What a response by the Blades to Sheffield Wednesday playing first for the third time in a row. Three times Sheffield United have responded to re-establish themselves in second place and that 5-2 win at Rochdale will have been a kick in the teeth for their rivals.
All the same, I expect it to carry on being very close between the two of them. This might seem like nitpicking but, having seen United’s 2-1 home win over Bournemouth last weekend, there is one little thing I feel they can do better. Despite playing very well, there were times when they over-elaborated and played one square pass too many. They were playing from the centre of the field outwards when they could have been more direct.
There were opportunities to bounce the ball off a striker but instead United went square and wide. This allowed a Bournemouth side with some good players to get men behind the ball. Sometimes it takes a quicker move to unlock the opposition. But it’s never going to be easy against anyone at this stage of the season. Wednesday keep applying pressure and their win at Huddersfield will have given them a lot of confidence.
Another thing is that the crowd at Bramall Lane last Saturday were a bit quiet and anxious. That could have been a problem, but it wasn’t. From what I’ve seen there’s a little less anxiety at Wednesday.
Again Ched Evans is making the headlines but a word about Neil Collins. At the beginning of last month United didn’t win any of the four games Collins missed because of family reasons - in fact, they suffered two 3-2 defeats in that spell without the first-choice centre back. Since his return, United have been unbeaten. Neill has a lot of experience, having played for big clubs like Sunderland, Wolves and Leeds at big times. He’s the sort of uncompromising defender you need. He might be a bit unsung, but I’m sure he’s appreciated by the manager and the squad. Besides, he’s been a good player for Harry Maguire to partner at this stage of his career.
The midfield looks good as well. I’m impressed with the link play between Stephen Quinn, Michael Doyle, Kevin McDonald and Lee Williamson. It all seems to be free-flowing.
The only criticism I would make is that sometimes they could move the ball forward rather than square. But even that seems a bit harsh when you look at the 85 goals they’ve got as the top scorers in the country!
@deanobri1968 was talking to @AlanBiggs1. Follow them both on Twitter. Next week: Lee Bullen (@BullenFootball)