Most Sheffield United fans were pretty accepting of the signing of Aaron Ramsdale in the summer as the Blades looked to replace Dean Henderson.
An England under-21 goalkeeper with a growing reputation and someone who was already well-known to Darren Ward and Chris Wilder, Ramsdale seemed a perfect fit.
And in reality, he’ll probably prove to be a fine signing over the long-term.
However, in the here and now – which is all we can discuss really – and with results being woeful, there is no doubt that the spotlight is being shone on Ramsdale. Not least, from a section of Blades fans.
A quick glance onto social media will give you a sense of the feelings around our new number one. Some are simply saying he’s not good enough, others are calling for time. Some point out the mistakes, some are pointing out he’s busier than Henderson and is still making saves.
Of course, football is a game of opinion and they are all valid takes. But the problem now for Wilder and Ramsdale is whether the Blades boss completely backs his man, or takes him out of the firing line and gives fellow summer signing, Wes Foderingham, a chance.
Too early, or needs must?
This is by no means a slander of Ramsdale and doesn’t set out to simply criticise him. He has made good saves, he does seem to be a good communicator and he’s comfortable enough with the ball at his feet.
But an obvious error last night as Ben Chilwell scored didn’t do him any favours. Goals against Wolves, Man City, and Liverpool had already left some questioning Ramsdale’s position. All those goals were up for debate in terms of ‘mistakes’ but last night’s disaster was unquestionable.
Breathing down his neck is Foderingham. An experienced goalkeeper who has played in the heated cauldron of the Glasgow derby with Rangers. Pressure is something he should be used to. Foderingham, then, represents a solid choice should Wilder choose to go that way.
Now, Wilder is also a loyal man. He doesn’t just chuck his players under the bus. This means we are likely to see Ramsdale being persisted with…for now at least.
Everyone wants to see the Blades stopper succeed and do well. Comparisons with Henderson are pointless. But scrutiny, opinion, and question marks over performance levels are part and parcel of being a Premier League footballer.
Hopefully, for United and ‘Rambo’, things can turn around following the international break and his confidence will grow along with the rest of the team.