This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
It’s safe to say that it’s been a 2020 to forget for Garry Monk and Sheffield Wednesday, with the Owls struggling to build on the momentum they built over the festive period.
They once occupied a spot inside the play-off places, but a dismal run of form since the New Year has seen them slide down the Championship table at an alarming rate.
Wednesday have won just once in their last eight games in the second-tier, which has seen plenty of supporters voice their displeasure.
Garry Monk’s side were beaten by Derby County in their last match, with club captain Tom Lees being substituted at half-time in the game, after a poor first-half display.
Football League World’s Sheffield Wednesday fan pundit Louis Muhsin issued his thoughts on Lees’ performance against the Rams, and claims that his recent decline in form has been ‘his worst at the club’.
“I think Lees performance against Derby summed him and Wednesday up since Christmas. You just don’t know what you’re going to get. His decision making when on the ball was questionable at best.
“When he was first signed from Leeds it was an absolute bargain of a deal. Alongside Loovens under Carlos Carvalhal he shone and became ‘Mr Consistent’. You were always guaranteed a seven out of ten performance.
“However, over the last couple of years his standard (along with the team it has to be said) has slowly declined and the second half of this season has been possibly his worst at the club.
“He’s struggled to hold down a regular spot since Iorfa came in at centre back and made the position his own and when he has come back into the team it hasn’t been without a few eyebrows raised.”
The fan pundit went on to heap praise on Dominic Iorfa, who replaced Lees against Derby County and has been impressed with what he has seen so far from the 24-year-old.
“The game against Derby was dead at half-time and although as a team it was simply a shambolic performance, Lees’ own performance during the first 45 minutes left little to be desired, the second goal been the stand out moment.
“Iorfa himself has made a few errors of late (I dare day he’s been a victim of his own versatility as he’s been moved out to right-back on a few occasions after playing well regularly at CB) but on the whole this season has been one of the few consistently, outstanding players and is my personal player of the season to be honest.
“He was dropped for the game against Charlton and Lees had a good game and put in an outstanding block at 0-0 when Lyle Taylor seemed destined to score and that turned out to be key for us taking the three points.
So, Monk was arguably right to stick with Lees and keep Iorfa on the bench but the change at half time was definitely the right one and Iorfa went on to put in a much more solid display and stake his claim for been put back into future starting XI’s.”
Sheffield Wednesday take on Manchester City in their next game in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening, as they look to pull off an upset on the night.
The regular punter went on to admit that he is keen to see Iorfa start ahead of Lees for the game against the Premier League side, and for the remainder of this year’s campaign.
Muhsin also outlined Iorfa’s attributes that he brings to the Owls team this season, and feels as though he’s capable of playing at a higher level in the future.
“In my opinion and I dare say the majority of Wednesday fans’ opinions, Iorfa 100% starts ahead of Tom Lees for the rest of the season, not just the Man City game.
“His pace is outstanding and with his height and athleticism, he’s a more effective weapon to have when defending and attacking set pieces.
“Iorfa is definitely the defender Wednesday need to build around. He’s young and in a couple of years could find himself playing at a higher level than he currently is, I just hope he remains at Wednesday and realises his potential with us.”