Sheffield United have been offered a few words of sympathy by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after witnessing the club’s biggest home defeat after Newcastle United romped to an 8-0 victory over the hapless Blades at Bramall Lane.
All the talk heading into the match was how a Newcastle side, who had drawn 0-0 with AC Milan on a tough Champions League match, would recover from the dizzy heights of playing at the San Siro to their bread and butter in the Premier League.
But they answered any doubters in emphatic style by trouncing the Blades on a dream afternoon for Eddie Howe’s side, who boasted eight different scorers in a single Premier League game for the first time in the competition’s history.
For the woeful Blades, however, the heaviness of the defeat sends them tumbling to the foot of the table and leaves them winless after six games of their return to the top flight.
Assessing their defeat, Redknapp did not go easy on the South Yorkshire side.
“I have so much sympathy for the manager,” Redknapp began. “He has to stand there on the sidelines and give his all, push and control his players. That is a place that is a very dark place for any kind of manager and he’ll be feeling so low right now.
“In terms of the performance from Sheffield United, you should never lose any game 8-0. They’ve been in every single game this Premier League season apart from today when they just didn’t produce the goods.”
Paul Heckingbottom reacts to Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 8
Recent reports have suggested the Blades are considering the future of Heckingbottom following their winless start to the season. Sunday’s historic hammering will only increase the pressure on his shoulders, though TEAMtalk does understand that the Sheffield United players, at least earlier in the week, do remain fully behind their manager.
Redknapp, however, admits he was concerned by what he saw and suggested a lack of effort from the Sheffield United players in the second half – something he claims is wholly unacceptable.
“Newcastle were just too good for them, but there was a lack of quality from them, and there was at times – which is quite damning for them – a lack of a little bit of effort towards the end and you can’t do that no matter what happens. You owe it to your fans.”
Heckingbottom himself was brave enough to face the media, admitting though there was nowhere to hide after such an embarrassment.
He told Sky Sports: “It was the (defensive) organisation in the first half which cost us. Regardless if we’d taken our chances, that bit wasn’t good enough. We made changes at half-time to try and alter things, but we made too many mistakes and mistakes led to goals. That’s what you’ve got to expect in this league and we made far too many. We need to show everything that we have been built on and that second half wasn’t it.
“There wasn’t that same level of determination in that second half. We understand the league we’re in and we’ve lost three points regardless, but as long as we learn from the mistakes and the defeat and what has gone wrong, then that’s all we’ve lost three points. The good thing is you’ve always got another game and the work starts tomorrow morning.
“There were moments here that Newcastle outrun us and outfought us – and that’s not acceptable.
“Our game and our season is not defined by this game.”
Asked about speculation he could face the sack, Heckingbottom added: “If it’s a question about my future, you’re asking the wrong person. My job is to manage the football department from top to bottom. That’s it.”