'Come In, Number 31..'
An away match at Plymouth coming up, Graham Kavanagh back to Sunderland and Irish dynamo Glenn Whelan out due to suspension? Let's look at one particular option for centre midfield and ask the question..
Is Yoann Folly the man for the job?
The French midfielder had his troubles pre-season, his life disrupted by family bereavement: football was probably the last thing on his mind. But the Hillsborough favourite was expected by fans to be in the running for a place come this season; effective performances last term meant he would surely be a starting option in the centre of the park for the Owls.
Kenny Lunt has been more likely to be Whelan's partner through the early season disappointments. News that midfield general Kavanagh was to come in on loan was welcome, and this move obviously proved successful, adding stability and composure to the team.
But Folly? A sole start in the narrow loss against Preston, a couple of substitute appearances (including a match winning one in the Cup against Hartlepool) and that's all.. a reserve outing on October 10th was his last significant action.
He's dynamic, he can break up attacks and we know he can play alongside Whelan. Recent speculation that he had a clause in his contract on signing from Southampton that meant the Owls had to pay more after a certain number of appearances is pure rumour. He was rewarded with a contract extension by the club to 2008/9 so he must be part of the plans.
Will he feature at the weekend? There are other options: the return of Steve Watson, or the decent form of Burton O'Brien (bring him inside and give Etienne Esajas a start out wide). It isn't likely Yoann will be match fit.. but a spot on the bench surely isn't out of the question, especially as Kavanagh cannot yet be counted upon to return?
We hope that your troubles are behind you, Yoann, and you're feeling OK. Hope to see you back in blue and white soon!