TLDR you will never see a Sheffield United side as good as 2018-2020 ever again and you should mourn this fact every day of your life until death.
When you usually wait 14 years for promotion to the top flight it is never too soon for promotion. Just do it and see where we go.Although it’s still quite early in the season, and Slav is known as someone who takes time to settle in and get his team moving, I have a few concerns about the future.
As fans we will always start off hopeful of a productive season, with a new manager, but it does seem to me that events have conspired against us from the outset. The new manager arrived late and his pre-season was planned by someone else. It did not go as planned for a variety of reasons. I’m not looking to apportion blame here, as that is a futile exercise.
The summer transfer window did not go down well, MGW apart, we are in the same boat but with a slightly bigger squad. The Ramsdale replacement has not gone well, but my feelings are that he will settle in and prove as good as we could expect under the circumstances. While discussion of this time is still a hot topic, we can say that it seems to be a case of events conspiring against us yet again. The Prince doesn’t have the financial clout to bring in top quality replacements, and Slav giving the impression he was reasonably happy with the squad he inherited?
Slav probably knows by now that the current midfield are on a slippery slope downward, form wise at least, carrying on where they left off last season. Our form currently is not exactly inspiring for those of us who started the new season with unbridled optimism.
My main concern, is that by hook or by crook, if Slav has a good JTW, and the side kicks on, we could still go up via the play offs? I do not think this current squad is anywhere near ready for the premier league, whatever happens between now and next May?
Too early? Too many ifs or buts? Just thinking out aloud here.
If you think about the squad that was promoted in 2018-19, we just had Billy, Didzy and even Leon who even then were all over 30. Like them or not, we've now got McBurnie, Moose, Brewster and even Burke, all still in their early twenties, plus Ndiaye. So form notwithstanding, purely from a squad value perspective, we're far better off. When we went up we had Lundstram in addition to Fleck and Norwood, Lundstram has left but we've got Berge and also Luke Freeman now. We're worse off defensively unless JOC comes back and from a keeper perspective, we're no better off as we loaned Henderson, but started with Moore.In what areas do you think we are stronger?
If you think about the squad that was promoted in 2018-19, we just had Billy, Didzy and even Leon who even then were all over 30. Like them or not, we've now got McBurnie, Moose, Brewster and even Burke, all still in their early twenties, plus Ndiaye. So form notwithstanding, purely from a squad value perspective, we're far better off. When we went up we had Lundstram in addition to Fleck and Norwood, Lundstram has left but we've got Berge and also Luke Freeman now. We're worse off defensively unless JOC comes back and from a keeper perspective, we're no better off as we loaned Henderson, but started with Moore.
From a basic perspective, we didn't have £50m sat on the bench when we got promoted, regardless of what anyone 'thinks' they're worth.
Only way out is loans on the three though I’d like to keep Berge if and when fitShort term one of McBurnie or Brewster has to leave in the JTW, having them warming the bench/missing out entirely with those price tags dwindling by the day is ominous. If Berge comes back from injury and starts putting pressure on Fleck and Norwood then fair enough but maybe hell be gone soon as well. Beyond that, if promotion isn't achieved then I guess the top brass will try and squeeze as much out of a prem club for NDiaye as possible.
Hopefully the lads will secure promotion so some more Prem moolah comes along and NDiaye is kept.
Absolutely, that's why I was coming from a squad value perspective. The intangibles are the momentum and confidence that we certainly had. I even wonder now, particularly with Fleck and Norwood, perhaps their current form is their career 'norm' and actually it's just that Wilder (and Knill) somehow got an extra 10-20% out of them.My own reflection on the promotion year is that we had a manager (then) on the top of his game, a team playing out of their skins week in week out and a confidence and momentum that seemed unstoppable.
Like all Blades I'm sure, I want to see the potential of McBurnie & Brewster (particularly) realised. It didn't happen last season and there is no indication it will this season either - how long do we have to wait? Moose showed what he is capable of against Barnsley but can't seem to complete a full game and is absent most of the time. Berge hasn't delivered on the field either and has also spent swathes of time injured.
Combine this with ageing reliables, underperforming previous reliables and I consider us weaker in defence, midfield and attack.