What the opposition saw | Bournemouth
AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United
We spoke to Peter from 'Cherry Chimes' about the Blades' opening day draw. You can read his match report here: https://afcbchimes.blogspot.com.
What did you think to the game?
The game was a bit of a sleeper to be fair. The blustery conditions didn't help matters and both sides were turning over possession regularly and both were set-up very well to nullify the opposition. I suppose I'd give the match a 5/10 score - at least we saw some goals in the end.
How did you rate each team's performance?
While Bournemouth did slightly better in possession, Sheffield United showed they would be no push overs in the league this season and I was impressed with the strength and battling spirit they had. If they can take that into every game, Sheffield United should have a fair chance of causing some shocks. I don't feel that Bournemouth played that near their best, as they were trying a new formation as a 5-2-3 set-up which didn't work well enough, but some of that is down to how well Sheffield United played on the day as well. I expect Sheffield United also will also improve in front of goal as the season progresses.
Ratings: AFCB 5/10 Sheffield United 5/10
The result was fair. It would have been hard on Sheffield United if it had ended 1-0. Aaron Ramsdale had to make saves from McGoldrick and Robinson, before Billy Sharp got the equaliser and both teams only had three shots on target. It wasn't a thriller of a game. Both teams will have much better days, but it made a change to see defences on top and a tight game.
What did you make to the Blades' style of play?
Sheffield United will need to be a bit more creative than regularly playing the diagonal ball over the top. It got McGoldrick in on goal in the first minute, but it wasn't going to keep working. Keeping possession around the opposition's box is what Sheffield United will have to keep working at and making really effective breaks when they win possession. Defensively, the team looks fairly sound and the only way Bournemouth could get a goal was from a set-piece. Free kicks are a high source of goals in the Premier League so defending from them and scoring from them is something every team has to get to grips with.
Who were Sheffield United's key men?
Fleck and O'Connell didn't give much away and handled Wilson well. Robinson also has an eagerness to get into scoring positions, while Billy Sharp proved he is the ultimate goal poacher around the six yard box.
If you could steal one of our players, who would it be?
I wouldn't say that any of Sheffield Utd's team would be prime targets for Eddie Howe. The team plays well as a whole and is well balanced but I'd probably need to see a lot more to pick out an individual that could fit in well with Bournemouth's team.
Will the Blades stay up this season, yes or no?
Before the game, Sheffield United were one of my three teams to go down. But on the evidence I saw, they will be hard to beat and they have a fighters chance of staying up. It really depends on whether the team has enough goals. I feel they might struggle in that area and that is why I had them in my bottom three. I am not yet convinced they will score enough goals to stay up.