Graeme Souness was unhappy with what he saw as Sheffield United lost to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Souness was working as a pundit for Sky Sports in their coverage of the Premier League game at Bramall Lane.
The Blades lost their 16th league match in 19 this season as Spurs beat them 3-1.
It leaves them bottom of the table at the halfway point with just five points and one win. They’re nine points from safety and on course for the worst tally in Premier League history.
After beating Newcastle United in their previous outing, this was a reality check for Chris Wilder’s side as they were outplayed and outclassed by Tottenham.
Ollie Norwood’s mistake just before half-time allowed Harry Kane to double the visitors’ lead.
It was another poor performance from Norwood and Souness was disappointed with what he saw from the midfielder.
“Call me old fashioned, but if I had done that in a game of football when I played eight of my teammates would have been digging me out at half-time,” the former Scotland international was quoted by talkSPORT.
“This is a team that can only be effective if they’re aggressive in every part of their game.
“What is that challenge saying about a team?
“That is pathetic. You’re fighting for your life, you’re going get relegated to the Championship, people will lose their jobs, you’re playing for your teammates. Everything about it is ‘I’ve accepted my lot’ from Norwood there.”
Souness criticism highlights major problem for Sheffield United
Norwood is part of a midfield three which has struggled to find any form so far this season.
There are clearly problems throughout the team, but it’s in the middle where they seem especially stark.
Norwood started every league match last term as the Blades finished ninth in their first top flight campaign in 12 years.
The 29-year-old was flanked by John Fleck and John Lundstram, who both broke forwards at any given opportunity and finished with five goals apiece.
It was a tactic which relied on direct play and everyone knowing their roles and it worked to great effect.
Yet the same trio started against Spurs at the weekend and looked like pale imitations of what was seen in 2019/20.
At times, both Fleck and Norwood look disinterested. Meanwhile, Lundstram has made it clear he wants to leave Bramall Lane and will exit this summer when his contract expires.
Without Sander Berge – one of the few positives of 2020/21 before his injury – the midfield looks sluggish and ineffective.
At the back, John Egan remains a rock while almost everything else around him seems to fall apart.
Upfront, David McGoldrick continues to impress and scored his sixth goal of the season against Tottenham. Those alongside him show promise despite not providing the same return.
Yet in midfield there are major issues. Wilder has already played 10 different combinations in 19 games. And still there is no solution.