Up against it today
Where to start with this one. I suppose with the line-ups. Everyone round me was surprised to see the team sheet today with five changes on it. No Sharp or Clarke up front and no forwards on the bench either. I did read that Sharp and Clarke had knocks from the previous match, but I would have thought there would have been a forward on the bench. Mind you it gave Ched and Brooks the chance to start and they did pretty well to be fair. Ched is still recovering but has the spirit to want to be on the field.
We started pretty well to be fair, ended up with more possession, shots and on target as well. Brooks did really well and is a decent talent we need to keep hold of. The problem we had this afternoon was playing against one of the dirtiest sides I`ve seen in a long time. Not so much fouling, which they got away with for some reason, but the constant time wasting and rolling around on the floor like someone had took a chainsaw to their legs! It was quite sickening to watch time after time with their players going down looking for free kicks and bookings. They certainly had the eye of the referee, or I should rename him as their 12th player on the pitch! How on earth we only had six minutes of extra time at the end after all this wasting of play I don`t know. The ref kept tapping his watch when their keeper Gunn kept taking the mickey. He even turned to us on the Kop and gave a grin to wind our end up as he knew we knew what he was up to. The ref was pretty shocking though, some of the fouls he gave them were not fouls, I saw Brooks go flying about ten or fifteen yards in the first half and never got a free kick at all. The linesmen weren`t any good either - mainly spent most of the match waiting to see which way the ref was going to give the throw in before they put their flag in the air!
Freeman had to go off in the second half after a knock as well. I`m hoping we can get our main players back for the game next Sunday, Freeman needs to be a part of that so I hope he`s not got a long term problem after being cobbled by one of the Norwich lads.
It was this wastage of an afternoon that really annoyed me though, surely the officials can hear the crowd booing their dissatisfaction at what was going on.
I dont agree with things being thrown on the pitch, after the Sunderland match especially, however there were a couple of bottles that ended up on the pitch from the Kop. This isn`t supposed to happen and those that did it need to have a word with themselves, even though Gunn was winding them up most of the second half. It was frustrating with Larry, Curly and Mo officiating the match, and I know tempers can fray, but bottle throwing shouldn`t be done.
I must admit the ref was quick to send CW to the stands. It was a point for us on the Kop when we saw him kick the ball back to whoever was taking the throw but it knocked over a load of bottles in the opposition technical area, which I suppose Daniel Farke wanted to get in on the action the same as his players and go over the top over nothing. It was a sour afternoon all in all I think. You can tell by the amount of cards shown by the ref on the BBC website!
I`m one for enjoying a good game of football, but the behaviour of the opposition spoilt it today. Whatever happened to a fair match with no dramatics? I watched my lad`s team win this morning 7-0 in the Cup, didn`t see one of them rolling about on the pitch or hoodwinking the ref!
Anyway, we`re sixth with fifteen points, two more than the Wendys, and guess what Norwich…. four points and six places further up the table than you!!
Big game next weekend, away at Swillsborough, so hopefully we can regain our winning ways there and pick the points off them.
Olly Longden (RFA)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporter`s Branch