Following an embarrassing defeat in the hands of Walsall, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder will be wanting to forget his team’s abysmal performance and continue with their title challenge.
In a fixture which would further their place at the top of the league 1 table, the Blades found themselves one goal down in the fifth minute as goalkeeper Simon Moore was unable to stop a left-footed strike from Walsall’s Amadou Bakayoko hitting the bottom right corner. Five minutes later, centre-half Jack O’Connell managed to tie the game up with a header from the centre of the box, following a set piece situation.
Unfortunately for the Blades, after wasting time of the ball, squandering various goalscoring opportunities and being very unorganised at the back. Walsall’s Jason McCarthy and Joe Edwards both managed to beat the Sheffield United defence, as well as Erhun Oztumer who converted a late penalty which was the games determinative goal, ending four goals to one in Walsall’s favour. In a post match interview Chris Wilder described his team’s performance by stating: “It was an opportunity missed today, we just weren’t good enough”.
Throughout the match, the partnership between Blades strikers Billy Sharp and Caolan Lavery linked play well together and appeared to be building upon their short lived relationship. However, many missed chances in front of goal has lead to the question of is Lavery the right striker to partner captain and leading goalscorer Billy Sharp. Having only scored two goals all season, concludes whether Chris Wilder will be looking for a more reliable goalscorer to partner Sharp.
Other strikers such as Leon Clarke and Matt Done have failed to make an outstanding impression, scoring a combined five goals in all competitions and failing to secure a constant first team place for the current league leaders. Scottish attacker Stefan Scougall is also a contender to partner the Blades captain upfront scoring five this season, although his lack of physicality is said to be keeping the fan favourite out of the team sheet.
In addition, with the January transfer window well underway, Wilder may be forced to add to his already new signings of midfielder Samir Carruthers from MK Dons and Daniel Lafferty who has made his initial loan deal from Burnley permanent.