Smithy column: '˜Arrogant' Sheffield United, Gary Madine and Billy Sharp...it's all going on at The Lane

Arrogant. Of all the things Chris Wilder could have called his players after Sheffield United's FA Cup exit, arrogant will hurt them - and him - most.

Monday, 7th January 2019, 10:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 12:40 pm
Barnet celebrate their win during the Emirates FA Cup, Third Round match at Bramall Lane. Picture date: 6th January 2019. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

You wouldn't have wanted to be in their shoes after Sunday afternoon's 1-0 defeat by non-league Barnet.

So what's next?

Is this to be the setback that unifies the team still further and drives them on to greater glory or is this the loose thread that unravels the fabric of what has so far been a brilliant season?

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You'd have to put your money on Wilder getting them over it PDQ. 

There's a game to win on Saturday, not that many of Sunday's 11 are likely to be involved after Wilder's post-match comments.

But there might be a new face to help them against QPR. Gary Madine.

It's said to have been sorted between the two of them but you have to wonder what the first thing Billy Sharp will say to Madine if the latter joins the Blades on loan from Cardiff this week. Former Wednesday striker Madine, looking the worse for wear in a Bolton nightclub around this time last year, was less than complimentary about his potential strike partner and new skipper on social media.

At the time Wilder was forthright: 'He (Billy Sharp) is our captain, it's a family issue. When you criticise someone in our family, he's criticising all of us. It's a bit of lack of respect for our club, but you are not surprised, with his track record.'

Like many '˜family' squabbles, it could be forgotten with a handshake, a laugh and a few back-slaps.

But, like other family squabbles, it might come back to the surface if things get a bit tense between now and the end of the season.

One to watch.

*'˜Disoriented' at the airport? Who knew that sleeping pills and booze could do that?

There is much to commend Wayne Rooney's on-the-field efforts while he's been in the US. 

No former-superstar-on-a-jolly year for the ex England captain whose graft and ability helped transform the fortunes of his DC United team.

A mere $25 fine for a '˜public intoxication incident' at Dulles airport last month tells us this latest is not a serious incident.

No doubt details will emerge. But Rooney's a 33-year-old father of four, not a scally teenager, didn't he ought to know better by now?