“Sacking the manager? I don't know if that would be the best option" - what former Manchester United star and other pundits said after Sheffield United's defeat at Southampton

Sheffield United’s horrendous start to the season continued when they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 11:42 am

Chris Wilder’s side’s troubles have been well documented.

They sit at the bottom of the table having mustered just one point from their opening 12 games – the worst start to a campaign by any team in Premier League history.

Their appears to be very little evidence of any light at the end of what seems to be a very long tunnel at the moment and speaking to the media after yet another defeat, Wilder once again refused to sugarcoat his and the club’s current plight.

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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder as Oli McBurnie is withdrawn with a shoulder injury during the Blades' 3-0 defeat at Southampton yesterday. Photo: David Klein/Sportimage.

"We were beaten by the better side, a team full of confidence, with some good players and playing at the top of their game," he said.

"Obviously we're not. They're a good side, a really good side. I'm not deflecting anything from us. We're in a bad run.

"Individually players aren't playing anywhere near where they can play."

But what did the pundits make of yet another United’s drubbing on the south coast?

Let’s take a look.

Andy Cole, former Manchester United striker and guest on talkSPORT’s Sunday Session with Sam Matterface

“It’s going to be a really tough season for them. They’re now 12 games in and they have one point, if they continue like this they will be going down. Pressure could be mounting now.

"They need to start winning and scoring goals. They’re top scorer last season was seven goals, that’s not good enough.

"I don’t think anyone, after last season, would have expected them to have been in this position this season.

"I know we’ve had a short break in the summer and there’s not been much of a pre-season for them, but no one could have expected them to be in this position.”

Perry Groves, ex-Arsenal striker and guest on talkSPORT’s Sunday session with Sam Matterface

"If I was the owners I’d be looking at Chris Wilder and thinking no-one knows this football club better than what he does. He needs, in the January transfer widow, three to four new players – Premier League players – for them to stand any chance.

"He needs a goalscorer. I don’t think (Aaron) Ramsdale in goal has covered himself in any glory with the goal that he concedes today at the near post.

"When you’re at the bottom of the league everybody says that the first goal you concede is important. When you’re at the bottom, you could see the confidence and belief just drain out of the Sheffield United players.

"They’ve lost 14 out of the last 15 and scored six goals. That’s relegation form. I think they’re down already.

"Chris Wilder has taken them effectively from the bottom of League One and all the way through (to the Premier League).

"He’s probably been a victim of his own success, and so quickly and I would back him – but I would back him with three or four (new) players.”

Graeme Souness, former Rangers and Liverpool manager and Sky Sports studio guest

“What's different this year? If you break it down, different goalkeeper, (Jack) O'Connell's been out for a long time and they're not enjoying any luck in front of goal.

“I don't think the effort isn't there. I just think, when they conceded the first goal today, you just saw their heads dropping and some of the fire in their bellies go.

“That will be a concern for anyone. It's a dangerous combination to have if you aren't scoring goals and you're conceding goals… you're doomed.

"He's got to turn it around quickly, (but) Chris (Wilder) will know the score.

“I imagine the board and the owners will be looking at this situation very closely and I hate to say that.

“I've been in that situation as a manager when things aren't going your way. That's the reality of being a manager.”

Patrice Evra, ex-Manchester United and France defender and Sky Sports studio guest

“We had a little chat earlier about it, the problem is one point after 12 games.

“Sacking the manager? I don't know if that would be the best option.

"The problem is they still have one point and the difference is last year they didn't concede and they did score.

“This year they are not scoring goals and that another big problem. It's difficult because I like Chris Wilder as a manager but the table is a disaster.”

Jermaine Jenas, former Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and Match of the Day pundit

"I looked at Sheffield United today and they looked lost. In the first half they lacked confidence, they lacked direction and passive is definitely a word I would use.

"The number of times I watched (Jannik) Vestergaard in the middle of the park getting his head up, looking around and thinking ‘who should I pick out today?’ – it was easy.

"It’s not what Sheffield United are about.”

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