Tony Pulis has now been Sheffield Wednesday manager for almost a month now, and he’s still waiting for his first win as Owls boss.
As we’ve said before, there have been some positives to take away from the former Stoke manager’s first few weeks in charge at Hillsborough, with the Owls looking fairly good defensively in recent weeks, but the real problems arise when you look up the other end.
Indeed, Wednesday are averaging the fewest shots per game and the fewest key passes per game in the Championship this season, and they’ve only found the back of the net three times in six games since Pulis took charge.
It’s not as though the Owls don’t have players who can find the back of the net either, Jordan Rhodes is one of the top scorers in this division’s history, while Callum Paterson has previously hit double figures for Cardiff and Josh Windass averaged a goal every 157 minutes in the Championship last term.
Unfortunately, it seems as though creativity is the issue in the Owls’ squad.
Their midfield sets up in such a way that there aren’t many chances to play forward-thinking passes, with Barry Bannan the Owls’ most creative player this season, averaging 1.4 key passes per game.
1.4 key passes per game doesn’t sound too bad, but that’s only enough to make him the 28th most creative player in the division, and when he’s your number one outlet, that’s a problem.
Fortunately, it seems as though the solution is staring Tony Pulis in the face.
Indeed, Izzy Brown may only be averaging 0.8 key passes per game, but that’s due to the fact he usually appears in cameo roles.
Brown is a creator, he made seven assists for a Luton Town side that were battling relegation last term, and if Wednesday put him in, he would add an extra dynamic to Pulis’ side.
So, the question then becomes, who does he come in for? Luckily, it seems as though there’s another rather simple solution to that conundrum as well.
Callum Paterson has been a lynchpin in Pulis’ midfield so far, but the Scot is so versatile that he can be dropped into pretty much any position on the pitch.
Brown could take his midfield spot without Paterson actually having to drop out of the XI, as he can play pretty much wherever he is needed when injuries, suspensions or fatigue arises.
Pulis needs to inject more attacking impetus into his side, and this is certainly a way to make that happen.