Sky Sports pundit Jobi McAnuff has admitted that he believes that Sheffield United have yet to discover an identity under the guidance of manager Slavisa Jokanovic in the Championship this season.
The Blades would have been hoping to make a barnstorming start to the 2021/22 campaign after appointing the Serbian earlier this year.
However, despite showing some signs of promise, United have struggled considerably with their consistency in the second-tier in recent months.
A run of four defeats in their last six league games has resulted in the Blades losing ground on the early pace-setters in the Championship as they are currently 17th in the standings.
Set to head to the City Ground this evening to face Nottingham Forest, Jokanovic’s side will be determined to deliver a response to their recent setback at the hands of Blackpool by picking up a positive result in this fixture.
Ahead of this clash, McAnuff has suggested that the Blades are currently being hindered by a lack of identity.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast, McAnuff said: “I think we’ve seen before that they have got a squad full of talented individuals and certainly the collection of players they have got are certainly at least top-six in the league.
“But what they haven’t been able to do at the moment is find a style, find an identity.
“You know, I look at Bournemouth, I look at Fulham, West Brom and even Blackpool who have had a fantastic start to the season and I see an identity, I see a way of playing, I see a style.
“Personnel a lot of the time dictates that because your performance levels make sure you’re in the team.
“Sheffield United unfortunately haven’t done that which again gives the manager a problem because there are not enough players out there week-in, week-out that are saying my performance merits a place in the team.
“So I think it’s at the moment, a bit of a puzzle that he hasn’t quite figured out yet in terms of what is that team and what is that style of play that is going to help us win games consistently.”
It is hard to disagree with McAnuff’s comments as the Blades have struggled to adapt to life in the Championship following their relegation from the Premier League.
Yet to adopt a specific style of play, United will need to step up to the mark in the coming months if they are to have any chance of challenging for promotion.
One of the main areas that the Blades have been struggling with in the second-tier is their failure to prevent their opponents from scoring as they have conceded in 12 of their 15 league games.
Jokanovic may need to address this issue in the January transfer window if he cannot find a solution to his side’s defensive woes in their upcoming fixtures.