Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder told defender Chris Basham to ‘let his hair down’ prior to their recent 1-0 victory against Arsenal (via Sheffield Star).
Basham has been a regular for the Blades so far, and is one of their now infamous ‘overlapping centre-backs’.
Basham and his Sheffield United teammates have made a fine start to life in the Premier League, and after 10 matches they sit on 13 points with three wins and four draws to their name (via BBC Sport).
One of the main reasons for their positive results has been their strong defensive base. They have conceded just eight goals so far, meaning that they have the joint-best defensive record in the top flight with only Liverpool and Leicester City conceding as little as the Blades (BBC Sport).
As a centre-back, Basham has contributed heavily to that defensive record, however, he has revealed that Wilder wants him to start contributing a little more in an attacking sense.
The former Blackpool man was well-known for marauding forward along with Jack O’Connell during the Blades’ time in League One and the Championship (medium.com), but he has perhaps reined that in a little in the Premier League.
But Basham has revealed that Wilder is encouraging him to get forward more often, and that he took that advice on board in a recent fixture against Arsenal.
Speaking to the Sheffield Star about his attacking responsibilities, the 31-year-old said: “That’s the one I needed to focus on more. The gaffer told me to let my hair down again, have a run. I did that [against Arsenal] and enjoyed it as well.”
It is a fine line for the Blades, they need to remain solid at the back to give themselves the best chance of getting results, but they also need to add more goals to their game.
The overlapping centre-back tactic worked a treat in the Championship, and it can work again in the top flight if used at the right times.
When they are at home and the onus is on them to take the game to the opposition, it would be good for Basham to get forward and support attacks, as it can often confuse the other team.
However, at times he will need to rein it in and stay a little more defensive, particularly against the bigger clubs such as Manchester City and Liverpool.
Sheffield United fans, do you think that Chris Basham needs to get back to attacking a little more? Let us know your thoughts below…
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