LAST season, they couldn’t stop scoring. Prolific was certainly a tailor-made description for Sheffield United.
Week in, week out, the goals seemed to be flying in.
They would have been the top scorers in the entire country but for Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp, Premier League title-clinching effort for Manchester City.
The Blades scored an astonishing 92 goals in League One, which nicely dove-tailed at an average of two every league game and that’s quite some statistic.
There was a feeling that this time, not least with last season’s top scorer no longer around, they would not be so free-scoring.
They have virtually gone the other way. The goals have been harder to come by but the defence has tightened up considerably to compensate.
Even so, three goalless home draws on the trot (Leyton Orient, MK Dons and, this week, Carlisle) is a sobering statistic for a Bramall Lane crowd who were goal-happy (for and against) last season.
Three goalless draws in succession at home is pretty rare too. In fact, last season the Blades didn’t have a single goalless draw on their list, home or away, until they got to the Play-offs (when they had two out of three!).
What United have got right is defensively. If you’re not scoring then don’t concede.
They haven’t scored in ten games this season. In six of them, they haven’t conceded. So, six valuable points despite a misfiring attack.
Obviously their difficulties in scoring have contributed to a home record which has stopped them being clear at the top.
They have won only seven home games - the fewest of any team in the top half of League One.
No one in the top half has scored fewer than their 27 goals.
They have scored more than once just six times in their 19 home games.
Many teams certainly come and shut up shop when they turn up at Bramall Lane and make it difficult although that’s no surprise. They were doing that last season and United could overcome it then.
Still, two or three more 1-0 scorelines wouldn’t go amiss!