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Time To Give Palmer A Chance?

Wednesdayites couldn't take too many positives from Saturday's FA Cup demolition at Birmingham City on Saturday, but there was at least one...

...the performance of young midfielder Liam Palmer.

Palmer may not have had a huge impact on the game - he was only introduced at half-time - and he may be far from the finished product right now, but he showed in those 45 minutes why he should be given a starting role in those famous blue and white stripes sooner rather than later.

Owls fans have been crying out for new midfielders to arrive at the club, mainly thanks to one-too-many below-par performances from James O'Connor, and Darren Potter, who've been involved as a pair in Wednesday's central midfield for way too long.

But maybe the answer has been right under our noses all along?

When in times of desperation, pretty much as Wednesday find themselves now in npower League One, it's always easy to call for the young lads to come in and show the more experienced first-team players how it's down.

It's not always the right thing to do to throw these young players in at the deep end, it rarely is.

Wednesday have been victims of throwing young players in before, other clubs too, and I'm sure we won't be the last.

But from Palmer's, albeit brief, performances for Wednesday so far, the signs are that he can come in and very much do a job in the Owls' midfield.

He looked composed, confident and showed sharp passing, even though the tie was pretty much dead in the water, with Alex McLeish's men having all-but sealed their progression within an hour.

This against Barclays Premier League players, quality players who he won't be facing in League One.

The youngster has probably shown more than the vast majority of players at Hillsborough since Gary Megson's arrival at the club.

The Owls boss said of the midfielder post-Birmingham 'Liam Palmer was a big plus point when he came on for the second half. He held the ball well and looked comfortable. He showed he can handle the occasion.'

The 19-year-old has only started once for Wednesday, playing for just over an hour in the Owls' slender 1-0 victory over Bury in the Carling Cup earlier this season.

He's made a handful of appearances from the bench, and his talent has also been spotted by Scotland, who've acted quickly in taking him into their under-19 set-up, something which can only help his progression.

There's the saying that 'if they're good enough, they're old enough', and Palmer certainly seems to have shown that he's up to the task of starting in Wednesday's midfield.

The trick is not to expect too much, too soon, from seemingly the brightest prospect to have come through the ranks at S6 in a few seasons.

It'll certainly be interesting to see Megson's starting line-ups for the next couple of games, and see if he picks Palmer, something which former boss Alan Irvine did just once from a starting role.

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 21 2011

Time: 7:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I wouldn't want to overload him or pressure him too much but playing him at home from now until the end of the season should give him great experience going into next season!
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20/02/2011 22:24:00

Sorry but one young lad of promise won't solve our problems. We were simply woeful on Saturday in every area of the pitch. Megs seems to have decided that in order to sure up a leaky defence (ok it's as leaky as a tidal barage that's fully open) we have to play more defenders. So 5-3-2 it is. BUT our two creative players are wingers so where do the fit in? Well JJ has gone down with the lurgy so badly that he hasn't been seen since Megs arrived which is a real shame as he is our best player. Teale on the other hand started on Saturday as a roving midfielder and apart from one whipped in cross (which Mellor should have tucked in had it not been for the fact he'd taken root) he did very little. Not that we should belittle this contribution, it was the only dangerous cross of the day as the rest were hopeless (sorry hopeful) up and unders that were meat and drink to any half competant defence (so not ours). Our use of the ball was awful, O'Connor was a liability and should've been sent off. One plus for me was Osbourne who won the ball well though his use of the ball wasn't the greatest I did at least appreciate his effort. Which was more than could be said about the undynamic duo up front. Time to give Heff and Madine an opportunity surely, if only to put some pressure on the other two lumps to perform. Yes they were not given great service, ok almost any service at all but at the very least they could have tried to look interested. I'm sorry but I don't see this formation working and at the moment am deeply disturbed at our prospects. Gary, you are either going to be a miracle worker (and my fingers are crossed) or MM is finally going to get to sack you.
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21/02/2011 09:53:00

Palmer won't solve our problems but I'd stick him in the first team. He's been on the fringes for some time and he can do no worse than who we currently have in midfield
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21/02/2011 10:15:00

robc I cant say I agree with your assessment of saturdays game, I think there were some very promising signs, the short passing interchanges looked very good, albeit the final ball was letting us down but with fine tuning this could work very very well. As for heff, I can see that the guys up front didnt do too well but heff?he has played how many times and scored 2?how many chances will he need before he scores again?mellor has 13 and morrison has bagged a few, i think our best 3 strikers are madine mellor and morrison. Also if we do load the defence and go 5-3-2 is that not going 'safety first' which was what many fans said was the problem with AIs style?it would take away an attcking player and we may score less than when we have 4 mids, its all swings and roundabouts. Saturday was ok, I expected a lot worse, basically bar 3 defensive **** ups I think for the most part we probably matched them and were definitely attacking more than them. I think the future will not be so bad, GM(ginger mourinho) knows what hes doing I think, we just need to hurry up with these loan signings that were supposed to be happening :)
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21/02/2011 10:51:00

oh and i think reda and palmer looked really good, palmer deserves a chance but go game by game and just assess it weekly :)
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21/02/2011 10:53:00

should be given a go o'connor and potter are awful palmer can do no worse we need results and a hungry young lad might givn us some bite hinds should get a chance as well
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21/02/2011 12:15:00

I went to Birmingham on Saturday and agree that Palmers permformance was the only positive really.Our defending was again terrible and the game was over after 20 mins at 2 down,we improved a little in 2nd half but they were coasting by then.Unless our defending improves 100% then we will not win matches,thats a fact.
leons gloves
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21/02/2011 12:40:00

give him a go - can't be any worse than what we've got - pre-season reviews were all positive and he played quite a bit. need to stop losing before we start winning - we've got worst away record in division - i'll take a point and some better defending tomorrow. hinds should be in team.
Patrick Blondeau
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21/02/2011 13:39:00

robc, forget about jj i can't see him returning at all
Hirsty's Shinpads
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21/02/2011 13:44:00

jpowl,Heffs may av only scored 2 goals but he works alot harder wen he comes on than wot the other forwards do,he holds the ball well and looks more likely to score.He plays like hes proud to wear the shirt.
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21/02/2011 13:48:00

i feel sorry for heff - he might only have 2 goals but how many games as he actually started?!
Patrick Blondeau
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21/02/2011 14:20:00

Cant understand y he keeps getting over looked im sure that if he played more games then he wud be up there with top scorers,his work rate over shadows that of M&M.
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21/02/2011 15:42:00

heffernans appearances: starts / (subs) / goals: 4 / (14) / 2. needs to be given a run i think with madine. though whoevers upfront will need to score 2-3 goals a game just to get a draw and make up for the (non-existent) defence!!
Patrick Blondeau
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21/02/2011 16:17:00

Yeah but Like I've said Morrison is captains And what do captain?????????????????????? Play every game so theres no chance of a heff/Madine partnership ever!! I would love to see it tho
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21/02/2011 19:21:00

Yeah but Like I've said Morrison is captains And what do captains do?????????????????????? Play every game so theres no chance of a heff/Madine partnership ever!! I would love to see it tho
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21/02/2011 19:21:00

morrison and heffernan looked the best partnership we've had up front to me. they were on the same wavelength and i reckon they would bring out the best in each other
Hirsty's Shinpads
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21/02/2011 19:41:00

i think the captaincy is a reallt tough decision to give it anyone at the moment because no-one deserves more than two games in a row at the minute, other than weaver but a gk shouldnt be a captain.
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21/02/2011 22:30:00

There's other people in the team who start just as many games as Morrison and who I would prefer to see as captain! I think Heff and Madine would be a great partnership to be honest? As "good" as Morrison and Mellor are you know that they are thinking they shouldn't be in this league which in turn sub consciously is effecting their performances! Whereas Madine and Heff wont be thinking like that in the slightest! I dont know why everyone goes on about JJ either? I'd get rid of him tomorrow and have Purse on the wing! At least knows how to read a game of football and has an ounce of footballing discipline in him! JJ is just like a rogue balistic missile!
Owls That!
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22/02/2011 11:28:00

ive said it before about palmer, he should definatley be given a chance. i went to every pre-season game (even austria) and he was our best player. Dont understand why its taken this long for him to be given a chance
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22/02/2011 17:10:00


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