Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Are Sheffield United In Danger Of Relegation?

Sheffield United lost 1-0 last weekend to West Bromwich Albion, thanks to a Conor Gallagher first half strike. This keeps the Blades on just one point in their opening ten games after a disappointing start to the season. At the ten game mark last year, Sheffield were on 13 points. Are Sheffield United in massive danger of relegation? 

What a difference a year makes. The Blades were high flying a year ago. They are no longer the same team we saw last season. So what has gone wrong for Chris Wilder’s men?

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder. Are the Blades in danger of relegation?

Until the three month hiatus, Sheffield were in the mix for a Champions League place. They are now likely to be in the mix in the fight for survival.

For me, this is key. I predicted before the Premier League restarted that Sheffield would be one of the teams to suffer from lack of fans. The fanbase for Sheffield played a great role and were often a twelfth man, especially at Bramall Lane.

Now the fan base has been taken away, the team appear to not have that same drive.

The lack of form can also be blamed on a halt in momentum. 

The last game before the pause in the 2019/20 season saw Sheffield beat Norwich City 1-0 thanks to a Billy Sharp goal. This was a win that put them in sixth place and just two points behind fourth place Chelsea. It was their fourth win in their last seven games with two of those three dropped points against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Billy Sharp celebrates his goal against Norwich in March. At time of writing, this is their last game with full capacity stadiums.

Sheffield won just three of the remaining ten games after the hiatus, ending the season in ninth place. Whilst this is still a great league position in their first Premier League season since 2006/2007, it could have been so much more. 

There is also the matter of Sheffield being worked out. Second season syndrome happens to many teams and the Blades could be the next team.

Sheffield both scored and conceded 39 goals in the 2019/20 season. So far this season in the first ten games, they have scored 4 goals and conceded 16. 

Full back Kyle Walker celebrates his goal against his former club in Sheffield United’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Should the remaining 28 games go the same way the first 10 have, Sheffield would end the season with 15.2 goals and would have conceded 60.2 goals. This is almost double what they conceded last season and less than half the goals they scored last season. 

The defence has not been the same organised unit and the attackers at their disposal have not been at their best. 

Rhian Brewster arrived from Liverpool for a deal worth £23.5 million. Brewster has not been the player we all expected so far and has started the last two games on the bench.

Rhian Brewster impressed last season on loan with Swansea City. He has struggled since his move to Yorkshire.

Teams that buy too much often struggle to play well and gel as a team. A lack of transfer business can also affect teams and this is part of the reason behind Sheffield’s poor start to the season. 

Sheffield may see an improvement in form with the fans coming back into stadiums. Is this going to be enough? Sadly, I feel that this Sheffield team are on their way to life back in the Championship.

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