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Pitiful Performance at The Palace

Crystal Palace
1 - 0
Sheffield United

Selhurst Park

Saturday 6th March

Attendance: 13455


United's awful away record since Christmas continued at Selhurst Park. Don't be fooled by 'new manager syndrome', this was a totally lacklustre, disorganised performance which never looked likely to come away with anything other than another defeat.

On a sunny afternoon with the pitch looking well used, Blackwell brought back Stephen Quinn in place of Camara much to the disgruntlement of many of the 700 or so travelling Blades fans. The theory probably being that it gave United the options on formation. Ward seemed to drop in behind Cresswell in more of a 4-4-1-1 line up, with Quinn wide left.

Both teams struggled to create anything in the early stages of the first half, both defenses looking suspect. Palace's midfield began to get hold of the game where Williamson and Monty were having little impact. Ambrose and Carle were pushing the ball wide to Butterfield who put in a stream of good crosses, one of which fell nicely for LEE who scored from the six yard box after 23 minutes.

The half was littered with fouls and free kicks, the vast majority against a Blades team who seemed well off the pace and very lethargic. Long before Lee's goal, free kicks and crosses had rained into United's penalty area and the law of averages ment that one of these would be converted.

In Palace's defense Claude Davis was winning most balls in the air, punctuating this with frequent trips to the turf at the slightest hint of contact, whilst up front Alan Lee was putting it about very successfully as he usually does and getting away with most.

United continued to muddle their way through the half, with little evidence of any game plan, seeming to be second to every loose ball and almost never winning second ball. Quinn was getting nowhere down the left and on the other side Yates was anonymous.

On forty minutes the Blades fans stood and cheered as United were awarded a rare free kick. A minute later United had their first corner of the game resulting in a shot at Speroni which awoke him from his afternoon nap.

We were all hoping that the second half would improve, it certainly couldn't get any worse...could it? Derry shovelled Cresswell in minute one, got a yellow and from the free kick (!another!) Quinn and Yates combined to put a good cross just too far in front of Ward running in. Bunn then saved from Ambrose then Lee managed to lift a shot over from six yards with an open goal in front of him.

Camara replaced Quinn who had been totally off the pace and clearly lacking any confidence in his game. Ward then moved out wide but his dismal afternoon didn't improve.

Alan Lee then went through Montgomery with an elbow that referee Penn managed to miss despite being five yards from the incident. Frustration among the United players threatened to boil over at this incident and Williamson saw yellow then the subs board went up to remove him before he saw red, Ellis and Blackwell having to calm him down as he came off.

Despite the continuous whistle-happy performance from Mr Penn against United, there seemed to be little stomach for a fight from the players, with the notable exception of Morgan and Cresswell, the latter working hard and making himself available throughout the game.

Evans replaced Yeates with ten to go, showed some good first touch and lashed a volley inches wide of Speroni's right post in the final minute while Camara hit a shot well wide as United at last showed a bit of determination. Harper who had come on for Williamson earlier showed more control in the twenty minutes he was on than the combination of all United's midfield through- out the entire game.

Five minutes of painful added time produced little and the whistle brought to an end another dreadful performance on the road.

Star Player

Simple, there wasn't one. Nosworthy didn't do much wrong, Morgan or the ever running Cresswell, the rest aren't worth thinking about.

Glouc's View

Another dreadful away day. In summary, abysmal. This was an uncomitted performance from the team who never showed any stomach for a fight, lost most 50-50 balls and didn't pick up many second balls. Only Alan Lee's elbow on Monty seemed to spark any passion from the team. It was difficult to understand exactly what the game plan was, Ward had a poor game and had no impact playing off Cresswell. Quinn's confidence looks shattered.

United never threatened Speroni in the Palace goal, for most of the game he could have been sitting next to me for all the work he had to do. A huge change in attitude, commitment and determination will be required in the last six away games if United are to stand any chance of sneaking into the sixth place. On todays evidence, that looks very unlikely.

Date:Sunday March 7 2010
Time: 12:09AM

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07/03/2010 07:06:00
do we still sit back and continue to put up with pathetic excuses from blackwell and watch our team slowly drift down the league table. what a waste of a season this has been. we are now 9th in the league as i predicted before the season started...all in all our season is now over with nothing to play for as far as im concerned.
07/03/2010 07:47:00
ha ha according to the official website blackwell says we were unlucky after dominating most of the game, we didn't get the decisions and the lads battled really well...all about a new manager coming in he says. By the sounds of it glouc he couldn't agree any less with your match summary.
07/03/2010 07:53:00
BFL....I tell it as I see it. I avoided using the word 'gutless'.
07/03/2010 10:48:00
gloucblade....perfect summary of a truly atrocious performance mate. I was there, and I could clearly see Blackwell was also there, but it must have been a mirage, because no-one else in the ground thought we played 4-4-2, no-one else in the ground thought we dominated anything at any time. We were rubbish and I'm sorry but the season is over as far as I can see. 8th place to finish. Looking at things objectively I think both the Blades AND Kevin Blackwell need a change, for his sake and for our sake. A year ago he was man enough to admit he'd taken us as far as he could. This season has proved it.
07/03/2010 13:05:00
the question is do i or do i not renew my season tickets? i don't agree with anything the club are doing or should i say not doing and as for are the money / debt / player sales / bull....realy really losing interest. If i do renew them it will be purely down to the fact of my little lad...whom i am successfully managing to completely brain wash into being a blade. May just save the money and put it towards a nice family holiday in the sun. absolutely sick to the back teeth of the club.
07/03/2010 14:26:00
you think we have money issues now with an average gate of 26,000, just wait until next season when we are getting 14,000 through the turn styles//////serves the club right.....why are we constantly moaning about our deffence when we had and sold off the best deffence outside the premiership at the start of the seson? micky mouse run club.
07/03/2010 14:31:00
BFL.... Stop worrying about the crowds next season, you are A BLADE. The club is on a sound footing, yes things are going to get worse in the summer, budgets will be cut further, no doubt about it, but think of it like this, you could be a wendy in division one or a Portsmouth out of existence, get that season ticket renewed. Come on you red and white wizzzzzzarrrrrddddssss!
07/03/2010 15:54:00
i don't think the club is on a sound footing at all, in fact the total opposite.
07/03/2010 18:12:00
Another pitiful away performance hardly a shot on goal in 90 mins, then Blackwell comes on and talks about a different match. It must be a different match because its not the same one I saw. I suppose we'll scrape past Peterbourgh and once again it'll safe Kalamity Kev's Neck!!!!
07/03/2010 19:42:00
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