Micah Richards has cautioned Sheffield United about needing to shore up their defence if they want to stay in the Premier League. The Blades suffered their sixth defeat in seven games with a 2-0 loss to West Ham, and the damage was primarily inflicted in the first half through goals from Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek.
Both goals shared a similar narrative: Bowen left his marker Luke Thomas for dead, as Thomas was seen slowly jogging rather than tracking Bowen, allowing him to slot home from close range. And Soucek’s goal was yet another mistake from the Blades, capitalising on Gustavo Hamer’s wayward pass.
Richards explained: “They are trying but they are just making basic mistakes. [Luke] Thomas here with Bowen, he just lets him go and just ambles back in. Bowen has been on fire. It’s his fifth league goal this season.
“[For the second goal] they are trying something different, trying to play out, which is part of the game but you have got to do it at the right time and Soucek punishes them. The amount of space that Soucek has got, there are players around him who can see him but by the time they react it’s too late.” [MOTD]
With 19 goals conceded in seven Premier League matches and a -14 goal difference, Paul Heckingbottom’s team currently sits at the bottom of the table. Richards emphasised that unless they address their defensive vulnerabilities, Sheffield United will be relegated from the Premier League, as highlighted in his analysis on last night’s Match Of The Day.
The former Manchester City defender ended his analysis by saying: “They have conceded 19 goals. It’s too much. If you want to stay in the Premier League you’ve got to tighten up at the back.”