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Top 10 SWFC Players of the last 10 years (Owlstalk Ratings)


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On 28/05/2022 at 13:29, Emerson Thome said:

Need something to keep you cold over those long, warm summer months?

 

I've een a few threads about best SWFC players in recent days, so....

 

Over the next few weeks I will post who Owlstalk posters have voted as our best player over the past 10* years (well, 9 year actually, but that didn't sound as good) in the match threads, counting down from 10 to 1.

 

The ratings will include all games from the 2013/14 season to 2021/22.

 

I'll only include players who have played 25 games or more, so if you want to have a go first at who your favourite / top 3 / top 10 players are first, here are the players in the running:

 

25 SWFC appearances or more (alphabetical order):

BANNAN, Barry

BORNER, Julian

BOYD, George

BUXTON, Lewis

COKE, Giles

DAWSON, Cameron

DELE-BASHIRU, Fisayo

DUNKLEY, Chey

FLETCHER, Steven

FORESTIERI, Fernando

FOX, Morgan

GREGORY, Lee

HARRIS, Kadeem

HECTOR, Michael

HELAN, Jeremy

HOOPER, Gary

HUNT, Jack

HUTCHINSON, Sam

IORFA, Dominic

JOAO, Lucas

JOHNSON, Marvin

JONES, David

KIRKLAND, Chris

LEE, Kieran

LEES, Tom

LOOVENS, Glenn

LUONGO, Massimo

MAGHOMA, Jacques

MAGUIRE, Chris

MATIAS, Marco

MATTOCK, Joe

MAY, Stevie

McGUGAN, Lewis

MURPHY, Jacob

NUHIU, Adthe

ODUBAJO, Moses

PALMER, Liam

PATERSON, Callum

PEACOCK-FARRELL, Bailey

PELUPESSY, Joey

PUDIL, Daniel

REACH, Adam

RHODES, Jordan

SASSO, Vincent

SEMEDO, Jose

THORNILEY, Jordan

VAN AKEN, Joost

VENANCIO, Frederico

WALLACE, Ross

WESTWOOD, Keiren

WILDSMITH, Joe

WINDASS, Josh

 

Post your thoughts below, I'll start the countdown next week.

What about Antonio? Play 27 games in 13/14

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3 hours ago, Craig60 said:

What about Antonio? Play 27 games in 13/14

 

Oops, yes I missed Antonio off the list too. 25 starts and 3 sub appearances.

 

Although, having just finished compiling the ratings for the 13/14 season, it is fair to say most of Owlstalk were not big fans of his at the time. He wouldn't even make the top 10 for that season. Maybe he'll do better overall when I get around to the 11/12 or 12/13 seasons and his earlier games are factored in.

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Okay, I'll get the countdown started tomorrow.

 

In compiling the Owlstalk ratings, I've learned these are a bit different to Football Manager where a 7/10 is average. On Owlstalk we tend to mark a lot harsher, especially when we lose, so ratings go something like:

 

7.00 = god-like level only attained rarely over a full season (e.g. Bannan was at 6.81 last season)

6.70 = outstanding

6.50 = up there with the elite Wednesday players

6.25 = good solid player

6.00 = average

5.80 = scraping the bottom of the barrel now

below 5.80 = all-time worst XI material

 

Seeing as some many people posted XI's, I'll start at number 11 and count down from there.

 

Clue: Number 11 in the list played all of his (many) games for Wednesday in the exact same position, and aside from one very dodgy season was one of the most consistent performers, never getting a 9/10, but rarely getting 5's either.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Emerson Thome said:

Okay, I'll get the countdown started tomorrow.

 

In compiling the Owlstalk ratings, I've learned these are a bit different to Football Manager where a 7/10 is average. On Owlstalk we tend to mark a lot harsher, especially when we lose, so ratings go something like:

 

7.00 = god-like level only attained rarely over a full season (e.g. Bannan was at 6.81 last season)

6.70 = outstanding

6.50 = up there with the elite Wednesday players

6.25 = good solid player

6.00 = average

5.80 = scraping the bottom of the barrel now

below 5.80 = all-time worst XI material

 

Seeing as some many people posted XI's, I'll start at number 11 and count down from there.

 

Clue: Number 11 in the list played all of his (many) games for Wednesday in the exact same position, and aside from one very dodgy season was one of the most consistent performers, never getting a 9/10, but rarely getting 5's either.

 

 


Lees?

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13 hours ago, Emerson Thome said:

 

Oops, yes I missed Antonio off the list too. 25 starts and 3 sub appearances.

 

Although, having just finished compiling the ratings for the 13/14 season, it is fair to say most of Owlstalk were not big fans of his at the time. He wouldn't even make the top 10 for that season. Maybe he'll do better overall when I get around to the 11/12 or 12/13 seasons and his earlier games are factored in.

He's in my Top 10

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One of the unsung heroes of Carlos’s team that got to two play-off finals. Lees had his best season, according to the Owlstalk Ratings, under Stuart Gray in 2014-15. A man for a doughty rearguard action, Lees won 9 Man of the Match awards that season, including in the backs-to-the-wall away performances against Bolton (0-0), Birmingham (2-0 win), Brentford (0-0), Wigan (1-0 win) and Burnley (1-0 win).

 

As the squad improved from 2015-17, Lees didn’t earn the same amount of individual plaudits, but was consistently voted above the majority of his teammates. He earned his two highest average ratings for the club in this time, for the performances against Arsenal in the League Cup and his Man of the Match performance in the 2-1 win against table-topping Newcastle, that helped the surge to the 16/17 playoffs. He earned his second Man of the Match performance for that season in the 0-0 draw away at Huddersfield in the Play-Off first leg.

 

Almost an ever-present throughout his 7 seasons, he suffered his most injury-hit campaign in 2017-18, but still started 30 games, and remained one of the better performers throughout the Luhukay and Bruce reigns. The only disappointing season he had was in 2019-20, temporarily losing his place to Iorfa/Borner and then losing form. Having only been voted the worst performer in 4 out of 225 starts up until that point in February 2020, he was then voted the worst player in 3 out of the next 5 games, as Wednesday shipped 3 at Birmingham, 3 at home to Derby and 5 at Brentford.

 

Stripped of the captaincy, Lees still bounced back in 2020/21, finishing the season with highest rating of players with over 20 appearances. With a struggling Wednesday back to fighting out defensive performances, Lees won 8 Man of the Match awards, including 4 in 7 games under Neil Thompson, as the team tried to stave off relegation. Unfortunately, an ankle injury away at Middlesbrough ended his season early, and with it went Wednesday’s chances of survival, going on to concede two goals in the second half at Boro and three at Derby in the season decider.

 

Still, despite this sour note, Lees should be remembered as a stalwart defender and one who, aside from one bad season, was very reliable. In particular, for his strong partnership with Glenn Loovens. Lees’ average rating for his 83 matches played alongside Loovens was 6.86 (in the 190 games without Loovens, his rating of 6.37 is still respectable, but some level lower).

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16 hours ago, Emerson Thome said:

One of the unsung heroes of Carlos’s team that got to two play-off finals. Lees had his best season, according to the Owlstalk Ratings, under Stuart Gray in 2014-15. A man for a doughty rearguard action, Lees won 9 Man of the Match awards that season, including in the backs-to-the-wall away performances against Bolton (0-0), Birmingham (2-0 win), Brentford (0-0), Wigan (1-0 win) and Burnley (1-0 win).

 

As the squad improved from 2015-17, Lees didn’t earn the same amount of individual plaudits, but was consistently voted above the majority of his teammates. He earned his two highest average ratings for the club in this time, for the performances against Arsenal in the League Cup and his Man of the Match performance in the 2-1 win against table-topping Newcastle, that helped the surge to the 16/17 playoffs. He earned his second Man of the Match performance for that season in the 0-0 draw away at Huddersfield in the Play-Off first leg.

 

Almost an ever-present throughout his 7 seasons, he suffered his most injury-hit campaign in 2017-18, but still started 30 games, and remained one of the better performers throughout the Luhukay and Bruce reigns. The only disappointing season he had was in 2019-20, temporarily losing his place to Iorfa/Borner and then losing form. Having only been voted the worst performer in 4 out of 225 starts up until that point in February 2020, he was then voted the worst player in 3 out of the next 5 games, as Wednesday shipped 3 at Birmingham, 3 at home to Derby and 5 at Brentford.

 

Stripped of the captaincy, Lees still bounced back in 2020/21, finishing the season with highest rating of players with over 20 appearances. With a struggling Wednesday back to fighting out defensive performances, Lees won 8 Man of the Match awards, including 4 in 7 games under Neil Thompson, as the team tried to stave off relegation. Unfortunately, an ankle injury away at Middlesbrough ended his season early, and with it went Wednesday’s chances of survival, going on to concede two goals in the second half at Boro and three at Derby in the season decider.

 

Still, despite this sour note, Lees should be remembered as a stalwart defender and one who, aside from one bad season, was very reliable. In particular, for his strong partnership with Glenn Loovens. Lees’ average rating for his 83 matches played alongside Loovens was 6.86 (in the 190 games without Loovens, his rating of 6.37 is still respectable, but some level lower).


Superb player, who even now at the age of 31 was considered the best defender by the fans of the side that missed out on the Prem by a single goal.

 

Really interesting to note also how comfortable he is on the ball at Town, who play out from the back with purpose and speed. He was hopeless with the ball at his feet when we adopted a sluggish, clueless pass-it-across-the-back-with-no-intent approach.

 

Tom Lees - super player.

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6 minutes ago, Emerson Thome said:

Coming tomorrow, number 10 in the rankings. Feel this is going to be a controversial one (I would have had him at number one, but it isn't up to me).

FF I expect .

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16 minutes ago, Emerson Thome said:

Coming tomorrow, number 10 in the rankings. Feel this is going to be a controversial one (I would have had him at number one, but it isn't up to me).


Kieran Lee?

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Barry Bannan has been the heartbeat of the Wednesday team for the past seven seasons, rarely missing a game. Taking this ten-year period as a whole, Bannan has played the most matches, created the most goals and won the most Owlstalk Man of the Match awards by far (47, the next best is 27). He’s also registered the highest average score for a season (7.20 in 2015/16). So how can there be nine players rated higher than him?

 

Well, first of all, he’s played a lot of matches. It is hard to maintain a really high rating over a long career, and so players who burn brightly but briefly will always do well in these ratings. There are various points in his Wednesday career where you could pick a chunky spell of 50 games and he would scored higher than our number one.

 

And second of all, the reason he isn’t higher is… Monk and Pulis.

 

There’s not much point having a genius playmaker and then choosing to launch the ball long over his head. Breaking down his Wednesday career manager-by-manager (table at the bottom), you can see how his output dropped under those two managers. Take those 10 games under Pulis out, Bannan would be seventh on this list, take out both Pulis and Monk and he would be third. You can accuse me of cherry-picking stats here, but Bannan’s career without Monk and Pulis is still almost 250 games, more than nearly everyone else over the past 10 years.

 

And it isn’t like he played terribly under Monk and Pulis, it is just that he didn’t shine. His average rating of 6.05 under Monk is higher than the team average for these games (5.99). Even his 5.85 rating under Pulis is only slightly below the team average for these 10 matches (5.88). Whereas under all the other managers he has consistently been a stand-out performer. Most of the players above him on this list simply weren't here when Monk and Pulis were.

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2022-06-05 at 10.10.00.png

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Now I’ve addressed why he isn’t nearer the top, let’s focus on a few of the positives. Blessed with incredible close control, vision and the sweetest of left feet, he has been Wednesday’s creative fulcrum, assisting 49 goals in 285 starts in the league. Unlike some playmakers, what marks Bannan apart is his workrate. Scurrying all over the pitch, he will make last-ditch saving tackles in defence and also lead the press in attack.

 

Normally players who are top of the assist charts are wingers or strikers, but Bannan has matched or exceeded the output of most (see table at bottom) playing as a central midfielder, occasionally in-off the left and, in recent games, further forward as a number 10.

 

In many ways, his first season was his best, with a record highest season rating of 7.20. In 15/16, Bannan didn’t score or assist that many goals (3 goals, 2 assists), but after the dour days of Stuart Gray his workrate, endeavour, creativity and passing quickly endeared him to the fans. He arrived two days after Fernando Forestieri in August 2015 with Wednesday on just 4 points from 5 games. Soon, the two helped Wednesday launch up the table, picking up 69 points in the next 41 games. Bannan was chosen by Owlstalk in 10 of the 40 games he started that year, as the Owls made it all the way to Wembley.

 

Tied down to a long-term contract, the 16/17 season was a more mixed affair. On paper, it was Wednesday’s highest finish – 4th in the Championship, but fans became frustrated with a more attritional style of play. Bannan was picked five times as the worst player on the pitch (compared to just twice in his other six seasons at Wednesday put together). Wednesday did quite well in the games he was singled out, with 10 points from these 5 games. He turned this around with a strong end to the season – securing Man of the Match awards the win at Ipswich that secured a play-off place and in the second-leg play-off draw with Huddersfield at Hillsborough.

 

Bannan carried this improved form into the 2017-18 season, a season where he outperformed teammates by a huge margin. The longest injury layoff of his Wednesday career saw the wheels fall off for Carlos Carvalhal and Jos Luhukay make an unconvincing start, but Bannan returned to guide the team to midtable safety with a string of late-season wins.

 

In 2018-19, despite managerial turmoil off the pitch, Bannan claimed a record 11 Man of the Match awards. This included a run of 4 in 5 games in an early-season purple patch. Then, as alluded to above, the Monk and Pulis eras saw a change in playing style. Although the assists didn’t dry up for Bannan, the chance to dictate the tempo of the game did. With less attacking players committed forward and less possession, Wednesday became a more reactive team and Bannan more of just a cog in a functional, less expansive team.

 

Relegation eventually followed, although the appointment of Darren Moore has seen Bannan’s form return to those heady early days. This was first glimpsed in the 5-0 win over Cardiff in April 2021 that saw Bannan earn his first Owlstalk Rating above 9. Admittedly playing in a lower league, but also due to a more advanced role, Bannan achieved his record goal tally in 2021/22 (9) and matched his highest assists tally (12). This included 6 goals from outside the penalty area, with only Scott Twine (9) achieving more in the entire division.

 

With another season of League One ahead, and three players only very marginally above him on this list, he still has time to rise further up the rankings while breaking more records for Wednesday.

 

A dozen Bannan masterclasses (some of his highest-rating games):

9.52 vs Burton Albion (h) – 21/22 season (5-2 win)

9.44 vs MK Dons (a) – 21/22 season (3-2 win)

9.42 vs Cardiff (h) – 20/21 season (5-0 win)

8.91 vs Crewe (a) – 21/22 season (2-0 win)

8.83 vs Millwall (h) – 18/19 season (2-1 win)

8.70 vs Preston (h) – 16/17 season (3-1 win)

8.69 vs Norwich (a) – 16/17 season (0-0 draw)

8.68 vs Fulham (a) – 17/18 season (1-0 win)

8.68 vs Stoke (h) – 18/19 season (2-2 draw)

8.60 vs Middlesbrough (a) – 18/19 season (1-0 win)

8.57 vs Brentford (h) – 16/17 season (4-0 win)

8.56 vs Arsenal (h) – 16/17 season (3-0 win)

 

 

Screenshot 2022-06-05 at 10.17.09.png

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On 28/05/2022 at 13:29, Emerson Thome said:

Need something to keep you cold over those long, warm summer months?

 

I've een a few threads about best SWFC players in recent days, so....

 

Over the next few weeks I will post who Owlstalk posters have voted as our best player over the past 10* years (well, 9 year actually, but that didn't sound as good) in the match threads, counting down from 10 to 1.

 

The ratings will include all games from the 2013/14 season to 2021/22.

 

I'll only include players who have played 25 games or more, so if you want to have a go first at who your favourite / top 3 / top 10 players are first, here are the players in the running:

 

25 SWFC appearances or more (alphabetical order):

BANNAN, Barry

BORNER, Julian

BOYD, George

BUXTON, Lewis

COKE, Giles

DAWSON, Cameron

DELE-BASHIRU, Fisayo

DUNKLEY, Chey

FLETCHER, Steven

FORESTIERI, Fernando

FOX, Morgan

GREGORY, Lee

HARRIS, Kadeem

HECTOR, Michael

HELAN, Jeremy

HOOPER, Gary

HUNT, Jack

HUTCHINSON, Sam

IORFA, Dominic

JOAO, Lucas

JOHNSON, Marvin

JONES, David

KIRKLAND, Chris

LEE, Kieran

LEES, Tom

LOOVENS, Glenn

LUONGO, Massimo

MAGHOMA, Jacques

MAGUIRE, Chris

MATIAS, Marco

MATTOCK, Joe

MAY, Stevie

McGUGAN, Lewis

MURPHY, Jacob

NUHIU, Adthe

ODUBAJO, Moses

PALMER, Liam

PATERSON, Callum

PEACOCK-FARRELL, Bailey

PELUPESSY, Joey

PUDIL, Daniel

REACH, Adam

RHODES, Jordan

SASSO, Vincent

SEMEDO, Jose

THORNILEY, Jordan

VAN AKEN, Joost

VENANCIO, Frederico

WALLACE, Ross

WESTWOOD, Keiren

WILDSMITH, Joe

WINDASS, Josh

 

Post your thoughts below, I'll start the countdown next week.

Liam Palmer has to at the top, along with Barry Bannan.

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