The first Steel City derby of the season ended in stalemate as Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday drew 0-0.
The scoreline doesn’t quite tell the whole story, though. The Blades had 75 percent possession and 19 shots on target compared to Wednesday’s seven.
David McGoldrick also had a first half penalty saved by Craig Dawson, who Chris Wilder praised for keeping the visitors in the game.
Wilder also said the performance of United didn’t reflect in the result, but should they be concerned they only came away with a point?
Unlucky or wasteful?
Aside from the McGoldrick penalty miss the Blades had chances to win the match. Most notably a Billy Sharp header and Oliver Norwood free-kick late on.
Yet they simply weren’t clinical enough in the final third. The stats showed they dominated the match, but genuine chances were few and far between.
It begs the question as to whether United have the firepower upfront to mount a real promotion push? That may seem an odd assessment when Sharp has ten goals this season, but relying solely on the captain is concerning.
Leon Clarke has not looked close to the form that saw him score 19 times in the Championship in 2017/18. McGoldrick can’t really be blamed for the penalty as it was hit well, but he only has five strikes this term and three of those have come from the spot.
It’s foolish to put too much emphasis on one game – and particularly the derby – but it would be a surprise if Wilder didn’t have one eye on the January transfer window.
All three of the manager’s regular options upfront are now in their 30s and in all honesty probably wouldn’t make the step up to the Premier League.
On another day the Blades would have beaten Wednesday for sure. This isn’t a crisis. However, if Wilder is going to continue this impressive progression of the team then issues do need to be addressed.