Toothless Blades Roll Over Again
Saturday 11th December
A South Yorkshire Derby that less than 13000 bothered to turn out for proved to be a passionless affair between two poor teams.
It seems that the days of the totally committed, blood and thunder battles for pride and local bragging rights have long gone, if this game was anything to go by. Still, with so many loan and uncommitted players, it probably shouldn`t be a surprise.
There was very little quality on either side. Hammill for Barnsley was involved in everything from corners to free kicks to throw in`s, it would have been no surprise to see him take the goal kicks as well! For all Hammill's activity, Mark Yeates caused the Tykes defense far more problems in the first half, and was United`s best (only) hope of creating anything positive. However, Barnsley`s defense tightened up on him in the second half and his impact on the game diminished.
Having made a steady start, The Blades with 5 changes from the debacle at Bristol two weeks ago, conceded another soft goal. From a disputed throw in, United`s left side defense were still dozing while O`Brien got to the line unchallenged and squared for Colace to score easily from inside the six yard box 8 minutes from the break.
Yeates bounced a volley off the bar with Steele a spectator a couple of minutes later, but this was the closest United were to get in the entire game.
Evans up front on his own was totally ineffective. His anticipation and movement were non existent and he was usually second to the loose ball. Behind him, Reid had a quiet game; Britton was sloppy with his distribution and was constantly knocked off the ball.
It wasn`t until the last ten minutes that United demonstrated any urgency and fight. Bartley was pushed up front in a desperate effort to create something, but despite possession and corners they never looked like getting anything from the game.
There was a lot more tedious detail to put into the match report than the above, but you probably don`t want to read it, and I certainly don`t want to waste time writing it.
The total lack of confidence in the side is clear for all to see. There is no strike power, Evans continues to look totally out of his depth, and the 4-4-1-1 with Reid in the hole behind Evans doesn`t work because Evans seems totally unable to get himself in the right positions. Idiotic tackling from Boggy and Cresswell which have deprived the team of their presence should be met by big fines.
The real worry is where the next goal will come from, never mind the next win.
It`s time to get young Slew blooded. The academy is going to have to provide the long term supply given the next three years of austerity, so let`s give Lowton a regular starting slot, get Slew more involved and begin to bring others with potential on to the bench.
On the field, we are missing Morgan`s commitment and leadership more than the Morgan knockers will ever admit. Monty is not captain material and the team is suffering because of it.
Most Blades fans will howl with anguish when I say get Hendo back and lets have a bit of activity in the opposition's box, even if it does mean a bit of route one, ANYTHING is better than what we are watching right now. Phew.
Listening to what Speed DIDN`T say in his interview on RS, it looks like he will be tempted by the Wales job offer, so it might be all change again soon.
"There`ll be a welcome in the hillside………."