A first clean sheet for Aaron Ramsdale since returning to Sheffield United remains out of the goalkeeper’s grasp.
In the past two Premier League games, Ramsdale has conceded six goals.
This isn’t entirely the fault of the 22-year-old, of course. However, there is no doubting Ramsdale should have done better with Manchester United’s third during the latest defeat.
The England Under-21 international dived over a Marcus Rashford shot that turned out to be the winner in a 3-2 loss at Bramall Lane on Thursday night.
It must be exasperating for manager Chris Wilder as he chases a first win of the season.
“For their third goal I think Aaron should do a little bit better than what he’s done,” Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield. “I think he understands that.”
Following that loss, the Blades have now made the worst start in English top flight history. Heading into tomorrow’s match at Brighton and Hove Albion, they are bottom of the table with one point and 12 defeats from 13 games.
Once again, Ramsdale isn’t the sole reason behind this. But something needs to change.
Sheffield United boss defends Ramsdale
Wilder is a staunch defender of his players and has done so again with Ramsdale after the mistake.
With 24 hours to reflect, the 53-year-old was once more backing Ramsdale during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Brighton trip.
“He’s going through a period of his career but he’s got to smile and battle his way through it,” Wilder told Yorkshire Live.
“We signed him because we know what he’s about. There’s instant judgement in this world about how you are and you have to take the good with the bad. He has to do that, he’s a good goalkeeper.
“We’ve signed him for 3 years, not 13 games, we’re not ripping his contract up. He cares about this football club and he’s disappointed.”
Why it’s still time to drop Ramsdale
Wilder knows that speaking about his squad in public is a balancing act. It is not beneficial to blast Ramsdale so early into his career at Bramall Lane.
Yet Wilder will also be unhappy with several of the performances the stopper has put in since making an £18.5m (BBC Sport) return to South Yorkshire from Bournemouth.
There have been question marks over Ramsdale’s role in several goals already this season. Ben Chilwell at Chelsea, Ezri Konsa at Aston Villa and Romain Saiss’ header for Wolverhampton Wanderers all spring to mind.
Ramsdale has also made some good saves and this isn’t a case of claiming he will never be good enough.
Wilder and his team believe in the goalkeeper and let’s not forget he is still very young. With time and development, Ramsdale could be a top class player.
But that’s part of the problem for the Blades this term. There’s plenty of promise, but not enough results in the here and now.
Ramsdale maybe needs some time out of the firing line. Especially as there are several other options available at the club.
Michael Verrips is yet to play in the Premier League since arriving from KV Mechelen in 2019.
Wes Foderingham was also signed this summer, although having not made a match day squad since Wilder revealed a hand injury in October, he may not be available.
Simon Moore – who filled in last season when loanee Dean Henderson couldn’t play against parent club Man United – is another.
Ramsdale may be the number one for years to come, but for now perhaps one of those three should be considered to give some confidence and security back to the defence.