Over the last few days I have offered you my thoughts on the composition of the Blades squad as we enter the January window. Recognising there may be more movement in the Summer I offered my views on who should stay, who should go in January and who we should review again in the Summer.
It created some debate and so, alongside writing my views, I ran a poll of Blades fans and promoted it on twitter. For each player there were three options, with loan players assessed in terms of "Extend Loan - A Good Bet", "Do Not Renew Loan" and "Unsure, But Renew Loan To See More". The results showed a significant divergence of views across our fanbase with opinions split on several players.
8 of the 28 listed had a definitive view (80% or more of those polled in agreement):
Of these, opinion was most fervent on Baxter (98% Keep), King (98% Get Rid - this was pre the announcement from the club), Williams (97% - Get Rid) and Long (94% Keep).
Of the rest, two polled more than 60% in favour of keeping them; Neill Collins and an extension to Conor Coady's loan. Whilst 69% were in favour of moving on Darryl Westlake.
Those who fans were in favour of exiting in January included the aforementioned King, Wiilliams and Westlake, along with Jasper Johns, Joe Ironside, Callum McFadzean. Although there was a fair spread of opinion across all options for the three youngsters.
In addition, there was little clamour for extending the loan deals of Aidy White and Simon Lappin. Whilst 41% of fans polled would have kept Lyle Taylor (now loaned to Partick Thistle until the end of the season) in the United squad.
So what does this tell us? Well we all have an opinion, to which we are entitled and creates some of the good (and sometimes less rational) debate online, in the pubs and in the stands. It shows what a difficult task faces the manager. Making changes to achieve what we all want for United, improvement and success on the pitch, when there is a danger that too much change in a short period can be disruptive and cause further problems.
It will be interesting to see what the squad looks like both now and come the Summer. Until then, In Clough We Trust.
|Keep||Look to move on in Jan||Keep, but revisit in Summer|