Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder remains ‘bullish’ ahead of Arsenal test

Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder: Thanks the fans.
Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder: Thanks the fans.
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SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder says that the last thing he will be doing is listening to any ‘noise and nonsense’ regarding Monday night opponents Arsenal’s perceived travel ailments.

Unai Emery’s side head to Bramall Lane with just one away Premier League victory to their name this season, with the Gunners having picked up three points on the road on just four occasions in 12 top-flight matches in 2019.

While admitting his Blades side are ‘bullish’ ahead of the visit of Arsenal, who have won just once on their last seven visits to S2 – their previous league win being in April, 1991 – Wilder is reading little into suggestions that the Londoners are vulnerable away from home.

Wilder said: “Who are their stars? Have you got 10 minutes? You do not have their careers by being bang average.

“This is elite-level football and they have invested in quality. They have got some players who are not getting in the squad who are quite tasty.

“Noise and nonsense, that is the phrase I use. We got off to a decent start, everyone said we would be okay.

“Then when we did not beat Watford, we were going down weren’t we? We all have to hold our hands to our ears at times.

“I am not going to start commenting on what Arsenal need to do. I am concentrating on our own team. We are bullish.

“That is what we are. The crowd have been brilliant and that is not me rubbing their heads. They have been.

“The last manager here commented on that. I am sure the atmosphere will be great; a night game at Bramall Lane under the lights.”

Wilder has praised the early-season form of George Baldock and believes that he can establish himself as Premier League regular for years to come if he continues his progress.

The former MK Dons player is part of a Blades backline who have the joint second-best defensive record in the top-flight behind Liverpool.

On a number of occasions, the influence of both Baldock and fellow wing-back Enda Stevens has been cited as a key factor in the club’s impressive start to the season alongside the central defensive axis of John Egan, Jack O’Connell and Chris Basham.

Wilder observed: “I think George Baldock has been brilliant, outstanding.

“We have all had to raise our games – and he has. Some have adapted really well, and been comfortable at this level.

“He (Baldock) has done that. He is getting rewards now, in terms of the hard work, with where he started with his journey.

“This is not one season for George. He can go on to establish himself at this Premier League level.”