Sheffield Wednesday-supporting journalist Joe Crann has raved about Michael Smith after last night’s game. It wasn’t a great night for Xisco Munoz as his team were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by lower-league opposition.
Wednesday saw their 2023/24 campaign hit rock bottom last night. The Owls were dumped out of the competition by League Two outfit Mansfield Town following a penalty shootout. The result leaves the team without a win since their promotion to the second tier.
Xisco Munoz has been left with more questions than answers about his Wednesday squad after the Hillsborough clash last night. His team created chance after chance but came up against a bang-in-form Christy Pym in the Mansfield goal.
Wednesday hit the front in this one when Anthony Musaba scored his first goal for his new club. The player scored a brilliant headed goal and it had looked to be enough to earn the Owls a first win inside 90 minutes this season.
The Stags are playing well though and they had other ideas. Led by Wednesday promotion-winner Aden Flint, they hit back with a stunning goal scored by Rhys Oates with just five minutes of the clash remaining.
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Penalties followed and it was there where Crann raved about Smith. The striker has found game time hard to come by this season but one thing that has never been called into question is his ability to take a good penalty.
Crann said on Twitter: “Smith is comfortably the best #SWFC penalty taker I’ve seen in years.”
The 31-year-old calmly slotted away his spot-kick during the shootout. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said about Will Vaulks and Liam Palmer with the latter’s miss proving decisive and seeing Mansfield through to the next round.
Crann raves about Wednesday star Smith despite Mansfield embarrassment
The experienced talisman signed for Wednesday ahead of last season from Rotherham. He scored 20 times last season as the Owls won promotion back to the Championship by beating Barnsley in the Play-Off Final.
This season, he’s failed to convince Munoz though. He’s been a substitute in three of the four Championship matches and wasn’t even among the substitutes for the previous round of the cup against Stockport.
Smith did manage to start against Cardiff on Saturday. He was taken off after 62 minutes and it just feels as though Munoz isn’t really fancying him as a striker at this moment in time.
It’s clear that Smith knows how to take a penalty though. He has now scored 10 in succession and the last time he missed one came back in the 2020/21 campaign that was played largely behind closed doors.
His goals last season were vitally important for Wednesday and perhaps now could be the time for Munoz to finally place his faith in the promotion-winning striker.