Voices on the game... Sheffield United
Fri 08 November 2019, 15:33|Tottenham Hotspur
Sheffield United are up next as we return to action at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm). As always here on tottenhamhotspur.com, we’ve rounded up some of the key opinions ahead of our clash with the Blades, with a selection of voices from inside both clubs involved and the wider footballing world.
Former midfielder, joined Spurs in 2004 after four years at Sheffield United
“Sheffield United will be looking forward to all of these games. They’re getting used to it in the Premier League, they’re getting confident, but hopefully not too over-confident. They’ve had a great start, they’re not conceding and they’re playing a great style of football that everyone has been really impressed with. To score three goals so early last time out against Burnley (3-0 home win last Saturday) was such a positive thing for them and they’re flying high, but I think they’ll understand the quality Spurs have and if Spurs can bring their A game, it will be a tough game for Sheffield United.
“They’re going to have to be tight and any opportunities that arise, they’re going to need a little bit of luck. Can they get some possession? We’ve seen Spurs go to Liverpool and concede some possession, so for them it’s about limiting those opportunities. What Sheffield United are not afraid of, they’ll certainly try to create opportunities. As a side coming up into the division, you’d generally think they’d sit behind the ball but they don’t, they will go and counter-attack very quickly.”
“It’s going to be very difficult. They work so hard and what has impressed me most is the belief and the togetherness. They have the spirit of a rugby team that fights for each other. That is fantastic to see in a football team. They have a good squad, good organisation, a great manager and coaching staff and that translates onto the pitch in togetherness, fighting for each other. That is the key of Sheffield United and why they are doing so well. They have a lot of points, they are in a good position in the table and they have a good record. Chris Wilder is doing a fantastic job, everyone can see how he is working.”
Sheffield United manager
“It is about getting the balance right, (visiting) these special grounds, but then putting a performance in. That’s always been the message and it has to be right the way through the season – enjoy the Premier League, who you are playing against and where you are playing them, but don’t fear it. Visiting this stadium as a Premier League team is probably on a lot of our supporters’ bucket lists.”
As for our patchy form in the top flight so far this season, Wilder added: “It quickly changes. We are fortunate enough to have a few more points than Tottenham now but I think a betting man would stick a few quid on them being above us at the end of the season. Scratch beneath the surface, what you’ve got is one of the world’s top managers coaching and managing some of the best players in the country. I have a lot of admiration for how they work their players. They have an identity in how they play and within a collective group, they’ve got world-class individuals. One result will get them going, they can’t fail with the talent they have got.”
“They have been a real breath of fresh air for the league. They’ve come up and have played football in their own style. Chris Wilder is doing an excellent job there. It’s going to be a very tough game. Speaking to a few of the Welsh boys that have been there in the last few years, like David Brooks and Kieron Freeman, who is still there, it seems like a very close group and that appears to have got them through most things; that determination to stick together when times are tough. They seem to be flying at the moment. It’s down to us to try to stop that.”