Shoulda woulda coulda means they’re out of time? – SIX talking points as Sheffield Wednesday blow another opportunity against QPR
It’s the hope that kills you, isn’t it…
For so many Sheffield Wednesday fans, they’ve already made peace with the fact that their club will be in League One next season – or at least started to come to terms with it.
But then they do win at Barnsley, and stick five goals past Cardiff City in a tremendous display at Hillsborough. And even the most negative, most pessimistic Wednesdayites go, ‘Hey, you know what…’
But it does feel a little bit like those results are just prolonging the agony, really.
There’s no doubt that Darren Moore has done good work in the time he’s had so far. You can see it on the field – they have an identity now, a way of playing, and are far more entertaining to watch now than at other points in the season.
But that doesn’t get away from the fact that they’ve just lost 4-1 to a team with little left to play for except personal pride, and that they missed another chance to take a step up in the Championship table.
Josh Windass’ goal was incredibly well taken, and beautifully created by Adam Reach, but as a team they had nowhere near the cutting edge shown by Lyndon Dykes, Stefan Johansen and Chris Willock.
It was not a happy afternoon in West London for the Owls, and here are some talking points.
There were many... Windass, Jordan Rhodes, Elias Kachunga and Reach could all have scored, with the Owls creating more than enough chances over the course of 90 minutes to have come away with at least a point.
If Rhodes scores at 2-1, it becomes a very different game. He didn’t. And QPR managed to score four of their nine shots to come away with what looks like a comfortable win.
Wednesday had double the efforts on goal but managed to get just two on target, while Barry Bannan (6) and Reach (5) made more key passes between them than the entire QPR side combined (8).
It’s all very broken record-y, but the Owls’ lack of goals will be the death of them. If they’d taken their chances, who knows which way things would have gone.
It was a missed opportunity on the league table as well, with Wycombe Wanderers and Coventry City losing and Rotherham United dropping points. A win at the Kiyan Prince Stadium would have seen them leapfrog the Millers and close the gap on the Sky Blues.
But it’s shoulda woulda coulda now. Another chance has passed them by.
There were just too many of them, at both ends. The backline struggled and looked disjointed, going forward they were guilty of bad decision-making and poor final product, and there were loose touches all over the field.
Mark Warburton’s side did the basics right and took their chances, but Wednesday didn’t.
Absolutely no luck
When the chips are down, nothing seems to go your way… Nobody is saying that Wednesday are where they are because of bad luck, because that’s clearly not the case, but it does just feel like nothing seems to fall for them.
No team in the league has received less penalties (2) than Wednesday this season, while Norwich City and Watford have gotten 19 between them.
Again, it’s not that they haven’t deserved those penalties, but when things are going well you tend to get a better rub of the green. In another season, Wednesday could have had a couple of penalties and gotten back into the game.
And that deflection for the hosts’ second goal – it doesn’t feel like the Owls have had many of those either.
At the end of the day, you make your own luck, and SWFC haven’t done enough – but their luck needs to change if they’re to get out of this whole thing alive. After all, fortune favours the brave.
Moore has a decision to make in the next couple of days. He opted to keep Joe Wildsmith in goal to face QPR, leaving the very experienced Keiren Westwood on the bench, but things didn’t quite go to plan.
While Wildsmith did nothing against Cardiff City to warrant being left out, Westwood is possibly more primed for the big occasion, and there’s absolutely no doubt that he’s the more vocal of the two.
Even though it took an unfortunate nick off Osaze Urhoghide’s head, you’d like to see Wildsmith do better with the second goal, and it was a big moment. At 1-1 the Owls had a chance, but at 2-1 they were drastically up against it.
With the third goal, it was calamitous all over the place to be honest, from start to finish. And Moore’s choice in goal had his part to play in that as well.
It’ll be interesting to see who starts on Tuesday night.
That horrible stat remains at zero
If there’s one stat that probably sums up Wednesday’s season the best, it’s the fact that they remain the only club in the entire division who have yet to pick up a single point from a losing position.
Every other team in the Championship has, on at least one occasion, come from behind to get something out of a game. All except the Owls.
They’ve scored a couple of equalisers – still not many, but a handful – however have always gone on to concede at least one more.
At 1-1 today, they had a real chance. They deserved to be level at the break, but errors cost them (again) and it all fell apart at the seams again.
Give me Moore
It was another game without their new manager in the trenches with them, and there’s no doubt that that plays a role. Watching from home is never going to be ideal – and no doubt the players and his staff are desperate to have him back. On Monday he’ll return – it’s all eyes on Swansea City now.