clear he had been tasked with a preventative role, rather than to provide an attacking threat. His detail was to provide protection down the flank - that was stuck to rigidly and to a fault.

Coupled with his covering for the poor form of Daniel Pudil at left back for lengthy periods of the season, Reach the winger became largely absent.

Now the 24 year old is at something of a crossroads.

Carvalhal’s hint that Fernando Forestieri could take up a position on the left for the upcoming season would be something of a threat to Reach, who scored in the midweek win over Alfreton.

But could it push him back rather than out?

He’s already shown his ability to play as a left full-back, and his natural fitness and energy levels provide him with the ability to cover defensively for a positionally indisciplined maverick of a player like Forestieri.

Given this week Reach spoke about pushing to get more goals: “I want to get towards ten goals if I can,” he won’t have given up on showing Owls fans that he can be the winger they thought they were getting.

However, what we have seen is that he’ll play where he is told, and he’ll do it well.