To say the first few weeks of the season for the Blades have been dramatic is an under-statement. Most clubs will be looking at their start to the season and debating whether their manager has a future with the notorious sacking season almost upon us. Sheffield United have already gone further than this by ousting Kevin Blackwell and appointing Gary Speed in double quick time.
The first home game of the season, the 3-0 home defeat to QPR, seems a long time ago now. The departure of Blackwell which followed has seemed to instil a greater belief throughout the club about the future of this season and beyond.
Yes the club currently reside in mid table but the season is a long and hard battle and to say the season is already over would be foolish. The exit from the League Cup may well be a blessing for new boy Speed as he can concentrate on the league campaign and will have more time to work with his side on the training ground to try to get across his new ideas on how he wants his football club to play.
There have been encouraging signs so far in just the three games under Speed’s tenure. He clearly wants to play football the right way and although his tactics will need to change from game to game he is trying to entertain the crowd as best he can.
He seems to have identified the limitations in the squad and he has been looking at strengthening the squad in the emergency loan market. Unfortunately transfer deadline day came too soon for him so any monies available to him will have to wait until it reopens. However, Speed has said that he won’t be rushed in to making signings and would prefer to sit back and assess the squad and allow the players an opportunity to impress him.
His first loan signing from Nancy, Jean Calves, has already shown the spark of quality we at the Lane crave with the winning goal against Preston.
He has identified areas of the team that need improvements particularly the attacking midfield position and I have no doubt that he will get things right.
The 1-0 victory at Derby on Saturday gave us all hope for the future. Another area for improvement I feel is up front where we need a proven prolific goalscorer to fire us into the Premier League. However, anyone with those talents is unlikely to be available at this point in the season as teams are trying to keep hold of players rather than selling. The chances are definitely being created within the team which is a good sign but we can’t just rely on scoring just one goal a game and keeping a clean sheet.
Already the popularity of Speed has seen him being linked with countless other names. He clearly has the contacts in the football world and I would hope this can lead to a strengthening of our squad.
Bramall Lane is an exciting place to be at the moment and that is thanks to the appointment of Speed and the manager himself.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.