Alan Biggs at Large: Will Sheffield Wednesday's defence also be their best form of attack?

In shaping the way they want to play, Sheffield Wednesday are also dictating to some extent the way opponents will play against them.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 3:34 pm
Owls Dominic Iorfa at the final whistle Pic Steve Ellis

And I wonder if that means their formidable defence, yet to concede, will also be their best form of attack at times.

Just as a formation varying between 4-3-3 and 4-5-1 protects that back line in equal measure.

There is no reason to change what’s proving a winning template, even though goals have been less than plentiful for the League One leaders.

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But, with opponents likely to take an unadventurous approach against promotion favourites, especially at Hillsborough, you can see Dominic Iorfa and Sam Hutchinson becoming increasingly influential - at both ends of the pitch.

Essentially they are centre backs and, as a pairing, they appear to balance perfectly, giving the Owls a sense of security they haven’t felt for some time.

The bonus is that both are good footballers, outstanding by League One standards.

Hutchinson has been an accomplished midfielder while the athletic Iorfa, secured on a new deal in a great move by the club, is very adaptable.

Both have the ability to make runs from deep, Iorfa in particular. It is something I’d expect manager Darren Moore to encourage to prise open tight games.

We saw signs of it in the opening home game with Doncaster before a brilliant Barry Bannan goal finally broke the deadlock.

Added to which, Hutchinson and Iorfa are both comfortable passing out from the back.

It’s a great base whichever way you look at it. And with the returning Jack Hunt likely to prove a class above this league, Liam Palmer ever solid and Bailey Peacock-Farrell an immensely influential new keeper, Wednesday surely have the best defence in their league.

Further forward is a work in progress. The lead striker, among three used, has looked a touch isolated to me at times.

The players recruited for either side are more attacking midfielders than forwards, leaving Wednesday one striker light for ideal purposes.

But the quality of individuals is high, Lewis Wing especially, and it is a creative set up, albeit lacking a really proven finisher, Lee Gregory apart.

So, going back to the top, you’d reckon those trusty central defenders can have an impact at both ends of the field as the season wears on.