The Summer Transfer Window has slammed shut and the squad we will have until January is in situ. It has been in stark contrast to last season; by now we’d brought in a whole host of players. It was a new look Wednesday, with many additions on loan. This time round, there have been only eight professional recruits, but all are undoubtedly of real Championship quality. Stephen Fletcher, Daniel Pudil, Will Buckley, David Jones, Jake Kean, Vincent Sasso and Almen Abdi all arrived in S6 prior to deadline day and have proved sound additions, with the latter slotting in a goal on his debut. Our final signing was by far the most lavish, splurging a rumoured £5 million on midfield-ace, Adam Reach. He’s surely been signed to bolster the middle of the park and chip in with a few goals, something we’ve been lacking at the start of this campaign.
Hopefully, new signings will gel quickly and we can start to gather some momentum moving into September. The past few games, we have seemed a million miles away from the valiant team with a never say die attitude, zipping the ball around at the Amex to earn our spot at Wembley in May. The odd thing is, nothing much has changed. We’ve suffered no great losses. Chansiri and Carvalhal seem determined not to sell any of our assets, as demonstrated when Forrestieri had his head briefly turned following our only victory this season, the opening affair against Aston Villa.
Last season, Hillsborough was undoubtedly a fortress. One could count on one hand the number of losses at home and yet, we have already suffered one defeat at home to local rivals, Leeds. It’s not a disastrous result, as we nicked a handy point away to Championship new-boys Norwich, and stole a share of the spoils with a last-gasp leveller against Brentford but also succumbed to a surprise away defeat to newly promoted Burton Albion.
So what’s changed since May? On paper, we shouldn’t be lacking fire power. Forrestieri, Hooper, Joao, Fletcher, Buckley, Nuhiu... All well capable of scoring a goal or two. So why have we only scored three goals in our opening six matches in all competitions? The lack of cutting edge was epitomised by Joao’s sickening miss on Saturday. With the goal gaping, he sliced it over the bar with a somewhat lazy finish, in a game that saw us lacking the cutting edge to snatch a much needed 3 points.
Yet going into the International break, we are still one point better off at this stage than we were in last year’s battle for promotion. Avoiding loss at Griffin Park seemed crucial, as it means Wednesday will return to Hillsborough for a double-header with Wigan and then Bristol City with a bit of confidence. The break will also allow the new additions to get used to our way of playing, so we will hopefully see the best of them in the coming matches.