Earlier this year I had entry on the Sheffield United model. This looked at their Championship squad and how it was drawn solely from the UK and Republic of Ireland talent pool. The interesting thing was that Sheffield United performed so well considering the estimated value of the players. They duly earned promotion to the Premier League.
Since joining the elite, they have added three senior players that are registered with a non-UK/Irish international team to their ranks. Ravel Morrison, Lys Mousset and Michael Verrips. Only the latter two were born outside of the UK.
At the start of the season bookmakers estimated that Sheffield United were odds on, and the most likely of all teams, to be relegated – they estimated that they had a circa 60% probability of relegation. How times have changed. Chris Wilder’s side currently have a circa 3% relegation chance.
Excelling in the first half of the league upon promotion is not entirely rare however. How do Sheffield United compare to other promoted teams approaching the half way point in the season? The table below shows the performance of the top 20 promoted teams since the Premier League became a 20 team competition in 95/96.
Sunderland’s 99/00 season tops the list for promoted clubs. At this stage they had 34 points – Kevin Phillip’s 30 goals that season meant that they finished 7th. Middlesbrough 95/96 season and Ipswitch Town 00/01 season comes in joint second.