The new weapon Sheffield United will unleash when Tottenham visit Bramall Lane
Although he disputes the notion that Sheffield United are a long ball team, correctly drawing a distinction between playing direct football and lumping the ball aimlessly upfield, Chris Wilder admits he is ready to deploy a previously unknown but brutally effective weapon recently discovered in their armoury.
After being unearthed towards the end of Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, which ended in a cruel added time defeat, United will tell Jack Robinson to once again utilise the long throw which created David McGoldrick’s equaliser when they face Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow.
“That delivery has given us an extra dynamic,” Wilder said, as United prepared for the meeting with Jose Mourinho’s side. “I don’t think we’re a long ball team. But we want to be effective and we want to score goals.”
Robinson, a January signing from Nottingham Forest, has featured in all four of United’s games since competition resumed last month following the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite failing to win any of those, Wilder attributes his team’s frustrating form to individual errors and a a lack of clinical finishing rather than the loss of Jack O’Connell to injury - a situation which has afforded Robinson the opportunity to experience his first taste of Premier League football since starting his career at Liverpool nine years ago.
“I think Jack’s performances have been good,” Wilder, whose side are ninth, said. “Pound for pound, I think he’s been our best player in the last three games. If people think we aren’t winning because Jack (O’Connell) isn’t playing, they’re wrong.”