Sheffield United’s manager, Chris Wilder, has addressed the primary criticism thrown at the Blades following their embarrassing 5-0 loss to Aston Villa at home on Saturday night. Unai Emery’s relentless Villa destroyed the Blades at home. They led 4-0 after thirty minutes and scored a fifth just a few minutes into the second half.
No matter how great the opponent, most Unitedites will not accept what they see as a lack of effort and passion on their part. They can appreciate the quality gap between themselves and most other teams in a division of such immense riches and resource. After the game, the predominant criticism directed towards Wilder’s team was focused on their attitude and application rather than their skill. Wilder refuted the notion that his team had not tried, but in the eyes of football fans, at least, perception equals reality.
When questioned if there appeared to be less effort, Wilder responded, “It looks like that, of course it does.” “Based on appearances, I understand. There weren’t enough tackles or duels that we won. It’s a pretty nice afternoon when you play against these players who are on top of you; they’re flowing, humming, and full of confidence. They’re also playing with one touch.
Our fans shouldn’t be enjoying it, and we shouldn’t accept that they and their fans are. Everyone finds it intolerable, and I am at the core of it all. I understand now. We must win more races, tackles, and other events of that nature. I will thus be analysing that tonight, tomorrow, and into Monday.
We’re in for a long week. We have a chance the following week, so I have to choose the correct team and players who are willing to battle. Today has been a huge, huge step backward for us. I am unable to avoid that. With the manner we’ve played and the team spirit, we’ve done alright. However, we have suffered greatly tonight, and that is detrimental. We also need to move past it right away.”
At halftime and the final whistle, Unitedites showed their disapproval by booing their opponent, and many of them left their seats early. When asked if he could relate to the supporters’ frustration, Wilder said, “It’s 100% true. They have been nothing short of amazing to me personally and to the team over the entire season. Evenings like these can occur in the Premier League; Southampton’s two 9-0 losses serve as a prime example. This is particularly true when our team is very young and lacking in experience and expertise.
“Which I chose, therefore I also have to accept that. However, in such circumstances, there is nowhere to run to and you have to take all that is said about you, including things like “picked the wrong team, picked the wrong players, didn’t motivate them, didn’t do this, didn’t do that.” If you’re in this game, you have to deal with that because that’s how the world works.”