Chris Wilder brutally honest on Sheffield United’s lack of leaders

Sheffield United’s misery was compounded last weekend when the Blades fell to a 4-1 defeat to Burnley. United have now conceded 88 goals in the Premier League – they are in line to set one of the worst goals against tallies in the history of the top flight.

Heading into last Saturday’s game against the Clarets, there was a slight optimism around the ground. And it was a very positive start for the home side as they piled on the pressure, creating chances for Oli McBurnie and Ben Brereton-Diaz.

But like the entirety of the season the Blades lost their way as soon as they conceded a goal, and not long after it became 2-0 before half time.

Chris Wilder on Sheffield United’s lack of leaders in the group

This speaks volumes about the lack of leaders in the group and it’s one of many reasons why Sheffield United have collapsed and leaked easy goals under the slight bit of pressure.

In the build-up to United’s away trip to Manchester United on Wednesday evening, Chris Wilder mentioned to the press about his team’s lack of leaders and why it’s a big issue.

“I look at the group, and there’s Oli McBurnie up front who is our talisman and he’s done great this year when he’s been available. Off the back of that, there’s some players the way they’re playing have been really good and set an example. [Against Burnley] I thought Bogle again was outstanding and Arblaster took the ball again.

“But then you’re looking at a lack of leaders to step up when the heat gets turned up. It’s something we’re short on without a shadow of a doubt. We’re short on leaders, we’re short on people to take a grip of the game, to organise.

“Any decent side has those players in their ranks, and unfortunately, we haven’t. You either take responsibility with your performance, or you’re a leader, and we’re short on both.”

United have missed George Baldock and John Egan’s leadership

Of course, Sheffield United have been without two experienced defenders and naturally born leaders, George Baldock and John Egan, for the majority of the campaign due to injuries. Baldock has started just 11 Premier League games this season, while Egan has started six.

Between them the pair have combined over 150 appearances in the top flight. In contrast, the two players who have had to step up from a leadership perspective in the back line this season, Anel Ahmedhodzic and Auston Trusty had not experienced Premier League football before.

One player who has stepped up to the plate in every way, shape and form is stand in captain Jack Robinson. Despite being part of one of the worst defences in Premier League history, Robinson can take huge credit from his efforts this term.

Unfortunately the 30-year-old Scouser has missed out on the last two games through injury. But what’s testament to his character is that he is still eager to participate, as Chris Wilder stated to the media.

“I’ve seen Jack Robinson hobbling about [the training ground] putting his hand up to play [against Manchester United] which doesn’t surprise me. By the way, the supporters sing Jack’s name and there’s a reason they sing that Jack Robinson song.”

Robinson could easily use this injury as an excuse to sit out the rest of this painful season, but he wants to get back out there as soon as possible and fight for their pride and the shirt. As a Sheffield United fan that is all we ask of our players.

Tags Anel Ahmedhodzic Auston Trusty Chris Wilder George Baldock Jack Robinson John Egan Oli Arblaster Oli McBurnie