When Brighton and Hove Albion English striker Danny Welbeck steered left back Adam Webster’s header past Aaron Ramsdale in the Sheffield United goal to equalise in the 87th minute and earn Brighton a hard-fought 1-1 draw, he literally worsened for Sheffield what was already the worst record in the history of the English Premier League.
Of the 14 games Sheffield have played so far, they have lost 12, eight of them consecutively until they met Brighton on Sunday. It means at present, out of a possible 42 points on offer from 14 games, they have only managed to take two points from two draws, against Brighton and the other one, another 1-1 draw against Fulham in October.
Most of the losses have been by as slim margins as their draws have been. Their most disappointing was a 3-2 damper to Man U which was one of their most impressive displays, requiring a 92nd minute save from United keeper Dean Henderson to deny Lys Mousset an equaliser.
Before that, they lost 2-1 to Leicester, 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion, to West Ham and to Man City with another 2-1 loss to English Premier League champions Liverpool.
This has left them rock bottom of the log with the unenviable record of being the only side ever to be on just two points after Matchday 14 in the three-point per match era of English football. The contrast with last season could not be starker. Chris Wilder’s side’s 12 league defeats so far this season is as many as they suffered throughout the whole of the 2019/20 campaign.
It will require a lot of deep personal conviction for a team of players with this many losses, who have expended so much effort but still get the short end of the stick, to pull themselves together and fight for survival in a tough season with the club stuck in the rut.
It is unclear if Wilder will remain as coach for the rest of the season or if the management will decide that an injection of fresh ideas and new hands will be the spur to turn things around for the better. But, for what it is worth, they are staring at a relegation situation in the face and it is just Christmas.
It is not what they wished for Christmas and on the Sheffield grounds the bells will not be jingling.