I always try to be a someone with a sunny disposition, someone who always tries to take a positive out of life’s many negatives but today, when it comes to Sheffield United, I just cannot summon that optimism, that ray of sunshine we all need.
Rather than merely state the obvious – that this season has been a horrid one for the Yorkshire club – I am just going to bombard you with a few stats. If you’re a fan of the Bramall Lane club, it makes for sorry reading so you may want to avert your eyes now.
Sheffield United have lost five successive away matches in all competitions without finding the net once. They have lost 23 times in their first 29 Premier League matches this campaign, equalling Sunderland’s record of 2005-06. They are the top flight’s lowest scorers having found the back of the net just 16 times and if they fail to score today it will be the fourth consecutive match they haven’t scored – a feat they last managed in April 2000. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in 19 away matches in the Premier League.
They lie rock bottom of the table and thanks to West Brom’s shock win at Chelsea (they scored five times against a defence that has been the personification of parsimonious recently) they are seven points of 19th (they are a mammoth 14 points off survival which, let’s face it, isn’t going to happen. They are currently led by caretaker Paul Heckingbottom and barring a miracle are going down to the Championship.
Sorry, I admit this is all rather doom and gloom, so here’s an attempt at positivity- a Yorkshire derby against Leeds United is just the sort of game to awaken Sheffield United from its lethargy. The passions of a proud sporting county can come to the fore and getting the side back on the winning track?
They need to start winning to have any hope of avoiding the seemingly inevitable.
Stay here to find out if derby day does do the trick for the basement club.
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