FIVE jobs at the top of Tony Pulis' to-do list as he takes over at Sheffield Wednesday

After the surprise sacking of Garry Monk and the best part of a week of speculation, there’s a new manager at S6.

Saturday, 14th November 2020, 11:59 am

The new man takes over an Owls side two points from the safety mark. Chairman Dejphon Chansiri will speak to the media alongside his new man on Monday before attention turns to a trip to Preston next weekend.

So welcome to Sheffield Wednesday, Tony Pulis. Here’s your in-tray of matters that need sorting on the field.

Get ‘em firing

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In their 11 league matches this season, Wednesday have scored only six goals, one-third of which has come from the penalty spot.

There’s an understandable focus on the strikers, who have scored only three goals between them in that time, but Pulis’ concern may well be on the quality of chances served up to the men up top.

Wednesday’s xG – a metric designed to measure the chances of a side scoring and taken from where shots are taken – has been far too low throughout the season. Utilising the likes of Barry Bannan and Izzy Brown better will be important.

Who’s between the sticks?

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Keiren Westwood’s mere presence at the club brings it’s own speculation. And he can be registered to play before January.

Monk stuck the twice Owls player of the year in the bomb squad, with Cameron Dawson and Joe Wildsmith preferred to battle it out as he attempted to forge a new way forward for the club.

When Jos Luhukay was sacked, Westwood was brought back in by Lee Bullen and then Steve Bruce to the approval of many supporters. But Westwood is now 36 and approaching the end of his contract – it’ll be interesting to see which way Pulis falls.

Mental gymnastics

Wednesday need to be tougher. After all that was said about their mental frailties last season, through the five-nils and the late capitulations, there have been signs of edging improvement.

But the manner of the defeat at Rotherham, for example, was major cause for concern.

Monk admitted that concern himself and Pulis, a manager who arrives with a reputation for putting together solid, uncompromising sides, will hope to wrestle with that early doors.

Week-in, week-out

For every win at Cardiff in recent months, there have been far too many defeats at Rotherham.

Consistency has plagued Wednesday’s chances for longer than Monk’s reign and it’s a long-held issue that needs tackling before the club can begin to attack Chansiri’s ultimate target of promotion.

If Pulis can do that, they’ll have a real chance of building something.

Get some identity

Young, hungry, dynamic. Those were the buzzwords for a Garry Monk identity that never quite materialised, though he’d have liked more time to put it in place.

That time never came and it will be interesting to see how Pulis goes about instilling an identity on an Owls side that has been without one, some would argue, since Carlos Carvalhal’s first season all those years ago.

Many are expecting a more direct approach and that may well be the case, but he’s a manager that has set up in a number of different ways across his career.

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