Kevin Gage’s Sheffield United Column: For all the talk of Chris Wilder’s overlapping centre halves, Blades’ defensive solidarity shouldn’t be overlooked in their Premier League quest
Again it sounds completely obvious, but it’s been statistically proven by far more clever people than me in various articles that, for newly-promoted sides especially, as a team, it’s better to be good defensively, than be better offensively. Here’s a quote from Omar Chaudhuri, the Head of Football Intelligence at the 21st Club group: “Analysing the history of promoted teams shows that there are some key characteristics that tend to be associated with staying up.
“One of these traits is having a good defensive record; indeed teams that stay up tend to do much better defensively than they do in attack, whereas teams that go back down tend to have better attacking records than defensive records. This bodes well for Sheff Utd compared to Norwich and Villa, in that of the three promoted teams, they had the best defensive record in the Championship”