Sheffield Wednesday: Owls plan to tighten up

Oguchi Onyewu has been a good signing
Oguchi Onyewu has been a good signing
Share this article
Have your say

Whenever I was in a defensive wall the rule was: “Don’t move,” writes Paul Thompson

You put you hands in a strategic place and prepared for the possibility of being belted by the ball.

So I found it a bit comical when Bayern Munich’s line of defenders jumped up and allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to slot his free kick beneath them and into the net.

When Sergio Ramos scored his first goal he was allowed to run unmarked and score with a free header from a corner.

It must be comforting to players at less stratospheric levels than a Champions League semi-final who have made mistakes of their own, when some of the best players in Europe can make glaring errors.

I suppose the best way of avoiding them is by trying to sign the most reliable defenders, at your particualar level.

The construction of the Wednesday team for next season will take into account the slump in the team’s defending, among other issues,

Twenty goals conceded in the last seven games represents a bit of a horror story, and a puzzler, considering that only five were let in during the previous seven, and only 21 in the first 26 matches of Stuart Gray’s reign. before the goals starting flying in with the 4-1 defeat by Watford.

Although Oguchi Onyewu and Glenn Loovens did play in that game, and had off-days, Gray has not been helped by injuries, disruption, and the kind of uncharacteristic mistakes that bedevilled the team in last week’s defeat by Bolton, despite the presence of the two centre halves who have been good signings and are worthy of offers to stay.

Jose Mourinho is only following a creed long held by coaches when he says that you cannot win games without defending well.

It seems a long time since the Owls kept a clean sheet: in fact, it is only five and a bit weeks, since they beat Brighton 1-0 at Hillsborough.

Another one at Ipswich would be a nice way to finish the season, but I suspect it will be more of an open game, with chances at both ends for two teams who are not involved in the division’s major issues.

I am sure that the Owls want to make up for the letdown of the Bolton game.