Despite repeatedly describing Sheffield United as “basic”, Garth Crooks keeps including their players in his team of the week.
This time it’s John Lundstram who gets the nod from the BBC Sport pundit – in another of his bizarre formations. Crooks names Miguel Almiron and Willian as wing-backs, for example.
Lundstram helped the Blades to a 1-0 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend. The three points moved the South Yorkshire team up to fifth in the table after 18 matches.
And Crooks – generally critical of United’s chances of survival at every step since their promotion from the Championship – is possibly having to rethink his opinion.
“The Blades are cutting through Premier League teams like cold Sheffield steel,” Crooks nauseatingly writes in his column.
“I can’t decide whether their latest victims were suffering from pre-Christmas anxiety or just sheer inertia. Brighton were awful and would have been destroyed had VAR not saved them on two occasions.
“When Sheffield United got promotion, they aroused my curiosity. Sitting fifth in the table, they now have my attention.”
How Sheffield United keep proving Garth Crooks wrong
Crooks appears to be very late to the party. Even those other pundits who judged the Blades, despite clearly having not seen them play for many years, are having to admit they were wrong.
One game short of the halfway stage, only four teams sit above Chris Wilder’s men. The win at Brighton was their third in a row.
They are now unbeaten in nine away matches in the league this season. No newly promoted side since Burnley in 1947/48 can match that. If the Blades take anything against Manchester City on December 29 they will set a new top flight record in England.
If they are “basic” then it’s clearly working. Except they’re obviously not and in Wilder they have one of the most exciting coaches in the country at the helm.
Perhaps one day Crooks will finally admit that.