As I sit here and write this latest opinion piece, I’ve once again glanced at a Premier League table that shows just one goal in the ‘F’ column for Sheffield United.
That goal, a solitary and, in fairness, quite brilliant David McGoldrick strike, is the one shining light from what has been a miserable PL campaign thus far for United and supporters.
It’s easy to sit and give up hope. Expectations have got so high thanks to Chris Wilder and Alan Knill that four defeats suddenly feels like the end of the world. The reality is, it is just that, four defeats, out of a possible 38. It leaves us with 102 points to play for. Just over a third of that will probably be enough to survive.
Despite the lack of goals, there is cause for optimism. Rhian Brewster has arrived from Liverpool. He should prove quite the coup, with a number of former Liverpool players and current pundits expressing surprise at his sale.
Brewster is expected to be involved against Fulham. In fact, in all likelihood, he’ll probably start.
The question now for Wilder and one thing on many fans’ minds is who is going to partner him? The Blades need goals, they need creativity, so just who will the United boss go with in the short and long-term?
The one thing we now have at the club is a variety of options. It’s obviously a massive shame that Lys Mousset is missing but he will almost be like a new signing when he does return (with a bit of luck).
We have the classic little and large if we want to go with it. Oli McBurnie can partner anyone of Brewster, Sharp, or Mousset over the season if needed. Although, and I’ll say it because many think it, the less we see of Sharp and McBurnie as a pair, the better.
Oliver Burke has shown promise up to now. Quick, powerful, and hard-working, Burke’s impact has been a pleasant surprise.
Then we have David McGoldrick. Majestic for Ireland the other night, ‘Didzy’ does seem to make us tick. Funnily enough, he seems to have solved the issue of hitting the back of the net he had from last season too.
What Chris Wilder chooses to go with is anyones guess at the moment. Brewster, naturally, will need some time to get adjusted to how the boss wants him to play. But at the same time, we aren’t scoring and need an impetus from somewhere. It wouldn’t be too surprising, then, to see the 20-year-old thrust in against Fulham.
Given his goal at Arsenal and experience, the likely partner for Brewster is McGoldrick. His ability to drop deep might well create the space for the newboy to exploit.
Likewise, McBurnie is an option alongside the new man. The big Scotland striker will occupy defenders, giving Brewster the chance to simply play off him and look to exploit knockdowns and flick-ons.
Sadly, there doesn’t seem much room for Billy Sharp going forward. The Blades legend is well into his 30s now and seems to have lost a yard of sharpness. Obviously, I’d love him to prove me wrong (again).
Whoever Chris Wilder opts to go with, it’s imperative the goals start to flow. Ideally, that starts against Fulham next weekend.
In fact, it’s more than ‘ideally’. It simply HAS to happen or we’re in for a long old season!