Sheffield Wednesday edging towards the abyss in October as Plymouth Argyle defeat pushes deficit to 11

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“Don’t worry about a thing,” strained the Sheffield Wednesday away end in the early stages of the second half at Home Park on Wednesday evening. “Because every little thing, is going to be alright.”

Taken literally, it’s not a sentiment that right here and right now feels all that accurate. The Owls are now 13 matches into the season without a win - 15 including cup matches - and are 11 points shy of the Candyland of the Championship safety spots. One or two might suggest that anyone arguing straight-faced that everything is going to be alright might be on a little of what Bob Marley was on.

And the most frustrating thing for everyone involved is that up until the 44th minute of the match, Sheffield Wednesday had been excellent. They’d set about their old foes Plymouth Argyle with a pressing game so impressive given the short time given to implement it, they’d broken with a panache - mainly through through-balls to Anthony Musaba - that opened up half-chances.

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To coin perhaps the ultimate football cliche, Plymouth Argyle is a tough place to go to, winless in four or not. Set on a sloping slice of Devon car park, opposition teams are so often greeted and gnarled by a hulking and so often intimidating atmopshere. The Pilgrims’ success in recent seasons has been built from the war room that is Home Park and play a with a handful of genuinely exciting young attacking players, play with a joie de vivre going forward.

And with 43 minutes on the clock, Wednesday had passed and pressed and jostled them into submission. The crowd was subdued and the Plymouth attack stunted, the big chances had gone to the Owls and it was the away team that had their hand on the controls. Sure, the homers were a threat as evidenced by Morgan Whittaker’s curling effort off the post, but on the balance of play even in the Champiosnhip, it’s something that hasn’t happened often at Home Park.

And then.

A Plymouth break, Whittaker’s £1m speed and movement, a desperate effort from Dominic Iorfa. Mustapha Bundu’s classy free-kick, a small but significant deflection, and another gut-punch for 1-0. Within seconds it was two after Pol Valentin’s pass to Iorfa let Whittaker in for more fun. And the Wednsday balloon for the evening was burst. To fast-forward through a little misery, the break came and went and it was 3-0 on 76 minutes after another in-possession mix-up.

This isn’t Danny Röhl’s fault of course. On many levels it’s not the fault of the players. Wednesday arrived in the Championship a couple of weeks behind Ipswich Town and their midweek hosts, sides that last season looked more atuned to the requirements of the second tier in terms of suitability. The Owls always needed to get their Summer changes right. They didn’t and they’re well and truly up against it.

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These are wider themes not for tackling in a match report. On Wednesday evening Röhl’s side showed glimpses of what they might become. For the result and the nature of the evening, there were strands of positives to cling to. But it’s the end of October and yes, this club has proven that they can achieve the improbable in recent times. They created decent chances throughout the match for the first time in a little while.

But with every passing failure to score a goal, to put together a 90-minute performance or win a football match, the prospects of Wednesday survival are pushed further towards the territory of mad May.

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