Alan Biggs at Large: No option but to trust Darren Moore with Sheffield Wednesday's pattern of play

Let’s start from the premise that Darren Moore knows more about football than we do. He does.

By Alan Biggs
Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 9:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 9:20 am
Owls boss Darren Moore.   Pic Steve Ellis
Owls boss Darren Moore. Pic Steve Ellis

The same is generally true of any professional manager when it comes to criticism from media and fans, whether we are proved right in the end or not.

They also see the players in training, which we don’t, and draw on previous experience of playing and managing which we haven’t got.

And this one has his team just a single point short of the League One play-offs, which is pushing towards the acceptable yardstick for this season and therefore leaves me slightly confused.

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It’s a game of opinions to which we’re all entitled and I must admit I share the puzzlement over Moore’s approach to getting Sheffield Wednesday promoted. With the hope of being proved wrong.

It might be best described as horses-for-courses as he makes changes game-in game-out to his starting line-ups.

It seems to be a case of adjusting to combat the opposition rather than the opposition having to adjust to Wednesday’s style.

Except that right now there isn’t one. A defined style, that is.

With the attacking talent at Moore’s disposal - and all credit to him for assembling it - you’d have thought a more potent pattern of play would be taking shape.

But it’s hard to see how that can happen without a line-up that more often than not picks itself. Or is picked for the job in hand.

Somehow this deeply unsettled side managed to beat a settled one playing well in Bolton Wanderers last week.

The result, in calming the mood around Hillsborough, was more important than any other consideration and the way Wednesday managed the closing stages was commendable at least, as was the winning goal from Lee Gregory.

But the Owls got away with one here in overcoming the better side, largely because of Bolton’s deficiencies near goal.

On the other hand, Wednesday found, as the pros are fond of saying, “a way to win” a difficult game and Moore might have felt vindicated by that.

It will be interesting to see what he does from here. In some ways, he can’t win because there would be scant justification for keeping the same side on that evidence.

Quite probably he wouldn’t have been planning to anyway for this weekend’s trip to Wimbledon.

And it may turn out to be a masterstroke if Moore’s apparent rotation policy from a large pool of talent, especially overloaded in midfield, succeeds in eking out the results to get Wednesday up into top six territory. He’s very big, for instance, on individual fitness and energy levels for particular games.

No-one is pretending it is an easy job with 14 new players and relationships still forming and it’s possible to criticise without going to the extremes of calling for yet another change.

So, on balance, I think there is no option but to trust him - either to revise his thinking or fine-tune it.

Because, as I said at the start, he has a superior depth of knowledge and maybe some of us are not bright enough to see the whole picture.

But let’s just say I would be surprised if Wednesday succeeded without, at some stage, finding the team and system that suits them best and imposing it on the opposition.