Column: Critical period for Sheffield Wednesday loan winger Aiden McGeady
It is a big - some might say massive - two months for the team and their loan contingent.
Ten, possibly 13 matches, remain for players such as Daniel Pudil and Michael Turner to help Wednesday go up and prove to Carlos Carvalhal they deserve to be part of his long-term plans.
While left-back Pudil, for example, has got plenty of money in the bank following a string of good displays, Aiden McGeady has got it all to do.
When Wednesday captured the winger from Everton on loan before the January transfer window shut, it looked another shrewd piece of business.
McGeady possesses an unerring ability to glide past defenders, frightening them with his pace, skill and direct style of play.
However, McGeady has struggled to make an impact since moving to Hillsborough. Why you ask? Before linking up with Wednesday, he had played virtually no football. To be precise, just 45 minutes for the Toffees in their cup tie at Barnsley last August.
Like Gary Hooper when he first came to the club, McGeady lacked match sharpness and has had to be slowly drip-feed into the team. He is still waiting to complete a full game. Carvalhal has taken McGeady off in all four of his Owls starts.
He has been playing catch up and his performances have reflected his rustiness. We have seen odd glimpses of McGeady’s quality but no end product.
So how do Wednesday start getting the best out of the 29-year-old? What is his best position? Is it the right or left wing? Can you play McGeady and Ross Wallace in the same side? These are all questions that boss Carvalhal has got to find answers for.
In an ideal world, I believe Wednesday’s hierarchy would have liked to have brought in another defensive midfielder to increase competition for places over the last month but McGeady’s tricky period of adaptation may have put them off. At this stage of the season, all clubs want new recruits who can come in and make an instant impact. The problem is there aren’t many of those available in the loan market.
Coming back to McGeady, there is still time for him to come good at S6. All it might take to get him going is a shot going in off his back-side or a gem of an assist.
McGeady needs to start delivering. His days at Everton look numbered and he faces an uphill task to be included in the Republic of Ireland squad for this summer’s European Championships.
This is, without question, a defining period for both McGeady and Wednesday.