Sheffield Wednesday fans’ Column: Straight down the middle is the wrong way to go

Gary Hooper is deserving of a consistent place in the starting XI
Gary Hooper is deserving of a consistent place in the starting XI
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Let’s look at some Sheffield Wednesday statistics from the season so far.

At home we have the most shots per game than any Championship team averaging 18 shots per game.

We’re also in the top four positions for possession and pass accuracy. Yet despite these stats we have only scored nine goals at Hillsborough. To summarise, Sheffield Wednesday dominate but are profligate.

It was clear to see against Brighton last week that they were superior in defence (they’ve only conceded seven all season) and their midfield looked like a coherent unit despite having injuries and suspensions. No complaints, Wednesday were beaten by the better team…well that’s how it felt watching the game, then you look at the match stats.

The Owls had 59% possession, 25 shots to Brighton’s five and five shots on target to Brighton’s three.

When you delve deeper into our shooting stats across the season, only 15% have come from the left side and 15% from the right. 70% of our shots come from the middle. This is easy for any opposition defence to prepare for if they know we’re not going to shoot from the wings. Block the central route and Wednesday will find it harder to score.

Carvalhal is making our “efficiency” in front of goal a training priority during the international break and let’s hope he can find a way to turn these chances into goals.

Personally I believe Gary Hooper has earned the right to a starting place alongside Steven Fletcher. When he came on as sub against The Seagulls, Wednesday’s movement forward and pace improved. He’s also proved he can score against one of the toughest defences in the league. If others are failing to hit the mark then what’s the harm in giving him the opportunity the start?