Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has defended his goalkeeper after the 4-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Aaron Ramsdale was criticised for his performance at Stamford Bridge – particularly for his role in the Blues’ second.
Both Ramsdale and Max Lowe failed to deal with a cross to the far post which Ben Chilwell bundled in.
Jamie Carragher was on commentary duty for Sky Sports’ coverage of the game. Carragher said Ramsdale was at fault for Chilwell’s goal, but also felt the 22-year-old should have done better for Tammy Abraham’s opener for the home side.
After David McGoldrick had given the Blades the lead, Abraham scuffed an equaliser beyond the reach of the England Under-21 international.
Carragher also brought up Dean Henderson, whom Ramsdale is inevitably going to be compared to. Henderson was brilliant for the South Yorkshire side during two successive years on loan from Manchester United.
The 23-year-old kept the most clean sheets in the Championship during their promotion campaign of 2018/19. The following season, only Burnley number one Nick Pope and Manchester City’s Ederson had more shut outs than Henderson’s 13.
It helped the Blades to the fourth best defensive record in the Premier League last term and a ninth place finish – their highest position since 1992.
Wilder defends Ramsdale after Chelsea loss
We don’t feel that Carragher has been harsh on Ramsdale. It was a poor performance from the ‘keeper and there are question marks about whether he is the right man between the posts currently.
Yet having called out Henderson publicly in 2019/20 after high profile mistakes, Wilder clearly feels a different approach is needed for Ramsdale.
“He was at fault for the second goal, we won’t hide behind that,” the 53-year-old said after the game, as quoted by Yorkshire Live.
“We had a young goalkeeper last year that made mistakes for us and we have another young goalkeeper here. That’s the road that we went down, so we have to stay with it.”
Wilder continued: “In front of him is not great at the moment.
“We are conceding some really poor goals and we have to come through it. He will be OK.
“He’s a positive character and a very good young goalkeeper who is playing in a team that is not doing as good as it should be. Even though you are bang up against it when you play the teams we have had to over this little period.”
In what has been a poor start to the season, Ramsdale has actually been fairly solid. Up until the weekend’s defeat that is.
Ramsdale arguably should have done better with headed goals in losses to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa. But has also made some fine saves elsewhere.
The comparison to Henderson is probably unhelpful for him, but inevitable. Either way, Wilder is clearly sticking by his man.