BWFC 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday
16-10-2017 MoM: Sammy Ameobi
A WIN. AT LAST... A WIN!
At 2pm on Saturday, I tweeted a few rather optimistic tweets. These were based on the changes made to the starting lineup. Without witnessing a minute, there was a definite switch in gameplan. The aggressive pressing of Vela, ball-carrying ability of Sammy Ameobi was matched by two strikers and an orthodox 4-2-3-1. The importance of it being immediately obvious it was a straight forward 4-2-3-1 was the balance renewed within the side. A flat 4 with 2 central players that can shift the ball quickly without having to be too bogged down with creating anything (i.e unlike Cullen) and then an attacking three behind Madine, our best player this season.
As well as the tactical flexibility and encouraging selection offered by Parkinson, he got the in-game plan absolutely spot on. Wednesday's flat 4 was completely crammed out and couldn't create anything with no space on offer and no way of playing through lines - as there was none. This mean that Wednesday had to play wider, once they go wide then Wanderers' full backs (Taylor and Little) narrow to form a flat 4 centre-backs. This means the only attacking option left for The Owls was to cross. Once they cross, we have the two most aerially dominating centre-halves in the league, so naturally they win the head. This was shown throughout with Andy Taylor's positioning being greatly improved leading to far more blocks, it also puts Beevers in a better light than he has been in this season.
Going forward, there was a more composed build-up play. It arguably would've suited Josh Cullen but it did work regardless as Mark Little's work down the right-hand side off the ball offered lots of space for Vela and Ameobi then Noone and Morais to play measured but far more incisive passes than previously this year. We looked a threat throughout the match, even when taking it to the corner, Wanderers genuinely looked like they may nick another. Parkinson's substitutions were absolutely spot on. Josh Cullen coming on for the tiring Vela helped to continue the press with Cullen not having to worry about playing just ahead of the centre-halves and controlling a midfield. This was joined by Noone's trickery just as Wednesday started to get a foothold, in order to lead breaks. Then, Morais' best performance of the season also. His game awareness was by far the best i've seen him have, he played like an older pro that was coming onto see a game before the rest.
It is oh so much easier and far more enjoyable to right up a tactical analysis/verdict when the Whites win.
The confidence this should and WILL give the players is absolutely enormous. They can do it. We head into Queens Park Rangers at home, a massively winnable fixture, with the knowledge that Wanderers truly can stay up.
This will go to the very end.