Stark contrast in form during Owls season
With football on an extended break it provides an opportunity to reflect on the season to date and for Wednesday fans it has very much been a season of two halves so far with the contrast pre and post Christmas clear for all to see.
The Owls started the campaign on the back foot when manager Steve Bruce left for Newcastle and Lee Bullen once again stepped in to take temporary charge. Early signs were encouraging as Wednesday won their opening two games but three defeats in the next four league games prompted owner Dejphon Chansiri to bring in Garry Monk as manager.
The former Owls defender took over after the September international break and hit the ground running. Wednesday won 4, drew 3 and lost only 1 of his first 9 league games in charge. The Owls suffered a couple of defeats in November by by December they were back on track and victory against Bristol City at Hillsborough on December 22nd saw the team into 3rd place in the Championship table at Christmas with a record of played 23, Won 11, Drawn 6, Lost 6, scored 34, conceded 20.
On Boxing Day Wednesday were 2-1 up at bottom of the table Stoke City going into injury time when the home side scored twice to grab victory from the jaws of defeat. Since then, save for the odd cup win and a 2-0 victory at table-topping Leeds United, the Owls form has been dire. In the 14 league games since Christmas Garry Monks men have Won 2, Drawn 3, Lost 9, scored 12 and conceded 29. Only Hull City have a worse record over the same period and the next worst after Wednesday, Charlton Athletic, have picked up 5 points more than the Owls from the last 14 games.
The injury to top scorer Steven Fletcher in January had a big impact but results had been on the slide before this happened and have not picked up significantly since his recent return. The amount of goals conceded is alarming, it is difficult to pick up many points when conceding at an average of over 2 goals per game for such a significant period of games.
It remains to be seen what went on to cause such an alarming slide but players and staff must take responsibility and sadly the performances have been very much reflective of the results.