Wes Foderingham: Sheffield United’s one man defence

Wes Foderingham stands out as one of the top-performing Premier League goalkeepers. Not only does the Sheffield United goalkeeper rank in the top ten based on overall performance according to WhoScored, he also leads in shots saved.

Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder #16 Rodri (2L) scores the game winning goal, 1-2, past Sheffield United’s English goalkeeper #18 Wes Foderingham during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Manchester City at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on August 27, 2023. (Photo by DARREN STAPLES / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

These statistics underline that Foderingham needs to be supported better by his defence. Having said that, while a goalkeeper being the best performer may suggest excessive workload, it shouldn’t diminish Foderingham’s impressive displays. He single-handedly kept the Blades in the games against Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. The latter saw his back line collapse in the last few minutes of injury time going from 1-0 up to 2-1 down.

The priority of Paul Heckingbottom should be improving the cover for the goalkeeper. With 156 shots faced in seven matches, averaging 22.3 per game [FBref], if those numbers continue the Blades could be on the end of another embarrassing defeat just like they suffered against Newcastle United at Bramall Lane. Questions will continue to be asked about the summer addition of defensive coach Mark Hudson.

The Blades’ defensive fragilities will be tested across the next couple of matches; they face Manchester United at home on Saturday and then they’re away at Arsenal the following game.




Tags Sheffield United Wes Foderingham