Sheffield United have had quite the ten years so trying to name a team of the decade should be a relatively easy task.
That’s because, in reality, the first half of the decade was nothing short of miserable. Relegation to League One and then six years away from the Championship ensured some terrible displays and, sadly, some equally inept players on the books.
This current squad and those of the last few seasons, however, have bucked the trend. Indeed, you could make a case for having the entire current XI as the team of the decade.
But where’s the fun in that? It’s always best to try and look over the whole period. Different things need to be taken into account.
Longevity at the club, individual ability, moments of brilliance, where their careers have gone since being a Blade, all things that can be considered when doing such a team.
So, to round out 2019, site writer, Lee Connor, gives his thoughts on the Sheffield United team of the decade.
(Note players picked in terms of defence, midfield, and attack, no necessarily in exact positions)
While George Long manned the fort for some time in League One and Simon Moore was in the sticks as we won promotion back to the Championship, few will deny Henderson is the man.
His affinity with the fans, his performances, and outstanding potential means Henderson is the standout name.
The current back five can easily be selected as the main men here. I am indeed going to select five defenders, but there are others to take into consideration.
Harry Maguire is the obvious choice. Now at Manchester United and even captaining them. Matt Lowton was another player who has gone on to do very well in his Premier League career. Chris Morgan was another who was still firmly part of the squad at the start of the decade.
John Brayford had a short spell where he was seemingly untouchable in red and white. On the other hand, another loanee, Ethan Ebanks-Landell is something of a cult hero among some fans.
Finally, Jake Wright deserves a nod of appreciation for his efforts with the club. The ultimate professional and as important as anyone as we climbed from League One to the Championship.
Given I’ve gone for five defenders, it really leaves me room for only three in the middle of the park. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible once more to look past the current three.
However, we have had some good players in there over the decade. Kevin McDonald began the 2010s as the main man before moving to Wolves. But for his sale under David Weir, things might well have been a tad different.
Paul Coutts is the other obvious name. Instrumental as we climbed out of the lower leagues before a leg-break essentially ended his spell with the club. In terms of pure ability, few have matched David Brooks. The Welsh star has gone on to be a Premier League regular for Bournemouth.
Stephen Quinn is another name who gets a mention while Nick Montgomery was still part of the squad for a short time in League One.
Picking three is tough, but there won’t be too many complaints about who I’ve selected.
Another difficult position to select, especially given that one name is pretty much nailed on as an automatic pick. I think we all know who that is!
That leaves just the one slot to fill. Up until the last few years, we’ve hardly been blessed with amazing strikers. However, Ched Evans, despite his off-field problems, was explosive for a year down in League One. Richard Cresswell, too, was the perfect foil for Evans that year.
Further down the line, David McGoldrick will go down as one of the best free transfers ever. Leon Clarke has been as vital as anyone in the club’s resurgence and scored two memorable goals at Hillsborough.
Finally, current regular, Lys Mousset, is well on his way to becoming a club icon.
Simon Moore, George Baldock, Chris Morgan, Paul Coutts, Kevin McDonald, David Brooks, Ched Evans.