Match Of The Day pundit, Danny Murphy, thinks he knows why Sheffield United are struggling this season.
“They’ve lost a little bit of confidence,” Murphy said on Match Of The Day 2.
“I don’t think it’s helping not having supporters, especially for clubs near the bottom fighting for their lives.
“It’s just drained out of them and they’ve got to find that belief from somewhere. If it’s a lucky win that does that, so be it.
“They’ve got a great manager and they’ve got togetherness.”
Murphy was discussing the Blades’ 1-0 home defeat to West Ham United.
It’s a result that leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table with one point from nine games.
It’s the joint worst start in Premier League history, with the two others being in the same position at this stage going onto be relegated.
Only Burnley have scored fewer than United’s four league goals, while only the three newly promoted sides and Liverpool have a worst defensive record.
This is in stark contrast to last term, when Chris Wilder guided the South Yorkshire team to ninth. Their 39 goals conceded was only bettered by the top three.
Danny Murphy has a point
Statistics such as those above are tangible and plainly show where the problems lie.
The difficulty, though, is why? The Blades have certainly suffered some key injuries this term, but that can’t be solely to blame.
Murphy’s fellow pundit on Match Of The Day 2, Micah Richards, has previously said others in the division have worked United out.
Yet Wilder strongly denied this. So, what is the issue?
Well for those whom have watched the Blades play this term, a lack of confidence definitely seems to be a major one.
It’s difficult to assess this, but the way the players drifted to defeat against West Ham would suggest morale is low.
Last season, their unexpected success was built on organisation and fight. The former still remains most of the time, but the latter seems to have disappeared.
Wilder’s team face West Bromwich Albion next. They too haven’t won this season and have just three points themselves.
Forget the performance, but grab a “lucky win” as Murphy says and watch that confidence come back. Fail to do so, and with a quarter of the campaign played there could already be little way back.