Sheffield United’s diabolical start to the Championship season continued on Saturday as Slavisa Jokanovic saw his side succumb to yet another defeat at Bramall Lane.
While recovering from relegation from the Premier League is undoubtedly a challenging task, it would have been difficult to find a football fan – Sheffield United supporter or otherwise – who would have predicted the Blades would be languishing in the Championship relegation zone after picking up just a single point over their first four games of the season.
However, following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town, that is exactly where United find themselves, and it must have been a particularly difficult result to stomach for the Bramall Lane faithful.
Indeed, fans watched their side dominate the ball against the Terriers, boasting 70% of possession as well as taking 16 shots to the visitors’ six and completing 339 more passes than Carlos Corberan’s side, although it would be the visitors who left Sheffield with all three points.
The timing of Huddersfield’s winning goal must also have been particularly gut-wrenching, for after United had drawn the game level through Billy Sharp’s 92nd-minute strike which seemed to have secured at least a point for the hosts, Levi Colwill spoiled the party when he bagged the winner for Huddersfield in the 94th minute, leaving the Blades down and out on the canvas.
In terms of the United players, there were rather unsurprisingly a number of below-par performances, but it was Rhian Brewster’s particularly abject display which most caught the eye for all the wrong reasons.
Indeed, over his 65 minutes on the pitch, the 21-year-old managed just 14 touches of the ball, lost possession six times and completed just four passes. The £41k-per-week man also managed just one shot on target, completed none of his three attempted dribbles and won only one of his seven duels – a win percentage of just 14%.
These returns saw the former Liverpool centre-forward earn a SofaScore match rating of 6.4, with no Sheffield United player receiving a lower score than the England under-21 international in the fixture.
As such, while it would appear as if Jokanovic’s hopes of automatic promotion this season are already slim, Brewster will nevertheless have to significantly raise his game in the coming weeks and months if the Blades are to have any chance of making an assault on the top half of the table.