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Losing Start for Speed

1 - 0
Sheffield United

Riverside Stadium

Sunday 22nd August

Attendance: 14633


Most Blades fans who weren`t at The Riverside will have watched the game on Sky at home or in the pub, so no need for a match report, here is a general overview of the game as I saw it.

The first impression was walking into the stadium and thinking for a moment that we had got the kick off time wrong! With six or seven minutes to go before kickoff there appeared to be about eight thousand inside the ground, evidence if any were needed that football is set for a difficult season ahead with attendances. Just under half the seats occupied for a team who are favorites to win promotion tells its own story about admission prices, Sunday lunchtime kick offs and live TV coverage. The travelling Blades fans couldn`t believe how easy parking was right next to the stadium, every cloud had a silver lining!

The Unitedites gave Gary Speed a warm welcome during the warm up, and continued to chant his name throughout the game, it was great - and unusual - to hear encouragement for a Blades manager, let`s hope it lasts.

Nosworthy slotted in at right full back, Ertl moving to central midfield where he had an outstanding game alongside Monty. Nosworthy struggled with lack of fitness throughout the game, eventually being replaced by Quinn with 15 minutes left.

Both teams were tentative in the first half; it took a Boro side lacking in any invention or creativeness 20 minutes to get into United`s box as both keepers were under worked. The new manager`s influence began to show as United clearly played the ball to feet whenever possible, Britton being much more involved and gradually more influential. Simonsen took every opportunity to throw the ball out to retain possession. At the back, Morgan and Bartley won virtually everything in the air as Boyd and Kink struggled to make any impression.

Monty stuck to McDonald like a second skin and Ertl impressed throughout the game with some strong positional play, holding the ball and almost always finding a player with his pass. For me, the new central midfield partnership of Monty & Ertl was very encouraging for the future.

Out wide, Ward sometimes flattered to deceive. His pace and direct running can cause opposing defenders real problems, but he is frustrating with set pieces. His corners were constantly poor, either failing to clear the first defender or floating harmlessly into the keepers arms, wasting the efforts of the big men to get into the box. I really hope new coach Carver will bring something new to United`s set piece play. Corners and free kicks must be more than just ways of restarting the game.

Boro posed few problems throughout, Boyd`s goal coming from Morgan`s misjudging of McDonalds high flick on, the striker slotting across Simonsen with ease, Morgs with head in hands.

Up front, Evans really has to be a bit stronger under the challenge. Cresswell worked a shift as usual, but never looked like opening his account.

Overall, United deserved a point, despite rarely threatening the Boro goal. Morgan`s only mistake cost the winning goal but there were encouraging signs in several areas for the future. Confidence is pretty low right now, a win is needed next week, but there are early signs of what Speed will hope to bring to his team, certainly the ball spent more time on the floor, there was more patience to build through the team, and the pass and move now just needs a bit more of the move.

Star Player

Johannes Ertl. Formed an immediate partnership with Monty, strong tackling, difficult to dispossess and seldom wasted a ball and refreshingly, always looked to move the ball forward. Kyle Bartley also impressed, he looked strong in the air and comfortable in possession.

Glouc's View

A disappointing defeat. Tragic mistake by Morgan which gave Boro their only clear shot at goal, but there were many positives to come out of the game, both individual and from the team point of view. Speed will hopefully have three more options to choose from next week with the return of Lowton, a fit Jordan and possibly the addition of the French full back.

Date:Sunday August 22 2010
Time: 11:28PM

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Glad to get that 500 mile round trip out of the way early in the season.
22/08/2010 23:45:00
All very quiet after todays result, maybe you are all coming to terms with the fact that after all the jaunts and ridiculing of us you are in for a long hard season, and the reality is you stand a very good chance of swapping places with us, you have to admit you were awful today and have been so far this season, you need to rebuild but with the transfer window closing you may be left with what you have, no offence to speed but you need either experience or houdini to get that lot sorted, take it Blackwell will not be showing his face at your place for a while, he has really left you with a team that is not good enough and the board knew that.
Donny Owl
23/08/2010 00:16:00
from the stands it was awfull...the ground is terrible and the worst atmosphere ive whitnessed in my footballing life from home supporters. boro is a real crap hole. the supporters really don't support their team up there it was dire. but.....having watched it back on sky hd when i got home my opinion has change of our performance today. granted we are missing some quality and pace in the starting 11.....but we looked to play football at every oppertunity today. we had some brilliant spells where we pinged it around with ease and players like monty, wardy and especially cresswell came into their own. the chest down from cressy and the beautiful back heel flip was waiting for that to be shown on soccer am's (show-boat) on saturday. ok morgs mistake cost us but that just typical morgan im afraid. speed for me has had an immediate impact we passed the ball ok wasted possesion a lot as did boro's very expensive assembled new squad though!! every player looked to get it on the ground today and in spells proved they were very able. one worry i do have and thats simmo....guys im not sure he is up to the bill of having the no1 shirt!!! my opinion has changed somewhat!! we can take some positives out of today and one thing is clear speed is wanting to play football.simmo only kicked the ball out 7 times during the whole afternoon. looking forward to the next home game......i think speed is going to do a great job and its nice not having a manager shouting his mouth off at every oppertunity like warnock and another up his own arse like blackwell. can't wait though for speed to loose the plot!!! ha ha UTB....FTL1P!!
23/08/2010 00:24:00
heard richard wood is being lined up by speed....not playing for coventry at the moment. would be a good free signing.
23/08/2010 00:39:00
I was impressed with our first half display and thought we were by far the better team. We controlled a lot of the possesion and played some really neat football. The 2nd half is what worries me though! After going behind it never looked like we'd find an equaliser. There were very few ideas up front. And the most worrying thing of all was the substitutions and decisions in the 2nd half. They were very simialr to Blackwell eg Bring Bogdanovic on but play him on right wing???? Why did we continue to play 1 up front when we were 1-0 down? I'd have rather have lost 2-0 but have thrown the kitchen sink at M'brough in the last 5 mins then go down with a whimper. I don't want to be too down cos there were def signs of improvement in the first half but, we should NOT be losing to a side as poor as M'brough were yesterday.
23/08/2010 09:17:00
boro are a good side, spent havilyand have some quality players blade1889...allthough you are spot on with what you have said regards to coming back from 1-0 down and never reallylooking damgerous. evans is looking like he's not bothered and too light weight....wish deano was 20 years younger.....would have dragged him straight out of the commentry box yester and gave him the famous no 10 blades shirt!!!clean slate starting with preston on saturday.....that will give us a good indication and a must win game!!!most of all im hoping of 3 players coming in on permanent deals.
23/08/2010 10:40:00
links today that richard wood is coming for 350k. speedo's first signing.
23/08/2010 10:54:00
links today that richard wood is coming for 350k. speedo's first signing.
23/08/2010 10:54:00
Nosworthy is not a fullback, and Cresswell is not a midfielder, we need to stop playing people out of position, i would rather have played Kozzy at right back
23/08/2010 12:21:00
I wasn't too downhearted yesterday despite the long trip home. Disagree with bladesforlife1889 - just because the bookies like Boro, the evidence on display yesterday points to them being crap. We were good for the point in a game where we worked hard to incorporate the ideas Speed has started to drip feed the players. Some signs of improvement in only game one; agree we really need a win on Saturday to lift everyone and get some momentum going. That piggie is laughable thinking we stand a good chance of swapping with them! I'd rather spend a few years building to challenge for promo to the prem than being a champ/league 1 yo-yo team. Even if you did manage to come back next season...a relegation dog fight will never be far from your door - a battle you usually loose!
23/08/2010 13:02:00
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