Sunday’s match with Manchester United will be big in more ways than one for Blades defender, Jack O’Connell.
O’Connell has become an integral part of the Blades first XI. He’s one of the stalwarts of Chris Wilder’s outfit. He played a key part in seeing United promoted from League One three years ago.
Playing on the left-hand side of a back three, O’Connell has become synonymous with the ‘overlapping centre-back’ tactic employed by the Blades.
This Sunday, O’Connell will play against Manchester United. And while it’s a big game in its own right, it might just mean that little bit more to O’Connell.
The defender is a born and bred Liverpool supporter. He was brought up on Merseyside. However, O’Connell has had to sit back and witness year after year or Manchester United success.
However, the tide has turned somewhat in the last few years. Liverpool are the reigning European champions, while Man United are struggling to make the expected impact in the Premier League.
For O’Connell, regardless of what he says, it will be the biggest game of his season. On a personal note, it will be the one he wants to win most. With Liverpool riding high at the top of the table, taking three points off the Red Devils will be the icing on the cake.
O’Connell insists it’s all about the next game
Despite the obvious link, O’Connell seems focussed on winning the game and taking it as it comes.
“I think the next game is always the biggest game of the season. It’s Manchester United, you look at the history of that club and the players they have, they have internationals all over the pitch” O’Connell said.
“We’ll be trying to win“, ‘O’Connell insisted in that same interview, suggesting that United will indeed go for it once again.
O’Connell has been one of the standout defenders this season. The next obvious step for him is to win a call-up to the England squad. Picking up wins over giants of the game like Manchester United can only help that cause. Gareth Southgate is bound to be watching with interest.
If Jack O’Connell can maintain his performance levels this weekend, then the lad from Liverpool might just get that dream victory over Manchester United.