This article is part of Football League World’s ‘FLW Greats’ series, this content strand is where we look back on a player’s individual season and discuss how impressive they were…
The 2015/16 Championship campaign had plenty of highs and lows for Sheffield Wednesday supporters, who were ultimately left frustrated in the final game of the season.
The Owls were beaten 1-0 by Hull City in the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley, as the Tigers won promotion back into the Premier League courtesy of Mohamed Diamé’s goal in the second-half of the contest.
Sheffield Wednesday finished sixth in the second tier standings, and plenty of supporters would have been dreaming of a timely return to the top-flight after they secured their spot in the Play-Off positions with a game to spare after beating Cardiff City 3-0 at Hillsborough.
One player that certainly played his part in their promotion push in the 2015/16 season was Ross Wallace, who was a regular in the starting XI for Carlos Carvalhal’s side.
The midfielder made 48 appearances in all competitions, and started in all of their Play-Off matches for the Owls, as they went in search of promotion. It’s clear to see why Wallace was a regular in the team as well, as he scored six goals, as well as being on hand to provide ten assists in total in that season.
One game in particular that Wallace caught the eye in was in their 3-2 win over Fulham back in September 2015, where Wallace assisted all three goals to help Carvalhal’s men secure a dramatic three points. Fernando Forestieri, Michael Turner and Tom Lees were all the goalscorers for Wednesday in that one, with Wallace’s delivery from set-pieces causing the Cottagers all sorts of problems at Hillsborough on the day.
Wallace wasn’t a free-scoring midfielder by any stretch of the imagination, and he would have been frustrated by not being able to add to his goal contribution tally in the final three league games of their season as he was sent-off in a goalless draw against MK Dons.
But he certainly made an impact when he returned to the side for their Play-Off matches, as Wallace scored once in both legs of their semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion, so he’s definitely ‘a big-game player’ who rises to the occasion.
The midfielder also impressed in their League Cup campaign, as Wednesday reached the fifth round of the competition before being beaten by Stoke City. But the Owls booked their spot in the fifth round with a convincing 3-0 win over Premier League giants Arsenal, where Wallace scored the opener with an expertly-placed finish from inside the penalty area.
With Barry Bannan on the other wing for the Owls that season, they had the ideal service for the likes of Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper, who led the line for Sheffield Wednesday in the majority of their matches.
Wallace couldn’t quite match that contribution in the following league campaign, as he scored five goals and provided seven assists for the Owls, in a season which ended in disappointment again, with the Owls being beaten by Huddersfield Town on penalties in their Play-Off Semi-Final.
The Scotsman left Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the 2017/18 season when his contract expired, and he wasted no time in finding a new club, as he joined Fleetwood Town. He has since moved to Scottish side St Mirren after being a free-agent for five months.
Sheffield Wednesday are currently struggling for a creative spark going forward, with that burden falling heavily on the shoulders of Barry Bannan, who hasn’t been at his best throughout this year’s campaign. He could have certainly benefitted from having a player of Wallace’s creative ability alongside him in midfield, as the Owls have looked void of ideas going forward at times this season under Garry Monk.
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