Sheffield Wednesday winning against Newcastle United a massive shock? I don’t think so for these reasons
Sheffield Wednesday knocking Newcastle United was a massive shock.
Or at least that is what I keep on hearing and reading.
However, is this really true?
Here are a number of reasons why I would question that claim…
Only two automatic Newcastle United first choice players in the starting eleven – Botman, Joelinton
Another who has to play at his very best each week to stand a chance of staying in the NUFC Premier League eleven – Longstaff
Five starting at Hillsborough who are Championship level players (if/when they leave NUFC it would be a second tier club they’d join, or similar level abroad) – Manquillo, Lascelles, Lewis, Murphy, Ritchie
Another starter is a promising young player who hopefully will be PL level one day, has every chance, but would join a Championship club if going out on loan currently – Anderson
Just arriving back at Newcastle United a few days before the game having cut short his Man U loan, played only two competitive matches the past eight months – Dubravka
A striker returning from injury who had only played five times the past eight months and his first competitive action for four months – Isak
Playing away from home
A Newcastle back four / back five who have never played together before
A Newcastle eleven that had never played as a starting team previously
Playing against a club with a team that are essentially a Championship level one, looking nailed on for promotion
Sheffield Wednesday making only two changes to their regular league team (Newcastle eight changes)
The Owls unbeaten in their last 13 League One matches
The headlines of course are League One club beats third top of Premier League.
That is factually correct BUT only up to a small point.
Sheffield Wednesday might have won against the club that is third top of the Premier League BUT they didn’t defeat the team that has got NUFC to their current place in the top tier.
That is not to diminish how Sheffield Wednesday performed or take anything unfairly away from the level of their victory. However, facts are facts.
This was in reality a Championship level team at home to a side with a majority of Championship level players, with only two top performers kept in, as Eddie Howe balances the upcoming Carabao Cup and Premier League challenges. I think pretty clear that both Dubravka and Isak were a little rusty after so little football and injury in the Swedish striker’s case.
I think fair to say the result was a surprise BUT to make out it was some massive shock, based on the reality of who was actually on the pitch, is having a laugh.
In the event, I don’t think Newcastle United played that badly with the team they had out. It was very stop / start and a mixture of the good and not so good, but NUFC still dominated the match (75% possession, 11 corners to Sheff Wed’s one) and had by far, more and better chances.
Sometimes you don’t take your chances and with our lower level side, especially in defence, we allowed the home side four or five good chances of their own and Windass produced two very good finishes.
Personally, I don’t think Eddie Howe had any other choice but to play that kind of starting eleven, with that need to balance playing commitments.
Leicester City in this quarter-final is a very different matter and for sure the NUFC Head Coach will be putting out the very best team he can.
My Alan Shearer testimonial scarf is out and ready for action on Tuesday night.
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