The form of Jack Robinson has been a big positive for Sheffield United in what has been a difficult return to action.
The Blades have lost three of their four games as part of ‘Project Restart’. Their most recent defeat came on Sunday, losing 2-1 to Arsenal in their FA Cup quarter-final.
Robinson has played all four matches having been given the opportunity due to an injury to Jack O’Connell. Despite conceding eight goals during that time, the 26-year-old has largely impressed.
O’Connell has made the role on the left side of a three-man central defence his own during almost four years under Chris Wilder’s management.
The 26-year-old is one of the now famed overlapping centre-backs and his absence has been felt since the restart.
Robinson, meanwhile, is having to get used to the system after joining from Nottingham Forest during the January transfer window.
He was a specialist signing, acquired by Wilder for this exact occasion. Yet it was inevitable it would take Robinson some time to settle and get used to United’s unique way of playing.
However, against the Gunners the Liverpool academy graduate started to come into his own.
How Jack Robinson has impressed for Sheffield United
While O’Connell is dangerous in attack because of his marauding runs forwards, Robinson’s threat comes from his range of passing.
The former England Under-21 international has played large parts of his career as a left-back. That has given Robinson an ability on the ball not often seen in central defenders.
This was best displayed in the first half on Sunday, as he hit a diagonal pass from the left perfectly into the feet of George Baldock on the opposite flank.
Robbo with the switch 👌 pic.twitter.com/8Qy533FERU
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) June 29, 2020
Not only that, but Robinson also showed off another of his assets – the long throw. His flat and accurate delivery is more akin to a cross than a throw-in.
On several occasions at Bramall Lane at the weekend, Robinson targeted Oli McBurnie, More often than not, the striker won the header.
This ability provides another element to the Blades. The tactic may be considered a little direct, but used well and against the right opposition it can cause chaos among defenders.
Overall, the restart hasn’t been much of a positive experience for United. Yet the improving form of Robinson provides a glimmer of hope.