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…
Plenty of Sheffield Wednesday fans have been divided in recent weeks over a potential selection dilemma that Garry Monk has had since taking charge at Hillsborough.
There have been calls for Massimo Luongo to be given more of an opportunity in the team, with Sam Hutchinson’s performances coming under the spotlight.
Football League World’s Sheffield Wednesday fan pundit Thomas Fogg expects to see Luongo involved for the Owls this weekend, with Hutchinson suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.
“I fully expect to see Luongo in the starting line-up against Wigan given Hutchinson is banned as he brings the physical attributes which none of the other options would bring (I’m a fan of Kieran Lee but he’s not the player he was and is better off used slightly higher up the pitch these days).
“Luongo has looked good in the limited minutes he has been given and I am surprised he hasn’t found his way into the starting line-up, especially when our midfield has been an area of concern in recent times.”
The regular punter admitted that he isn’t surprised that the Owls’ summer signing hasn’t featured as regularly as he would have first hoped to this season, with Luongo making just five substitutes appearances in their league campaign.
“Lee Bullen favoured playing three in midfield but could not find a place for Luongo when perhaps that system would have allowed him to get game time and help him settle into the group.
“He is strong in the tackle, good range of passing and is capable of those driving runs through the middle of the park which would bring a new dimension to the team. Sam Hutchinson is a warrior in the defensive midfield role and if we need someone to stick to an opposition’s number 10, he is the ideal player.
“On the negative side, he can leave us open in the middle of the park as he wants to win every tackle and sometimes you need to hold position instead.”
Fogg is keen to see both Hutchinson and Luongo play together in the future, and felt that the pair would give the likes of Barry Bannan the license to make more of a contribution further up the pitch.
“I would actually like to see Hutchinson and Luongo paired together, especially away from home and I think it would give us a better chance against the more physical/frustrating teams where we have previously struggled (Millwall/Preston).
“You could play Luongo and Hutchinson together in a 4-2-3-1 formation which would give us a really solid base to play from – it would also give Bannan/Lee more freedom, allowing them to be the link between midfield and the attacking unit and perhaps give our wide players less defensive responsibilities too.”