It will tell you plenty about how this season has gone for Sheffield United that they would have been pretty disappointed not to beat Manchester United on Sunday.
Chris Wilder has received plenty of praise for taking the club from League One water-treaders to sixth in the Premier League, above their weekend opponents, Arsenal and Tottenham.
But one man who hasn’t perhaps had so much attention is striker David McGoldrick, but Michael Cox put that right on this Monday’s Totally Football Show.
“I think he’s probably the most underrated player in the Premier League. I haven’t really heard anyone talking about him: people talk about the centre-backs, about Lundstram of course who’s scoring a lot of goals. But McGoldrick’s movement is brilliant, his link play, he’s just got a brilliant appreciation of the system. The one thing he hasn’t done is score goals.
“He starts as a second striker, but he’s always peeling off to the flanks, he’s dropping deep, he creates overloads, defenders don’t know how to follow him. He really understands the way they try to overload the flanks: he plays quite easy passes, but they’re quite deliberate and purposeful passes to the wing-backs, the centre-backs and even the central midfielders when they overlap.
“The number of times they get four vs three and even five vs four situations down the flanks, it’s something you don’t really see that often. I compared it to the way Ajax played in the Champions League last year, and a Sheffield United fan said “Actually, Ajax are playing the Sheffield United way,” which I quite liked.”
McGoldrick has spent most of his career in the Football League, and for the most part it has been a pretty moderate career, playing for eight different clubs in the EFL before winning promotion with the Blades last season.
“It’s a perfect example of how a player can have his career completely reinvigorated,” said Daniel Storey. “He was released from Nottingham Forest in 2013, having not particularly done well or scored goals, and having not actually looked like he was working that hard, which he does now.
“So to go from that to leading a line – by definition and by reputation in the Premier League – is astonishing really.”
McGoldrick is of course not alone in looking like a different player once moving to Bramall Lane:
“Lys Mousset looked wretched at Bournemouth, no confidence and barely started games which didn’t help. But that’s Chris Wilder. He’s just a far, far better manager than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.”
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