Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mr. Colourful

This is another seasonal preview to complement the one I just posted a few minutes ago. This time I will be previewing Sheffield United. The Blades have the most colourful manager in England right now, Mr. Neil Warnock. I would love to see how he fares in the big time,after being very outspoken during his time in the Football League Championshp. Just imagining the antics between him and Jose Mourinho will be quite interesting to watch and hear!

Yet it doesn't bode well for Warnock, on the evidence of his transfers. He is relying on bring in quantity rather than quality, with far too many players on the books. Plus the people he is bringing in are not exuding quality, most having just played in the lower leagues for most of the professional lives. If Sheffield United are to stay up, they need more than grit and numbers.

Positional review

GK: Paddy Kenny, Ian Bennett

One of Sheffield United's strongest department is the goalkeeping department, with veterans Kenny and Bennett. Any hope of not conceding goals will be reliant upon Kenny's form.

RB: Robert Kozluk, Derek Geary

A very weak position for the Blades, with none of the players here not experienced in the Premiership. Might want to get rid of one of them and bring in somebody else.

LB: David Unsworth, Chris Armstrong, Alan Wright

Perhaps stronger than the right back position, having somebody like Unsworth is good but with his age, they will be relying more on Armstrong for speed. Plus Wright is known to be on the way out, so I don't think he will figure.

CB: Chris Morgan, Leigh Bromby, Chris Lucketti, David Sommeil, Claude Davis, Mikel Leigertwood, Craig Short

I still don't know why Short came out of retirement since Sheffield United seem to have enough central defenders - probably they need his know-how. I only see Bromby, Davis & Leigertwood doing well for United, the others are either way past it or just not good enough.

RM: Paul Ifil, Keith Gillespie

With Ifil's relative quickness with Gillespie backing him up, this seems to be an adequate area for United

LM: Michael Tonge

This is where United should be reinforcing. Tonge should be playing in the middle with Jaglieka but without an out-and-out left midfielder, they shoved Tonge to the left. I think this is wasting Tonge's talent, much like Gerrard being shoved to the right for Liverpool.

CM: Phil Jaglieka, Nick Montgomery, Alan Quinn, Li Tie

United could do with another attacking force in central midfield but I think they have enough numbers to get through. Most of the protecting of the back four will come down to Jaglieka, who has a chance to shine on the big stage now.

FW: N Shipperley, Danny Webber, Steven Kabba, Ade Akinbiyi, Rob Hulse, Christian Nade

This is the most problematic area for the Blades. Even though all the strikers are capable and good, none have a reputable, consistent goal scoring record which will scare Premiership defences.

If United are to stay up, it will be more reliant on grit and Warnock's man management than anything else. Otherwise it is most likely they will only be just above Watford come May.

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