Chris Wilder's brutally honest verdict on Sheffield United's latest performance

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, described his team’s performance against Arsenal as one of their worst of the Premier League season so far despite watching them take a point from their meeting with Mikel Arteta’s side.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 11:56 am
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 2:59 pm

Wilder was particularly critical of the visitors’ work in possession, insisting their persistence and durability had compensated for a series of failings with the ball.

Acknowledging the inability of Arteta’s men to capitalise on United’s deficiencies had influenced the game’s outcome as much as John Fleck’s late equaliser, Wilder said: “I’ve just got to look at my team and the standards they have set.

“My approach to them is the same and they understand it. Other managers might have to go about it differently.

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“For me, it was one of our poorer performances with the ball. Nobody built up a great amount of momentum in the game.

“They gave the ball away, we gave the ball away.”

Wilder, however, did take some comfort from the fact his seventh-placed side had found a route back into the contest following Gabriel Martinelli’s opener on the stroke of half-time.

“I didn’t think we were anywhere near our best,” he said. “The result is better than our performance.

Sheffield United's Chris Wilder and Lys Mousset at Arsenal

“If you can get a result without playing well, then it’s a good quality. Maybe that wasn’t them killing us off, or a little bit of both.”

“The important thing was that we showed the right attitude,” he added. “That got us back in.”