It’s international weekend, so time to take a step back and gain some perspective on where Sheffield Wednesday are right now.
We currently sit 11th on 23 points from 16 matches. This is widely viewed as ‘underachieving’ by this Owls side but let’s take a look at previous starts to the season under Carvalhal.
After 16 games last season we were only one place above where we are now, in 10th with one extra point. The season before we were in 9th place with 24 points.
The figures show we aren’t so much underachieving but average for Carlos’ tenure. By Christmas in each of his seasons in charge we have progressed; 7th on 33 points in 2015 and 6th on 37 points in 2016. There’s no reason why we can’t take some confidence from back-to-back wins and progress from there.
The international break has come at the wrong time for two players, Adam Reach and Jordan Rhodes. Consecutive goals in games are what they needed to boost confidence. The professional job we did on Aston Villa last weekend also indicates that we do want to show we mean business.
The Owls’ always appear to start slowly. The only spectacular start that springs to mind was in 1996 when Ritchie Humphries announced himself to the Premier League, only for David Pleat to ‘rest’ him for his own good.
As Alan Biggs eloquently said in his column this week, there are numerous teams underachieving in the Championship this season. We are by no means unique. The frustrating part for fans is that we can’t capitalise on other teams that lack inertia. Unlike Sheffield United who are sitting pretty by being well organised, motivated and passionate. A dose of that wouldn’t go amiss.
Progress means we need to collect points earlier in the season and maintain it if we’re serious about being contenders.