Blades fans column: Defenders central to our needs

Neill Collins
Neill Collins
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Young Nigel seems to have got all in a tizzy over his central defenders.

We started out with four, but the first choice one was sold, which is hardly his fault.

He signed another who was going to be second choice but has ended up being no choice at all.

The former second choice was going to be third choice but then reverted to second choice.

Meanwhile, the one brought in to be fourth choice is now first choice. What’s more, Cloughie was so confused he picked a right back as a central defender in the first two games. Keeping up?

He says we need another central defender (clearly we do, because there are only two at the club, discounting the injured Terry Kennedy), but few Blades fans can understand why the experienced player Cloughie signed in the summer – and who has proved his worth at this level over a number of years – has been jettisoned on the basis of a couple of below-par pre-season performances.

I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but it appears there’s something more to this than meets the eye.

The defence has looked dodgy all season, even during the clean sheets.

Were Maguire and Brayford so important? It seems so. Neill Collins did much to improve Maguire’s game over the couple of years they were together, but has his departure had degenerative effect on Collins?

Maybe – sometimes Collins certainly hasn’t been as confident and assured as he was when he had Maguire beside him.

But Tuesday night showed that it’s not confusing after all and who is which number choice is largely irrelevant.

Simply put, if those who are picked play better than they did at Colchester and Swindon, we won’t concede as many goals.