Date:Friday December 27 2013
Olly Longden writes his latest piece for Vital Sheffield United.
Olly runs the MOD/Armed forces supporter`s branch and he writes a weekly column for Vital Sheffield United.
If you are interested in joining the MOD/Armed forces branch or just want more information, you can find all the details at the bottom of this article.
Unbeaten run continues
I was rather hoping that we could grab three points from the Oldham game. I get annoyed with having to keep criticising the team, but unfortunately I will have to continue to do so.
The first half was a shocker, I am not quite sure if I`ve seen the team start a game as poor as they did today. You could hear the total frustration on the Kop. There was no passing; no closing down the opposition, and when we looked like attacking it was difficult to make out where the midfielders were.
Oldham seemed to be the first to every ball, and with the lads it looked like they were uninterested in playing. Perhaps too much turkey over the festive period was weighing them down a bit.
A few people were questioning what the set up was supposed to be. Aidy White was on the left wing, and it looked like Porter was up front on his own, with Miller and Baxter just behind. I don`t think we should be playing with one up front at home if we want to come away with maximum points. McGinn got a bit of stick off the Kop for loose passes, but that seemed to be the order of the first half from the team.
Again, there were a lot of players that weren`t putting their all into the game. Doyle had another poor performance, and Porter looks tired and out of ideas. He`s still not jumping for the ball or getting amongst the studs with the tackles. Long seems to be "somewhere else" recently. I`ve noticed this over the last few months. I`m not sure if he`s had a change of attitude, or perhaps has become a bit disheartened playing for us. The crowd were not impressed with his lack of command in his area; he seems to be nervous when the opposition are attacking, making silly mistakes. He was frustrating me every time he took a goal kick though. He would either roll the ball out to a defender, or miss-kick the ball so it would go straight out for an Oldham throw in. When you`re a goal down, there`s supposed to be a bit of a sense of urgency from the players. Long kept hold of the ball, rather than take a long kick down field. When the opposition players are in your half, it`s best to hump the ball all the way up the other end to your forwards before the opposition midfield have a chance to reform.
I keep harping on about the last few seasons where we played some good attacking football, using wingers to drive crosses into the opposing areas. We`re lacking this at the moment. Aidy White was doing pretty well until he went off injured in the first half. Murphy replaced him, and I thought he played okay, although he was subbed towards the end of the game with Taylor and Flynn being introduced to the fray. As soon as they came on, the game shifted up a gear in my opinion. How we didn`t manage to steal the points towards the end was beyond me - the post was hit, and the ball was cleared from the line twice during one attack.
I was giving Baxter some stick in previous games, but he`s started coming into the game a bit better now - getting himself on the score sheet more often, and I must admit, his screamer of an equaliser was superb today. With that in mind, and following advice from my friend at British Forces Radio, and fellow Blade, Hal, I`ll lay off him now!
The crowd were becoming a bit frustrated with NC towards the end of the match. He left it until the last five or six minutes to introduce fresh players. If you want to go for the win, you need to do this a lot earlier. It was around the fifteen minutes to go mark, when a lot of people on the Kop were looking towards the dug out in anticipation of a fresh pair of legs coming on.
Listening to Radio Sheffield on the way back home, I couldn`t believe someone had contacted the station to say that Clough should go. It`s far too early for any of that, in my view, and what people still need to see is that we are still on an unbeaten run. The January transfer window will give the manager a lot more options for bringing in players that he feels can turn things around. After all, he`s inherited someone else`s squad, and can only use what he has available until the opening of the transfer window.
We`ll have to look forward to the Tranmere game at the weekend and see if we can pick up much needed three points from that game.
MOD/Armed forces supporter`s branch
Anyone interested in joining the MOD/Armed forces supporter`s branch can get in touch with Olly via email:
Telephone: 07411 319796
Date:Friday December 27 2013
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|11. Port Vale||33||13||4||16||-8||43|
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