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Wednesday Get The Blues - MATCH REPORT

Carlos Carvalhal may have got a reaction in terms of a marginally better performance at Birmingham in comparison to Sunday, however, the game ended in another defeat for the Owls.

A winner from former Luton forward, Isaac Vassell snatched three points for Birmingham and condemned Wednesday to a second defeat in 4 days, putting Carvalhal under increasing pressure. Wednesday made three changes after the home humiliation to our less fortunate neighbours, with Joe Wildsmith, Jacob Butterfield and Morgan Fox coming in for Kieron Westwood, Ross Wallace and David Jones.

Wednesday started brightly, pressing high up the pitch and forcing Birmingham into mistakes, although the first real chance fell to Birmingham. Wednesday failing to deal with a cross from the left, after a swing and a miss from Tom Lees and Boga blazing over from 6 yards.
Adam Reach had Wednesday’s first real chance after great work from Kieran Lee and Jack Hunt saw Hunt spear a cross on and Reach plant a free header from 10 yards straight at the keeper.

Reach fashioned two great crossing positions just after that after jinking his way into the box, but delaying the pull back and defenders getting a toe on the cross to deflect away.

On the stroke of half-time, a Tom Lees header from a corner was hooked off the line and cleared.
Wednesday had a lot of possession but didn’t create any incisive chances, Birmingham looked like a side that hadn’t won a game since early August and were very nervy.

Again, Wednesday started the second half brightly, some lovely football from Wednesday saw Reach get the ball in a few yards of space where he unleashed a 25-yard drive that Tomasz Kusczak tipped around the post.
Moments later, in what was a warning shot for the Birmingham goal saw Birmingham miss the best chance of the game. A poor header from Joost Van Aken saw Birmingham break onto the back four of Wednesday, a little ball between the defenders saw an unmarked N’Doye blaze over when one-on-one with half the Wednesday back four stepping out, and the other half not.

Wednesday and Birmingham made changes, with Jordan Rhodes replacing a largely ineffective Steven Fletcher, and Vassell replacing Lukasz Jutkiewicz.
Literally moments after Vassell came on, Wednesday had a let off after he waltzed passed Van Aken for the Dutchman to hack at the subs legs in the box, however, Vassell took the honest route and stayed on his feet – if he had gone to ground, it would have been a penalty.
Wednesday then had a goal chalked off for offside. A cross from the left being flicked on by Jordan Rhodes to Gary Hooper who then tapped in only to see the linesman raise his flag. Hooper appealed, and on replay, it would seem it was justified and the goal should have stood.
On 76 minutes came the decisive goal. Ex-Wednesday winger Jacques Maghoma cut in from the right, and split the Wednesday back four, again some stepping out and some not, leaving Vassell in acres of spaces to tap in past Wildsmith.
Wednesday then looked nervy, and suddenly 5-yard passes were dropping 10 yards short. Lucas Joao came on for Morgan Fox, and he had a great header saved by Kuszak from a ball from the left.

Wednesday had a dinked cross from Barry Bannan hooked off the line from Michael Morrison, a cross from Garry Hooper flash across the 6-yard line with Rhodes a toe away. Reach then had a 20-yarder flash wide with Kusczak beaten, and with virtually the last kick of the game. Bannan headed down to Kieran Lee who was 3 yards out, and he blazed high and wide with the goal at his mercy.
Wednesday fans were livid at full-time after a defeat to a very poor team.

So, what were the positives. Yes, the effort was there, Wednesday pressed and worked hard. Jacob Butterfield had a good game, everything ran through him, and I don’t remember Gary Hooper giving the ball away once. Wednesday were positive with possession as well, and played high up the pitch.

However, …
We look woeful defensively, the gap between Van Aken and Lees is way too big, and had it not been for poor finishing and a poor final ball, it would have been worse. Van Aken seems to really be struggling with being lined up in a four, and Birmingham played down his and Morgan Fox’s side of the pitch a lot.
Whilst we had a lot of ball in the final third, we were very indecisive and the final ball was yet again woeful. Reach got into great positions a few times and waited too long to cross. Jack Hunt and Kieran Lee got into great crossing positions and generally wasted the cross, with four or five in the box.
Sadly, Jordan Rhodes is devoid of everything. He came on and aside from the flick for the disallowed Hooper goal, offered nothing at all. Lucas Joao in contrast came on, looked energetic and could have scored with his own header. I believe it just won’t work for Rhodes here, maybe due to the style we play, but he offers very little sadly.

The final word goes to the coach. The post-game reaction was negative, and whilst he might argue we played better, Birmingham are a poor side and we got beaten by them – and you would also argue they missed the two best chance outside of the goal.

I don’t like seeing coaches lose their jobs, but, we have an unbalanced squad, a lot of square pegs and expectations of promotion, and the post-game consensus on the forums and social media is that the time is up for him. There is a game at home to Leeds on Sunday, and despite them losing at Cardiff, they will come to Hillsborough expecting a comfortable afternoon and 3 points. If that does happen, there will be no way back for the Wednesday manager.
This week was always going to the biggest week of Carlos’ career after the humiliation on Sunday. It just got a whole lot harder for him.

Full Time: Birmingham 1 Wednesday 0

Wednesday: Wildsmith, Hunt, Lees, van Aken, Fox (Joao 77), Lee, Bannan, Butterfield, Reach, Fletcher (Rhodes 62), Hooper

There’s lots of talking points on the forum from the game, to the future of the coach and to who the biggest mithering fanny is, so get on there and start discussing. https://owlsonline.com/?page=forum&forum_ id=2  

Unread article 28/09/2017 at 06:45

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