Sheffield Wednesday - Four Down - (At Least) Two To Go
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Four Down - (At Least) Two To Go

We're halfway through the January transfer window and Owls boss Alan Irvine has already signed four new players to bolster his squad, so who will the other two be?

Defenders Reda Johnson, Michael Morrison and Mark Reynolds, as well as striker Gary Madine, have all put pen-to-paper on deals this month - four of at least six that chairman Milan Mandaric insisted Irvine was looking at.

It's safe to assume that two more will arrive at Hillsborough before the close of the transfer window, given Wednesday's new-found financial clout, for League One at least.

With three defenders already on board it seems the defensive side of things is all sorted.

The striking options also look good with the arrival of Madine, a target man, who is set to complement Clinton Morrison, Neil Mellor and Paul Heffernan. Jermaine Johnson can also play up top, and Irvine has had no hesitation in playing him there so far.

I'd have gone for some pace in attack, someone with that extra yard over our current players that could latch on to a through-ball.

The trio we have at our disposal, although far from sluggish, aren't exactly the quickest in the league.

In signing Madine, a target man, Irvine looks set to utilise long balls forward to his advantage, with one of Morrison, Mellor or Heffernan playing off him.

All well and good if it comes off, and attack hasn't been our real problems this season - goals have come at a pretty constant rate.

We all know we've been sadly lacking quality at the back this season and, to Irvine's credit, he's looked to change that as soon as possible.

Reda Johnson looks a fine acquisition, possibly still a bit raw, despite being 22, but he had a cracking game on Saturday and looks a vast improvement on who we previously had at the back.

Michael Morrison, although having a pretty average game on Saturday, also comes with good reports from Leicester City, especially during their days in League One.

They were also of the belief that Morrison could cut it in the Championship and could still improve - indeed, he was man of the match at Hull City for the Foxes just days before he signed for the Owls.

Whether Irvine will continue with Morrison at right-back or move him to centre-back remains to be seen, but from reports he seems to be very capable in both positions.

Mark Reynolds could well slot in alongside Johnson at centre-back, replacing Darren Purse, although Irvine could use the former Motherwell man at left-back, where he played as a youngster, and opt to stick with skipper Purse in the centre.

All in all, Wednesday seem to have some good options at the back - with Lewis Buxton and Jon Otsemobor also yet to return from injury. Mark Beevers, Tommy Spurr and Richard Hinds also provide the backup, or they could move on to pastures new.

So, two areas covered, and we all know the goalkeeper isn't an issue - Nicky Weaver has been arguably the player of the season for us so far - so that leaves us with the midfield.

The area, in my opinion, which should be the full focus for the remaining cash that is available to Alan Irvine in this transfer window.

The centre of midfield in particular, such an important area on a football pitch, is an area which needs strengthening.

Wednesday have been lacking in this area probably since the departure of Glenn Whelan to Stoke City.

When I say lacking, I mean a combative, box-to-box midfielder who takes no prisoners in the centre of the park.

James O'Connor always gives 100 per cent but the quality just isn't there, and Darren Potter can hit the odd good pass once in a blue moon, but hasn't been seen to do much else, much to the annoyance of most Wednesdayites.

Giles Coke has had a crack and has probably come out on top when compared to the aforementioned duo, but his recent injury set-backs are worrying. Whether he can continue to cut it at this level and, hopefully above, on a consistent basis remains to be seen.

Tommy Miller is the one central midfielder we have who can cut it, and can provide that bit of quality that most of League One clubs don't have in midfield - but he needs the right partner to play alongside.

Keith Andrews, of Blackburn Rovers, has been linked with a loan move to S6.

Exactly the kind of player that we need, but not the kind of player that, despite our decent bank balance at the moment, I believe we can attract at present. I hope Alan and Milan prove me wrong, of course.

Gary Teale has proved that he's one of the best wingers in this division this season but, on the other flank, Jermaine Johnson continues to frustrate.

One amazing run one minute, a non-existant JJ the next 89. Probably the most frustrating player I've seen, alongside Gerald Sibon (although I can't really compare the two!), for a while.

We need more consistency, so a central midfielder and a winger would do nicely if two more players really are going to pull on the famous blue and white stripes in the coming weeks.

The signings so far have the thumbs up from me, hopefully they will continue.

Who do you think we should sign before the close of the January transfer window? Which positions need bolstering the most? Have your say in the comments box or on the Vital Wednesday forums!

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 17 2011

Time: 8:08PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Got to say totally agree,if we could off load PURSE OCONNOR and POTTER maybe we could sign three quality midfielders !
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17/01/2011 20:25:00

our attacking has been dire against any team above us. we havent scored in 7 out of 23, thats just under a third of games we havent scored in and who can forget the brentford game, did we have a shot on goal all game? i cant remember one. a centre mid is essential, somebody who can get past the strikers and chip in with a few goals (admittedly i had miller down for that, yet to really happen for him). still, should be an interesting couple of weeks.
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17/01/2011 20:29:00

Agree Dezzy, but then again we've been dire all over the park against the better teams. Someone who can create from the centre of the park, and an out-and-out left winger to balance the side nicely, would help create more chances for those up top.
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17/01/2011 20:38:00

jj needs replacing because not only is he out of the game for large parts but when he does produce a good run through the defence, with the odd exception, he then loses the ball through a poor cross or shot. i love flair players and can live with a guy not chasing everything down as long as he produces when the opportunity arises but johnson isn't that man
Hirsty's Shinpads
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17/01/2011 20:43:00

ha, very true nick. id look for a right winger though, teale has been brilliant coming inside from the left so id leave him well alone there. i suppose most half decent wingers can swap sides.
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17/01/2011 20:49:00

Who's this Mary renolds ?
Report Abuse
17/01/2011 21:26:00

thats wat i was goin to ask brinsworthowl lol.
Report Abuse
17/01/2011 21:35:00

what about Savage on loan from Derby alright he`s getting on a bit but he puts himself about can score goals and also as a good engine gets from both boxes its been heard he wants away from Derby
Report Abuse
17/01/2011 21:48:00

Even Mary Reynolds is a better choice than Purse at present! I agree with you Nick that a quality midfield general is a must. If we have to go with youth to get our man then so be it. There are plenty of experienced players in the squad to help the young players we are signing. I think a right winger with pace who works up and down is needed too. JJ is a luxury player who would work best as an impact player from the bench.
Report Abuse
17/01/2011 21:53:00

Mary is the sister of Mark, came as part of the deal...Seriously, admin has been down and wasn't able to correct until now, oops!
Report Abuse
17/01/2011 22:03:00

nooooo not savage, i cant stand the man. it would be a shamefull day to see that ponce in our stunning blue and white shirt.
Report Abuse
17/01/2011 22:09:00

tatally agree dezzyp sooner have lily savage....alongside mary of course
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17/01/2011 23:18:00

get glenn whelan back on loan with a view to a permanent deal if we go up in may. he's not getting a look in at stoke at the moment for whatever reason.
Hirsty's Shinpads
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18/01/2011 09:30:00

I'd love whelan back but i dont think he would work under irvine. Needs to have a bit of freedom. Under sturrock he was poor and on the transfer list, under laws, given a bit more freeedom he turned into a intenational premier league player. The exact same applies to potter, on loan under laws he looked very good for us. Enter AI with his safety first approach, looks very, very poor. Ha, lily savage or randy savage, anybody would be a step up from robbie.
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18/01/2011 10:20:00

Forget about the notion of going for the extra bit of pace in attack who can latch on to a through ball and forget about these midfielders who "Have got a good engine and are good at getting from box to box" for a forward who can latch on to a pass you need someone who actually make the quality pass. Concentrate on the next John Sherridan let the engines run all day !!!
Report Abuse
18/01/2011 18:49:00

i know we've just brought Madine in, but I'd like to see Charlie Austin join us along with a creative midfielder. Sod it, we've got the money now.
Carbone's Padawan
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18/01/2011 19:00:00

I think Charlie Austin is destined for Championship or above unfortunately. How about looking again at Tom Soares from Stoke for our central midfield option? I've always liked the look of how he plays!
Report Abuse
18/01/2011 23:14:00

Or for that extra bit of class what about trying to poach Michael Johnson on loan until the end of the season from Manchester City?
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18/01/2011 23:16:00

michael johnson would be the dogs nuts, what a fine player that boy is, think he's destined for a loan spell in the championship though. i didnt mind soares either when we had him, 2 good shouts there.
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19/01/2011 00:39:00

Dezzy I'd pay good money to watch Macho Man Randy Savage in a Wednesday shirt. DIG IT!!
Carbone's Padawan
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19/01/2011 11:08:00

ha, he would be a slight improvement on purse at the back.
Report Abuse
19/01/2011 11:20:00

Michael Johnson is quoted as saying that he wants to go to Leeds United on loan because that's who he supports. He's not listed in Man City's premier league squad so needs the games!
Report Abuse
19/01/2011 19:24:00


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