Drawing parallels to Sheffield United’s 20/21 campaign

As the Premier League resumes after the second international break, the bottom four positions are occupied by the three newly promoted teams, signaling early concerns for Paul Heckingbottom and Sheffield United.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 30: Paul Heckingbottom of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Sheffield United at London Stadium on September 30, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Drawing parallels to the 20/21 campaign that ended in relegation, Sheffield United find themselves in a similar predicament after eight games, rock bottom with only a single point on the board. Fulham, West Brom, and Burnley, who joined Sheffield United in the Championship the following season (21/22), were also in the bottom four at this stage, with Burnley ultimately finishing 17th.

The current bottom four consists of Sheffield United, Luton, Burnley, and Bournemouth, emphasising the importance of securing wins soon to avoid a challenging season.

While the goal difference sets this season apart, with Sheffield United conceding 22 goals compared to 14 the last time they were in the top-flight, the -16 margin poses a more significant challenge. The seven-goal gap to 17th-placed Luton is huge considering the Blades have only scored six times: two of them being own goals, two of them world-class strikes and a deflected effort against Manchester City. The only good passing move the Blades have scored from was the Cameron Archer goal against Everton.

The last time all three promoted teams were relegated straight back down was in the 1997/98 season.







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