Owls fan’s column: Less tinkering would help Sheffield Wednesday stars form, confidence and consistency

Tom Lees
Tom Lees
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A column of two halves this week; a few words of support for Barry Bannan and a few questions about team consistency.

Firstly, Barry Bannan, he’s having a good season so far.

Barry Bannan

Barry Bannan

A statistic did the rounds last week that he has ‘completed’ the most successful passes of any Championship player this season.

It was immediately shouted down as “irrelevant” and that most of those passes were ‘backwards or sideways.’

We have to give credit where credit due and Bannan has contributed more this season than most players. His accuracy and assists have been vital.

Yes, there are frustrating elements to his game, but there is the impression that short passes are a game plan and Bannan is playing to orders.

Without his long, accurate, crossfield passes we would have lacked even more creativity.

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While I was checking the Bannan stat, I was surprised to see another Wednesday player in the Championship top 10 for pass accuracy, Tom Lees. The centre-back is not a player known for his tidy distribution. However the stats show the same level of accuracy as Bannan (83%).

Both Bannan and Lees have played every game this season.

The only other two players who have achieved this feat are Adam Reach and Gary Hooper.

Going by the statistics, this game time has made them our most productive and consistent players.

If other players are afforded this regular game time, their stats will improve and their form, confidence and consistency.

Would Morgan Fox or Daniel Pudil develop more if Carlos Carvalhal kept them in the team for longer than a two-match stretch? Would Jacob Butterfield make more of an impact if he wasn’t a perpetual substitute?

Stats don’t tell the whole story, but they’re a starting point.

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