Blades Fans Column: Shoot! What’s the worst that can happen?

Billy Sharp - shooting from distance
Billy Sharp - shooting from distance
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Perhaps United should shoot a bit more often. Peterborough showed what can happen when you do – twice.

So did Colchester, Southend, Shrewsbury and Barnsley, who all scored with shots from outside the area.

By my reckoning United have scored just two with shots from outside the penalty area – Jose Baxter’s grass-cutter from 19 yards at Walsall and Billy Sharp’s long-ranger against Bradford City.

On top of these Conor Sammon, John Brayford and Sharp have all hit the woodwork from outside the area.

These facts don’t really prove much, but there is a general feeling amongst Blades fans that United are reticent to have a shot when the opportunity arises, instead preferring to try a pass to a team-mate in an apparently better position.

There was one glaring example in the second half against Peterborough when the ball was played to Martyn Woolford coming in from the left.

It was not a great angle and the ball was coming across his body, but there was nobody in front of him except the goalkeeper.

It was a perfect position for him to hit it first time but he tried to square it to someone else and it was cut out.

If he had had a go he might have sliced it wildly into the Kop, but neither we nor he were to find out.

Of course whenever someone in the crowd yells “Hit it!” it isn’t always possible because the ball is in the wrong place or there’s a defender in the way, but it does seem sometimes that United don’t have a shot when the chance to do so is offered.which has been quite often of late.

I’m sure there’s some sort of index of these things and Nigel Adkins will say we’re all wrong.

I also know that Jose Baxter will strike a 35-yard last-minute winner at Old Trafford.