Alan Biggs at Large: What Darren Moore's men have to do to get rickety show back on the road

Between beating Sunderland 3-0 being prematurely hailed as a turning point and crashing out of the FA Cup by the same score at Plymouth bringing fresh despair, there has to be middle ground.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 8:59 am
Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore spoke about his side's injury struggles after their 3-0 FA Cup defeat at Plymouth Argyle.

But where? Darren Moore and his Sheffield Wednesday players have to find something consistently much better to restore belief that they can play a good game instead of talking one.While results are everything in the end, there’s a danger of being blindfolded by them in the meantime - though maybe that’s being charitable.Frustrating as it was, I saw nothing in the Owls’ latest draw - and eight out of 17 is far too many - to suggest the Owls aren’t capable of righting things.But maybe the preceding 3-0 win over Sunderland blinded some into believing it was better and more significant than it was.

No-one, including the manager, seemed to acknowledge a somewhat misleading margin or that Wednesday could easily have been trailing in that game.Looking back, it was worth taking a bit of a kicking on social media to point it out!More a 3-2 game, I thought. Whereas the 1-1 versus Gillingham would have been more accurately reflected at something like 3-1 in Wednesday’s favour.

This time, Moore expressed that same sentiment.You can’t have it both ways. Coming to the middle ground, if Moore is starting to get it right then much more proof is required and quickly.Results are a product of variables that don’t always follow performances.

But they do more often than not and it was mildly encouraging that - up to the Plymouth replay - the Owls’ general standard of play was starting to hit a higher level.“Hard to beat” is no good. It has to become “hard to hold” to convert those single points into three.Moore’s tactics have become bolder at least. Perhaps the emphasis on attack has been influenced by the absence of key injured defenders, but it’s welcome all the same and it will be necessary even when they are back.Some of the football against Gillingham was the most sustained and progressive I have seen.My personal preference, suggested in a recent column, for Barry Bannan to ping long passes from his considerable repertoire, rather than work in triangles, has actually been happening, whether coincidental or not.A switch to two strikers, along with the introduction of Theo Corbeanu, has provided attacking outlets from a standing start.Corbeanu is a tremendous threat on either side and his delivery was so prolific last Saturday that you could hardly blame him for the lack of an end product.The injured Lee Gregory would surely have had the instinct and anticipation to profit but, even without the top marksman, Wednesday should have claimed the win their display deserved.And it was interesting to see Marvin Johnson operating as an overlapping centre back at times, which was slightly reminiscent of another team I can’t quite place.So this was one occasion when the performance shouldn’t be masked by the result whereas, in the flukey home win over Bolton for instance, the result masked the performance.

As it did to a degree against Sunderland, albeit that the victory was merited on that occasion.We’d all take the result every time but, in the long run, it will be performances that count.Moore’s men have to maintain the many good parts of last Saturday, as a bare minimum, to get this rickety show back on the road.