Date: 24th October 2010 at 10:23am
Written by:

Those Blades fans who weren`t at Rovers neat little stadium last night, no doubt watched the game on TV, so there is no need for a full match report.

In these days when virtually every game is tagged a ‘derby` for some tenuous reason, the combination of a tea time kick off, live BBC TV coverage and John Ryan`s attempt to recover Billy Sharps transfer fee by charging £28 admission ensured that less than 9000 bothered to turn up.

United made their usual slow start, looking fearful of Donny`s swift pass and move game. The home team quickly established the pace and pattern of the game, carving out early chances and confidently shooting from distance. Coppinger shot across Simonsen into the far corner after Nosworthy and DeLaet got in a muddle just after the half hour, and the little fat boy from Sheffield added a second ten minutes later after a flowing move down United`s right forced Simmo to save low down, only managing to push it out to Billy boy hovering in the six yard box. Game over.

The yawning gap between the teams was there for all to see, starting with the management where Sean O`Driscolls tactics were obvious from minute one. Squeeze the game into areas of the pitch where Doncaster wanted to play, and where it was easier to control the game. O`Driscolls pre match comments were that United were ‘Strong, Organised and Powerful` clearly they were none of these. Sam Ellis`s contribution was that Billy Sharp was sold because he didn`t score goals. Brilliant comment 24 hrs before the game, Sam.

Doncaster play as a unit. Players have a great understanding of each others game, partnerships are well established. On the ball, first touch is usually good and off the ball movement is quick and supportive. The noticeable difference this season is that they appear to be capable of mixing it up when they have to. Even new players coming into the team settle into the pattern and method easily and confidently. The key to their game is tempo. Free kicks, throw-ins and set pieces are all taken at speed. Compare this with United`s laborious, hesitant efforts. Rovers pace never allowed United to settle and organise themselves against their style of play.

It`s difficult to find the positives for United from this game. The usual ‘we were better in the second half` justification is getting really irritating. Fact is that Rovers won the game in 40 minutes of the first half then shut United down with relative ease in the second. How many times were United`s forward (s) caught offside in the first half? Is the term ‘Playing on the defenders shoulder` no longer in vogue?

Creswell`s awful form continued as he missed the one quality ball in the entire game with a header that was easier to score than miss. Jamie Ward added some much needed pace and movement in the second half , was clattered by Mills for a penalty that Keith Hill waved away, and Yeates despite rarely threatening the defence was always likely to be the one to provide a spark.

Once again, fantastic vocal support from the travelling Blades fans, by far and away the man of the match.

Gloucs’s View
What was the game plan today? Rover`s tactics were light years ahead of United. The much criticised 4-5-1 formation was no different to a Blackwell away formation, the football was marginally less long ball but the one true ball player, Britton, was anonymous. Did we miss Monty? I had been very encouraged after the performance at Derby in early September where players looked motivated and comfortable with the ball on the floor and the pass and move game, but things haven`t moved on. There will always be the need to mix it up but yesterdays performance was neither tactically thoughtful, pretty or effective, and if I hear the old chestnut ‘they aren`t Speeds players` again I`ll scream.


11 Replies to “Blades Dumped at Donny”

  • Very Poor performance, why do we keep going away and playing this negative game plan, we should be able to go to any ground in this division and play a 4-4-2 formation and occasionally pick up some points. we never gave ourselves a chance yesterday. Some of the individual performances were shocking, Ertl couldn’t pass water and as for Nosworthy well I’m speechless. I saw Quinny’s name on the team sheet but I didn’t see him on the pitch , did we only play with 10 men ? And lastly for Christs sake lets stop playing Cresswell wide, what a joke.

  • pretty much agree but didnt we play cresswell wide left for most of last season … anyway until mccabe decides to put some money in we are going down…nos bartley calve jordan de laet are not our players come end of may, hendo will be out of contract – same thing happening again another re bilidng job just in a league below – and still stuck with the same old rubbish of morgan cresswell quinn and monty! dark days ahead

  • Your right Gleedless we did play Cresswell there last season but I thought Speedy would have more idea than Blackwell. Why didn’t we start with Wardy at least his pace caused Donny a few problems!!!!

  • It was GARBAGE and with only the odd exception its been that way all season!!

    The 4-5-1 formation isn’t working – mind you on second thoughts – if I were GS I’d only play 1 striker given the bunch of strikers we have.

    Effectively, we were relegated with 2 years of parachute payments and £18m plus our income from player sales. It’s take some kind of genius to finish up in this mess. Well done to the chairman and board.

  • Sean O’Driscoll is the manager we SHOULD have appointed. little donny with their group of midgets passed us off the park. biggest mistake mccabe made was bowing to fan pressure and getting rid of Warnock.

  • What happened to plaing Ward down the middle? And why does Cresswell have a devine right to stay on the pitch? Nyron, Nyron, what are we going to do with him, they need to pplay the benny hill music on the tannoy when he gets the ball. Hopefully they will get a kick up the arse and perform Saturday!!

  • cresswell is stuck out on a limb on his own with no support. speed should make the players sit and watch the donny pass and move game all week.
    lets hope barts is back on saturday, i cant take any more of nos.

  • Jesus BilboBlade thought you were my old man in disguise for a minute there making comments like that! Yep I felt pretty crap watching the Blades on Saturday, we were poor all over the pitch. This is now the time to start judging Speed. 10 games have been and gone, so lets see if he can motivate the players to at least give the passion and commitment he is after. Yes I agree that as it stands today things were better under Blackwell because we won games.

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