Sheffield United Fan's Column: Opposition managers give us respect
After reading Gary Rowett's comments after United's draw at Derby I thought I'd look up what some other opposing managers have said about the Blades in the past few weeks, which have coincided with United's worst run of the season, and worst since the start of the 2016/17 season.
To remind you, Rowett said; “Today was a game too far for us, but I think Sheffield United make that happen, they are a good team with good energy.”
Phil Parkinson (Bolton) said: “Sheffield United are a very front-footed team, they are cavalier in the way they approach the game.”
Chris Coleman (Sunderland): “We were up against a Sheffield United team (that was) stronger, quicker and looked hungrier, fitter.”
Alex Neil (Preston): “Sheffield United’s system and how hard they work as a team makes it very difficult to play with any sort of fluency, because they are very in your face.”
Lee Johnson (Bristol City): “I thought Sheffield United were outstanding. I had to change the shape three times and that was due to Sheffield United’s relentless quality.”
Steve Cotterill (Birmingham City): “They’re a good team, they’ve got a great spirit about them and a way of playing that is hard to play against.”
Slaviša Jokanović (Fulham): “Sheffield United are a top team and have my respect.”
It says a lot that many established Championship teams have changed their system to match-up with United’s 3-5-2 over the course of the season.
But my favourite comment by a manager this season comes from Chris Wilder, who after the New Year’s Day game at Derby said: “I enjoy watching us play.”
I have never heard any manager say that about his own team in all the decades I have been watching football. That says everything about how United have performed nearly every game in the last season and a half.