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Every Sheffield United Player rated in Watford Defeat

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Sheffield United began the 2022-23 campaign with their third consecutive defeat on the opening day (following defeats to Midlands duo Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Birmingham City in the previous two seasons), following a 1-0 defeat at Watford last night.

A fairly patched-up defence wasn’t able to contain the Hornets who netted a second-half winner following a counterattack from a United corner.

Regular VitalBlades Message Board contributor, deadbat_db, gives us his expert analysis on the side which lost 1-0 at Vicarage Road on Monday night.

Foderingham 7/10 – First half he had little to do even though they were the better side. One flashed past his post and then he made a good save to get across to Pedro’s header. His kick led to the flick on from Jebbison and the chance for Ndiaye. Second half even though they came at us, he did not really have much to do but was left badly exposed on the goal. After this not sure he made any real saves other than one at the end.

Baldock 6/10 – Started ok and looked up for it but a few sloppy touches and then they got behind him a few times down that side as he and Clark were too far apart. They had a few chances from that side. He did cross one with his left foot (not that bad!) and was involved in the Jebbison chance. The second half saw nothing from him going forward and stuck to his job defensively and they had less joy down that side.

Stevens 4/10 – Looked heavy-legged to me. He just seems not to be able to run anymore with any conviction and never really a forward threat. Defensively he just kicks it out or rotates onto his left side. A player I am surprised that started as he looks like someone who should not be playing much now. Hobbled a few times and then went down with cramp and then came off.

Norrington Davies 5.5/10 – Did ok but a few times they got behind him and he was slow to react and like with Clark and Baldock, they found those gaps down that side. He (along) with Fleck should have cut the ball out. Then lucky not to get booked after he took his man out and they started to find more gaps in between. He competed and got stuck in but not sure he is a centre-back.

Clark 2.5/10 – Had a shocking first half. Slow to the ball, got beat for skill a few times and they seemed to target him. Clumsy booking and on the ball, he looked woeful with kicks out of play or passes straight to them. Worrying that he looked so poor when he was in the top division last season. Second half he was less error-ridden but they still found space down that side. He at least won a few tackles but then of course was sacrificed after they took the lead.

Egan 6.5/10 – Our best defender with the others struggling with movement and pace. He won a few headers and blocks. He had a headed chance first half and another second half where he made a mess of both. Defensively he was ok though and did not make any real errors I can recall.

Norwood 4/10 – Quiet game where he did not have much of the ball and ended up being more involved in a defensive type of sense. When he does not see the ball, he struggles as lacks pace and the legs to chase back and with no protection alongside it will be hard for him. Second half he was not really in it again and then after a few more misplaced passes as they threatened to run through us, we took him off.

Fleck 2/10 – Thought he looked tired and weary again and seems to lack the power and dynamism he once had. The first game of the season and looked dead on his feet after 20 minutes! On the ball he was sloppy. Stupid booking too where he raised his hands (first before their man). Second half he was even worse as he constantly had bad touches that gave it away and then, of course, a poor shot from the corner and then failed to cut out the ball and they score. He blamed the ref, but it was awful from him twice regardless of if he had to check his run a bit. He then put them in twice more after this. He just wanted rid of it whenever he had it and cannot run with it at all anymore. Sad to watch but for me we need to upgrade in here. It seems Coulibaly is not seen as the answer (not on the bench) and Osborn is not really any better. We either must wait for Doyle or give the young lad Arblaster a go. I said lack of legs in midfield would hurt us and it showed again tonight.

Berge 4.5/10 – Started ok and one or two bits and then a shot but then faded and saw little of him as he did not impose himself. He tried to find and link but then 2nd half he was even more anonymous and sadly looked a bit disinterested. After Norwood went off, he came a bit deeper, but it made no difference as he still saw nothing of it. The bit at the end where he just ran into his man and then pulled him back summed him and us up tonight.

Ndiaye 7/10 – Our best player first half showing good skill, strength and some nice runs. Had a good chance which he maybe should do better with, but he was the main outlet and only one who looked comparable to their front three. Had no real help either. Second half he kept going but kind of got crowded out as they had the dominant spell and we saw little of it. I would still have kept him on as he offered a threat.

Jebbison 4/10 – Game mostly passed him by. One flicked header to Ndiaye and the shot before half time but too often the ball did not stick to the front, and he sort of got lost. He lacks strength and the ability to hold it up and so it just kept coming back. Second half not really involved but then we never had the ball the first 15 minutes and then he was taken off. To me he is a long way off being a striker who can lead the line and if we are playing one like that, he cannot be the player as lacks strength, experience and understanding of how to do that role. Surprised he started tonight and a big kick in the teeth for Brewster really who would be seen as the main man this season but was not given the role?

Substitutes

Lowe 0.5/10 – Stop laughing! I was close to giving him a 0/10. He did run forward a few times so that gets him half a mark, but I am not sure he found a red and white shirt once in about 8 or 9 passes/crosses. He miss controlled it, kicked it out and on the goal, he just ran into no man’s land. Absolutely woeful. Saw some saying he must be the starter and was in many ‘projected’ teams. I thought he was awful when played a few years ago and when I saw him for Forest a few times did not see this improved player he apparently was? Whatever offer we had for him, I would have let him go -even nominal. May sound controversial but we saw tonight that he is not the answer (as we saw when he played for us before).

Khadra 6.5/10 – Looked lively and got on the ball to make things happen. He was always showing and tried to be direct. No real help at all in terms of players linking with him and had to kind of do it on his own. Like the fact he wanted to go at players and get them turned. Only him and Ndiaye tried to be positive tonight.

Osborn 2/10 – Another who lacks the ability and his brief cameo showed that as he was against quicker and stronger players and got bustled out of it. Ran one out, passed it to them and one throw in where he played it straight out. Pointless sub. Rather see Coulibaly, or Arblaster have a go.

Brewster 5/10 – Tried to get involved but not really any chances and then he tackled Khadra as he came forward. We did not get any balls into the box or behind the defenders at all so were living off scraps.

Sharp – Battled down the corner once or twice but we were just looking desperate to win a set play or corner as we just had no cohesion or pattern at all to our play.

Watford
1 – 0
Sheffield United

Vicarage Road

SkyBet Championship

1/08/2022 8:00 pm

Attendance: 19536

Referee: Josh Smith

Watford Sheffield United
Joao Pedro 56
Bachmann Foderingham
Kabasele Clark
 
Khadra 68
Sierralta
 
Egan
Cathcart Norrington-Davies
Kamara
 
Baldock
Cleverley
 
Norwood Osborn 69
Kayembe Fleck
 
Sema Stevens Lowe 55
Sarr Manaj 81 Berge
 
Dennis Jebbison Brewster 68
Joao Pedro
 
Gosling 87 Ndiaye Sharp 78

Substitutes

Ngakia Gordon
Troost-Ekong Amissah
Asprilla
Bayo
Hamer

Game Statistics

10 Goal attempts 6
4 On Target 3
5 Corners 4
13 Fouls 8
4 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
53 % 47

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