A cheeky hotel room and a familiar Sheffield Wednesday failing – SIX talking points as the Owls go close, but miss out on the cigar against Norwich City
It was all looking great, wasn’t it… Some cheeky Wednesdayites were getting their money’s worth in a hotel next to Carrow Road after Adam Reach had stuck a cross on a sixpence for Josh Windass, but then Sheffield Wednesday did a Sheffield Wednesday.
Late goals from Josh Martin and Max Aarons put the Owls to the sword in Norfolk after what was a pretty comfortable away performance for 80 minutes, and it became just the latest case of the visitors dropping points from a winning position.
It happened again…
I think most fans will be been hoping to see the back of late capitulations following the arrival of Tony Pulis, but once again they were left with a very familiar story. Not only conceding late goals, but also conceding late goals to drop points. It’s become a regular occurrence.
Wednesday have led seven times in the Championship so far this season, but have only picked up 12 points from those seven matches – compare that to Bournemouth and Norwich (won nine in 10 when they’ve taken the lead), and you can see the difference.
“The team has got used to losing and not being able to grind it out,” Pulis said afterwards. “We didn’t grind anything today, we played some good stuff… But when that time comes and the pressure starts, people have to be a lot more composed on the ball.
Add to that the fact that Wednesday have now conceded four goals in the last 15 minutes of games (it was 19 last season), and Pulis’ comments seem to ring true. They’re also the only team in the entire league not to have scored a single goal after the 75th minute so far in 2020/21.
But it was better…
The result might have been far too familiar, but the performance – or 80 minutes at least – was genuinely very good.
Wednesday looked organised, compact, composed, and really managed to keep a very good Norwich side at bay and at arm’s length. Teemu Pukki and Emi Buendia didn’t really have much of a sniff for a long time, and the SWFC defence – for the most part – were excellent.
Some of the movement was good going forward, Kadeem Harris was a real handful (we’ll talk about his penalty shouts later), and a special shoutout should go to Julian Börner who was once again probably the best player on the pitch for the Owls.
Effort isn’t everything, you need that bit quality as Norwich showed, but you really can’t fault the way that Wednesday battled it out at Carrow Road. They just needed that second goal to tilt it.
Should Joey have scored?
I had a couple of people message me after the game talking about the chance that Joey Pelupessy had at 1-0, and they’re right, if he’d scored that the game would’ve been over.
Was it a chance? Definitely. Should he have tested the goalkeeper more? Of course. But I’m not sure it was as guilt-edged as some are maybe making out. Ultimately though, it was a good opportunity to get the second goal that would’ve sealed all three points, and we all know how many they ended up going back to Sheffield with.
They should’ve had at least one, really… Twice in the second half, with Wednesday leading and continuing to threaten, Harris was brought down in the box. On both occasions it was a ‘we’ve seen ‘em given’ situation, and for me, at least one should have resulted in a spot kick that could’ve sealed three points.
I’m not sure on the second shout, personally, because I think Marco Stiepermann got the ball first – but the first one looked pretty clear. Harris was clearly grabbed.
But it’s swings and roundabouts really, isn’t it? Wednesday probably should have had at least two pens given against them at Hillsborough against Reading and ended up coming away with a point. Does that mean Wednesdayites shouldn’t feel a bit aggrieved? Nope, it’s still a tough one to take.
I’m not sure if you could hear on iFollow or on the radio, but I don’t think Pulis spoke to any player at Carrow Road as much as he spoke to the day’s goalscorer.
The forward took his goal really well to give Wednesday the lead in the second half after expertly getting on the end of a peach of a ball from Reach, and it’s clear that the SWFC boss wants a lot from him.
Pulis was constantly giving instructions in terms of his position and movement, often shouting “take him on!’ when there was a chance to break, and he’ll be delighted with the fact that he got on the scoresheet in his first game back after suspension.
A bit of noise, finally!
It wasn’t Wednesdayites, and it wasn’t a full stadium, but I was genuinely pleased to see some fans back in a football ground making some noise.
Walking to the stadium, it was so nice to see supporters in their shirts and with their scarves on as we took a bit of a step back towards normality. It’s probably not fair that some teams get fans and others don’t, but it’s all about baby steps right now. I think we’ve got to look at the bigger picture in terms of returning to where we need to be, and this is a move in the right direction.
Also, as disappointed as I was, I did have a to raise a smile when chants of ‘You’re not singing any more’ started up. Fingers crossed we can get some of you back in Hillsborough sooner rather than later to join in the fun.