Christmas time. The time for giving, receiving, eating copious amounts of food which are only ever in the house at this time of year and getting yourself out to the football to the traditional festive period in England.
This year, Covid-19 threatens to disrupt that traditional period. United have already seen their Boxing Day clash with Preston called off, while the game against Hull City could also be in doubt, with Grant McCann testing positive.
But away from the actual games in the next week or so, we’ve got Christmas Day to get through. And while people around the country will be hoping and wishing for certain gifts or messages this year, what exactly would the perfect Christmas for Sheffield United fans look like?
Well, in the spirit of all things festive, we’ve looked at the THREE things Blades supporters would welcome under the club’s Christmas Tree this year.
Surely this is the first thing on every Blades fans’ list? The defender has been out of action for over a year and a half now. O’Connell suffered a bad injury, then a major setback in his initial rehab, and hasn’t been anywhere near since.
However, Paul Heckingbottom recently confirmed that ‘JoC’ is back at the training ground. Of course, the club are taking things slowly with the defender.
If Sheffield United can, somehow, get Jack O’Connell back on the field in 2022, then that would be the very best Christmas present we can get.
This isn’t to dig the current ownership out or suggest they are bad for the club. Not at all. However, there is a feeling that the money has dried up and without new investment, the Blades might struggle to reach the Premier League again.
Of course, the playoffs are very much still on. This squad is good enough for the top six, and on its day, can beat anyone in the Championship. Paul Heckingbottom will want that promotion, and as a club, it’s imperative we get it this season. If we miss out, then we have a host of players out of contract. Parachute payments reduce, and with the club yet to fill the £40m gap from last season’s relegation, you’d suspect a fire-sale of sorts to help keep the club going.
It’s no secret that Prince Abdullah divides opinion at Bramall Lane. Ultimately, it might be best for everyone – including the Prince – if he can sell up. Certainly, a recent interview from Aaron Ramsdale doesn’t exactly paint the club in a good light.
Three Points On New Years Day
While some will palm it off as being just another game, in the short-term, beating Chris Wilder’s Middlesbrough on the turn of the year would be massive.
It would give fans the confidence in Heckingbottom, while also proving that the club can move on without the brilliant Wilder overseeing everything. It should be recognised that Wilder deserves applause and recognition from the Blades crowd. He will, in all likelihood, get a brilliant reception.
But we are Sheffield United supporters, not Chris Wilder supporters. The team comes first, and a win over the former boss and his new side would be huge for the Blades.