Sheffield Wednesday have lost their opening three games of the 2023/24 Championship season, with the Owls being the only side in the league without a point on the board.

Xisco Munoz has had a bit of a whirlwind summer at Sheffield Wednesday. His side have started slowly losing against Southampton, Hull City, and last weekend, Preston North End.

But that Preston performance was a much improved one from the previous outing at Hull City and so there’s hope that Munoz can eventually steer Wednesday well clear of safety.

His side have scored three goals so far this season; one against Southampton and two against Hull, though that scoreline at Hull City flattered the Owls.

They lacked any kind of creative outlet against Preston. Last season, the Owls had crosses coming into the opposition penalty area throughout the season and that’s lacking this time round – largely because Munoz has deployed Akin Famewo at left-back.

The centre-back has provided decent cover on the left side of defence, largely at the expense of creativity that names like Reece James or Marvin Johnson would normally provide – the latter has been completely frozen out.

Sheffield Wednesday v Fleetwood Town: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Last time round, Johnson was one of Wednesday’s best players, scoring three and assisting seven as he played a huge part in the club’s eventual promotion. Last season, former Owls boss Darren Moore labelled Johnson as a ‘wonderful player’ who’d been ‘exceptional’ for the club.

But for whatever reason, Munoz doesn’t fancy him. Munoz has deployed a back-four so far this season and Johnson would perhaps be better suited playing as a wing-back in a back-five; Munoz suggested he could turn to a back-five after the Hull defeat.

Something needs to change for Wednesday if they’re to stand a chance of staying in the Championship this season. In Johnson, Munoz has a very experienced player who arguably played some of his best football last season, so freezing him out may not be the best idea.

Whether Munoz changes things at Cardiff after that improved Preston performance remains to be seen, but Johnson could hold the key to unlocking any attacking potential that Wednesday have.

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