It’s safe to say that Ollie Norwood hasn’t been everyone’s favourite Sheffield United player this season, despite others arguably being poorer.
The former Fulham and Reading man has been a key figure in the rise of United under Chris Wilder. Frequently the Blades’ go to man in midfield, Norwood was exceptional last season from his deep playmaking role.
However, a number of mistakes this season have highlighted a few flaws in his game at times. Norwood has sometime dwelled on the ball, allowing quality Premier League opposition to nip in and punish United.
But last night against Aston Villa, with his back to the wall, Norwood stood up to be counted and was simply superb in United’s win.
Ollie Norwood brings the fight for Sheffield United
In recent weeks, Norwood has been the man to make way when United look to go more attacking. But Phil Jagielka’s red card ensured this time that Norwood would see out the 90 minutes. And thank god he did.
Per stats from Whoscored, Norwood delivered a performance both he and onlooking Blades fans be proud of.
The midfielder completed a team high four tackles, made seven clearances – second only to Enda Stevens – and in and amongst it all, kept hold of the ball well with 83% possession.
In addition, Norwood also blocked two shots and, in one of the game’s most crucial moments, was on hand to swipe away following a great save from Aaron Ramsdale.
We have, as fans, been critical of Norwood and this Sheffield United team at times this season. But when praise is due, we should give it out.
Ollie Norwood, then, is rightly on the receiving end of our plaudits this evening.