After previous heavy defeats this season, including a 5-0 loss to Arsenal and an 8-0 home defeat against Newcastle United, Sheffield United faced a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth, a team struggling near the bottom of the Premier League.
The Blades were at home following their first win of the campaign, a subsequent draw at Brighton and Hove Albion, and a points deduction for Everton that had improved their league position.
Losing in the manner in which Sheffield United did on Saturday, being bullied and outplayed, evident in the boos from the stands, raised concerns.
United’s centre-back, Auston Trusty, assessed how his team performed against Bournemouth:
“Everyone has to do one or two percent more, anything you can give more we have to show it, collectively and individually.
“That (competitiveness) is something we have to get better at, from the first whistle we need to be on it. It’s let us down in a few games in the past and that just can’t happen.” [Yorkshire Post]
The upcoming match against bottom-of-the-table Burnley is seen as another crucial “mini-league” game, requiring a swift morale boost, especially for goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
A Sheffield United team not being competitive is a big worry. That’s literally the identity of the football club. When the players stop fighting for the badge it’s worrying.
Several times this season, I’ve left a game thinking Auston Trusty, Jack Robinson and George Baldock are the only ones giving their all.
The mentality of the coaching staff and players needs to change. What happened to the aggressive nature? Instead, United just seem to roll over and have their bellies tickled.