Dom Howson column: There’s still plenty of mystery about the new Owls

Will Lewis McGugan shine after signing a permanent deal?
Will Lewis McGugan shine after signing a permanent deal?
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The wait is nearly over.

Pre-season training is drawing to a close. Six official friendlies have been played. Eleven new players have signed up to Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri’s vision.

Here are four things I am looking forward to seeing when the ‘real’ action begins tomorrow against Bristol City:

# How quickly Wednesday’s revamped team gell together. Will their growing foreign contingent find the rough and tumble of the Championship a stroll in the park or be handed a reality check? Alex Lopez, Marco Matias, Vincent Sasso, Darryl Lachman, Lucas Joao and Modou Sougou have never played in England before. Lopez and Matias will almost certainly be included in their starting eleven.

# What formation Wednesday will line-up in. In quite a few of their warm-up matches, Carlos Carvalhal’s men have adopted a 4-2-3-1 system, with Atdhe Nuhiu spearheading the attack. Carvalhal has also experimented with the diamond in the midfield.

# Will Lewis McGugan pull the strings in midfield following his permanent switch to Hillsborough? Now McGugan knows where his long-term future lies, is he going to be Wednesday’s main man?

# How animated Carvalhal gets on the touchline. Judging by some clips of the Portuguese on Youtube, expect there to occasionally be a few fireworks in the dug-out throughout the season. Carvalhal, a charismatic, passionate individual, insists he is not a superstitious person but recently ordered Wednesday to swap their technical areas.

“The team didn’t win too many matches last season,” he said. “Let’s move to another side. We have changed the pitch so let’s move the bench and see if we can do things better.”

Whether you have been critical of Chansiri’s regime or not in recent months, Wednesday have splashed the cash in the transfer market and completed most of their business early. Eight of the new arrivals were bedded in during their five-day warm-weather training camp in Portugal last month.

Wednesday’s squad looks far stronger than last season. Now they have got options in all departments - arguably too many in some areas - but Carvalhal’s wish of having two players fighting it out for each position has come true. They won’t be caught short this time around.

Let battle commence!

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