Are We Missing A Trick With Fox?
Since joining Sheffield Wednesday just over a year ago, Morgan Fox has been used primarily as a left back. His position in the side has slightly changed under new manager Jos Luhukay as he is now being deployed in a left wing back role but one position I feel would really suit him, especially if we are sticking with a three at the back system, is left sided centre half.
Fox seems to have become a bit of a scapegoat recently with Wednesday fans as we`ve seen with other players but against Cardiff we saw Fox make a couple of extremely crucial interventions to stop The Bluebirds breaching Joe Wildsmith`s net. However, it was probably his performance as a make shift centre half at Derby after Glenn Loovens was dismissed that really made me question whether Fox would be better in central defence than playing at full back.
Now with a change of system that sees us using three centre backs, I really feel Morgan could excel here. He`s played in the position a handful of times before at Charlton, he`s 6`0 tall which doesn`t make him a big centre half but he`s taller than say Sam Hutchinson and he`s shown on many occasions that he`s not too bad when it comes to making those last ditch challenges in the box either.
What Fox would also add to the back three is a bit more pace than say if we included Glenn Loovens. So we could use Venancio on one side, Pudil in the centre (who has been excellent in my opinion) and Fox the other side of him. It would also give us the right foot left foot balance either side of the actual centre half too. I think it could be a good set up going forward until we recover the likes of Tom Lees and Joost van Aken, although we have seen the likes of Jordan Thorniley, Connor O`Grady and Frederik Nielsen put good shifts in at the back.
I do think, given time, Fox is likely to improve as a left back/left wing back, especially as he`s only 24. He was a courted by the club a while and seen as a player they could sign and develop, much like Adam Reach, but I think it`s the latter who suits the left wing back role better, especially if we are looking to hit teams on the counter. I think stats wise Reach was the best performing left back in the league for a couple of months running this season and I also believe he is the player who covers the most ground for us too.
The dilemma is that if we are sticking with the current system and you move Reach into a left wing back role, you lose his energy in the middle of the park. It could give us an opportunity to give Sean Clare a go from the start, who I personally think is the pick of the bunch from the U23s. Bannan is back running too and I think if we had him as the left of a midfield three, Reach at left back and Fox as left sided centre half, it would give us decent balance.