Alan Biggs at Large: Gillingham defeat can be blessing in disguise for Blades

Chris Basham questioned United's heart at Gillingham
Chris Basham questioned United's heart at Gillingham

For a footballer to say on the first day of a season that his team lacked “heart” is a new one on me.

So is the gulf between Sheffield United’s almost euphoric pre-season and the reality of a 4-0 first day thumping at Gillingham.

Then there is the imbalance of references to the popular new manager’s predecessor.

If the Blades continue to falter, Nigel Clough will carry the can in the eyes of many.

If they pick up, as we all expect after a restorative Capital One Cup win at Morecambe, the credit will go to Nigel Adkins.

None of the above can be right, surely?

As ever on most matters, the truth lies somewhere inbetween.

Chris Basham’s heart-felt honesty is to be commended.

Those words might have been chosen more prudently but they were as big a shock to the system as the result itself.

Looking through the squad, I can’t believe these players are less than committed. But maybe their subconscious was affected by all the feel-good hype.

If so, the administering of a good old-fashioned kick up the rear can ultimately do more good than harm.

Because I don’t believe the cause was anything so simple as the need, albeit obvious, to reinforce the defence, as has happened with the addition of David Edgar.