Long-awaited arrival of Sheffield Wednesday man opens up the option of tactical switch
With a tweak or two, the new-look Sheffield Wednesday have stayed true to one system in particular this season as Darren Moore looks to ‘walk before they run’ in the early stages of a major squad transition.
The Owls have centred on a 4-3-3 formation so far, with Dominic Iorfa the totem around which the defence has been built, partnered by either Sam Hutchinson or Chey Dunkley at the heart of defence with Jack Hunt and Liam Palmer at full-back.
One defender yet to make his Wednesday debut of course is Lewis Gibson, the Everton-owned loanee described as a cultured, left-footed centre-half.
The Owls’ summer clear out saw both defenders able to play on the left side of a back three – Joost van Aken and Julian Borner – moved on, with Gibson having played there while on loan at Reading last season.
Adept at playing out from the back, if Gibson can get himself fit and firing, he at least offers Wednesday the option of playing three at the back.
“He’s looked good when he’s trained,” Iorfa told The Star on Gibson. “He’s a left-footed centre-back, so he brings that kind of balance to the defence.
“From what I’ve seen he’s good and really comfortable in possession and first and foremost he’s a good guy, good to have around the place.
“He seems solid, really good on the ball. Speaking about the gaffer’s philosophy and how he wants to play, he should fit right into that as well.”
Gibson’s ability to play from the back is clearly a reason why he was high on Moore’s transfer wishlist.
Asked about his preference to play from the back last week, the Wednesday boss said: “It’s not the only way; it’s something I have chosen to do. If the opportunity is on to play forward then we will do.
“If the opposition do give you the opportunity to play out from the back then you are going to play out from the back rather than get the ball forward.
“It’s something I have a real strong desire and belief in as a manager and I have had it from day one. It’s something we’ll get stronger with as we go on with the time spent on it.”