The Fat Lady Is Clearing Her Throat!
Tuesday Feb 22nd
Even by United`s standards this season, this was another in a long list of disasters. Two up inside 7 minutes and with the 2000 plus blades fans beginning to think that this might just be the glimmer of hope they had been waiting for, crazy defending conspired to not only throw away the lead by the end of the first half, but then to give the game away early in the second to another set piece.
United set off with purpose, clearly with the instruction to get the ball forward quickly in the air avoiding the surface of the ploughed field that passes as a football pitch. For the back four it was a case of kick the way you are facing.
Evans scored with a solid left foot shot then Cresswell charged down the keeper`s clearance within a minute and the travelling Blades fans couldn`t believe their luck. Doyle put one over, and then Riise hit the bar as The Blades dominated. Stephen Quinn was clearly being targeted by the home players as Gordon, Hughes and Wright all took turns in clattering then 'talking` to him.
Collins flattened Garner in the area on 37 minutes then slotted the penalty past Simonsen, then five minutes later United failed to defend a free kick into the box and Garner all on his own for a ball headed back across the six yard box rolled it in, and the lead had disappeared. Easy as that.
Half time came and every Blades fan knew that the next goal was going to be the vital one.
The Iron duly obliged from another set piece, Miller heading home the first chance his team had in the half. The rest of the half was predictable, scrappy, panicky half chances wasted, more attackers thrown on and an increasingly nervous defence. Collins then saw red after Garner made sure he hit the defender then the mud, and to a chorus of 'you`re not fit to wear the shirt` from Blades fans the players slunk off to the dressing room.
Micky Adams said of the game, "You`ve got to question the heart of the players," he said. "We lack it a set-pieces both in our box and the opposition`s` too. I don`t know what they were doing but they certainly don`t want to get hurt. (Neill) Collins gave away an avoidable penalty, Ched Evans, who otherwise had a great game, lost his man for the second and then Nyron did for the third. That`s three individual errors."
Adams added: "I don`t know how big a psychological blow that might be but it`s never good losing to one of your relegation rivals.
"I`m the fourth manager this club has had this season, which tells you something.
"I`ll shoulder my responsibilities because I`m a big boy but I`ve told the players that sooner or later the fans, who have been magnificent, are going to start turning on them."
Listening to Micky Adams's choking interview on RS after the game, he sounded as though he was ready to throw it all in and walk away. His comments about lack of heart in the side, and his criticism of individual players - whilst entirely accurate and a view shared by us all - does not bode well for any kind of team spirit and fight for the remaining 13 games. There is clearly a huge divide between players and management and with so few SUFC contracted players for Adams to be able to infulence, the future looks bleak. Loan players have been relied on for far too long - whatever the reasons - and they are simply not going to respond to manager or fans wrath when they can return to their parent clubs and warm the subs benches whilst taking big wages. Something has to change, big style, or the fat lady's songs will be ringing in our ears very soon.