Lewis Bagshaw reviews The Wall, also known as the Blades’ record-holding defence
With Sheffield United having the least conceded goals (25) after 28 games played by any other promoted side in Premier League history, we thought it would be a good time to have a look at our defence this season.
Let’s start with our man between the sticks before moving onto the regular back five.
What a 'keeper. Hopefully the Blades can keep him for longer than this season as without him we would not be at our best. The Manchester United loanee has played a pivotal part in our return to the Premier League, producing save after save when needed. The man needs to be England No. 1 next tournament.
MOMENT OF THE SEASON: The triple save at Norwich (and the sarcastic dive).
Our flying left wing back has played a part in every league game this season, scoring two goals and recording two assists, including one potential goal of the season contender. His performances, however, cannot be described by these stats alone. He’s been playing the best football of his career and has been recently rewarded with a new three-year contact.
MOMENT OF THE SEASON: That goal against Brighton.
The man who helped define our attacking centre back tactic has been in fine form this season, also playing every game in the league - something you’ll notice is common in this year's team. Not only that, he’s somehow played every minute! Securing one assist so far, he’s been a constant threat down the left overlapping with Stevens to create space. His rock-like defending has been a constant joy to watch.
MOMENT OF THE SEASON: Playing every single minute of the league season. Incredible.
Allez, Allez, Allez… We move on to our second Irishman in the backline. An integral part of this squad is the man who is often the last line of defence and a big part of why we’ve only conceded 25 goals. It's interesting to note that the only game he’s missed is the Man Utd game where we conceded three goals, meaning Egan has only conceded 22 goals in the 27 games he’s been a part of. Absolute machine - you can see why he’s got to have a song…
MOMENT OF THE SEASON: Heading the ball against Declan Rice’s arm, leading to West Ham's 92nd min equaliser being ruled out.
Or should that be Sir Chris Basham? A revelation down the right side of defence. A player that rivals might look at and think is just a simple defender, Bashambauer is anything but. Since he arrived at Leeds last season he hasn’t stopped moving: in the last game alone he chipped the ball over a defender before going for goal. Not only has his attack been on point but defensively he’s been solid, clearing the ball 123 times in the 28 games played, and that’s just scratching the surface.
MOMENT OF THE SEASON: The flick against Norwich.
The star man himself has been in dynamite form this season, scoring two goals and getting four assists. He’s also the second Blades player in the entire squad to play every minute alongside Jack. He’s not afraid of a tackle: he’s received the most yellow cards in the league for the Blades with seven. As well as contributing at the front he’s been a rock at the back.
MOMENT OF THE SEASON: Putting Zaha to shame in both games against Palace.