Tony Pulis got off to the worst possible start as Sheffield Wednesday manager last week as the Owls lost 1-0 to Preston North End.
There wasn’t much to shout about after the game, but one thing that was noteworthy was the return of Keiren Westwood between the sticks.
The Irishman had previously been frozen out of the Wednesday squad by Garry Monk, and although that wasn’t a popular decision at the time, that decision did have one upside, and that was the emergence of Joe Wildsmith.
Westwood is a two-time Player of the Year winner at Wednesday, so you can understand why the fans love him, but his performance against Preston showed exactly why Monk wanted someone else as his number one.
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The 36-year-old made the vital mistake that cost Wednesday a point against Preston, and after Joe Wildsmith’s recent form, you have to question Pulis’ decision to put Westwood straight back in.
Now, we’re not saying that Westwood deserves to be frozen out as he was under Monk, but there is an argument to make that Wildsmith should still be number one.
In three league appearances this season Wildsmith has conceded just one goal, and he actually has the best save percentage of any goalkeeper who has played more than one game in the Championship.
Of course, Westwood has been quality in the past, and we understand exactly why Pulis put him back in, but he must be careful not to crush Wildsmith’s confidence by ignoring him after such a purple patch.
Monk made very few good decisions during his time at Hillsborough, but Pulis is in danger of undoing the good work Monk did by putting Wildsmith in as the club’s number one.
It will certainly be interesting to see what the new manager does with the goalkeeper position going forward.