Xisco Munoz says he doesn’t see Akin Famewo as a left-back or a centre-back, but as an ‘animal’.
Munoz has made some surprising team selection decisions so far this season, with one being his ongoing decision to play Famewo at left-back.
The 24-year-old is naturally a centre-back and he’s keeping more natural left-backs like Reece James and Marvin Johnson out of the side as things stand.
And speaking to Yorkshire Live about the decision to deploy Famewo on the left, Munoz had this to say:
“I don’t think of him as just a left-back or centre-half. But he is an animal. In the duels he was the best.
“He is strong and he plays forward, he understands the situation and he’s one of the guys who is close about what the demands of the Championship are. If you asked me five weeks ago if I think Akin can play at full-back, I’d say no.
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“You need to understand how people are improving and getting better every day. When we arrived we knew he had good potential, ambition and wants to learn. This is very nice. Every day he comes to my office for individual videos.”
Famewo began his career at Luton Town. He went on to make a handful of league appearances for the Hatters before later joining Norwich City. Wednesday signed the Englishman form Norwich in 2022 and he’s since gone on to make 22 total appearances, featuring in all three of his side’s Championship fixtures this season.
A smart call, or an unnecessary decision?
Famewo certainly has ability. He’s a good, fairly young player who could have a very bright future in the game, and he’s done okay at left-back, like Munoz suggests in his comments.
But that spot was taken up by more creative players in James and Johnson last season and that creative outlet has been missing so far for Sheffield Wednesday.
Munoz had a stop-start pre-season with the players after arriving late, and now he’s being forced to chop and change his formation and tactics during the season, so it’s certainly a difficult period for the manager and the club.
But the Owls do have a fair bit of squad depth now and so Munoz can make changes when necessary – though changes aren’t always necessary. Sometimes it’s best to stick with one tactic and work on it.
Sheffield Wednesday return to action away at Cardiff City this weekend.