“Insanity,” it is often said, involves “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
It’s a phrase I cannot help but think about when reflecting on Garry Monk’s Sheffield Wednesday.
While I have no coaching badges to speak of – although I’ve spent many a night playing Football Manager into the early hours, which I know won’t impress the Wednesday boss after his comments on Friday – I’d like to think I’ve seen enough football to know when a system needs changing. And I can’t be the only one.
The stats – which read, four wins and nine defeats from 17 league games playing Monk’s version of 3-5-2 – certainly don’t do his case any favours.
In Monk’s defence – which he was quick to raise earlier, while hinting that he will stick with the formation – he has had injuries to contend with.
But why, when the bulk of those have come at centre-half, would you persist with a system which requires more of those than any other role on the pitch?
A good manager, surely, assesses first which players he has at his disposal and goes from there, not the other way around.
If you’ve only got two fit centre-halves, doesn’t it make more sense to utilise those two centre-halves as part of a back four with full-backs, than shoehorn a full-back into the middle?
Every time I see a back three with Moses Odubajo or Liam Palmer in it, my patience with Monk wanes a little more. And it does neither of them any favours, let alone the team.
The same can perhaps be said about Kadeem Harris and Adam Reach, neither of whom are wing-backs.
In fact, I wonder how many of Wednesday’s players can say, with honesty, that they’re comfortable in their current roles? Far too few, I fear. It hardly screams: recipe for success.
It’s not like the Owls have a shortage of players at the other end of the pitch to compensate.
Perhaps playing some more of those would make us look vaguely threatening for once? Who knows, doing so may help to alleviate some of the pressure on Monk’s defenders.
It’s just a thought.
Maybe I’m the insane one?