Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has claimed the only reason for Oli Burke not being on the field against was for tactical reasons.
Burke once again sat out for the Blades despite impressing in the early part of the campaign. A number of Blades fans on social media platforms questioned why Burke wasn’t introduced as United struggled to create anything in the final third.
However, speaking after the game (via The Examiner), Wilder explained it was simply a tactical decisiont to leave Burke on the bench for the 90 minutes.
“It was tactical”, Wilder remarked.
“Oli McBurnie would have played but it’s unfortunate that he had tonsillitis, which kept him away for four days. There was not much grass in behind Chelsea’s back four when they go 2-1 up, they sit a little bit deeper so pace is not needed something else is needed to try and get back in to the game.”
Wilder once again opted with Rhian Brewster from the start alongside David McGoldrick, who got his third goal of the season with a well-taken back heel in the opening minutes.
However, the forward line is a worry, as is the lack of creativity in behind it. It could be, then, that this is an area that Wilder once again looks at addressing come January.
Fair explanation but easy to disagree
The words from Wilder make sense. He is the manager and he makes the decisions and, let’s be honest, knows better than most of us reading this!
But it doesn’t mean everyone will agree, including us. We had nothing at the top of the pitch and Brewster wasn’t even getting involved in the game. Thiago Silva bullied him. It was men against boys…literally!
Burke would have at least had the legs, presence, pace, and power to force Chelsea into thinking a bit differently. McBurnie did indeed come on, but Silva loves an aerial battle anyway so it was all a bit fruitless.
Wilder will make the calls and rightly so. He doesn’t need to justify himself either. But there’s a lingering feeling here that Oli Burke might have just helped us a bit yesterday.