Sheffield Wednesday column: Pragmatic or unambitious? It got the job done

Seven derbies, zero defeats. Â

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 15th November 2018, 11:21 am
Updated Thursday, 15th November 2018, 11:35 am
What victory means to Owls Manager Jos Luhukay and keeper Cameron Dawson......Pic Steve Ellis

Maybe Wednesday should play their fellow White Rose teams every week.

Whatever you think of Jos Luhukay, you cannot deny that he gets his players fired up for local tussles.

Which leads us onto last week's much-discussed 0-0 draw at Bramall Lane.

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It was a worthy point, no question about that.

But the performance in the 130th Steel City derby wasn't pretty by any stretch. 

The Owls hardly had a sniff going forwards and enjoyed just a quarter of the ball.

But the key thing, as alluded to by Owls' boss Luhukay afterwards, was that Wednesday didn't lose.

Granted, it wasn't an overly-ambitious statement but sometimes needs must.

Wednesday went back to a three-man defence, deployed in Luhukay's first game in charge against the same opponents, and repelled the swashbuckling hosts time after time.

In the aftermath of the game, plenty has been aimed at Luhukay's tactics.

No ambition was one of the barbs aimed at the Dutchman on social media.

Fair cop or below the belt?

Let's not beat around the bush, the performance at Bramall Lane was a pragmatic one.

It stopped the rot and quite frankly anything would have been an improvement on the shoddy collapse at home to Norwich City six days previously. 

Would Luhukay have survived a fifth consecutive defeat?

It's hard to say, but you wouldn't have fancied his chances - especially with an international two-week break on the horizon.

Another interesting stat with regards the Owls' record against their fellow sides in the Broad Acres is the amount, or lack of, possession they have enjoyed in those games.

They have shaded possession in just one of the seven games, which includes two fixtures against the Blades, Leeds United and Hull, as well as an away clash at Barnsley.

They had just 25 per cent of the ball against Chris Wilder's team last Friday.

They didn't fare much better during the recent game at home to Leeds either, with Luhukay's men posting just 36 per cent of possession that night but still managing a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.  

Which all goes to show that possession doesn't count for everything.