With a career as a player spanning over twenty years, Brian Deane needs no introduction to Blades fans and with United having secured promotion back to the Premier League, that video of the first ever Premier League goal is sure to get plenty of screen time in the coming months.
Since retiring, Deano has gone on to take up coaching, had a foray in management and spends some of his spare time as a sports speaker.
We caught up with the Blades legend, to get a few of his thoughts on the Blades’ promotion…
“The football I’ve seen across the board has been the best for a long time in terms of quality. Keeping a close eye on Sheffield United, every time I’ve been down to watch games I’ve been so impressed. So for me, it’s been a fantastic season. They had a plan B and C. They had four strikers, different types of strikers and for me, that was the difference. They could change depending on opponents.”
Bassett’s Blades Vs Wilder’s Blades
“It’s difficult to compare the two. Two different eras. We were a lot more physical because of the era we were playing in. Styles have changed. The proof will come as this team develops. We held our own for two more years after two promotions. For different reasons, they’ve been two extraordinary achievements. Chris Wilder was a teammate of mine, and he’s brought team spirit. It shows you how important it is, not just to have stars but a squad that sticks together and works as a team.”
Can Wilder Go One Further & Establish The Blades in the Premier League?
“Chris is a progressive manager. If he can maintain the type of football and improve the squad, then I think they’ve got a good chance of staying up. It’s not going to be easy, weaknesses can get exploited very quickly in the Premier League. But if you take that way of playing, that formation and keep developing the defensive side of it going forward, they can definitely stay up. I wouldn’t change the squad too much.
“You have to be realistic, and not gamble with the money you get for going up but use it to strengthen the squad. You have to look at it as a long term project and not a win or bust type scenario next year. You have to have more quality up front, in the middle of the park and another dominant centre-back of Premier League quality. If you do that and give the rest of the players a chance, with the way that Chris man-manages they have a fantastic opportunity. For me, if I was going to the Premier League with that team having played there and been comfortable, I’d think we haven’t got anything to lose. They have to be realistic, but why not? Look to develop as individuals and as a team.”
On His Relationship with the Fans
“I’ve been on a few journeys with them. It’s one of mutual respect. Like any other team that’s suffered a lot, they’ve always stuck by their team. I’ve always enjoyed going down there to watch games and have always been treated very well by them. Long may it continue.”
Favourite Strike Partnership?
“It has to be Tony Agana really. We scored a lot of goals together. We’re still friends today. I had some good relationships at Leeds, but from a goalscoring and enjoyment perspective, it has to be that first period at Sheffield United as a young man.”
How often do you get asked about the first ever Premier League goal?
“Quite a lot. It was in a time when there were a lot of great homegrown centre forwards in this country. So it was great to be able to claim that.”
To book Brian Deane as the football speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency via the following link: https://champions-speakers.co.uk/sports-speakers/football-speakers/brian-deane/