Another Championship fixture for Slavisa Jokanovic and Sheffield United, and another chance to take three points needlessly thrown away.
The Blades squandered their lead at Nottingham Forest last night as United failed to build on a well-taken opener from Morgan Gibbs-White. The Wolves loanee had tucked in nicely from Billy Sharp’s cross to give the travelling Blades contingent something to shout about.
It was a rare moment of quality. Sheffield United boss Jokanovic opted to make a few changes to his starting XI. In came Rhian Brewster in the attack, while Chris Basham and Jayden Bogle got their chances in defence.
However, apart from the odd flashing moment, United once again looked a side with square pegs in round holes. Plenty of possession amounted to little in terms of chances. It’s a familiar theme for this season, frankly.
Time and again this season we have seen a similar performance from Sheffield United. It’s becoming a theme, and some supporters are becoming frustrated.
And former Blades striker and now regular BBC Radio Sheffield pundit, Carl Asaba, was less than impressed with how the Sheffield United manager is going about things.
“After the game against Blackpool I praised some our play. But tonight is one of the first times I can say this season that we didn’t deserve to win the game and we didn’t look right,” Asaba said on BBC Radio Sheffield.
“The players being picked in this formation just isn’t working. We looked a much bigger threat at Barnsley with two up front with McBurnie and Mousset. It’s just so disappointing.”
Asaba, too, backed up his comments on social media after the game, taking to Twitter to share a similar thought process to that he’d spoken of live on air.
Our View: Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest
The Blades didn’t deserve to lose at Forest. But then again, as Asaba says, we didn’t deserve to win it either. Of course, on another night we sneak a 1-0 win. But on another night, Forest also get the three points.
Asaba’s comments on players being out of position will resonate with a lot of fans. Everyone knows Slavisa Jokanovic is trying to bring a new way of working and playing to the club. But surely he needs to adapt as well?
At the moment, he is shoehorning players into roles that they aren’t quite comfortable with. Case and point with Rhian Brewster. The young forward did well enough out wide and should have scored. But he isn’t a winger, and never will be.
The Blades boss has a conundrum on his hands really. Does he stick at it and risk more poor results? Or does he change things a bit and hope the players respond to something they know better? Time will tell, but this team is already setting some worrying trends.