Saturday, July 15, 2017

Flight of the Owls VIII

You know, it dawned on me earlier today that I haven’t written a ‘Flight of the Owls’ post in a while. To be fair, not much has happened since we got knocked out of the playoffs by Huddersfield...God it still hurts to even think that let alone type it…

Anyways, today’s post is gonna be more of an update on how The Wednesday are doing, a look back at last season and how those performances will shape us in the coming year. Got it? Good. Now let’s get started.
~ Side note: links to all the previous Flight of the Owl posts will be at the bottom of this post. So if you want to read them before or after this one, then please feel free ~

Another big season up ahead for the Owls
Recently we have been linked with a number of high profile names (an amazing feeling considering I once was excited about us signing Chris Sedgwick and Gary Teale). The likes of Robert Snodgrass and Glenn Whelan are among the names being spouted and would definitely improve our side I’m sure you’ll agree.

Former Owl Glenn Whelan could slot into the holding role of our midfield, allowing Hutch to drop into centre back with Tom Lees whilst Snodgrass would go left wing which in my opinion was a problem position for us last season as Forestieri wasn’t at his best and Reach wasn’t as good creatively as we had hoped.

We’ve signed George Boyd on a free transfer which I think is *sigh* underwhelming (I’ll talk more about that later). We’ve also made Jordan Rhodes a permanent addition to the squad for a club record £11.7 million. The jury is still out on Rhodes as he didn’t impress many fans last season, only managing a poor return of 3 goals in 20 appearances…

He may be free but you can guarantee he'll be getting paid a hefty penny.
Now a couple of Owls have argued that the Scottish international didn’t get enough chances which I do have to agree with. He got on average 1.4 chances per game, arguably not enough for a striker to score on a consistent basis...unless he scores every chance he gets in which case he wouldn’t be playing Championship football. Champions League football maybe but definitely not Championship.

When you dig a little deeper though you can see that Rhodes scored 11% of the chances he got, meaning that he needed on average 10 chances before he could put the ball in the back of the net...definitely not Champions League quality.
~ In the next couple of days I’m going to be writing about Jordan Rhodes in a little more detail. Keep your eyes peeled for it ~

Jordan Rhodes scored only 3 of the 28 chances he got last season.
The Scots 11% chance conversion makes him the 7th best finisher for Wednesday behind Keiran Lee (30% shot conversion), Gary Hooper (26%), Steven Fletcher (15%) and surprisingly Sasso (19%), Fox (20%) and Hutch (15%). Barring Hooper, we don’t actually have a goalscorer on the same level as Glenn Murray or Dwight Gayle.
~ Side note: Lee scores 30% of the chances he gets. That’s nearly 1 goal every 3 chances. Should give him a whack up front haha ~

Honestly though I don’t think we need to worry about our options up front. Fletcher and Hooper are two top quality strikers for this league and I’m confident they can get 30 goals between them IF Hooper stays fit. I feel what we need is a player who can create clear cut chances multiple times per game.

When you look at the stats, Ross Wallace was our most creative player last season, creating 1.7 chances per game on average. Barry Bannan was the second most creative with 1.3 chances per game. Just to put that into perspective, the two promoted teams had Knockaert and Shelvey who both created 2.1 chances per game.

For The Wednesday to achieve promotion, we need creative players of the same level. We need at least one player who on average creates 2 or more chances per game...which is why I was so underwhelmed by George Boyd.

Wallace became a fan favourite towards the back end of last season.
The former Burnley man created 0.4 chances per game for Burnley last season. Admittedly this isn’t a fair comparison as he was performing at a higher level but if I look at Burnley’s promotion season back in 2015/16, I can see that Boyd only created 0.9 chances per game. This is less than half the amount of Knockaert and Shelvey...underwhelming.

For me, the kind of player we are looking for is Tom Lawrence from Leicester. The 23 year old spent last season on loan at Ipswich and became a hit with The Tractor Boys. Used mainly on left wing, the Welsh international scored 11 goals and got 9 assists in 34 games. What impressed me most of all though was the amount of chances he created.

Lawrence created a whopping 82 chances in the 34 games for Ipswich. That breaks down to 2.4 per game, meaning that he was more creative per game than both Shelvey and Knockaert last season. He’s recently had a price tag of £7 million slapped on him which would be a steal in today’s transfer market!

If we bring Lawrence in he could resolve our lack of creativity on left wing and also allow us to move Reach to left back where I’d say he’s at his best. The phrase ‘killing two birds with one stone’ comes to mind.

I genuinely believe we are only one signing away from gaining automatic promotion. I know that seems a little optimistic but I’m just so confident when I look at our squad. I just hope this coming season isn’t a repeat of the last two...I don’t think I can deal with the play off failure again...

All stats, facts and figures were lovingly given to me by the guys at

~ If you would like me to write about anything in particular, please feel free to comment below or contact me on social media. Speaking of which if you enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

Previous Chapters
Flight of the Owls VII

No comments:

Post a Comment