“Sheffield Wednesday did everything other than score as they were held to a goalless draw at Bolton Wanderers.”
This isn’t a quote from Tuesday night’s match report it’s the opening paragraph of a report from 12 months ago.
There’s a sense of déjà vu about the result against Bolton. A frustrating September game where Wednesday created chances but failed to capitalise on their advantage.
So despite the general overhaul of the squad and technobabble tactics from Carlos Carvalhal, have The Owls actually moved forward since the Bolton fixture last year?
It’s clear that where we have improved is in our passing. Carvalhal isn’t a fan of the long ball game so the defence is getting used to playing it out from the back, which does open us up to defensive mistakes.
Between Bannan, Matias, Lopez, Lee and Forestieri, they had a pass rate of over 80% accuracy on Tuesday night. You can’t imagine that level of accuracy with Coke and Maghoma in the team.
Where we haven’t moved on is our potency in front of goal.
I vividly remember the Bolton game last season where we walked away saying ‘how did Bolton survive that!’
Wednesday had 24 shots on goal in the match against The Trotters last season and although we had fewer attempts with 10 shots on Tuesday night the difference seemed to be the tameness of the shooting.
Looking back through the highlights each attempt seemed to be gentler than the last. Although the creative build up play is defter, the shooting needs to be more vigorous.
We also rotate the team more. If Claudio Ranieri is the Tinkerman then Carlos Carvalhal is GrandMaster Faff.
We’ve played 27 players in eight league games. Certainly no déjà vu when it comes to team selection.