In the midst of Sheffield United’s success, new signing, Sander Berge, has been a huge talking point for fans at Bramall Lane.
Clearly excited by the arrival of the £22m man, Blades fans are excited to see his performances on the pitch. His first two games have gone ok without being spectacular.
Berge has replaced John Lundstram on the right-hand side of the midfield three. A tough position to master, Berge was always going to find it tough at times to fully adapt to the way Sheffield United play.
The relationship with Chris Basham and George Baldock needs to be worked at. Furthermore, Berge is new to the country and the Premier League. It would be unfair to simply judge him completely off two performances.
But one topic of conversation around Berge has started to appear among United fans. And that is the question of should Berge be playing deeper. Essentially, there have been calls from fans for Berge to replace Oli Norwood.
Norwood has been integral this season for the Blades. It seems strange, then, for certain supporters to simply want him out of the team so quickly.
Why Sander Berge must wait and Oli Norwood must remain
Football can often be seen as a really simple game. In fairness, it can be just that at times. Hard work, positional sense, and a desire to win, all things that Chris Wilder has built some of his success around.
But when it comes to Norwood, it’s not simply a case of just slotting into a ‘normal’ midfield role.
Norwood has mastered the deep-lying playmaker position at the base of United’s midfield. It’s a crucial role and one that, in part, is so important in allowing the likes of Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell to bomb forward.
If you watch Norwood closely, he fills in when others go. He directs traffic, too, often pointing to the likes of John Fleck and Berge or Lundstram as to where they, or the ball, should be. Put simply, you can’t teach that in a matter of weeks, regardless of Berge’s talent.
Of course, the long-term view might be that Berge takes up that mantle. But for now, Oli Norwood needs to remain in this Sheffield United team.
With respect to people’s opinions, the suggestion that one of the most important players in the team and system should be dropped is almost laughable.