Alan Biggs Column: It's little wonder Sheffield Wednesday are chasing Jordan Rhodes
Let's get a handle on this and see if we can mostly agree.
Sheffield Wednesday were poor in the first half against Huddersfield and lucky to be level; better in the second half and deserved to win.
At Brighton they were unconvincing in the first half and fortunate to be on terms; dominant in the second and, costly indiscipline and penalty miss apart, were worth at least a point.
If there’s a crisis in all of that, after a first defeat in seven games to the team now top, I can’t find it.
If there’s cause for boundless optimism, I can’t spot it either.
For balance, it’s somewhere in between and certainly not at either end of the wild mood swing spectrum from those who make the most noise after each result.
But there is a common denominator here when it comes to concern.
As you’ll see above (and this applied to several preceding games too), Wednesday just aren’t dictating matches from the start, they’re not positive enough in possession, too many individuals are playing safe and not enough bodies are getting in the box.
Little more than a goal a game average is not going to take this team through the play-offs.
More and better chances need to be created and a regular goal scorer needs to emerge from the ranks or be recruited. Cue the seemingly relentless pursuit of Jordan Rhodes, as repeatedly indicated here.
Another cold reality is that last summer’s expensive recruits (Fletcher, Abdi, Reach) have plainly not – as yet – improved the team.
But take another look at the table and see the opportunity that still beckons.
Take a look at the squad and see that the capability is there. Over-reactions don’t help.
The Owls were not as good as they were painted against Huddersfield and certainly nowhere near as bad as some reckoned at Brighton where much of the second half produced an overall level of performance that will succeed if maintained.
It’s the fine-tuning that’s needed and you feel that to get full value from, for instance, a signing of the Rhodes variety, Wednesday need to deliver an earlier service.
Rhodes is not renowned for his general play, simply for some phenomenal goal-grabbing exploits. He’d need chances creating before the opposition crams the box – but his perpetual inclination to get in there certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
Barely a day goes by without speculation of bids and never a steer to the contrary from Hillsborough. It’s serious. Breath held for the outcome.