Something needs to change at Sheffield Wednesday and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the manager.
Carlos Carvalhal has proven himself as a very capable boss at this level but his stubbornness might be his undoing this year.
He has stuck with his favoured 4-4-2 formation despite their bad form throughout this season. It’s understandable that an under-pressure manager will stick to what he knows, but now is the time to make a change – and go with a back three.
Adam Reach is ideally suited to the left wing-back role and Jack Hunt on the right-side. Both love going forward whilst understand how they would need to work defensively. Perhaps more importantly, they have three centre-backs suited to the formation. Joost Van Aken would be on the left-side, Glenn Loovens in the centre and Tom Lees on the right. Van Aken is very comfortable on the ball too, so it should make playing out of defence a lot easier.
A downside to this formation is if you have outstanding wingers, as you then have to play 3-4-3 instead of 3-5-2 to accommodate them, but Wednesday don’t have genuine quality out wide. Barry Bannan and even Ross Wallace could play inside. A 3-5-2 also allows Carvalhal to keep his clearly preferred partnership of Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher up front.
In all honesty, it’s hard to see a downside. We’ve also seen how it can work in England and the Championship. The two club’s at the top of the league, Sheffield United and Wolves, play with a back three, so it’s proven to be successful.
Wednesday have the players for it and Carvalhal needs to change something. He should be proactive and implement a 3-5-2 for the game against Millwall tonight and see if it brings a change in fortunes for the Owls. It can’t do any harm!
Thoughts, Wednesday fans? Let us know in the comments below.