Sheffield United 2019/20 Review: End of Season Report Card for the Blades

Callum Altimas
Sheffield United v Norwich City - Premier League
Sheffield United v Norwich City - Premier League / Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
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Sheffield United fans, pinch yourselves. You aren't dreaming.

Heading into the season, many expected United to be nothing more than cannon fodder for the rest of the division and spend the majority of the year rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.

It was hardly unreasonable, either. Despite a stellar Championship campaign, Chris Wilder's men weren't considered strong enough to make a name for themselves in the Premier League, but they did just that.

If you'd have told Blades fans they'd be contending for a Europa League spot 12 months ago, they'd have laughed in your face. While they didn't end up landing a top six place, there's no way this season can be considered anything less than a monumental success for the Yorkshire club.


League Performance

Premier League - 9th

A ninth place finish truly exceeded the expectations the Blades had coming into the Premier League season
A ninth place finish truly exceeded the expectations the Blades had coming into the Premier League season / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Having been promoted as Championship runners up the previous season, expectations were mightily low for Sheffield United heading into their return to the Premier League. The Blades hadn't played in the Premier League since the 2006/07 season, when they went straight back down to England's second division at the first time of asking and many expected a similar outcome this time round.

It's safe to say Wilder's men shattered any relegation expectations set for them, with the side only dropping into the bottom half of the league three times all season.

The Blades picked up memorable wins over Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves and Chelsea as they made a real push to qualify for Europe, but three straight losses to finish the season saw them fall to ninth.

With many fans expecting a tough relegation battle, a ninth place finish in the Premier League is an undisputed success.


Domestic Cup Performance

Carabao Cup - Third Round

United were dumped out of the Carabao Cup in the third round by League One outfit Sunderland
United were dumped out of the Carabao Cup in the third round by League One outfit Sunderland / George Wood/Getty Images

A disappointing Carabao Cup campaign saw United exit the competition in the third round. Having previously bested Championship side Blackburn, Wilder's men fell at the hands of League One club Sunderland.

That's one low moment in an otherwise exceptional season the club would like to forget.


FA Cup - Quarter Finals

United can be proud of their FA Cup run, despite losing to Arsenal in the quarter finals
United can be proud of their FA Cup run, despite losing to Arsenal in the quarter finals / Pool/Getty Images

Unlike earlier in the season in the Carabao Cup, United pushed past their lower league opposition in the FA Cup to make it to the quarter finals.

Despite a scare against Reading, the Premier League side made it to the quarter finals for the first time since 2014. It took a last minute winner from Dani Ceballos for Arsenal to beat United, and fans can be proud of their FA Cup run.


Best Player

Henderson's excellence in goal was responsible for a number of the Blades' wins
Henderson's excellence in goal was responsible for a number of the Blades' wins / Ben Early - AMA/Getty Images

While you can make a case that any of United's three starting centre backs deserve a shout as the club's best player this season, Henderson gets the nod here.

Henderson has been sensational in goal for the Blades and single-handedly won the club points on numerous occasions throughout the season.

With the goalkeeper's loan set to expire this summer and a return to parent club Manchester United on the horizon, Henderson would be a huge loss for Wilder's side if they can't secure his services once again next season.


Worst Player

Robinson struggled to make an impact at Bramall Lane and was soon sent on loan to West Brom
Robinson struggled to make an impact at Bramall Lane and was soon sent on loan to West Brom / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Following what was a fantastic season at the club, there aren't many options for their worst player.

That being said, Callum Robinson stands out in a negative light. Having signed from Preston North End last summer, the Ireland international was expected to help lead the front line for the team as they returned to the promised land.

It didn't quite work out that way for the 25-year-old, however, and after 19 appearances and two goals for the club, he was swiftly sent on loan to West Brom in January.


The Manager

The mastermind behind United's success this season, Wilder's tactics have helped the team reach dizzying heights.

The 52-year-old ended up finishing second to Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp for the LMA Manager of the Year award, a testament to just how vital he's been for United this season.


Overall Grade - A

There's no doubt about it, this season was an incredible one for Blades fans and one they wouldn't have expected in the slightest back in August 2019.

It could hardly have gone any better for them.

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