Tag Archives: Sheffield United

Martial FC in administration as Manchester United beaten by Sheffield United

The end is nigh for Martial FC as Anthony Martial turned in a disasterclass for the ages in Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday night.

The Frenchman started in his preferred central striker role on the night but was absolutely horrendous throughout, as Kean Bryan and Oliver Burke scored either side of a Harry Maguire header to get the Blades only their second win of the season.

It means Manchester United remain in second place in the table, a point behind local rivals Manchester City but having played a game extra.

The performance from everyone was awful, with Harry Maguire probably the only one to come away with some positives on the night, but Martial in particular has struck a nerve with fans.

After pushing on to his best individual season last year, many expected him to kick on this season and really push on to become the number nine he has always claimed to be.

Instead, the 25-year-old has shown a lack of intensity, a lack of movement, a lack of hunger and in truth, a lack of quality.

He has scored just five goals in all competitions so far this season and despite being given chance after chance, he’s not shown anything to suggest that he’s going to kick on past what he did last season.

United are seriously lacking that clinical edge in front of goal right now, to help in these tight games. Edinson Cavani has done relatively well in his performances so far, but its clear as day that he is past his prime too.

With a heavy reliance on goals from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes, when they’re not firing United become blunt in attack. The Reds are desperate for someone they can rely on to be a genuine threat for 90 minutes in every game they play – someone in the Harry Kane or Erling Haaland bracket.

While the defeat is a result that could happen at any time – no team can win every game – United will see it as an opportunity missed to keep the pressure on Man City as they head into a tough round of fixtures.

They face Arsenal, Southampton and Everton in their next three league games and they’ll need to ensure they don’t do what they’ve become known to do in the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era and that’s fall into a run of bad results, instead of it being an anomaly.

Marcus Rashford’s Instinctive Side Blossoms As He Saves Manchester United Blushes

Marcus Rashford came to Manchester United’s rescue once again as he scored a brace to help them come from behind once again in a 3-2 win over Sheffield United.

The Blades took an early lead thanks to calamitous error from Dean Henderson through David McGoldrick, before Rashford took over the show. A glorious first touch to cushion down a Victor Lindelof pass gave him the opportunity to smash the ball past Aaron Ramsdale for the equaliser.

Anthony Martial got his first Premier League goal of the season from a wonderful Paul Pogba pass to put the Red Devils ahead, before Rashford wrapped up a wonderful team move early in the second half to double his tally. McGoldrick got a second late on but it proved to be just a consolation.

Throughout the game Rashford’s direct running and speed caused the Sheffield United defence problems, with manager Chris Wilder even forced to substitute Phil Jagielka just after an hour despite substituting him on in the first half.

Rashford made several of those runs from out on the left-wing in towards goal and was a huge threat as Manchester United took control of the game.

On a few occasions the 23-year-old picked the ball up in a deep position and drove beyond the back line, proving that at his explosive best he is almost unplayable.

What caught the eye the most though, was his finishing when being instinctive. Prior to equalising, he was put through by Bruno Fernandes after making one of those out-to-in runs and after taking the ball down well he had time to think and put the ball over the bar.

While he ended up being offside for that instance, the equaliser moments later was pure instinct as he took the ball down and them hammered it without even looking up at the keeper. Much like against RB Leipzig where he didn’t have too much time to think about his finishes, Rashford seems at his best when playing off instinct.

You can see the street footballer side of him come out when he’s not over-thinking situations and it often leads to the best moments of the game.

Rashford is a super talented footballer, who has almost 250 appearances for Manchester United and 79 goals at the ripe old age of 23. He is only going to get better and seems to have finally found his best position, while thriving on the responsibility of being one of the leading figures in the squad.

United will be at their best when they get him into situations against isolated defenders as much as possible and he lets his instinct take over.

Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United – Deal Of The Summer?

Sheffield United have completed the signing of Rhian Brewster from Liverpool, with the selling club potentially able to claim deal of the summer for incomings and outgoings now.

The England youth international was set to leave the club on loan earlier this summer, with several Premier League clubs interested. However as Liverpool signed Diogo Jota in attack for a fee rising to £51million, the club opted to put Brewster up for sale – so long as a buy-back option was included in the deal.

Crystal Palace and Aston Villa were interested in making a deal happen but ultimately it was Sheffield United who struck a deal for the player. The Blades will pay a club-record £23.5million for the striker, with Liverpool retaining a 15% sell-on clause and a buy-back option for an undisclosed amount valid for three years.

In a similar way that Real Madrid have done with Sergio Reguilon, they’ve essentially let a top prospect go on a long-term loan deal to balance their books now but retaining control of the player’s future going forward.

With Mane, Salah, Firmino, Minamino and Jota ahead of him in the pecking order, a move for regular football is exactly what Brewster needs at this point in his career. He proved during his mid-season loan to Swansea last season that with regular football he’s a goal threat, scoring more goals than any other player in the Championship during his time in the division.

At just 20 years old, Brewster is a top talent in the English game. But he’s not ready for the top end of the Premier League on a regular basis yet. Sheffield United have struggled for goals this season, failing to score a goal in any of their three games so far this season.

The addition of Brewster to the attack will add some dynamism to an otherwise quite static attack, but also adds a sure-fire goalscorer. Inside the penalty area, Brewster comes alive and with the way that Sheffield United play he should receive plenty of chances across the season. He will also be able to focus solely on scoring goals, with the likelihood that he’ll be paired with a partner who’s priority is to link the play from the midfield.

It’s a deal that Liverpool simply can’t lose on. They’ve sold a player with barely any first-team experience who can’t get into their first-team for £23.5million, while also pre-agreeing a price for a buy-back option should he perform as they expect him too. Bringing him back at any point in the next three years allows them to always have an option in the market to improve their frontline.

It also gives them the option to make money off any future sale should they decide not to bring him back using their buy-back clause. They could also do what Real Madrid and Barcelona tend to do if a club comes in and offers a fee above their buy-back clause to Sheffield United. With their buy-back option they can bring Brewster back to the club but then sell him on to whoever the interested club was to make even more money off the deal.

After securing the signing of Thiago for just €30million, they’ve now made the sale of the season too. Liverpool are the bar when it comes to the transfer market this summer.

Goal-line technology broken in Premier League return

The Premier League came back and couldn’t even go an entire half without more controversy upon it’s resumption.

The English top division returned after 100 days of no action due to Covid-19 at Villa Park on Wednesday June 17th, as Sheffield United travelled to Aston Villa in one of the two games in hand to be played first.

During a pretty tame first half in which neither side really managed to create a chance, controversy struck 5 minutes before the end of the half.

Oliver Norwood whipped in a free-kick from the left hand side over everyone in the box, only for goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland to completely misread it and end up underneath it. As he just about caught the ball before it dipped in, the goalkeeper collided with his team-mate Keenan Davis and appeared to fumble behind the goal-line with the ball still in his hands.

Sheffield United players began to celebrate while Aston Villa players looked at each-other knowing there was nobody to blame but their own keeper – and yet referee Michael Oliver waved play on as his watch hadn’t vibrated!

Replays show the ball CLEARLY over the line but the referee couldn’t give the goal due to the goal-line technology failing him. At half-time, Sky Sports reported that during the break the word from the referee’s room is that the ball DID cross the line and that his watch buzzed during the break to say a goal had taken place but by that point it was far too late.

Welcome back Premier League.

UPDATE

Hawk-eye, the technology behind Goal Decision System (GDS), have released a statement on Twitter publicly apologising to the Premier League and Sheffield United after their cameras missed the goal. They say that all seven cameras were working and tested, but were too secluded by the players and goalpost to make a decision – something that’s never happened before in over 9000 games.

Aston Villa vs Sheffield United – Match Preview

The Premier League makes it’s long awaited return tonight as Aston Villa host Sheffield United in an empty Villa Park.

Both sides are at the opposite ends of the table currently, with Aston Villa 2 points from safety in 19th place while Sheffield United are just 5 points off the Champions League places in a stellar first season back in the Premier League.

With the clubs fulfilling their game-in-hand as the return fixture, all eyes will be on these two teams to see what fans can expect in terms of performance across the rest of the league.

Aston Villa are still missing goalkeeper Tom Heaton and striker Wesley for the remainder of the season following knee injuries picked up on New Year’s Day, but welcome back influential midfielder John McGinn. The Scotland international was in excellent form for Villa prior to breaking his ankle in December, an injury that was originally supposed to keep him out for the rest of the season.

“It’s an honour [to be the first game], the eyes of the world will be on us and we are looking forward to it. The players’ feel comfortable and safe and thankfully nobody has tested positive. We’re all set to go now, and they just want to play football. They are really looking forward to it, they just want to play football.”

Sheffield United announced that they had agreed terms with Manchester United to extend the loan of young goalkeeper Dean Henderson until the end of the current campaign at the earliest, something that manager Chris Wilder admitted was a huge relief.

Sheffield United v Norwich City - Premier League : News Photo
Dean Henderson is set to stay at Sheffield United for the rest of the season

“I spoke to Ole yesterday morning and I thanked him for his co-operation with Dean. We’re in a situation where Dean will hopefully agree a deal to stay until the end of the season in the coming days.”

The Blades sit in a lofty 7th place at the restart of the Premier League season, knowing a win against Villa on Wednesday evening will move them up to fifth ahead of Manchester United and just 2 points behind Chelsea.

Wilder has a full-strength squad to choose from ahead of the game, with captain Billy Sharp raring to go after signing a new contract with the club.

While the break is obviously a massive inconvenience to the momentum of Sheffield United, they’ve been impressive all season. Defensively they’ve been solid and very hard to break down, while going forward set-pieces have been a big key to their success. Aston Villa however will see the break as a potential blessing in disguise. A chance for the players to rest, recover and come back re-focused looking to remain in the division. Jack Grealish will of course be central to any successes they have and if he is to leave in the summer as expected, he will be hopeful it will be on good terms with the club still in England’s top flight.

PICKS

Sheffield United to win – 13/10
Under 2.5 match goals – 4/5

Premier League Returns!

The Premier League will make its long awaited return on Wednesday June 17th after exactly 100 days.

When Leicester beat Aston Villa 4-0 thanks to substitute Jamie Vardy’s brace on March 9th, many people were waiting for the inevitable announcement that the Premier League was going to suspend all games until further notice due to coronavirus. Nobody knew how long for.

As France, Holland, Scotland and Belgium all ended their season prematurely due to the virus, the Premier League refused to cancel the season and held several meetings with clubs to gauge the feeling of a return. After months of talks, it’s finally happening.

Aston Villa Training Session : News Photo
Jack Grealish will look to lead Aston Villa away from relegation

At 6pm on Wednesday, Aston Villa will host Sheffield United in a largely empty Villa Park as both sides look to get their season back on track. Villa are battling relegation, currently two points from safety with this their game in hand. The Blades though will be looking to continue their push for the Champions League places. A stunning season for Chris Wilder’s men has seen them push for a place among Europe’s elite for next season and should they win this game they’ll move ahead of Manchester United and Wolves just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Later that night, Arsenal travel to the Etihad to take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The Blues have had an inconsistent season slacking way behind will-be champions Liverpool having lost seven league games this season, the most Pep has ever lost in a single campaign. The match also marks the return of Mikel Arteta to Manchester, with the Spaniard leaving his role as Guardiola’s assistant in November to take over as the main man at the club where he was once captain.

Arsenal have suffered one of their worst seasons in recent memory, sitting in 9th place when the season was postponed. Arteta has come in and lifted spirits at the Emirates, but results haven’t really picked up. They’ve got a record of 4W-5D-1L since his appointment and are 8 points off Champions League places with this their game in hand.

A win would boost confidence that they can put up a real challenge as the season reaches a close but a loss would all but end their hopes.

As the Premier League returns without a title race, it’s the Champions League and relegation places that will hold everyone’s attention for the coming month or so. These two fixtures will get us back into the swing of things nice and quickly.