Oliver Arblaster given ultimate Sheffield United compliment despite Brentford own goal disappointment

20-year-old Sheffield United starlet absolved of any blame after Brentford blow

Oliver Arblaster was absolved of any blame for his unfortunate own goal in Saturday’s defeat at Brentford, before manager Chris Wilder paid the ultimate compliment to Sheffield United’s newest star. The 20-year-old tracked back as Mikkel Damsgaard broke too easily from his own half and could only divert the cross past his own goalkeeper for the Bees’ opening goal.

Arblaster, again impressive on what was only his fifth Premier League start, was consoled by Wilder and skipper Oli McBurnie amongst others after the 2-0 defeat which saw United fall essentially 11 points adrift of safety with just six games remaining. The academy graduate will form a key part of United’s rebuild next season and beyond with Wilder calling on the youngster’s teammates to reach his levels.

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“Anyone who knows me knows how I’ll deal with it,” said Wilder. “He has to get on with it. What I will say is that I thought the boy was outstanding. He’s got nothing to apologise for. I said to the players our performance wasn’t threes, fours and fives. There were some good displays but we have to catch that boy up because he was outstanding today.

“As a young boy in the middle of the park, against the athleticism of the boys in there and how he played and kept us moving and playing and wanted to get on the ball ... we have to catch him up. And he’ll be alright with me saying that. He won’t get carried away but he was outstanding. If he hadn’t tracked back then I’d have been asking questions. But he did, he did his best and unfortunately the outcome was there for all to see.”

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Asked if the own goal could potentially be damaging for Arblaster’s confidence, Wilder replied: “What, when he’s played like that? Not for me. He played like a 9.5/10, dominated. I thought he was the best midfield player on the pitch but quite a distance and there are some really good players in there.

“The boys at Brentford have good athletes who can play and I thought Ollie was in there amongst it. He’s not daft, he understands it’s a disappointing situation but he’s got enough good people around him to get him going and his general performance was outstanding.”

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