George Baldock has hit back at claims that Sheffield United play “basic football.”
BBC pundit Garth Crooks twice described the Blades in such a way. Danny Mills is another who has consistently criticised Chris Wilder’s side and their style of play, dubbing them “direct”.
This is despite the fact United have continuously proven their doubters wrong. Before the current season was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, Wilder’s men were seventh in the table with 43 points from 28 games.
Adrian Durham also dismissed the Blades before the new campaign started. On his Drive show the talkSPORT presenter said that they weren’t “taking the Premier League seriously” and that Billy Sharp was a League One player.
It was later revealed that these specific comments had been pinned on the dressing room wall by Wilder.
What George Baldock thinks about Sheffield United criticism
Baldock, like his manager and seemingly the rest of the squad, have simply used this as a motivational tool.
“I think it was on talkSPORT, the line was; ‘Sheffield United aren’t even taking this Premier League seriously’. Billy Sharp is a League One player, what? He scored 25 goals last season in the Championship!” the 27-year-old told the Mirror.
“Another one was we play basic football. That was baffling because if you watch us then one word you can’t call us is basic. I understand that some people try to get a reaction, I try to laugh it off, prove people wrong and through hard work we’ve been able to do that.”
The thing that seems to have irked United players and fans alike is the criticism of their style of play. It would not have been an unfair assessment at the beginning of the season to predict they would go down.
But to say they play basic and direct football clearly suggests lazy punditry and not having actually watched them play. Wilder’s overlapping centre-back system and ability to go toe-to-toe with the majority of the top flight proves that.