Sheffield United Avoid ‘Worst Team Ever’ Tag… But Can They Pull Off the Great Escape?

Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United side surprised many football fans in the 2019/20 season with a daring run to 9th place in the league, driven by a hard-working team unit and a stingy defence that conceded fewer goals than any other team outside the top three.

This season, they’ve found themselves rooted to the bottom of the table for the entire campaign.

Of some small solace to Blades fans is the fact they won’t go down in history as the worst Premier League team of all time, at least, after picking up a few decent results in the second half of the season. With the teams above cutting them adrift by a large points margin, however, a revival from here would surely rank as one of the greatest escapes ever seen in Premier League history.

Sheffield United came up in 2019 after finishing second in the Championship behind title winners Norwich City. While the Canaries were relegated the following season during Sheffield United’s charge up the table, they are heavily fancied at 1/9 in the Championship betting odds to return to the top flight again this year after pulling away at the top of the table.

The Blades, meanwhile, face an uphill struggle to face them in the Premier League next year as their form has fallen off dramatically in 2020/21, raising questions about the future of manager Chris Wilder amid reports of a rift with the decision-makers at the club. Wilder has also picked a fight with several other Premier League managers this season, including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp, as the pressure has built steadily on him over the course of the season.

Wilder’s own players have not escaped his frustrations – a 2-0 loss to Southampton at the beginning of March prompted Wilder to say that some of his team were not working hard enough and were no longer welcome at the club after the summer.

Undoubtedly, there will be change at Bramall Lane if United do suffer relegation, maybe even at the managerial position, but the core could still remain of a team that both won promotion from the Championship and shocked many en route to a top-half Premier League finish. Potentially helped by parachute payments, Sheffield United would surely be fancied for a quick return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Derby County still hold the record for the worst Premier League season of all time and that unwanted record is now theirs for another year at least. The 2007-08 Rams side finished bottom of the table with a mere eleven points, winning only a single game and conceding 89 goals. They were also the first and only Premier League team to be relegated as early as March, providing a low benchmark by which bad top-flight seasons have been judged ever since.

Leave a Reply