Date: 22nd February 2017 at 6:01pm
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For me Barry Bannan would be justified in feeling incredibly hard done by Wednesday fans this season. He has absolutely certainly not been at his best, but Wednesday’s recent revival revolved around Bannan`s form. During a poor display from the whole team against Brentford, with Bannan shunted out onto the wing, he was replaced at half time. Wednesday fans all over social media laid into the dynamic Scotsman in the proceeding hours.

After making it into the Championship team of the year last season in central midfield, as one of the two best central midfield players in the division, his form has left a lot to be desired this time. Of this, there is no doubt. However, why are Wednesday failing to get the most out of last seasons star man?

I am firmly of the opinion that this is due to his positioning in Wednesday`s formations this term. Barry Bannan is an emotional guy, anyone watching Wednesday week in week out could tell you that. You can see his body language drop when shunted onto the left. He thrives off that responsibility that he feels when asked to play in a central role.

With Kieran Lee`s injury Bannan had the chance to play infield. There is absolutely no doubt that over the last 6 games Bannan’s form took a sharp up turn. We saw him making turns, beating men and dictating the play, getting on the ball and looking to run things for Wednesday.

His execution isn’t always perfect, we are in the Championship and if we had perfect players, we would be in the Premier League, but you could see that Bannan was trying to run games for us. He managed to record 3 assists in 6 games and put in a man of the match performance against Wigan. In fact I thought he was easily the best player on the park against Brighton and Birmingham as well, and has played as well as anyone else in the games in the interim. .

My only gripe with him is that admittedly, he doesn’t get quite as many goals as he should do. However I do think he makes up for this in other areas, especially considering we do generally get goals from around the pitch.

Most fans only recognise goals as a positive contribution, as they are not aware enough to notice smaller aspects that contribute to GAINING GENERAL CONTROL OF A GAME. I think his lack of goals gives him a more negative perception that he deserves and I would trade in Abdi`s 3 shots for CONTROL of that first half in a second.

Now unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the Forest away game and I have no idea how well Abdi played, other than scoring the goal. It would seem that he did well enough to retain his place. Surely though, we should have gone 3 in the middle and allowed Bannan to do what he does.

Bannan on the left did absolutely nothing against Brentford. He was poor. However I didn’t exactly see Abdi running that game for us in the way Bannan had been doing recently.. In essence we lost something from the middle, and also from the left by having Barry Bannan out there.

To be honest, I find it frankly pathetic how much Wednesdayites are wishing Abdi was a good player. He was tidy at times on Tuesday, but did very very little in terms of controlling the game for us from the middle of the park. The Abdi fan club is simply pathetic and the fact that they are willing to slate a player, who was so good for us last year, and who had actually taken a recent upturn in form, is strange if not wrong.

Abdi had done nothing up until the Forest game to deserve a place in the team. He retained his place, and was poor against Brentford. Bannan gives us 10 fold more in the centre of the pitch and those disagreeing simply wish our fashionable big money signing was doing better than he is, and are looking for any reason to get him in the side. Pathetic.

If Abdi has shown a bit more in training recently then fine. He deserved his chance off the bench and showed enough to suggest it might be a good idea to give a player, who obviously has quality, a chance to show we can trust him coming towards the business end of the season.

He got this chance and scored a great goal against Forest. I didn’t see his performance, so I can only agree that he did enough to retain his place for the Brentford clash, but at the expense of Bannan in the middle? Absolutely lunacy after what his has shown over the last few games. Lunacy! If Abdi had to play we should have gone 3 in the middle. Abdi might have had a couple of shots, but semi-intelligent football fans will be able to see that he did not win control of the game for us. It was an average at best performance.

I will say now, that I know that most fans think Abdi has done well enough to retain his place over Bannan, I expect Carvalhal to show more intelligence, more awareness, more tactical nous. It’s absolute madness what is being said and thought regarding this situation and it is simply a case of fans being desperate to see a fashionable new signing, over an old school player.

I for one hope to see Bannan retain his place, either in a 3 with Abdi, or in a 2 at the expense of Abdi. I would have absolutely no problem with Abdi not playing. This should leave the left free for Forestieri who effects the game a lot more from a wide area as opposed to with his back to goal, looking to link play with a few little touches here and there.