Sheffield United fans' column: Balance needed in selling stars and maintaining quality
The absence of Sheffield United players from the PFA's League One Team of the Season did not come as a surprise.
It’s a big difference from 2011/12 when we had a team full of excellent players, three of whom (Harry Maguire, Stephen Quinn and that man whose name we can possibly mention again) were selected. It should have been six, as Matt Lowton, Kevin McDonald and Lee Williamson were all worth a place.
For the following couple of seasons just Maguire made the team, but in the two seasons since there has been nobody deemed good enough. Last season Jamie Murphy must have been in contention but lost out to Bristol City’s Luke Freeman.
Selling players brings in the money needed to run a big club with big overheads and hundreds of employees, but it shows just how continually letting your best players leave reduces the quality of the team. We’ve had five years of it. There must be a balance between the two courses somewhere, otherwise you’re relying on an inspirational manager such as Dave Bassett or Neil Warnock, and we haven’t had one of those since Dave Bassett and Neil Warnock.
* With United making little impression on the top of our division, the top of the Premier League and the Championship are unusually riveting.
If Leicester City win the title it would be the most remarkable event in the history of the Premier League. They’re everyone’s second team but do we really want a player from the dark side of Sheffield to get a winner’s medal? Surely Kyle Walker winning one would be more acceptable.
In the Championship the ideal situation would be Matt Lowton’s Burnley and Jamie Murphy’s Brighton going up and Harry Maguire scoring the winner at Wembley against Middlesbrough to take Hull City up.