Martin Smith: Too early to dream of two Sheffield clubs in the Premier League?

Win a week on Friday and Wednesday are top of the league.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 15:43 pm
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 19:23 pm
Garry Monk

A day ahead of the rest maybe and it last happened in August when Lee Bullen bounced the Owls to the top with a 1-0 win over Luton at Hillsborough.

That perch looked a long way off before Garry Monk took 10 points from 15.

We’ve seen such surges before and it’s early days but fan feeling is being transformed.

Is it too early to start dreaming of two Sheffield clubs in the Premier League?

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LESSONS IN CHARACTER AND IDENTITY

This time last week he still had his head in his hands.

Now Saturday’s Sheffield United hero Dean Henderson is back in credit with manager, fans and, more importantly, himself after his point-winning display and that last-minute save at Watford on Saturday.

Last week he made a mistake, this week he did his job.

What’s that line about triumph and disaster and treating those impostors just the same?

And those two impostors are lined up next to each other in a tale of two United’s, same games, same points, opposite momentum.

With identical results and only one goal between them Sheffield United and Dean Henderson’s parent club Manchester United are neck and neck in lower mid-table.

For one it’s a disaster, for the other a decent start to their first Premier League season in 12 years.

By the time the two of them square up at Bramall Lane on November 24 it could all look different. Sheffield United might be above them.

The two clubs are examples of how the culture within a club shapes what we see on the pitch.

At the moment one is organised, energised and confident.

The other is Manchester United.

How a club so big has fallen so far so quickly is something of a mystery to everyone, especially manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Blades fans and Chris Wilder will be hoping that mystery has deepened further by the end of November, though there may be a new man in charge at Old Trafford by then.

Meanwhile Sheffield United will press on with their work ethic, philosophy and attitude while their namesakes west of the Pennines struggle for purpose and identity.

CLASS ACT

There must have been huge disappointment for Jessica Ennis when Katarina Johnson-Thompson took her heptathlon points record at the World Championships but of course Jess showed only humility and kindness.

You’d expect nothing less from a true champion.