Sheffield Wednesday fan column: Can the defensive issues be turned around?

Tom Lees
Tom Lees

There are many topics we could talk about this week regarding Sheffield Wednesday.

Apparently pointed comments from Jordan Rhodes about how happy he is as part of the Norwich City dressing room certainly sparked conversation.

But I think what we need to talk about is our defence and if there is any chance of us turning this around.

After the Boro match Luhukay made changes to the formation and the defence. He went from three at the back to a flat back four. He also changed the personnel.

The new Luhukay ethos of playing the ball out from the back isn’t working with Tom Lees in defence. Just because he is a good defender doesn’t mean he knows how to adapt.

It’s like saying to some, ‘you can sing three good notes now we want you to audition for a West End production of Les Miserables.’

It was plain to see against Boro, the uneasiness of his distribution, the pointless short passes from Dawson only for Lees to lump it up field and bypass the midfield.

However, Lees plays better in a back four but yet he was dropped for the QPR match where Luhukay played Tom’s preferred system. The fans are confused, no wonder the players are.

While the old dogs are trying to learn new tricks the pups are also learning. Thorniley and Penney’s decision-making against Boro were questionable. We don’t have a strong enough right-back/wing-back. Baker isn’t ready and Palmer, try as he might, isn’t the answer.

Hector is an excellent addition to the team but even he drops his head when we go a goal down.

There isn’t enough word count for me to debate the selection of Dawson as keeper.

So where do we go from here? If Luhukay’s intention is to play three at the back with a system of playing out from the back then he can’t play Lees. Hector, Thorniley and Penney are our best options but they too come with caveats.