New Sheffield United signing Mason Holgate has been left mortified after being hammered 5-0 on his debut for the second time this season.
The on-loan Everton star was making his first appearance for the Premier League basement boys on Saturday night as Champions League-chasing Aston Villa visited. Unai Emery’s side blew the relegation strugglers away, smashing five past them as Ollie Watkins stole the show.
The English striker was one of five different scorers on the night but also laid on two assists in the mauling, which left Holgate particularly red-faced. The 27-year-old had spent the first half of the season on loan at Championship club Southampton before being sent back and snapped up by the Blades.
His Saints career got off to an atrocious start as Sunderland hit them for five on his first game for the club. Holgate was brought in by Sheffield United to help shore up their extremely leaky defence, which has already shipped 59 goals – by far more than any other team in the Premier League.
Unfortunately for him, his Blades career started in the same fashion as it did on the south coast as Villa ran riot netting five times on another dire night for United, who are now 10 points adrift at the bottom of the league. Boss Chris Wilder issued an apology to the fans following the heavy home defeat – which has become a running theme of their season.
“Sorry to everybody, but most importantly, for our 30,000, Sheff United supporters,’ Wilder said post-match. It wasn’t good enough. I have to accept that responsibility. We got well and truly took to the cleaners, 4-0 after 30 minutes, there was never us ever getting back into the game. They were clinical in there, taking chances.
“But we were open so I have to accept that responsibility in terms of the way that the team set up. We have to take our medicine, this is what the Premier League is about, this is what it can do to you and it has done to us and it’s not a nice feeling. There’s no hiding place for a manager.
“I’m stood in that technical area for 95 minutes [which] felt like about three-and-a-half weeks. And-the players out there, and everything that gets chucked at us, from our supporters through media, through everybody’s opinion – we have to take it on the chin and accept.”