Match Of The Day pundits Danny Murphy and Micah Richards think Premier League teams have “worked out” Sheffield United this season.
The Blades have struggled in their second season in the top flight, picking up just one point from their first five games.
That came at the weekend with a draw at home against Fulham. Even then, they were saved by an 85th minute penalty from Billy Sharp.
United are also the lowest scoring side in the division, with that goal from Sharp only their second in the league so far this season.
“They need a confidence boost. I think they need some creativity as well,” Richards said on Match Of The Day 2.
“When they first came up they had the centre-backs that would go on and overlap. But teams seem to have worked them out a little bit.”
Murphy added: “I think teams have looked at them and gone, ‘hold on, we’re going to give this team a bit of respect now’. Whereas maybe last season you turn up and think you’ll beat the teams that have come up.
“Not this season. Teams are ready for Sheffield United.”
Are the Match Of The Day duo right about Sheffield United?
The Blades are certainly struggling this term in comparison to last season. After five league games in 2019/20 they had five points, including a draw away at Chelsea.
However, they have been hit by injuries ahead of the new campaign. Jack O’Connell, who played a key role in them having the fourth best defensive record in the top tier last term, is set to miss the entirety of 2020/21 after having a knee operation.
Last year’s top scorer, Lys Mousset, is also a long-term absentee with a foot injury.
Scoring goals remains an issue, one which United have tried to address with the club record signing of Rhian Brewster from Liverpool. Brewster was a second half substitute at the weekend.
Despite their poor results, the Blades’ defensive record this season is still pretty good. Only two teams have conceded fewer than them so far.
Murphy also believes that in Chris Wilder, the South Yorkshire side have a manager who will steer them clear of potential relegation trouble.
“We’re talking about a very dedicated and intelligent manager in Chris Wilder,” the former midfielder continued. “He’ll find a way. I’m not worried for Sheffield United yet.”