This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Sheffield United.
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Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Time to focus on the Blades.
Chris Wilder: The local lad done good. Chrissy Wilder has taken his boyhood club from the third division to the upper echelons of the Premier League in a few seasons and has done it with a clear playing philosophy and a no-nonsense attitude. Ask any player or manager who has got on the wrong side of Wilder. They will not have forgotten. Wilder has put in the hard graft at multiple lower league clubs over the years and is making the most of his opportunity to manage in the top-flight. His hunger and grit is visible throughout his playing staff and what Wilder says goes. The fans adore him and chant his name and if he wasn’t Sheffield United’s manager he would be watching Sheffield United in the stands with them. That is why we love Chrissy Wilder.
Overlapping center backs: One of the main reasons Wilder has had success at his hometown club is due to his interesting and revolutionary tactics. Overlapping center backs is now a term synonymous with the Blades and they have taken the Premier League by storm by overloading out wide. Often you will see Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell meander forward and support attacks and this works because midfielders John Fleck and Oliver Norwood sit deep and cover. Sheffield United are a well-oiled machine and the majority of this squad have been playing together for at least two full seasons. Continuity helps and even though everyone knows about overlapping center backs, Premier League have struggled to figure it out.
Their dramatic European push: That shows as Sheffield United sit in seventh place, five points off fourth place, with nine games to go. The Blades are having an incredible first season back in the Premier League after their promotion to the top-flight and they are tough to beat and eight of their 11 wins have been by one-goal margins. Sheffield United are well in the race to qualify for the Europa League and if fifth-place ends up being a Champions League spot then they are well in the hunt for UCL qualification too. Behind Liverpool winning the title, Sheffield United qualifying for Europe will be the story of the 2019-20 Premier League season.
Steel City swagger: There’s a likeable arrogance and confidence about this Sheffield United team. England’s Steel City has fallen on tough times in recent decades but Sheffield is a tough and proud city. The Blades are an extension of that and right now they are the pride of Yorkshire with Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United and Hull City in the Championship. From Billy Sharp’s poaching and Chris Wilder’s masterful management, two locals are leading Sheffield United’s charge up the Premier League and that is so rare in this day and age. That is why the fans, players and staff all feel so connected and the feel-good spirit continues at Sheffield United. Bramall Lane has been bouncing all season long.